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Author Topic: Mitt Romney's halo  (Read 58572 times)
Chairman Bill
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« Reply #520 on: November 10, 2012, 02:49:47 PM »
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The greatest evidence I have for the assertion that an open mind and some form of belief makes us a little more human is presented within your postings. The calculated denial of anything that smacks of sitting outside of mainstream science suggests a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility which are all traits that most of us find attractive in people.
You hear what you choose to hear. And if you choose to hear a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility in what I say, then it says more about you than me.

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Your belief that nothing can exist until there is a sound and demonstrable explanation indicates that either you have little experience of the world or that you have deliberately isolated yourself from anything that that induces uncertainty in your model of how nature operates.
Or you could be setting up a straw man.

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... Why are yo so afraid of embracing ideas that, at best, are considered to be on the fringe?
Where do you get the idea that fear has anything to do with it? I lack warmth, compassion, emotion & humility, and I'm afraid. And you can garner all this info about me, yet have never met me. Amazing. Or maybe you're talking bollocks & just engaging in a little bit of ad hominem attacks.

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So what evidence is there that rational western science may not have all the answers?
Well there's the fact that science makes no claim to have all the answers. If science had all the answers, it would stop.

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... Well there is water dowsing for a start. My brother had rather a knack for it, but it doesn't work for me. Look it up on Wikipedia and you are faced with a tirade of denial quoting all sorts of laboratory based trials that appear to disprove it, so obviously it can be dismissed as bunkum. But wait a minute, another experiment based in the real world shows remarkably different results -

To do this, researchers teamed geological experts with experienced dowsers and then set up a scientific study group to evaluate the results. Drill crews guided by dowsers didn't hit water every time, but their success rate was impressive. In Sri Lanka, for example, they drilled 691 holes and had an overall success rate of 96 percent.

"In hundreds of cases the dowsers were able to predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 percent or 20 percent," says Hans-Dieter Betz, a physicist at the University of Munich, who headed the research group.


http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661

So who do we believe, the sceptics sneering at poor lab results or workers in the field relying on dowsers to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?
False dichotomy time, eh? What if I said that I can't explain the successes claimed by dowsing? I've never said it is unexplainable. But when it is explained (whether shown to be nonsense or otherwise), it will be science that explains the mechanism, not religion.

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The more I experience life the more I come to think that science is often asking the wrong questions, it is too hidebound, too scared to really experiment, it follows ever narrower channels of investigation rather than sitting back and looking at the bigger picture. There maybe a great deal to be discovered about how the universe operates but it will remain unexplored because science 'won't go there', and it won't go there because Chaiman Bill and others will laugh from their ivory towers.
Oh, OK. Now I know. So which god has all the answers? Because I'm sure you know. Do tell. Or could it be that you're talking bollocks, again, setting up more straw men to knock down? Come on, tell us what it is about the universe that will remain unexplored because science won't go there? Let's see your evidence that science 'won't go there'. And don't cite dowsing, 'cos the study you mentioned was done by scientists, which suggests that maybe they will go there.

 
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #521 on: November 10, 2012, 02:52:00 PM »
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Here's a quote from an article I wrote 32 years ago: "Science, effective as it may be at providing better living through chemistry and better destruction through physics, isn’t capable of providing the beliefs that hold a society together. As someone once said, 'Science can tell you how everything works, but it can’t tell you what anything is for.'” For anyone interested, the article's at http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/commoncause.html. I doubt anybody will be interested since it's clear most of the minds in this thread have long been made up and don't want to be bothered with arguments or facts.

But who said that science ever offered to provide the beliefs that hold a society together? It's not what science does. You might as well complain that your butcher doesn't sell bread & the baker doesn't sell bacon.
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kencameron
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« Reply #522 on: November 10, 2012, 03:29:45 PM »
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The United States is a Republic.  It has a representative democracy form of government which is a type of republic.
What I don't get, in your line of reasoning, which seems to be shared by other Americans, is why a country can't be both a democracy and a republic. We Australians consider ourselves to be a democracy and a constitutional monarchy. If we ever amend our constitution to remove the connection with the House of Windsor and create an Australian Head of State, we will consider ourselves to have become a republic, but without ceasing to be a democracy. You seem to believe that no republic can also be a democracy but the definitions you quote seem to lead more comfortably to the proposition that some but not all republics are also democracies (and vice versa). Only semantics, of course, but what is interesting is why this particular semantic insistence?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #523 on: November 10, 2012, 03:44:55 PM »
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Which poses the obvious question as to why did we do that?

Oh, I don't know... when we were living in caves, our minuscule brain couldn't explain thunder and lightning otherwise?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #524 on: November 10, 2012, 03:49:36 PM »
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You guys are talking about a different, parallel universe?

Then it must be true, since in my universe, Einstein wrote the following (the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954):

"... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions..."

(The letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954)
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Justinr
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« Reply #525 on: November 10, 2012, 03:53:02 PM »
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You hear what you choose to hear. And if you choose to hear a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility in what I say, then it says more about you than me.

I'm sure you're an excellent fellow who loves fluffy kittens and so on but I hear what experience has generally shown me to expect, to be honest it's not something I want to hear because I'm generally rather an optimist when it comes to peoples nature.


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Or you could be setting up a straw man.
Where do you get the idea that fear has anything to do with it? I lack warmth, compassion, emotion & humility, and I'm afraid. And you can garner all this info about me, yet have never met me. Amazing. Or maybe you're talking bollocks & just engaging in a little bit of ad hominem attacks.

So what does drive your insistence  in dismissing everything that doesn't conform to strict scientific rules as you see them? And now you are jumping up and accusing me of talking bollocks. That could be taken for a small degree of panic although I'm sure there is a more innocent explanation.

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Well there's the fact that science makes no claim to have all the answers. If science had all the answers, it would stop.

False dichotomy time, eh? What if I said that I can't explain the successes claimed by dowsing? I've never said it is unexplainable. But when it is explained (whether shown to be nonsense or otherwise), it will be science that explains the mechanism, not religion.

Straw man time again, you do it so well.  I never suggested that religion would explain it, only that here we have a phenomenon which cannot be replicated in the lab but is real to many people, including university physicists. It was merely presented as an example of what is regarded as quackery and yet there is good evidence that it works, just like acupuncture was. Many spiritual experiences are real to people and one day they may be explained by science as well but you choose to dismiss them out of hand.


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Oh, OK. Now I know. So which god has all the answers? Because I'm sure you know. Do tell. Or could it be that you're talking bollocks, again, setting up more straw men to knock down? Come on, tell us what it is about the universe that will remain unexplored because science won't go there? Let's see your evidence that science 'won't go there'. And don't cite dowsing, 'cos the study you mentioned was done by scientists, which suggests that maybe they will go there.

Now that is so inconsistent with my postings it really is laughable. Where have I made the slightest suggestion that I believe in any god, why do you jump to such a conclusion, where is your beloved empirical evidence?

Presently science won't go anywhere it can't apply the maths to, If it can't be measured then it doesn't exist is the basic assumption, it has served us well but maybe we need a rethink, perhaps new units of measurement need to be established but this will not happen until the mainstream scientific community is open to the idea that there could be other routes to follow, I don't know what these routes may be but I certainly do not condemn out of hand any attempt to think outside of the box. However, if you want me to name my hunch, tell you where my gut instinct thinks new avenues may exist then I would suggest that getting a better grip on evolution could open up all sorts of doors, and no, I don't think any answers are to be found in Genesis.



 
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 05:29:15 PM by Justinr » Logged

Bryan Conner
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« Reply #526 on: November 10, 2012, 04:10:45 PM »
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Article 4 guarantees the states a "republican form of government".  It does not state that the US is NOT a democracy.

Ever occur to you that it isn't a one-to-one, mutually exclusive thing?

Ever occur to you that the US can be BOTH a republic AND a democracy?

Your quote actually proves my point ...

"Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389."

You have done a terrible job proving your point. Go back and study some more.  You are wrong Jeremy. I do not care if you never understand. You probably would not admit being wrong if the truth bit you in the but, so I am not wasting my time trying to get you to think otherwise.

Democracy is NOT distinguished from a republic.  By this definition, the US is unambiguously a democracy.

You are very argumentative and confrontational about semantics ... it would be preferable if you stuck to ideas as your semantic arguments aren't terribly interesting.


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jeremypayne
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« Reply #527 on: November 10, 2012, 04:55:41 PM »
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You are wrong Jeremy.

About what exactly?  Are you really insisting the US is not a democracy because it can also be described as a representative republic?

Oh yeah ... I forgot ... you are the Supreme Law of the Land ... so I guess it really is up to you whether or not the US is a democracy ...

Sorry.  I'll bow to your magnificence and accept your arbitrary and pedantic definitions.

You are right, sir, the United States of America is not a democracy ... it is whatever YOU say it is.  Ok?
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #528 on: November 10, 2012, 05:50:54 PM »
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Only semantics, of course, but what is interesting is why this particular semantic insistence?

I'm sure there's some whack-job who wrote a pamphlet wherein it was asserted that because the US is a republic and not a democracy the federal income tax and social security were unconstitutional.

Wesley Snipes ended up in prison because he fell for that kind of BS ...

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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #529 on: November 11, 2012, 12:36:11 AM »
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About what exactly?  Are you really insisting the US is not a democracy because it can also be described as a representative republic?

Oh yeah ... I forgot ... you are the Supreme Law of the Land ... so I guess it really is up to you whether or not the US is a democracy ...

Sorry.  I'll bow to your magnificence and accept your arbitrary and pedantic definitions.

You are right, sir, the United States of America is not a democracy ... it is whatever YOU say it is.  Ok?

HaHa.  Cheesy    Excellent typical response from you Jeremy.  You need to go back and read some more! 

In my original response to your childish challenge where you said  you were pulling things from your ass, I stated "The United States is a Republic.  It has a representative democracy form of government which is a type of republic."

I am not magnificent. I am the same as you, except I do not pull things from my ass as you admittedly do.  Whatever I say is not always ok.  But I did not pull the words from my ass.

But, once again.  I can accept that you are unable to read the words and take them at face value.  That is your problem, not mine.  I will offer some advice though.  If you find yourself continuing to pull things from your ass, you should see a Proctologist.
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stamper
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« Reply #530 on: November 11, 2012, 04:17:00 AM »
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A major problem is that some leaders of countries in the world eg Israel pray to something in the sky for guidance rather than using their brains - and the brains of advisers - to decide what is right and wrong in solving the problems of the world. When the "answers" turn out to be wrong and misguided then they pray again looking for more "answers". The belief system is imo counter-intuitive to rational thought and a major problem in the ways of running things? An example. If Romney  - a Mormon zealot - had got elected he would have been itching to bomb Iran of the map, another country that relies heavily in the power of prayer to guide them. I find this very strange. Sad
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kencameron
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« Reply #531 on: November 11, 2012, 04:18:23 AM »
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I'm sure there's some whack-job who wrote a pamphlet ....

"Whack-job" was new to me, as an antipodean. The nicest citation I found on looking it up was this: “GFYS and that goes for the rest of your bongwater drinkin whackjob freinds.” But I guess yours would be an 18th Century pre-bongwater whack-job (or wackjob...the spelling doesn't seem to have regularized), as he went in for pamphlet writing. Or have pamphlets made a comeback?
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Justinr
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« Reply #532 on: November 11, 2012, 05:19:58 AM »
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A major problem is that some leaders of countries in the world eg Israel pray to something in the sky for guidance rather than using their brains - and the brains of advisers - to decide what is right and wrong in solving the problems of the world. When the "answers" turn out to be wrong and misguided then they pray again looking for more "answers". The belief system is imo counter-intuitive to rational thought and a major problem in the ways of running things? An example. If Romney  - a Mormon zealot - had got elected he would have been itching to bomb Iran of the map, another country that relies heavily in the power of prayer to guide them. I find this very strange. Sad

Certainly organised religion has an awful lot to answer for and is hardly the force of peace and goodwill that protagonists of the various creeds assure us it is. However, it as the base level of belief, at the binary code of all religions that there lies the assumption of another experience that awaits us, or is running parallel to us, or from where we emerged and here there lies the conflict between modern science and ancient romance.

Now as I see it science evolved by creating a system of measuring what could be observed and from this basic concept grew the ability to theorise and experiment and so confirm, or not, the validity of those predictions. It is a model that has achieved spectacular results but over the last century or so there has been a shift in emphasis and now rather than observing a phenomena and trying to measure it we have the situation where if a phenomena cannot be measured then it is assumed not to exist and instead we look to the frailties of the observer to explain why it was 'observed'. I'm not at all happy that this approach is particularly clever or enlightened but I do understand why, given the zealously of many of the romantics in promoting their faiths, modern science also gets very concerned about defending it's methods. The chasm widens daily until we see that science itself has come to mimic organised religion in the promotion of its high priests and past saints. It's a little like Orwell's man/pig scene in Animal Farm and the poor Joe Bloggs's of the world get to feel a little left out of it all as neither entirely accommodates or explains their lives and experience.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 05:48:28 AM by Justinr » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #533 on: November 11, 2012, 06:56:13 AM »
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You guys are talking about a different, parallel universe?

Then it must be true, since in my universe, Einstein wrote the following (the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954):

"... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions..."

(The letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954)

Slobodan, as you must know, there are many quotes about God and religion from Einstein.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Einstein did not believe in the conventional, personal God who intervenes in human affairs, listens to peoples' prayers, and bestows individual favours or punishments. So thanks for elaborating on that concept.

However, having told us what aspects of religion, and ideas of God, Einstein did not believe in, I think you should have included some quote from Einstein that gives us an idea of what religious notions he did believe in, lest we think you are biased.  Wink

My understanding has always been that Einstein had deeply religious convictions, albeit of an unorthodox character.

A quick search on the internet came up with the following website which attempts to summarize Einstein's views on religion.  http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/religioncomments.html

I'll post just a few of my favourite quotes from that website, to whet your appetite.

(1) I'll start off with the New York Times quote in their obituary, April 19, 1955.

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God."

(2) Next, a letter to a child who asked if scientists pray, January 24, 1936; Einstein Archive 42-601.

"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man.... In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive."

(3) 1920; quoted in Moszkowski, Conversations with Einstein p. 46

"In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence, for he finds it impossible to imagine that he is the first to have thought out the exceedingly delicate threads that connect his perceptions."

(4) When asked by an astounded atheist, if he were in fact deeply religious, Einstein replied:

"Yes, you can call it that. Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious."

H. G. Kessler, The Diary of a Cosmopolitan, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971), p.157; quoted in Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer (Princeton University Press, 1999) pp. 39-40.

Just trying to redress the imbalance, Slobodan.  Grin
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #534 on: November 11, 2012, 08:27:41 AM »
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"Whack-job" was new to me, as an antipodean. The nicest citation I found on looking it up was this: “GFYS and that goes for the rest of your bongwater drinkin whackjob freinds.” But I guess yours would be an 18th Century pre-bongwater whack-job (or wackjob...the spelling doesn't seem to have regularized), as he went in for pamphlet writing. Or have pamphlets made a comeback?

We've definitely got 21st century paphleteers and George Washington prolly had a bong or two on the farm ...

Here's a published guide on how to avoid falling prey to such losers ... http://www.fraudguides.com/tax_protesting.asp

... And here is an example of a modern day pamphlet ... http://www.tax-freedom.com/Federal-Estate-Tax-Is-Unconstitutional.htm

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jeremypayne
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« Reply #535 on: November 11, 2012, 08:46:37 AM »
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The chasm widens daily until we see that science itself has come to mimic organised religion in the promotion of its high priests and past saints.

You are on a real bullshit kick lately.  That's just pure nonsense.

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Justinr
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« Reply #536 on: November 11, 2012, 10:13:48 AM »
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You are on a real bullshit kick lately.  That's just pure nonsense.



And would you mind explaining why or is just sneering dismissal the extent of your thoughts upon the subject?
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BlasR
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« Reply #537 on: November 11, 2012, 10:15:43 AM »
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Payne,

Start, to smoke the same smoke of those the voted for hussein obama, U going to need it.. u should start doing it now...( I believe u do )..U said how serious was Clinton...serious with this?

Lewinsky claimed to have had sexual encounters with Bill Clinton on nine occasions from November 1995 to March 1997. According to her published schedule,

Deposition by Bill Clinton in the Pula Jones Case ... I don't have any specific recollections of what the issues were, what was going on...


....Barack hussein Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright  ... " God damn America "  He is so good...Payne, I think U will be in so much pain now.  The wife, said , for the first time she was proud of America.

I guess they are, Feel sorry for those the staying here.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #538 on: November 11, 2012, 11:39:27 AM »
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And would you mind explaining why or is just sneering dismissal the extent of your thoughts upon the subject?

You simply asserted that science has become a religion ... nice soundbite, but amounts to nothing more than saying: "I know you are, but what am I."

I don't see any evidence of the scientific method in organized religion.  I see plenty of scientific method in real science. 

Until religion adopts the scientific method, or science drops it ... your statement is just pure bullshit.
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Justinr
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« Reply #539 on: November 11, 2012, 12:18:36 PM »
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You simply asserted that science has become a religion ... nice soundbite, but amounts to nothing more than saying: "I know you are, but what am I."

I don't see any evidence of the scientific method in organized religion.  I see plenty of scientific method in real science. 

Until religion adopts the scientific method, or science drops it ... your statement is just pure bullshit.

Not at all Jeremy. What I said was that to those that stand outside the mainstream of both there would appear to be many similarities in their attitudes and positions. Reading the posts of both you and Chairman Bill I conclude, maybe incorrectly, that you each consider science to be the single truth. Mmmm.... now where have we heard that before? The Catholic church is just one such institution that has also propagated this idea and talking of which we may consider the case of Archbishop John McQuaid who is probably second to only St Patrick when it comes to influential religious figures in Ireland. Before he was sent back to Ireland John McQuaid was a scholar in the Vatican, doing research into the Old Testament if I remember correctly, and during this time he developed a methodology and thoroughness which was to stay with him throughout his career and was indeed central to the success of his work. He would have made an excellent scientist y'know.
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