The Standards of Science Versus Theism

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David Killens's picture
The Standards of Science Versus Theism

Over a hundred and fifty years ago astronomers were baffled by the observation that they could not calculate the orbit of Mercury accurately. For every other known planet at that time, their calculations using the tried and true Newtonian model were spot-on. In 1859 the French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier proposed that the reason for the unusual orbit of Mercury was the existence of an unknown planet, coined "Vulcan" soon after.

The scientific community set about discovering Vulcan, and for many years the disputes were whether this planet was observed. This was mainstream science, and involved reputable scientists.

And this is the crux of the matter, because in 1915 Einstein's theory of relativity, an entirely different approach to understanding gravity from classical mechanics, solved the problem, and the required precision was attained.

The point is this: that even with all known facts and an internally consistent argument, that is not proof. It is still a proposition and requires confirmation.

But our story is not complete. Einstein's Theory of Relativity was novel and appeared to solve many questions. The solution on the orbit of Mercury was interesting, but not concrete proof that the overall theory was valid.

But 29 May 1919, Eddington resolved this theory definitely. He had taken pictures of a solar eclipse, and had caught sight of a star that should be behind the Sun. The only explanation was the the gravity from our Sun bent the light waves, confirming Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

And this is the second part of my summation, that no matter how sound a proposition is, it must still past the acid test of confirmation, to be able to be tested and proven.

These are the standards science operates under, that for any proposition to be accepted as a genuine theory, it must have more than a valid and logical internally consistent story, and it must be able to be tested and proven/disproven.

From this atheist's viewpoint, no matter how valid and internally consistent your argument is, that is not enough. And if any theist submits proof, that proof must be testable.

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Cognostic's picture
@David Killens: "Preaching

@David Killens: "Preaching to the choir brother."

David Killens's picture
I know Cognostic. But I hope

I know Cognostic. But I hope that may offer a standard of reference for theists.

Cognostic's picture
@David: Theists don't read.

@David: Theists don't read. They are allergic to research. They wait for divine inspiration.

Tin-Man's picture
Re: Science vs. Theism

Re: Science vs. Theism

As I may have mentioned in another thread somewhere along the way....

Science: "We do not yet know the answer, but we have a few ideas we are considering, and we will be working diligently to find the answer no matter where our research leads."

Theism: "We already know the answer, because God told us. And we will work diligently to maintain that answer, no matter where the research of godless heathens leads."

toto974's picture
This is how you explain in

This is how you explain in vulgate how science works. Fine.Fine.

Sheldon's picture
I agree, but I've yet to see

I agree, but I've yet to see an internally consistent argument presented for a deity anyway.

The apologists on here seem almost proud that their belief is held without any objective evidence to support it. I'm at a loss as to why, as they don't accept any other beliefs in such a biased closed minded way.

Cognostic's picture
Kelsey Johnson: TIME TO

Kelsey Johnson: TIME TO SAY "BYE BYE". "BYE BYE!!"

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