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Date:         Sat, 1 Dec 2001 16:53:57 +1200
Reply-To:     Andrew Grebneff <andrew.grebneff@STONEBOW.OTAGO.AC.NZ>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Andrew Grebneff <andrew.grebneff@STONEBOW.OTAGO.AC.NZ>
Subject:      Re: Disappointed with List- Friday Off Topic
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

>Belief in absence of a God is in fact a religious point of view. The person >in fact BELIEVES w/o proof that there is no GOD. Blind faith. Sounds like >religion to me.

C'mon! Absence of religion is not religion. Do you mean to tell me that because I

>OK, snailchaser, Science is a system of faith just like religion. You read in >your textbooks things that you just assume is TRUTH. True that a certain >amount of empirical evidence can be personally observed. But hey have you >ever seen an atom? I'm sure you believe they exist, right? Why do you believe >that? Isn't that faith? Even looking at it through an electron microscope, >you are actually BELIEVING that what you are looking at is an actual image >and not a a phenomenon created by the equipment.

Science is not a single thing, not at all simple, and is based not on faith but on the search for knowledge and understanding of the way things work and why they are the way they are. A "scientist" who goes on blind faith is not acting as a true scientist. He may BELIEVE that this is so, but in order to do science he MUST be prepared to accept new facts or evidence and change his viewpoint to encompass this; many do not, and can lose their reputations (Sir Richard Owen refusing to accept evolution, for instance). However refusal to accept new ideas (eg the trouble Alfred Wegener had getting his idea of continental drift across, just because nobody could think of a mechanism) can act as a rigorous test of the new theory; if it remains unproven the theory remains theory; if enough evidence is accumulated (eg biological evolution), a mechanism is found (contineltal drift/plate tectonics) or the process can be physically measured (continental drift again) the theory progresses to become observable proven FACT, no longer a theory. Nuclear winter and global warming are two unproven theories (no response here, please, I will ignore it) which are blindly believed by many proponents. the first is pure theory without any evidence. The latter appears to have some evidence, but in actual fact scientists as yet have near-zero understanding of the way climate and weather operate on a large scale; all I can say here is that geologists (especially paleontologists) can look at the geological record and see that there is no such thing as a stable climate; it is constantly changing, getting warmer or colder, sometimes to extremes, sometimes very rapidly, and no satisfactory explanation has yet been found as to what drives this (most likely a wide variety of causes operating in varying combinations, though asteroid/comet impacts leap to mind as definite causes in a very few cases); the current warming trend is in no way unusual and is most likely merely coincident with the rise of industry.

Different sciences use different principles; most people out there believe it is a matter of having a hypothesis and then using "scientific method" to go about testing this thesis. This simply is not the case. This method is used to some extent in some sciences, the experimental parts thereof, but much science does not use experiments or such testing. Descriptive sciences such as biological taxonomy, for instance.

Some parts of science deal with absolutes; others with refining knowledge toward the goal of approximating absolute certainty; some will achieve this certainty (actuality of evolution); others may not (precise mechanism of evolution).

Anyway, having had my say, I won't respond further on this topic, or it could go on for geological ages and has the potential to become nasty.

It is a scientific FACT that my Caravelle exists, that it was made in the Hanover plant in 1984, and this can be proven. Some might argue, but they ignore the facts. When I look at a snail, I know (this is not belief) that it is a snail. The idea some have of philosophy, that what we see and observe is not real, is merely crap, used to attempt to cloud issues and befuddle others' minds (I believe that it just befuddle's the philosophy's owner's own mind).

That's enough parentheses for now...

And BenT, I realize your tongue is attempting (I BELIEVE in vain... hope so for yoursake) to penetrate your cheek.

-- Andrew Grebneff 165 EvansSt, Dunedin 9001, New Zealand <> Ph: 0064 (3) 473-8863 fax: 0064 (3) 479-7527 1986 Toyota Corolla 1.8DX CE80 diesel sedan 1989 Toyota Corolla 1.8DX CE96 diesel van 1989 Toyota Corona 2.0D Select CT170 diesel sedan 1992 Toyota Estima Lucida 2.2 turbodiesel MPV (=narrow "Previa") 1984 VW Caravelle GL (to be fitted with 260hp Subaru SVX flat-6 & Porsche G50 trans) Seashell, Macintosh, VW & Toyota van nut

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