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Author Topic: Faster than light story highlights the difference between science and religion
Stephen
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Post Faster than light story highlights the difference between science and religion
on: September 28, 2011, 14:00
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People WANT and NEED religion to be blind, I'm finding. Here is recent article in the Guardian - it basically looks like a bit of random religion bashing - that uses the lately claimed tachyons (faster than light particles, to you uninitiated) at CERN to give it to religious belief. It can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/sep/28/faster-than-light-science-religion.

Here is a quote:

Science can seem rather weak in comparison to the certainties religion offers. But it is this very "weakness", this refusal to issue absolute statements of truth, that allows science to progress, and to come up with increasingly better ways of explaining the world.

I wrote a somewhat overboard reply:

Anyone who wants to compare science and religion to the detriment of religion ought to be at least be a bit scientific. A tad of knowledge about religion wouldn't hurt either.

Where to start? How about the claim that religion says "This is the way things are, and it can be no other way."

Given that every different religion makes different claims, and every single religious person is constantly changing their mind (even their religion) as they grow and learn, how does this have chance in heck to be true? The writers claim is obviously false, as five minutes of thought easily shows. What this means - given the common occurrence of this claim - is that it is pure belief - and a totally unscientific belief unsupported by any evidence. Not allowed if you want to even sound scientific.

What about the science? The writer clearly doesn't know anything about faster than light travel, so he is totally relying on the 20 or so people in the world who do. Talk about faith-based!

And think about the asymmetry. We have a meaningless factoid important to a few physicists (me among them) compared to questions about the meaning of life and its purpose for a couple of billion people, a good percentage who don't know where their next meal is coming from. And it is the religious charities, apparently unaware that kindness to others has been proven unscientific, who are in large part helping them out.

So, the writer is off the rails, not even comparing apples and oranges, rather comparing the goldfish of high-energy science with greatest leviathans of the sea of existence.

Yes please compare science and religion. But bring a little science to that comparison.

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