Originally posted by FabianFnas
I have a friend. He is a fundamental christian. He believes in god and miracles and faith and all that, I believe in science.
We discuss religion and science all the time. He doesn't think science can explain everything so he stick to creationism as a solution for everything. I don't think either that science can explain everything, certainly not mira p with me but without parachute? Who of us will land first, and who of us will survive?
Wrong question posed due to misuse of word "science."
Science is not a belief system. One does not "believe" in science, as its existence is not really in doubt. One cannot say the same about that which various and multitudinous religions now and throughout human history have believed exists or existed.
The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," meaning knowledge.
How do we define science? According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world."
What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.
What is the purpose of science? Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality. We say "model" because as we gain knowledge from experience our concept of reality changes over time. We are always aware our apprehension of reality is incomplete, at best. But rather than take an intellectual and emotional short cut and leave it to faith and belief, those who seek a rational basis for apprehending that which is the case accept the process of scientific investigation to get at as much of what is the case as we can establish given all sorts of technological, sociological, political, and economic limitations.
Most scientific investigations use some form of the scientific method.
Science as defined above is sometimes called pure science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of research to human needs. Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines:
- Natural sciences, the study of the natural world, and
- Social sciences, the systematic study of human behavior and society.
So, applying what my government agency scientists have learned about the statistical correlation of the exposure in measurable doses of certain chemicals to various forms of harm to the health of persons or the environment, we set standards limiting the amount of these chemicals folks are allowed to spew into the air or water or bury in the land. We limit the ways these chemicals may expose people to the risk of harm --not because we are certain we know what that risk is in absolute terms, but because we have a duty to exercise due care and err on the side of safety.
Thus, none of this could take place in a system based merely on beliefs and be at all rational.
You no doubt would question whether it was true if I told you that I believe breathing the scent of roses is certain to cause Alzheimer's disease in later life.
It is therefore all the more curious that many do not question the words written on the pages of a book more than 2000 years old as the direct word of a personal deity of whose existence and authorship they have not one shred of statistical or physical evidence.
Yet that is human nature -- we either accept reality for what it is and adapt, or we yield part of our free will and accept beliefs others give us because it makes us feel better than otherwise.