1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

When Scientific Orthodoxy Resembles Religious Dogma

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by sun rise, May 18, 2021.

  1. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    58,756
    Ratings:
    +27,394
    Religion:
    Love
    The real issue with this opinion piece to me is not skepticism about new ideas but refusal to even consider them. He's not denying the extraordinary claims/extraordinary proof concept nor denying that testability is key. He is attacking dogmatic refusal to look at ideas and facts that challenge dogma.

    There's a vast difference between "that idea can't be true so I don't need to consider it for a second" and "I don't think that idea can possibly be true but if you can present an experimental idea that can prove or disprove that idea, I'll think about it.

    When Scientific Orthodoxy Resembles Religious Dogma

    Those who refuse to consider an unconventional idea in science are disturbingly similar to those who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope

    When my Harvard colleague Stephen Greenblatt saw my book Extraterrestrial featured on the cover of the Orthodox Jewish magazine Ami, he commented “It is interesting that the Orthodox evidently do not consider their faith threatened by the possibility of other inhabited worlds.” To which I replied: “They appear to be less orthodox than my colleagues in the scientific community.” This was in reference to the pushback that my book received regarding the possibility that the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua might have been manufactured by another civilization.

    Innovation blossoms in a culture willing to acquire new knowledge rather than being trapped in its past belief system. A mainstream astronomer who worked on rocks in the solar system for decades commented grudgingly: “‘Oumuamua is so strange…. I wish it never existed.” Such a sentiment is not the trademark of an intellectual culture that fosters discovery. In the weeks following the publication of my book I received numerous e-mails from astronomers, some tenured, who confessed that they agree with me but are afraid to speak out because of the potential repercussions to their careers.
    ...
    The culture of ignoring testable ideas because of prejudice coexists comfortably with a more extreme culture that embraces other ideas without requiring any test...
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    34,981
    Ratings:
    +14,784
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    Galileo was a perfect example here.

    Good thread.
     
  3. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    12,209
    Ratings:
    +11,472
    Religion:
    RC (culturally at least)
    It's always a danger, in science as in any other field. It was Planck who didn't say "Science advances one funeral at a time" - he actually said " A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents........ but because [they] eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

    But in fact, in science, new ideas are generally adopted fairly rapidly - relativity and QM being famous examples - when there is an acute enough problem posed by the observations. In the case of Omuamua, it's not quite like that. Loeb could be right or not but there is no more data.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    1,760
    Ratings:
    +854
    Galileo drew pictures of the moon with more detail than he could have observed with his telescope (as optics precise enough to capture images of such detail did not exist in his time), so I agree that a scientist making strong claims based on flimsy or nonexistent evidence is definitely a good example for how that debate is being conducted.

    Astronomers Have Analysed Claims 'Oumuamua's an Alien Ship, And It's Not Looking Good
     
  5. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,675
    Ratings:
    +5,175
    Religion:
    Pi π
    Interesting.

    But I’d like to point out that “new idea” cannot become “knowledge” by default, until such idea can be verify in some ways.

    Sure, you can consider new ideas, but with knowledge (I am not talking about scientific knowledge, just knowledge in general), it required some fuller explanations of what this idea may be, and still need to be verified in some ways.

    And while new idea can or could replace old knowledge, it still needs work.

    As to Galileo, he didn’t actually “invented” heliocentric model of planetary motion. It was proposed earlier by Nicolaus Copernicus. And even Copernicus wasn't the first to propose heliocentric; that honour go to a Hellenistic astronomer/mathematician Aristarchus of Samos (mid-3rd century BCE).

    Galileo did make the first discovery, but Kepler and then Newton refined Copernicus/Galileo model, and it was Newton who used calculus and theory on gravity to perfect his predictions.
     
    #5 gnostic, May 18, 2021
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    187,238
    Ratings:
    +64,443
    Religion:
    Atheist
    As long as there are arguments,
    I'm happy with the state of science.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  7. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    12,124
    Ratings:
    +11,010
    Religion:
    none
    Nobody "refused to look through Galileo's telescope", and there were valid scientific reasons to reject heliocentrism at that time, just as there were when it had first been proposed.

    It wasn't that people simply refused to consider heliocentrism as a possibility.

    Just because Galileo later proved to be correct, doesn't mean that the scientists who rejected his ideas at the time (as most did) were simply being obtuse by doing so. Galileo simply hadn't done enough to demonstrate his case with sufficient evidence to overturn a dominant paradigm.
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    12,209
    Ratings:
    +11,472
    Religion:
    RC (culturally at least)
    Have you a reference for this about Galileo embellishing his drawings of the moon? I've had a quick look and can't trace anything about it.
     
  9. cladking

    cladking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,869
    Ratings:
    +275
    Religion:
    not applicable
    You can't even communicate new ideas to Egyptology. They are locked into their ivory towers with no windows occasionally issuing proclamations and fiat.

    The problem in mostly in the US but it is a brave new world where "skeptic" has come to mean an individual who accepts dogma absolutely and literally.

    In many ways scientific dogma is far worse and far more dangerous than any religion that ever existed. Only scientific beliefs are founded largely in empirical evidence and not only irrefutable but truth by definition. We have a strange new world where there exist an infinite number of possible universes but not a single one with a Creator.

    Science as understood by the masses and many scientists is a form of madness.
     
  10. cladking

    cladking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,869
    Ratings:
    +275
    Religion:
    not applicable

    "Science" has access to the truth about every single thing whereas no religion claims to be able to know the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.
     
Loading...