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DrWilson
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:00 pm
Abinadi wrote:
"invalidating the truthfulness of the Church"

DrWilson wrote:
Quote:
In spite of the attacks of anti-Mormons and their spinning of science and doctrine to create a whirl of bad publicity for the Church, their position is unfounded. As we will explore below, well established scientific truth does not pose any fundamental challenge for the Church. It does not conflict with the canonized, official doctrines of the Church, which are remarkably neutral on scientific issues. Modern science has challenged many common assumptions among some members of the Church, and has not been compatible with the personal opinions of some members, including some leaders. But there is a huge difference between invalidating the truthfulness of the Church versus challenging an individual's incorrect opinion or requiring an update of our understanding of a tangential issue.
Alas, it is only his own opinion.
What are, I ask you dear God in Heaven, what are "the canonized official doctrines of the Church"?
Today, I mean. I know they were different yesterday, and will be different again tomorrow.
If I had a large enough nail, I know I could hammer that jello to the wall!

I think I see: If an issue can be challenged, it is "an individual's incorrect opinion or requir[es] an update of our understanding of a tangental issue."

I think your idea could be useful, positive (in a slightly negative way), and worthwhile.

Yes, patience would be necessary. Some words and phrases oft heard among exmos would have to be modified or neutered. ( :o ouch)


Abinadi,

It is clear to me now. We will need to write an Apologetics 101 course summary and associated Glossary of Terms for the website. Perhaps you are the one to do this. (Only half kidding.)


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:37 pm
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Sorry, Dr. Wilson, but I know so much about Logic, Formal Debate, Apologetics, and proper terminology, that I know I don't know enough about it. I avoid the "formal debate" sections of forums. Formal debate is not easy. Logic is an incredibly difficult methodology.

It's easy enough to see problems.
The problem I have is to discern how literal a statement is intended to be, or how the statement is intended to fit in with the whole of the argument. ( And how much is humor ! ! ! )

Things are claimed in Mormonism that are so absolute ("so absolute"?, how many degrees of absolute are there! :) ), or mutually exclusive, or mutally necessary, that it's relatively easy to point them out.

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indy_jh
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:43 pm
Dr Wilson,

I really like the idea of your science forum. I will certainly visit it, and I would be happy to contribute -- mostly if I may be allowed to use materials from mainstream scientific communities. (I have read a lot and worked with some very brilliant people, but I believe my own contributions would amount to little more than simple math and logic.)

From Dr Lindsay's website, he (with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, BYU, 1986), states:

"From my perspective, I see no fundamental conflict between science and religion. When there is an apparent conflict, it means that knowledge is incomplete and needs to be updated. Sometimes the science needs updating, other times our interpretation of the scriptures or the assumptions we use need to be updated, but both science and the Gospel permit--and even require --this kind of flexibility. Science is forever tentative, and mortal understanding is forever limited. Some anti-Mormons feel that any flexibility in ones approach makes one a fraud and a liar, and they want to hold us accountable for every errant human opinion that any prominent Mormon has ever had on matters pertaining to science. That's silliness to the extreme. We are accountable for the canonized doctrines of the Church, and as we will see, they do not require an abandonment of science to be a faithful Latter-day Saint."

This paragraph unintentionally says a lot about how a Mormon scientist thinks; for instance, he appears to be saying:
1) If there is a discrepency (between religion and science), it's usually our "mortal understanding" that is to blame.
2) "Science is forever tentative" -- meaning, we're always learning and changing, never proving anything.
3) "...mortal understanding is forever limited." -- implying that we'll NEVER be able to fully understand and prove anything.
4) "...both science and the Gospel permit -- and even require -- this kind of flexibility." Meaning, he THINKS the LDSC's teachings are "FLEXIBLE" and must sometimes change to accommodate scientific proof and vice versa. (I wonder when he thinks that has ever happened...)
4) "...accountable for every errant human opinion that any prominent Mormon has ever had on matters pertaining to science." When the Prophet of the Church says it, everybody is supposed to believe it, right? (Doesn't the LDSC teach that?)
5) "...do not require an abandonment of science to be a faithful Latter-day Saint." That depends on the issue. What would happen if we discover a physiological predictor for sexual orientation? Or, if one questions the validity of racial appearances being the lone discriminatory aspect for denial into the LDS priesthood, doesn't scientific understanding affect whether or not this principle ever had validity? Likewise, shouldn't scientific logic and compatibility be a part of our investigation into the truthfulness of the LDSC?

His first statement that he finds little conflict between science and religion is probably the dumbest remark I have ever read in a PhD's work.

Could he possibly be serious about that? Or, is he simply reassuring mainstream mormondom that they have nothing to fear?

I have had very little success in my (too numerous to mention) logical debates with my TBM friends -- some of whom with similar scientific education and experience as myself. When it involves religion, it appears that their approach is: We know what's right, and we'll simply search for ANY evidence to support it, while we explain away any discrepency by simply stating something like: "we just don't have enough understanding about that, yet."


Last edited by indy_jh on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Rainfeather
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:49 pm
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Quote:
Science is forever tentative" -- meaning, we're always learning and changing


That part is correct. I guess that gives them an easy loophole at times though. But the moment humans decide that they know everything and that there's nothing left to know, we're in trouble. LOL

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indy_jh
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:11 pm
It is a loophole. It gives them an easy way out.

"Tentative" means "not fully resolved" or "uncertain."

The scientific world acknowledges and enforces its own tentative nature, but "laws" and "facts" get used too much.

For instance, how often do you hear the term, "law of gravity"?

Read this nice little blurb about laws and theories -- (Reference from Yahoo Answers)

"Everything becomes clear if you assign their proper meanings to words like "theory", "law" etc. in a scientific context. In particular "theory" is not an insult (as in the silly saying "it's just a theory"). A theory is simply the most elaborate form of consistent scientific knowledge not yet disproved by experiment. In experimental sciences, a theory can never be "proved", it can only be "disproved" by experiment. This is precisely what(sic) makes a theory scientific. A statement that cannot be disproved by experiment may still be highly respectable but it's simply not part of any experimental science (it could be mathematics, philosophy or religion, but it's not physics). Now that we have the basic vocabulary straight, we may discuss gravity itself:

Gravity is a physical phenomenon which is obvious all around us.

As such, it's begging for a scientific theory to describe it accurately and consistently. The rules within a theory are called "laws" and the inverse square law of the Newtonian theory of gravitation does describe gravity extremely well. Loosely stated:

"Two things always attract in direct proportion of their masses and in inverse proportion of the square of the distance between them."

However, the Newtonian theory does not provide the ultimate law for gravity. We do know that General Relativity (GR) provides more accurate experimental predictions in extreme conditions (e.g., a residual discrepancy in the motion of the perihelion of Mercury is not explained by Newtonian theory but is accounted for by GR).

Does this mean Newtonian theory is "wrong"? Of course not. Until we have a "theory of everything" (if such a thing exist) ANY physical theory has its range of applicability where its predications are accurate at a stated level of precision (stating the precision is VERY important in Science; an experimental prediction is MEANINGLESS if it does not come with a margin for error). The Newtonian theory is darn good at predicting the motion of planets within the Solar System to many decimal places... That's all we ask of it and that's what makes it so valuable.

Even General Relativity is certainly NOT the ultimate theory of gravitation. We know that much because GR is a "classical" theory, as opposed to a "quantum" theory. So, GR is not mathematically compatible with quantum phenomena which become obvious at very small scales...

Science is just a succession of better and better approximations. This is what makes it nice and exciting. If you were to insist at all times on "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" in a scientific context, you'd never be able to make any meaningful statement (unless accompanied by the relevant "margin for error"). As a consistent body of knowledge, each theory allows you to make such statements freely, knowing simply that the validity of your discourse is only restricted by the general conditions of applicability of a particular theory. Without such a framework, scientific discourse would be crippled into utter uselessness...

I humbly hope this helps clarify things a little.
Source(s):
http://www.numericana.com/answer/physics...


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DrWilson
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:32 pm
Indy_jh,

Agree with most of what you say (in your 4:43 pm post). Lindsay has given a mission statement and set up "ground rules" for his site, so to speak. These "rules" allow him several escapes should the fire become too intense. He has prepared his own "battle space". We will not fight there. We will not be debating with him. If he wants to debate, he will have to do so in our "battle space" (like when he sent those silly questions to thews, for example).

We will be discussing science. Science does not care what doctrines have been "canonized". My view is that we will discuss science relevant to issues of concerns of Mormons, whether they deal with "canonized" doctrines or not. You and I both know that the Church will not "officially" support a lot of the beliefs that many, if not most, Mormons still hold regarding women, blacks evolution, homosexuality, etc. (and guess where they came from).

We will set up the rules for our site. They will be the kind of rules that one would expect in any forum of scientific discourse. When it comes to scripture, as I have mentioned, scripture not be taken as "proof" of anything. Scriptural references will be allowed to support certain assumptions or contingencies of a position.

We will show that certain scientific findings are in direct conflict with religion and leave it at that. Some o fthese findings will be in conflict with teachings that the some will say are no longer doctrine. That is no problem. If someone points this out to us, then it shows that the Everlasting Gospel is not so everlasting after all.
We will discuss "probabilities", not "possibilities".

I never saw so much apologist backpeddling as when I pointed out that the Kolob myth violated special and general relativity. All of a sudden Kolob was not "necessarily" the "place where God dwells", not "canonized doctrine", etc. etc. etc. When we make such points, we will not argue. We will not ask for an admission of "defeat". We will state the facts and let people comment pretty much as they wish. If they have honest and on-point questions, we will answer them as best we can.

What do you think?


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Rainfeather
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:38 pm
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Quote:
All of a sudden Kolob was not "necessarily" the "place where God dwells", not "canonized doctrine"


LOL I'd find it hard not to say, "Oh, so then we agree on Kolob then." ;)

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indy_jh
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:13 pm
DrWilson wrote:
Indy_jh,

Agree with most of what you say (in your 4:43 pm post). Lindsay has given a mission statement and set up "ground rules" for his site, so to speak. These "rules" allow him several escapes should the fire become too intense. He has prepared his own "battle space". We will not fight there. We will not be debating with him. If he wants to debate, he will have to do so in our "battle space" (like when he sent those silly questions to thews, for example).

We will be discussing science. Science does not care what doctrines have been "canonized". My view is that we will discuss science relevant to issues of concerns of Mormons, whether they deal with "canonized" doctrines or not. You and I both know that the Church will not "officially" support a lot of the beliefs that many, if not most, Mormons still hold regarding women, blacks evolution, homosexuality, etc. (and guess where they came from).

We will set up the rules for our site. They will be the kind of rules that one would expect in any forum of scientific discourse. When it comes to scripture, as I have mentioned, scripture not be taken as "proof" of anything. Scriptural references will be allowed to support certain assumptions or contingencies of a position.

We will show that certain scientific findings are in direct conflict with religion and leave it at that. Some o fthese findings will be in conflict with teachings that the some will say are no longer doctrine. That is no problem. If someone points this out to us, then it shows that the Everlasting Gospel is not so everlasting after all.
We will discuss "probabilities", not "possibilities".

I never saw so much apologist backpeddling as when I pointed out that the Kolob myth violated special and general relativity. All of a sudden Kolob was not "necessarily" the "place where God dwells", not "canonized doctrine", etc. etc. etc. When we make such points, we will not argue. We will not ask for an admission of "defeat". We will state the facts and let people comment pretty much as they wish. If they have honest and on-point questions, we will answer them as best we can.

What do you think?


I think you've a got a great idea, and I like the approach. Present the facts, the evidence, the conflicts and even the basis for such; let the readers settle it for themselves.

I like it a lot! On top of enlightening so many about the conflicts in LDS beliefs and doctrine and science, it could be quite educational for anyone!

I've already stated thinking of conflicting areas.


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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:13 pm
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indy_jh, your math would come in handy.
Math is a killer to claims of Book of Mormon population, historical sequences, General Authorities' finances, membership, and maybe more issues.

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insanad
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:45 pm
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Let me say with complete authority, "I concur".

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Abinadi
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:56 pm
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insanad wrote:
Let me say with complete authority, "I concur".

United, we shall all 'conqur'! ;)

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insanad
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:00 pm
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I've been accused of being mildly smart but when you guys go all pro on me I become a bobble head in a nanosecond and can't keep up. The conversations are fascinating but while I'm processing the word combinations the actual scientific info goes out the window and loses context with my right sided art brain. Soon my eyes glaze over and my breasts get bigger and I become inherently dumb, but more feminine all at once. It's a very odd phenomenon,onon. So, "I Concur" is the best I can come up with and still be in the game. and in conclusion, Boobs.

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indy_jh
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:11 am
insanad wrote:
I've been accused of being mildly smart but when you guys go all pro on me I become a bobble head in a nanosecond and can't keep up. The conversations are fascinating but while I'm processing the word combinations the actual scientific info goes out the window and loses context with my right sided art brain. Soon my eyes glaze over and my breasts get bigger and I become inherently dumb, but more feminine all at once. It's a very odd phenomenon,onon. So, "I Concur" is the best I can come up with and still be in the game. and in conclusion, Boobs.



LOL! That's funny!

I would really enjoy watching you in a differential equations or quantum physics class. Is this true of ALL women???

By the way, I take pride in being very curious but quite slow at learning. People around me know that if I understand what's going on, then the subject must be fairly simple and probably makes sense. In my work, I have to listen to a lot of people. Some of them make complete sense to me. Some of them don't at all. When they don't, it's usually because they are so amazingly intelligent and speaking of something that I know absolutely nothing about, or as is often the case, they don't know what the hell they're talking about and are simply try to make a nice impression.

I have found that the most brilliant people can often describe a complex subject in such simple terms that even a simple guy like me can understand it.


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Rainfeather
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:34 am
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Quote:
I have found that the most brilliant people can often describe a complex subject in such simple terms that even a simple guy like me can understand it.


Science can be explained simply, but it's not always easy to do so. I love science programs on TV. All I watch on TV is science, history, geography, etc. Well, except that I admit to being absolutely obsessed with ghost programs. LOL That might have something to do with the sudden loss of my religion, where I'm looking for answers that I no longer have.

But anyway, one day I watched a TV program on the Theory of Relativity. They managed to explain it in very easy-to-understand terms and I was delighted to find that I easily understood the Theory.

I declared, "Wow, that's so easy. I get it. No problem." Someone said, "Great, now explain it to someone else," and I went, "Uhhh ..." "Not so easy, is it?" they replied. LOL

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insanad
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:55 am
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indy_jh wrote:
insanad wrote:
I've been accused of being mildly smart but when you guys go all pro on me I become a bobble head in a nanosecond and can't keep up. The conversations are fascinating but while I'm processing the word combinations the actual scientific info goes out the window and loses context with my right sided art brain. Soon my eyes glaze over and my breasts get bigger and I become inherently dumb, but more feminine all at once. It's a very odd phenomenon,onon. So, "I Concur" is the best I can come up with and still be in the game. and in conclusion, Boobs.


I would really enjoy watching you in a differential equations or quantum physics class. Is this true of ALL women???

I have found that the most brilliant people can often describe a complex subject in such simple terms that even a simple guy like me can understand it.


See, maybe I'm not so dumb afterall because I explained in a very visual way a very subtle biological process where scientific verbal information causes an invisible gas that enters a womans ears and then travels down through the sinaical cavity tracheotomy areas and into her lungs, and then through the capilary glands to the breastal lobes where it then puffs them up to double Ds in a matter of seconds. It's quite simple really. I'm really glad I could enlighten you.

Yes, during discussions of quantum physics, string theory, even abstract philosophical discussions I've noticed that my hair gets blonder and my eyes dilate. Thank God for shoulder pads for that bobbling action that comes.

My son will start to tell me about a complex mathmatical class or computer programming he's involved in and I just can't stay focussed. I can repeat the words back to him but I have no idea what he just said and can't visualize the concept of worm holes or light travel or the fourth dimension. He does the same when I start to talk about art, architecture, literature, or gardening. Not that he can't grasp it, but he's just not interested. We humor each other out of polite devotion.

For those situations I find the following statements very useful:

Wow, that is a fascinating perspective. I can see that you've put a lot of thought into this.
Yes, I can see where you're going with this. It's amazing what our brains can process.
You bring up an interesting point. Now if we expand that theory, where will it lead?
and the ever useful, "Excuse me for a moment, I've GOT to take this call".

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DrWilson
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:07 am
insanad wrote:
indy_jh wrote:
insanad wrote:
I've been accused of being mildly smart but when you guys go all pro on me I become a bobble head in a nanosecond and can't keep up. The conversations are fascinating but while I'm processing the word combinations the actual scientific info goes out the window and loses context with my right sided art brain. Soon my eyes glaze over and my breasts get bigger and I become inherently dumb, but more feminine all at once. It's a very odd phenomenon,onon. So, "I Concur" is the best I can come up with and still be in the game. and in conclusion, Boobs.


I would really enjoy watching you in a differential equations or quantum physics class. Is this true of ALL women???

I have found that the most brilliant people can often describe a complex subject in such simple terms that even a simple guy like me can understand it.


See, maybe I'm not so dumb afterall because I explained in a very visual way a very subtle biological process where scientific verbal information causes an invisible gas that enters a womans ears and then travels down through the sinaical cavity tracheotomy areas and into her lungs, and then through the capilary glands to the breastal lobes where it then puffs them up to double Ds in a matter of seconds. It's quite simple really. I'm really glad I could enlighten you.

Yes, during discussions of quantum physics, string theory, even abstract philosophical discussions I've noticed that my hair gets blonder and my eyes dilate. Thank God for shoulder pads for that bobbling action that comes.

My son will start to tell me about a complex mathmatical class or computer programming he's involved in and I just can't stay focussed. I can repeat the words back to him but I have no idea what he just said and can't visualize the concept of worm holes or light travel or the fourth dimension. He does the same when I start to talk about art, architecture, literature, or gardening. Not that he can't grasp it, but he's just not interested. We humor each other out of polite devotion.

For those situations I find the following statements very useful:

Wow, that is a fascinating perspective. I can see that you've put a lot of thought into this.
Yes, I can see where you're going with this. It's amazing what our brains can process.
You bring up an interesting point. Now if we expand that theory, where will it lead?
and the ever useful, "Excuse me for a moment, I've GOT to take this call".
Insanad,
It is now crystal clear to me that you have the perfect set of tools and would be the best among us to politely and effficiently handle the silly / persistant TBM commentors that are sure to show up.


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indy_jh
Post  Post subject: Re: scienceformormons.com: Let's Do It  |  Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:10 am
LOL!

Insanad, you are damn funny, girl!

You really need to write that book! Add you humor and your personal stories, and it would really be terrific!


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