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Thread: Is science the fundamental source of knowledge?

  1. #11
    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    http://www.theapricity.com/forum/sho...e-Epistemology
    Philosophy of Knowledge - Epistemology


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    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    Naturalism cannot explain the profound questions ?

    "If it can’t answer the fundamental questions of the origin of the world or the origin of life, it’s not a viable world view."

    That is not a reasonable claim. The apologists have not demonstrated that these questions are answerable, particularly the origin of the universe. Also, their "god-did-it" hypothesis does not explain anything because an explanation must be founded on known entities, rather than using one mystery to "solve" another. Naturalism may also be able to answer these questions and assuming they will not is god of the gaps and argument from ignorance.
    Last edited by Petros Agapetos; 01-08-2017 at 09:31 PM.

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    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    Occam's Razor is the philosophical principle which states: entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. It has been paraphrased in various forms:

    "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one."

    "Out of several equally good explanations, pick the simplest one."

    "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes"
    — Isaac Newton

    "Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities"
    — Bertrand Russell

    In this context, the word "simplest" means "the explanation that contains the fewest assumptions." Similarly, "equally good" refers to the ability of the explanation to account for the observation and not to the veracity of the explanation. Occam's Razor is one of the key principles of skepticism.

    Occam's Razor has perhaps less application to religion than is commonly assumed because religion is often not a predictive explanation. Therefore, any other predictive theory which is even remotely correct is considered better than a non-predictive religious explanation. Occam's Razor does apply in cases where God is needlessly invoked, such as with theistic evolution.

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    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    Science is a broad term describing a number of fields of study or knowledge. While it can be colloquially used to refer to a number of skills, its usage generally refers to the system of discovery and invention based on empirical evidence and experimentation rooted in methodological naturalism. The means by which science is executed is known as the scientific method.
    Last edited by Petros Agapetos; 01-08-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #15
    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    Some commentators believe that science and religion could never be in disagreement, so there is no problem. Francis Collins, a leading geneticist, is one apologist that argues that science and religion are complimentary. Others consider religion and science to address entirely separate issues (i.e. they are nonoverlapping magisteria). However, if a religion claims that miracles occur in an observable manner, we should expect to have reliable evidence of their occurrence.

    "For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts."
    — Albert Einstein

    Only 36.6% of US scientists believe that scientific and religious knowledge is in conflict.

    Some literalist fundamentalists claim that science and religion are not compatible because it contradicts their interpretation of scripture. One of the most vocal groups that hold this view are young earth creationists.
    Last edited by Petros Agapetos; 01-08-2017 at 09:33 PM.

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    Nah brah. I prefer stoneage books.

  7. #17
    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    The primary anti-science claim of apologists is that science cannot provide sufficiently accurate knowledge about reality as it relies on naturalistic methodologies which exclude supernatural explanations.

    Another common anti-science claim is that since there are so many things that science doesn't have the answers for, it is incomplete and thus unworthy of belief.

    Many people dismiss the findings of science because science "keeps changing", because that supposedly makes it unreliable.

    Science has proven to be the only consistently reliable method of defining reality. Science, by definition, cannot consider supernatural explanations as they are simply unverifiable assertions. Supernatural explanations have yet to provide any reliable, verifiable information about reality, and hence remain a matter of faith. If a supernatural claim does contain scientifically testable assertions, then those assertions may be tested to see if they hold up in nature. However, even if the tests verify the assertions, the supernatural claim itself will remain unverified until the remaining parts of it that previously had no way of being tested do.

    The fact that science doesn't currently have all the answers to every question about life, the universe, and everything certainly doesn't mean that science as a whole is unreliable. Two centuries ago science had very little information (and in many cases none at all) about things like quantum mechanics, dark matter, the age of the universe, etc. However, nowadays we know much more simply because science is constantly progressing. Indeed, the rate of scientific progression seems to increase the more we learn. It's not illogical to expect that we will soon have answers for those questions that Creationists (for example) tout as holes in scientific knowledge.

    By contrast, religion does not appear to advance human knowledge in any consistent or reliable way. Most knowledge contained in religions is not unique to the religion and could be considered to be "folk wisdom".
    Last edited by Petros Agapetos; 01-08-2017 at 09:34 AM.

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    Veteran Member Petros Agapetos's Avatar
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    Many early scientists believed that the natural world was a "book of nature" which, along side scripture, was part of God's revelation to humans. However, as natural philosophers began using experimentation and systematic investigation, serious omission and errors in both scripture and classical philosophy began to emerge.

    "Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written."
    Galileo Galilei

    "Some people, in order to discover God, read a book. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above and below, note, read. God whom you want to discover, did not make the letters with ink; he put in front of your eyes the very things that he made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?"
    Augustine of Hippo

    "There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures [i.e. natural phenomena] which express his power."
    Francis Bacon

    However, to claim that "Christianity invented science" is an over simplification. In a sense, science grew out of religion.

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    Damn wizard and his magical powers.

  10. #20
    Герр Абубу Herr Abubu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petros Agapetos View Post
    No I wouldn't say the source of all knowledge, but ultimately knowledge must be indicated in evidence. Science is a method and an enterprise that specializes at progressively converging to an underlying truth. Science is a method of discovering the nature of nature itself using empirical evidence and experimentation. Science is based on methodological naturalism, which states that only natural causes are to be considered as explanations, in contradistinction to philosophical naturalism which asserts that only natural things exist (and that the supernatural does not exist). Since there is no way to demonstrate and confirm supernatural causation, entities which are said to inhabit the supernatural realm are simply not considered in science. The means by which science is executed is known as the scientific method.
    Science has proven to be the only consistently reliable method of defining reality. Science, by definition, cannot consider supernatural explanations as they are simply unverifiable assertions. Supernatural explanations have yet to provide any reliable, verifiable information about reality, and hence remain a matter of faith. If a supernatural claim does contain scientifically testable assertions, then those assertions may be tested to see if they hold up in nature.
    When I made this thread I was expecting exactly this sort of reply, and the reason I made this thread was to show how wrong it is. You first point out that the methods of science are only appropriate to discover the natural world. However, you then go on to say that it's the only reliable way of defining reality, which means that you assume that there is nothing beyond what science can show, this without evidence. The greatest contradiction of it all, finally, is that you say all of this not with evidence, but with a priori argument. You even argue that knowledge must rely on evidence, without any evidence for the claim, which would be impossible.

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