03 November 2011

Science & Religion: Are They Compatible?
The Jerry Coyne / John Haught Debate

You simply must watch this debate. No excuses.

Okay, Okay. I know it's kind of long, and you're a busy person. So go ahead and skip the first 28 and half minutes. You won't miss much.

2011 Bale Boone Symposium - Science & Religion: Are They Compatible? from UK Gaines Center on Vimeo.

For more on the debate controversy, see Jerry Coyne's blog.


Andy Breeden said...

I challenge anyone to watch the first 28 and a half minutes. I couldn't. Ugh.

capercaillie said...

I struggled my way through the first segment, and my notes:

He can't separate the "existance of a purpose" from the fact that purposes arise, emerge or are created by us as means for giving meaning to our lives and rationalizing what happens around the world, and how the world is. THERE IS NO MEANING, BUT MEANING CAN ARISE/BE CREATED GIVEN OUR HIGHER COGNITIVE ABILITIES. He has his model all backwards: higher cognitive skills can arise out of lower building blocks and elements. You can't have the abstract without the basic: without the basic building blocks, there is nothing to be able to construct and perceive the abstract anyhow. The "God is love" talk is ultimately bullshit, as "love" is something that can only exist given lower basic forms with cognitive skills. So, damnit! If "god is love" (kenosis), then god is man-made.

He then stops short when he's going through his "detecting information" show, as he carries on into waters where there actually ISN'T ANYTHING TO DETECT IN THE FIRST PLACE, but asserts that there is something there. Who hasn't seen a face in a cloud? Does this mean that there IS a face in the cloud? We have hyperactive agency detectors, and this can help us evolutionary as long as they're set to "medium": false positives for "tiger in the bushes" vs "wind causing leaves to rattle" is positive when it comes to survival.

He also then goes on to say that science is "plain reading"... as opposed to what? The FANTASY reading of the theologians?

Sheesh. Whenever I listen to these abstract near-atheist "theologians" I want to mentally stab my brain out just to make the idiocy stop.

They always end up in this quasi-philosophical fog lands where "deep" questions like "how can you know that your wife's love for you is TRUE?", and then go on with the "oh but God isn't the misunderstood god of the atheists, but it's an inherent property in us all! God is Love!" AAAAAAAAGH! :)

Stephen said...

I first watched the last part, as recommended. Jerry Coyne was very clear and easy to understand. I would have liked to see his visual presentation, but the idea was planted in my mind that he must have kicked the other guy's ass, intellectually speaking. So I went back and watched the first part. It was a struggle. My drivel detector was pegged at 11. I heard the word "transcendent" a number of times, though it seemed as if I was not supposed to be able to contemplate levels higher than my own, whatever that means. It was not made clear at all how science is completely compatible with theology. Then Coyne came on and what *was* clear was that I had wasted 28 minutes.
Thanks for posting the video.

nazani said...

That...was the most preeminent scholar of the compatibility between religion and science? *facepalm*
Buddhism is largely compatible with religion, but Christianity certainly isn't. Math in the service of science has predicted things like nuclear fission and the existence of black holes. Religion has no predictive ability, and the religious are jealous as hell.

fuzz said...

Are there things that can't be proven by science?

This is an honest question of mine.

fuzz said...

Are there things that can't be proven by science?

This is an honest question of mine.

Dan said...

Fuzz Just finished a book "Extrordinary Knowing". It was a good start to answering that question. Give it a shot. Dan

Jason Norin said...

Science and religion should not take each other as threats. Instead, they can use their influences to spread knowledge to everyone. As a subscriber of a business broadband in Australia, I can assure that can be done.