At the very least.

Discussion (29)¬

  1. Paige Turner says:

    what’s a “comm?”

  2. Shaughn says:

    Communications, I guess, Paige Turner.

  3. M27Holts says:

    And If the holy books actually contained some correct equations from which the known physical constants could be calculated…you would expect those to be childs play to the creator being…..instead the creator seems to be very interested in the length of womens skirts…as sombody once said..god did not create man in his image….the reverse is obviously the correct hypothesis…

  4. Quine Duhem says:

    Religions promote chastity and peace but all we get is sects and violence.

  5. Bvereshagen says:

    Well done Quine Duhem. With your permission I would like to borrow that one.

  6. Quine Duhem says:

    Thanks, Bvereshagen. Borrow away.

  7. Son of Glenner says:

    Quine Duhem – “Religions promote chastity and peace but all we get is sects and violence.”

    A great line! I trust we may all borrow it.

  8. postdoggerel says:

    Quine Duhem, good one! It brings to mind this gem, “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. … science is a religion is like saying that abstinence is a sexual position.”

  9. Succubus ov Satan says:

    unless of course the imaginary ‘god’ revels in internecine conflict and schism

  10. postdoggerel says:

    Going from aphorisms to equations I saw someone with a shirt that said:
    I hope they realize what follows…

  11. jb says:

    There are lots of people who “believe in science” without understanding a word of it, and for them it is kind of like a religion. (Albeit a religion with a vastly improved miracle delivery system…).

  12. M27Holts says:

    Aha..JB that sounds like the opening pub argument gambit….thus follows the philosophical chess game of words….

  13. Shaughn says:

    Postdoggerel, that equation reminds me of Einstein’s “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere”. A and B being variables, as good old Albert knew, you can substitute them by ‘everywhere’. So there is little difference between imagination and logic, but for travelling you’d better rely on logic.

  14. Donn says:

    Is it significantly different, to believe in science without understanding it, vs. to believe in it while misunderstanding it? Whatever, in any case it isn’t religious faith.

    The object of religious faith must be wholly implausible – something that without faith, you certainly would disbelieve. Astonishing, hard to conceive, isn’t enough. Poorly understood isn’t enough.

  15. Mockingbird says:

    Quine Duhem – “Religions promote chastity and peace but all we get is sects and violence.”

    Wow! You really do get around, thanks.

  16. paradoctor says:

    Never mind physical constants, let alone germ theory. A description of positional numeration, plus the number Zero, would have advanced mathematics by millennia.

  17. paradoctor says:

    postdoggerel: Good algebra.

  18. jb says:

    Donn — I don’t think ideas like the existence of spirits or the supernatural are especially implausible. They don’t even contradict science (at least not directly), and science itself contains a lot of ideas that are extremely difficult to get your head around. If you are a hunter-gatherer, and the world is full of mystery and agency, and your parents tell you that your ancestors have become spirits that visit you in your dreams and watch over you but must be regularly propitiated, why would that be difficult to believe? Even if you don’t encounter these spirits yourself in waking life you will hear plenty of stories of those who have. Why would you disbelieve them? As a general rule disregarding the inherited wisdom of the tribe is not a good strategy if you want to prosper. After all, the night really is full of terrors!

  19. Donn says:

    Maybe I’m making a couple of unreasonable semantic distinctions here.

    If you have an understanding of spirits that comes from stories, that’s faith. Our society has an unusually strong tradition of disbelief in such things that makes faith like that more conspicuous for what it is, but in many societies it may come pretty easy, as an integral part of society. Once you have accepted the story, then you may find all sorts of evidences that may be interpreted as validation, as the religious commonly do.

    If science were just transmitted in the same manner, then there’d be an obvious parallel, but a key difference is transparency. Your science education may inform you for example that acceleration of a falling body is 9.8 m/s/s, and you might accept that at face value and think no more about; of course it’s possible to confirm that experimentally, but more importantly, if you want to know more about it, the information is there, all the way to pretty near the limits of what we understand about gravity.

    The other thing, though, is that while I’m saying all religion revolves around faith, not all faith in phony phenomena has a religion attached to it. My hunter gatherer friends don’t talk much about their religious practices, so I don’t know about that, but at any rate not all belief in spooks etc. constitutes a religion, there’s more to it. Religions do mean something to the people who adopt them, so the elements they pick up on faith are naturally things that matter to them, like “I have a soul.” If the things we learn from science don’t have that kind of sustaining quality to them, science isn’t going to amount to much as a religion, whether we consider the facts taken on faith or not.

  20. Laripu says:

    J & M Multiplicity, or, Moron is Better.

    I have many nice souls.
    I keep them in cages.
    Several thousand Mohammeds
    pay them minimum wages.
    Their taxes are done
    by an accountant foetus.
    whose arrogant motto’s
    “no born guy can beat us!”
    There’s an infinite sequence
    of angry Jehovahs
    floating in space,
    causing suns to go nova.
    Their real name is Yehu,
    they madly insist
    and until they’re called that
    they will not desist.
    Forty-two Jesuses
    unrepentant and furious,
    have shrugged off their crosses
    and now are bi-curious.
    They want all the Ganeshes
    but aren’t sure why.
    The proboscises are huge
    but they’re not actually guys.
    The Moseses introduced them
    to one Edward Witten.
    Unfortunately they’re now
    fruitlessly smitten.
    One day they’ll all evaporate
    but we don’t know when.
    Even David Icke’s
    bored with Allah them.

  21. Author says:

    Nice one, Laripu.

  22. Laripu says:

    Author, may the infinite sequence of Yehus never make your sun go nova. 😀

  23. M27Holts says:

    What about the soles of my trainers?

  24. postdoggerel says:

    M27, they’re waffle.

  25. M27Holts says:

    Whats important about the integer 42? Outside of Douglas Adams imagination?

  26. Donal Feran says:

    M27Holts, for one, it was Jackie Robinson’s jersey number. Otherwise, I don’t know; what else?

  27. Laripu says:

    Don’t look for meaning. It’s just a bunch of nonsense. The 42 was indeed chosen because of Hitchhikers Guide.

    The idea came from a thought I had a while ago, that you could really piss off a Muslim by telling them that you believed in a better version of Islam, in which there were two Allahs and two Mohammeds. “There are no gods but the Allahs and the Mohammeds are their messengers.”

    Better, because “more is better”… hence the title “moron is better”. And if two is better than one, then an infinite sequence is even bettererer :). (I toyed with the idea of whether an uncountable number of Yehus was better than a merely countably infinite sequence of Yehus… but I couldn’t make any of that shìt rhyme. Also, what rhymes with Cantor?)

    It’s just a sequence of stupid nonsense, cobbled together for fun.

    So it is written. (But not by Edward Witten.) 😀

  28. Son of Glenner says:

    Laripu: “What rhymes with Cantor?”

    How about “banter”? And what could be more appropriate in a humorous context?

  29. Laripu says:

    I’d be more likely to use “rancor”. 🙂


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