Science is based on faith?

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As others have alluded to, the way that the EC video tries to make parts of science fit the definition of "faith" requires quite a lot of twisting the definition. It's one thing to think that definitions are malleable, but using one word - faith - to describe a religious belief like the belief in an afterlife as well as a piece of scientific reasoning is a case of using one word to describe two clearly different things, which should be avoided. The scientific approach to things that are not known is what clearly separates it from faith. Faith encourages people to trust in things they can't know. Science relies on the opposite attitude, skepticism. The reason scientists "assume" that (for example) there are natural causes for the things that happen around us is not because they think they can prove something that they actually can't, but because such an assumption is both productive and true by any meaningful definition of the word "truth".

Pebkio:

Yeah, okay. Prove to me that what you can see with your eyes is reality and true. Prove to me that when you witness an event that you're seeing all the truths behind that event.

I thought we were talking about science, not philosophy.

Besides, science takes into account the subjective nature of observation. So I'm not seeing the point to your statements here.

Prove to me that all the tools we have for measuring things scientifically are all the tools we will ever have and that no new way of measuring will ever come along to give a new perspectives on old theories.

I'm sorry, but what? What does this have to do with the topic? You act as though science and technology advancing and evolving over time somehow makes everything we've discovered thus far as purely "faith based". I'm genuinely confused here.

Of course not, I'm not really asking you to prove something so open-ended and future-centric. However, it IS absence of proof, yet we still have to believe that what we can observe is true. Ergo, even though we are able to refine our understanding of what is true, we still need some faith (by definition 2b-1) in our ability to observe the truth.

We need faith to observe the truth? Really? Really now?

Is it practically moot... pretty much, yeah. Is it still a way to show how faith isn't entirely removed from science... pretty much, yeah.

Leaps of logic abound in this discussion.

Simply because someone assumes the answer to a question in science, doesn't mean they're taking the findings on "faith".

They assume what the answer might be, but they still perform experiments to prove, or disprove, those assumptions.

If it was done on "faith", any findings refuting the assumed answer would be ignored or altered to fit the original assumption.

Oh, and they didn't say that science is based on faith. Everyone who uses that phrase is misquoting EC.

I wasn't attempting to argue with EC. I was answering the OPs question, based on what he/she wrote. I'm sorry, is that no longer acceptable behavior around here? I thought that was the point of a forum.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Once again, I must insist that people stop confusing "faith" with "assumption". They are NOT the same thing.

Able Seacat:
I wouldn't say I have faith in science, I would say I trust science. I wouldn't say I believe in evolution, I would say I accept evolution.

I guess peoples definitions vary. It is also impractical to think in 'absolutes'.

What he said.

I guess I just went with a more likely theory that made more sense to me since I wasn't raised with much faith beyond basic belief in god. I don't even believe in that anymore.

I'll admit I've certainly had moments where I wished I could believe in heaven...

Science only has two beliefs. If you want to call it faith then so be it.
1. We and the universe exist.
2. Reality exists as we see it.

Incidentally, anyone who is not willing to admit he could be a potatoe has to concede to these two beliefs, so it's not a science-exclusive belief club.

Some_weirdGuy:
snip

Yeah, I was trying to be as simple as I could in my explanation and it came out poorly. But yes, I know they are indisputable. As others have stated more eloquently, there's a different between laws and theories and the definitions are somewhat complicated. In any case, you are correct and my post was worded badly. =P

The old "fuzzy knowledge" argument: Nothing is 100% certain and so therefor poorly reasoned concepts such as religion has legitimacy. Believing something because it's falsifiable, has been tested(in a way that's reproducible) and peer reviewed is better than believing something based on faith.

Remember that with Science, if we aren't certain we about something yet we say so. Only religion claims 100% certainty.

Pebkio:

I didn't say "You, Vigor, believe..." did I? No, I was talking to LetalisK. Stop projecting onto my posts. If you feel I was addressing you, even though I wasn't, I think YOU'VE got a problem with YOU believing in science.

It's funny that you've been accusing others of being "zealots" when it appears you're one of the only people reacting with such fervor and anger.

Anyway, no. You weren't directly quoting me previously. But let me fill you in on something: You're posting on a forum on the internet. You're making public statements. As such, the "public" can read and respond to your comments and assertions.

I simply exorcized my rights to do so. I read your post, saw the points you made, and felt compelled to refute them. I knew you weren't addressing me. But you still posted your thoughts in a public forum. I simply responded.

That's how discussions work.

Though, I have to ask:
How does me assuming you were talking to me (though I wasn't) have anything to do with me "believing in science"?

Seriously, these leaps are astounding.

Syntax Error:
Science is based on faith. Faith that you know your skills, proofs, data and documentation are correct. Faith does not necessarily equate to religion. Keep that in mind.

Hence why myself and a few others noted it to be a loaded term (as opposed to an entirely inaccurate one) in discussions like this, especially considering that it's so often used in this context for the specific purpose of equating science to religion. It certainly doesn't help matters that the word 'faith' can literally be synonymous with 'religion', hence "the christian faith" and similar terms. It's like 'Tyrant'[1] and 'Propaganda'[2] in that respect, the more general meaning has been almost entirely eclipsed by the additional implications that have been added to the term over the years. Yes, the word faith can be synonymous with 'trust' and is still occassionally used as such, but it remains a loaded term more closely associated with religion than general trust. And as noted priorly, in this particular context the term has a long history of being used as a weasel word to imply the same religious connotations described. We've actually seen it in this very thread with someone using the term to imply that scientific principles like evolution had much the same basis as religious ideas like creationism, and through that implying that they had equal footing. It's exactly that kind of usage, which again is all too prevalent in this context, that inspires the negative reactions in question (which have also been seen in this thread).

[1] At its basic level, the word tyrant simply means one who came to power through unconventional means, such as a coup. In this respect, one could call George Washington a tyrant and not be incorrect. However, the term has acquired additional connotations over the years that turn it into a far more negative statement, often entirely replacing the original meaning of the term with 'a harsh and/or cruel ruler who looks to his own interest rather than his subjects' or something similar. For better or worse, this latter definition is the one most people relate to, and with that in mind calling George Washington a tyrant would imply he carried those traits as well, making it a loaded term.
[2] The term itself could apply to any media designed to affect public opinion, as that is the most basic definition of 'propaganda'. By this token, one could very well call a public health announcement propaganda. However, like 'tyrant' it has acquired additional baggage over the years which give the term strongly negative connotations, to the point that it's become near synonymous with malicious misrepresentation, and the former usage has been all but forgotton. With that in mind, presenting a public health announcement as 'propaganda' carries that baggage and thus the term's use in that context is ill-advised.

To give an example of science as being potentially fallable, lets look at the idea of gravity. (I'm gonna use biblical history, because it lets me give otherwise random people names and guess their intelligence levels)

At some point, Adam/Eve must have realised everything falls from their hands towards their feet. A new concept was discovered on which they could reasonably do a lot of things.

Later, they may have stood on their heads and realised things actually fell from the air to the ground. The original idea was proven wrong, but evolved. This idea held for a very long time, and is still how many people (such as most children0 understand gravity.

At some point, someone worked out there were exceptions, such as magnetism. The theory changed again, but only to allow for weird exceptions.

Relatively recently (I'm sure someone could tell me who and when) people worked out that the ground wasn't the only thing stuff fell towards. Mass actually attracted towards itself. It was merely the assumptions that there was ground everywhere and that stuff would always fall from a reasonably small distance from it that allowed the previous assumptions to work. This meant the entire idea had to be reconsidered, despite working in every situation previously encountered, to deal with physics in space.

Other exceptions discovered along the way have disproven the idea that stuff will always fall unless it is physically supported. Hydrogeen balloons allowed people to make solids 'float' due to them being lighter than air. Further ideas that it was relative weight to air that defined speed of falling have been shattered with famous bowling ball vs feather wxperiments. Finally, aerodynamics now allow lumps of heavy metal to soar through the air.

A child reacts to the idea of an aeroplane the same way Adam would have. It appears to defy everything he ever observed, destroying a law he based his life around. Many children have seen superman and tried to jump off their sofa, believing physics to have changed somehow (others just for the craic).

And now we have an incredibly complex idea of how gravity interacts with matter, often explained using a stretchy material and heavy objects making physical slopes down which objects fall, due to the effect of Adam's understanding of gravity.

I have no doubt that in 100 years time people will look back on our ideas of scientific law and theory and split them in several catagories, Nonsense, simplistic starting point and true. And if we could go there, I reckon we would be shocked to see which ideas fall where, just as Adam would be shocked to see aircraft.

There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

Lonewolfm16:

Science must make assumptions which cannot be proven. Whether these count as faith is a matter of semantics.
1: The universe exists
2: It is possible to learn things about the universe
3: Our senses are at least sometimes accurate, and relay information about the outside universe.
These can never be proven, yet are vital ot beggining science or any evidence based learning. We can never know whether what we see and observe through data is correct, and not changed by some unknown entity, or if there really is anything to observe out there, yet we must accept that evidence is a trustworthy means of determining things, which cannot be proven by evidence. As long as we are aware of these assumptions I see no problem with it.

Except that, two of those three are more philosophy based rather than purely scientific. Even in quantum mechanics, such concepts are either quantifiable or "novelties".

Science operates on assumptions, of which can be proven wrong and adapted. Faith is an "infallible" belief that something is true, no matter what evidence may arise.

I actually displayed the definitions of faith and assumption in a previous post, so I won't do so here. It would just be redundant. (and space consuming)

[edit]
Actually, glancing at a few other posts, MeChaNiZ3D essentially said what I was going to say.

MeChaNiZ3D:
There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

Good on you, Mechanized.

xPixelatedx:
I know mentioning Extra Credits here is somewhat taboo, but I am not so much interested in them as much as the can of worms they just inadvertently opened. In their recent two videos they pointed out that some of science's roots were grounded in belief, because we are dealing with things we cannot prove (however likely they may be). This started a discussion that caused a lot of people to become rather defensive and upset. They recently made their closing statement on the argument and I have to say I agree with them.
Science is still based on evidence, it just so happens the evidence we currently have for any given topic could be wrong, we might not be seeing the whole picture or the limitation of us being human is whats causing us to error (in other words we will never know the answer). Because of all that we have to take some degree of faith into it to make many of our theories work at all. I just think people are frightened at the idea that science might not be entierly infallible, even though it's usually not a big deal when our facts turn out to be wrong. After all, if we knew everything, we wouldn't learn anything.

What do you guys think?

Given that the vast majority of discoveries seem to be made by accident, that many of the truths scientists cling to are still theories and the simple fact that science is not infallible as it is OUR interpretation of how the universe works - and we all know what we're like - then absolutely, their is a huge degree of faith to it. Then again their is a huge degree of faith in anything we do. As Book from Firefly would say ' You don't need to believe in God, just believe in something' - or words to the effect.

The problem is is religion is the new taboo. And the big catch phrase for religion has always been faith. People hear you talking about faith and they'll instantly write you off as a religious nut without understanding what faith means which is a firm belief in something.

Do people out there honestly believe that scientists like Rutherford, Newton and Voltaire discovered what they did without the faith that what they were researching would come to fruition. Or that Edison and Archimedes didn't have faith in the things they invented. Or that all the great scientists and inventors history has blessed us with didn't have faith in themselves.

Well i guess science requires faith, in the same way that walking outside of your NYC apartment despite the chance of being attacked by a tiger covered in pink paint requires faith. If your definition of faith is "accepting something that doesn't have a 100% chance of being true" then yes, science needs faith. As does everything you and anyone else will do ever in the history of forever.

If that is your definition of faith, and you try to argue that science requires faith, you aren't. You're just stating the obvious and then arguing semantics.

MeChaNiZ3D:
There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

I believe in many things without evidence. I believe the people posting on this thread to be separate individuals behind computers around the world posting their opinions. Alternative explanations include that someone somewhere is messing with me, using multiple accounts to generate a lot of nonsense, or that this is merely a dream.

I also believe that God not only exists and created us, but that he has given His Son as our path to salvation. A much bigger claim, but one I feel science will either never manage to prove, or the proof would take so long I'd be dead before they got there. I don't try to claim my belief is science, but merely observe that all evidence supports my belief.

90sgamer:
Science only has two beliefs. If you want to call it faith then so be it.
1. We and the universe exist.
2. Reality exists as we see it.

Incidentally, anyone who is not willing to admit he could be a potatoe has to concede to these two beliefs, so it's not a science-exclusive belief club.

3. The laws of nature as we observe them are constant*, with no exceptions.
This is the assumption that rules out miracles, and therefore rules out God.

NB: Provided all physical factors are constant, such as position in space.

Katatori-kun:
Science is not based on faith, at least not in a religious sense (but then neither are many religions. Their overly Christian-centered analysis of religion left that out. It was an episode where the fact that they didn't do their homework was painfully obvious).

However, science is based on unproven assumptions, as all paradigms are. And often acknowledging this fact makes people who are anti-theists for all the wrong reasons uncomfortable. Especially when you point out that the very things they use to bash religion(s) with is applicable to their paradigm.

All paradigms require unproven assumptions in order to structure knowledge. It is impossible to structure knowledge using the knowledge being structured as the source of structure itself. At some point all systems of information must boil down to a set of axioms that cannot be examined by the system itself. Some people don't like that, because they've built up a false notion of science in their head as some kind of god of knowledge whom, if one worships, will allow them to win arguments on the Internet. Which is rather silly, really.

I like this post and wish to add to it.

Theres a phrase i believe, an idea that if you can come up with something to describe EVERYTHING that descriptor is invalidated because its useless. If it can blanket EVERYTHING ever then whats the point of discussing it. Letd address this.

The definition of faith is basically the crux of the argument here. If, like extra credits, we take faith to be an "Unproven assumption" then every single moment every single thing you ever do ever in every nano second takes BILLIONS of HUGE leaps of faith. You have faith twitching your 40th eyelash will not cause a giant tentacle eye devouring terror demon to erupt from the nearest telephone and wreak havok on the earth by devouring the eyes of a thousand children. You can repeat this assumption ad nausium for every single irrational outcome ever for every action. Since "faith" by this definition describes all actions at all times ever in this scenario its a worthless descriptor. It may as well not apply. Its not worth discussing or considering. If THAT is our definition of faith ill happily concede we all apply it everywhere all the time every second and all humans always will be. Faith may as well be interchanged with "Being human". Which i think makes it a stupid definition of the word since we have no reason to argue about it being in all places at all times.

This definition of faith, as EC erroneously said, doesnt mean that ALL faith is equal in validity, that my faith my eyelash wont summon Xclotl the terror horror of eye devouring is as rational as the faith that you CAN summon Xcotl the horror terror by waving feathers at the sun.

Kat however, above, has defined it in a more useful way which is the definition i choose to use. Faith doesnt apply to science. Assumption does. However as stated above assumption, or faith or whatever you want to call it by this definition is a totally meaningless phrase.

Id also like to address the issue of "What if its the matrix". I dont understand why this is an issue. Surely we can just shift the boundaries of science to match whatever level of "Reality" anyone claims to be. It might be real life. it might be the matrix. It doesnt matter. Science seeks to understand OUR shared experience. Even if 99.9999% of that our is a computer and i am the only sentient human science STILL applies to my little subroutine. Even if its a dream. Even if its the matrix. it doesnt matter. Science never claimed it wasnt any of these things. All are equally valid to explore and experiment on so im willing to dive as many levels down as you want. Its a weak argument.

"What if its the matrix?"

"Then sciences purpose becomes lets explore the matrix."

"What if its a dream?"

"Then the goal becomes lets explore the dream."

The fun thing about science is you can shift boundaries based on discovery.

Vigormortis:

Science assumes an answer and attempts to prove it. If it the claim is wrong, science adjusts.
Faith states something as true and never posits the possibility of it being false.

Ergo, again, science is not "faith based".

Not so but youre damn close :P

Science never assumes an answer. Science looks at evidence and draws an answer from it so that people dont need to "Seek" to defend it. They should already possess an arsenal to defend it when they draw the conclusion. Faith assumes an answer and attempts to defend it.

image

Vigormortis:

Lonewolfm16:

Science must make assumptions which cannot be proven. Whether these count as faith is a matter of semantics.
1: The universe exists
2: It is possible to learn things about the universe
3: Our senses are at least sometimes accurate, and relay information about the outside universe.
These can never be proven, yet are vital ot beggining science or any evidence based learning. We can never know whether what we see and observe through data is correct, and not changed by some unknown entity, or if there really is anything to observe out there, yet we must accept that evidence is a trustworthy means of determining things, which cannot be proven by evidence. As long as we are aware of these assumptions I see no problem with it.

Except that, two of those three are more philosophy based rather than purely scientific. Even in quantum mechanics, such concepts are either quantifiable or "novelties".

Science operates on assumptions, of which can be proven wrong and adapted. Faith is an "infallible" belief that something is true, no matter what evidence may arise.

I actually displayed the definitions of faith and assumption in a previous post, so I won't do so here. It would just be redundant. (and space consuming)

[edit]
Actually, glancing at a few other posts, MeChaNiZ3D essentially said what I was going to say.

MeChaNiZ3D:
There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

Good on you, Mechanized.

Understand that I am arguing that these assumptions are neccassary in order to do science at all. And they certainly cannot be proven or disproven, afterall proving that your senses are accurate means relying on evidence you can in no way observe, and learning that we can learn somthing about the universe is tautological. Science is based on evidence and reasoned logic, yet you cannot show that evidence and reasoned logic is in way valuble to a system of learning without, well reasoned logic and evidence. Though I will concede that these assumptions may or may not be faith, I do not wish to involve myself in the messy semantics there.

BiscuitTrouser:

Not so but youre damn close :P

Science never assumes an answer. Science looks at evidence and draws an answer from it so that people dont need to "Seek" to defend it. They should already possess an arsenal to defend it when they draw the conclusion. Faith assumes an answer and attempts to defend it.

Oh, I know. That's what I was saying.

However, often in the search for the answer to something, assumptions must be made in science. If nothing else than as a starting point in the quest for the facts.

The difference being, as you also put it, science doesn't ignore it's findings. Even if they refute the previous assumptions.

Lonewolfm16:

Understand that I am arguing that these assumptions are neccassary in order to do science at all. And they certainly cannot be proven or disproven, afterall proving that your senses are accurate means relying on evidence you can in no way observe, and learning that we can learn somthing about the universe is tautological. Science is based on evidence and reasoned logic, yet you cannot show that evidence and reasoned logic is in way valuble to a system of learning without, well reasoned logic and evidence. Though I will concede that these assumptions may or may not be faith, I do not wish to involve myself in the messy semantics there.

Fair enough. In fact, I agree in many ways.

And, I don't blame you for not wanting to get into the semantics of the discussion. The definitions of faith and assumption seem to be at the crux of this whole discussion. Some, like the EC people, seem to be using the broadest, most general definition of faith. A definition so broad it's almost meaningless.

Actually most people believe science to be true without verifying the results of experiments. Believing without proof constitutes faith to me.

I think people have an issue with it because faith is usually related to religion and some people have a fear/hatred of religion. Religion is sometimes seen as the opposite of science and so people who don't like religion often go 'religion bad, science good'. (Seems odd since many major thinkers of our day are celebrated scientist and still have religious beliefs, so obviously they aren't mutually exclusive despite arguments to the contrary).

texanarob:

MeChaNiZ3D:
There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

I believe in many things without evidence. I believe the people posting on this thread to be separate individuals behind computers around the world posting their opinions. Alternative explanations include that someone somewhere is messing with me, using multiple accounts to generate a lot of nonsense, or that this is merely a dream.

I also believe that God not only exists and created us, but that he has given His Son as our path to salvation. A much bigger claim, but one I feel science will either never manage to prove, or the proof would take so long I'd be dead before they got there. I don't try to claim my belief is science, but merely observe that all evidence supports my belief.

The evidence is that there are many different posting expressing different opinions or at least an opinion expressed differently, some made in close succession to each other and being part of a larger, consistent to each profile history of posts. I can't rule out that there is one person who types extraordinarily fast manipulating all these personas, or that there is a robot behind most of the posts, but I am inferring from the fact that I have a single account, some of the other users in the forum have disagreed with each other at times, I haven't seen or heard of a multiple-account-manipulating robot with this level of expression, and the typing would have to be very, very fast if it were a person, the most reasonable explanation is that there are a multitude of users posting their own comments. Similarly, I can't prove that at this moment I'm not a robot with implanted memories placed into a fabricated world, but considering that things happen as usual, it is more reasonable to assume they have been happening for a long time before I was born than that this is all a setup. And it could be a dream, we could all be in the Matrix, and in fact a change in the speed of light that occurred millions of years ago could support this, but that doesn't impact the rules of what is happening within the world.

Science cannot prove or disprove God. Because God has been explained in such a way that he is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and when he wants, undetectable. All others can do is point out inconsistencies and contradictions, but for all we know he orchestrated everything. Which is why I can't say "There is no God", but based on the evidence, I don't think there is one.

gritch:

I think you're misunderstanding what was meant by "faith" in this context. By faith it's not meant to mean belief in a God but rather believing in something without being absolutely certain. It's really more of epidemiological argument - we can never be 100% certain anything we observe.

Science is built on the assumption that what we observe is correct - one can change their interpretation of an observation but the observation itself is assumed to be correct. The assumption that what we observe is correct is the basic "faith" that science is based on.

This was in an episode titled 'Religion in Games'

And the quote was

"Now we at Extra Credits have deep faith in science, we will defend it fiercely and say without hesitation that it is greatest most ennobling properties mankind has. But we understand just that, faith. The only difference between science and religion is that science takes faith as a starting point whereas for religion its the central tenant."

This is a mush-headed pronouncement.

Simple example: Scientifically if I'm testing the idea that water doesn't ignite I don't simply have "faith" that it won't. I sceptically check this proposition by applying flame to it.

Continuing this simple example: I can then write a paper that offers the conclusion that water does not ignite. Other scientists sceptical of my conclusion try to replicate my result. If they can further papers supporting my conclusion are written. Further scientists accepting my result might then test the proposition that water can be used to dowse fires.

I fail to see how this is faith.

xPixelatedx:

Science is still based on evidence, it just so happens the evidence we currently have for any given topic could be wrong, we might not be seeing the whole picture or the limitation of us being human is whats causing us to error (in other words we will never know the answer).

However, science is designed to provide the best possible answer, not the ultimate truth. Ideally, it would be the latter, but we're stuck with the former. the scientific community understands this. However, there is little point in arguing what might be true in the face of what we can demonstrate (Occam's Razor here). Not to mention, science is designed to test things with replicable results, so we never really have to take someone at their word.

Of course, you can choose to take it on faith, but to say that science is based on faith is really stretching the definition thin.

Jacco:

For instance, we know gravity works because we interact with it every day. But its still a "theory" as we don't completely understand it, hence the name "Theory of Gravity." Evolution is the same way. We think it happened and is happening and have evidence to support that, however we can never proof 100% that evolution is real. That's what science is. A constant revision of what we think we understand to something more likely.

You're using the common use of the word theory to explain the scientific use of the word theory. They're not the same thing.

TAdamson:

This is a mush-headed pronouncement.

It's also what I expect from Extra Credits. They don't seem to ever bother to fact check their science before talking about it. Or their content, period. This is mostly what's turned me off them. Not so much the claims that they are preachy or pretentious, but the fact that they don't seem to let their own lack of knowledge inhibit them from speaking on an issue.

On the other hand, there's really another issue here, and that's the fear of backlash from religious zealots. It leads most people to couch their terminology and make concessions, true or not.

I don't believe in it, but then there's a reason I don't have a webshow with scads of viewers. I mean, besides the restraining order.

Pebkio:
They, in fact, pointed out that science is NOT BASED IN FAITH, but still needed faith as initial thrust. Were you even really listening, or did you instantly get pissed and stopped paying attention?

How is faith "needed" "as initial thrust"?

Faith is the belief in something in the absence of evidence and without needing evidence. Sometimes it exists, creationists are a good example, contrary to evidence.

By definition science is the complete opposite of this. Science requires evidence. Science can then quantify how confident we are that something is true.

A true scientist wouldn't just immediately get angry at someone's opinion... they'd want to test that opinion into the ground. But that's not what you're doing, neither of you, you're blindly getting angry at a perceived threat to your dogma. You're turning science into a religion...

I'm not getting angry. I'm just irritated by this mush-headed description of science. There is an element in the religious community that claims that science is just another belief system no different to religion, and messy statements like the ones from Extra Credits do not help.

And If you think that I'm "You're turning science into a religion" then fine, show me where I insist that something is true regardless of the lack of evidence, or the even the presence of evidence to the contrary? If I were doing that then you might have a ghost of a point.

which is, frankly, more insulting than the idea that I have to believe in some base ideas to be able to practice science.

Yes but you don't believe in these ideas in the absence of evidence do you? You don't know that fire is hot because somebody told you, you know from experience. You don't assume without checking that white light is made up of a spectrum of colours, you do the experiment. If believing in these things is "faith" then the word faith seems to have little meaning.

Everything we have contact with could be a complete falsehood, so in that sense, science goes on the faith that every observable thing is actually...Being observed, I guess. There's faith in the scientific method (although that feels like having faith that your car, which has been working fine since you got it, will work fine the next time you start it), there's faith that other scientists won't try to somehow BS you (which is more of a capitalist consumer concern, I suppose). But I don't think we can comfortably apply concepts of faith to the day to day work that goes into scientific exploration. Although maybe in a broader sense, faith can enter into the work of science.

I'm not really comfortable with the paralleling of science and religion, though, because the spirit of science is pioneering, and the spirit of religion is not; science quests, religion knows. And so science has faith, in a sense, that we will never know everything about the physically observable, while religion has faith that it answers all of the spiritually knowable (feelable? Conceivable?). So it's pretty apples and oranges, in the first place; science is observation looking for answers (WTF? Why is that butterfly red and this one blue?) while religion is looking for something entirely different.

I do think that non-scientists have a religious faith in science, though. Or just your average Western consumer. I see infomercials all the time with foot doctors talking about something is good for my back, or anal proctologists selling me a diet. And people buy it because "a doctor said" or "a scientist said." I had to suffer on anti-depression meds mistakenly diagnosed for months as a kid because a doctor fucked up the prescription, and my folks bought what he was saying just because he was a doctor. So if we're gonna talk about faith in science, I think it makes more sense to talk about the laymen/women than the "clergy," if you know what I mean. I think scientists get that their endeavor requires certain (I would say faith-based) assumptions about the desire and potential for human progress and the knowability of the universes for the most part (because why do it if there isn't a belief, that at some point, we will understand it, if not put it to use for the betterment of humanity?), but folks who just like scientific stuff (like that FUCK YEAH SCIENCE shit on Facebook and stuff) just trust what they read without really investigating and think stars are pretty or something. Makes me think of all the hubbub about the Higgs boson; a lot of non-scientists I knew (not that I'm a scientist- I do poetry, criticism, education, and that stuff, which all compels me towards research- just had no fucking clue and parroted headlines. It was like hearing little kids repeat the political opinions of their parents without any understanding of it.

mechashiva77:
Not trying to censor your discussion and it's totally your choice, but don't you think this would be better in Religion and Politics?

but it is neither religino nor politics, its science.

science made cakes.
cake is a lie.
means science is a lie.\

Science is as based off faith as the concept that I'm looking at my PC screen is

the point made is that you can never be 100% you are looking at your PC screen. maybe this post, its reply and all of the universe as you know it is a dream, a random burst of your brain that you experienced? can you prove it is not? then how can you be 100% sure?

If science is based off faith...

Then religion must be based off taking things out of your arse and call 'em diamonds.

Jacco:

For instance, we know gravity works because we interact with it every day. But its still a "theory" as we don't completely understand it, hence the name "Theory of Gravity." Evolution is the same way. We think it happened and is happening and have evidence to support that, however we can never proof 100% that evolution is real. That's what science is. A constant revision of what we think we understand to something more likely.

The theory of gravity is a theory because it's an explanation, not because it isn't proven.

It's not that science isn't 100% proven. Some theories might be. It's just that we can never allow ourselves to think it really is, because that's what science is based on - scrutiny, doubt, skepticism. One thing's for sure though: science is about the most proven thing we have, the one domain that is closest to the truth through the methods it employs. You don't need faith to adopt it - for the educated free-thinker, it's logically the best path to take.

I think EC shot itself in the foot when it declared that science is based on faith, or faith is the basis of science. Just because I expect the sun to rise tomorrow morning doesn't mean I have faith that it will. I'm fully aware it might not, but I live as if it will anyway. I think they twisted the words in an attempt to placate everyone, and it backfired. Ironically, they now get to learn why the conflict between science and religion isn't such an easy thing to tackle.

Science isn't based on faith, science is based on theory and evidence. Whether we know it 100% or not doesn't make it a choice of faith, it makes it open to being wrong. Sure, we put our faith into it, but that's an expression; it changes nothing.

Its not really faith, its theory, and its backed up with evidence - or as i call it, our best guess based on the facts we know. Religious faith is based on "a ghost told me" and that its.

Tanis:
If science is based off faith...

Then religion must be based off taking things out of your arse and call 'em diamonds.

Well... basically it is but that's besides the point...

I find it sad that people are getting so defensive and riled up about being told that the basis of science is faith.

You need to have faith in some basic tenants in order to use math as we know it today and since math is the basis of science then you would need to have in the basic tenants of math in order to use science

xPixelatedx:
I know mentioning Extra Credits here is somewhat taboo, but I am not so much interested in them as much as the can of worms they just inadvertently opened. In their recent two videos they pointed out that some of science's roots were grounded in belief, because we are dealing with things we cannot prove (however likely they may be). This started a discussion that caused a lot of people to become rather defensive and upset. They recently made their closing statement on the argument and I have to say I agree with them.
Science is still based on evidence, it just so happens the evidence we currently have for any given topic could be wrong, we might not be seeing the whole picture or the limitation of us being human is whats causing us to error (in other words we will never know the answer). Because of all that we have to take some degree of faith into it to make many of our theories work at all. I just think people are frightened at the idea that science might not be entierly infallible, even though it's usually not a big deal when our facts turn out to be wrong. After all, if we knew everything, we wouldn't learn anything.

What do you guys think?

I consider myself a religious person but that being said I don't think Science is based on faith but rather requires faith since nothing can be proven and to me scientists need to have a strong belief that their work is correct, something that keeps them going after the 100th test. I mean without faith do you think Sir Issac Newton could have spent so long locked up in a lab trying to find a way to prove a magical entity like Gravity keeping everything on earth was actually a form of science? But I'm not saying religious faith, like Shepard said in Serenity ""When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I'm talking about God?"

The thing is when extra credits mean about exploring faith in games they mean faith as in "emotional investment in belief".

Now most scientists do have emotional investment in their work but it is technically not required, as a computer can follow a method without "believing" it.

We can never truly be sure of something.
And I guess that in philosophical way "believing" in something can be compared to believing in science.

However, Science is based off skepticism and curiosity to what is. Faith, does not change, it as a static believe, making it quite unbelievable ignorant. Science is ever-changing, logically and scientifically eliminating what according to results, can or cannot be.

As valid as the point is still using faith in relation to science gets my knickers in a bunch. As comedian Tim Minchin summarized; "Science adjusts its views based on whats observed, faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved".

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