I have frequently noticed people commenting that there are many unanswered questions but science may not be able to provide all answers.

I have always placed complete faith in science and have probably never thought in this direction or probably I am ignorant.  Considering that science deals only with the nature, it is understood that it cannot be asked to find answers to questions about the supernatural. After finding the truth about the origin of the universe and the origin of life, the remaining questions are in my opinion just missing links. What are such questions then that science will not answer and why? What are its limitations? Time? Funds? Human resources? Lack of interest or efforts on the part of humans? Or is the present knowledge inadequate for further research? I would like my more enlightened friends here to educate me on this subject.

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 Ultimately is there anything out of or beyond nature anyway? Does the supernatural even exist? It is possible to conceptualize that which we cannot sense or measure if we are clever enough to ask the right question. Who is going to set the boundaries to the unknowable? With so, so much to explore of the unknown, isn't asking what is unknowable at this point a bit premature? 

As for testability of string theory, one aspect would require energies a hundred trillion times the largest energy accessible in the LHC.  To give you some idea of the difficulties :)

I suggest two books: A Universe From Nothing, Lawrence Krauss(dark matter)and Demon-Haunted World(belief in the supernatural), Carl Sagan.

Time and funds will always be available to answer questions that people are concerned about or even just curious.

I am curious about the persistant human need for believing in The God Hypothesis (TGH) in the face of overwhelmong missing evidence. However, that reearch question - why the majority still needs, craves, seeks to prove TGH and propagate it at great cost and pain - is beginning to attract serious researchers. More on this when I am smarter. . .

Dan Barker (AN member) gives a good perspective on this.  He's someone who really did believe in Christianity, did have a feeling God was there when he prayed - unlike many atheists who never "grokked" religion, have no idea why someone would believe in God.  He came to realize, all the same, that his religious experiences were all inside his head, and because of his religious past he can tell you what makes the religious people tick. 

He calls God-belief a very powerful and convincing delusion.  Perhaps we can be sorry for the people who are so powerfully grabbed by that delusion, whose whole lives are warped around it. 

Also what science can figure out depends on what research gets funded.  Usually you have to persuade some government organization that a question is worth answering. 

Yes, funds are becoming scarce and the big bang and evolution have satisfied the questions 'Where we come from?' and 'Who we are?' to the satisfaction of most people and this together with the scarcity of funds may become a limitation in future.

Oh yes, physics especially is very expensive, they build instruments - particle accelerators - a mile wide or so. 

And astronomy and planetary science are expensive too - missions to Mars, Hubble space telescope are not cheap ...

There does not seem to be any shortage of funds to throw away on a losing war in Afghanistan, however.  $45 billion of military equipment will simply be abandoned there.

Deists, yes. Jefferson "created" his own bible by using the cut and paste method to remove references to miracles and the supernatural.

Science offers clues as to when and how knowledge began to replace superstition: i.e.
brain and neurological sciences began development in Sumeria and Egypt, 4000 BCE; anatomy and physiology began development in Egypt, 2600 BCE; mathematics, the concept of 0, and algebraic laws began development in Egypt 2000 BCE; physics laws began development in Greece as early as 580 BCE.
My dates and places undoubtedly can be disputed; the principle of early knowledge and places that inquiry reached beyond faith is clear.

Modern science reveals nature's secrets today through the development of all kinds of disciplines. As we are able to shuck off beliefs based on tradition we are able to reach into outer and inner space in ways not possible before the mind was freed from its bindings.

Science cannot answer such questions as "Why was I born?" "What is my purpose in life?" "Who am I?" What is the meaning of life?" "From where do morals and ethics come?"

I don't believe religion answers these questions adequately. I have no reason to be born, I have no purpose or meaning and my morals and ethics come from inside me as part of my equipment, just as sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and feeling are parts of my being.

Why I was born depends on me.
What is my purpose in life depends on me.
Who I am depends on me.
My morals and ethics come from within me.

Sam Harris thinks science can reveal ethics and moral character

Here's a good article from the website: 'sciencebasedmedicine.org.' A portion of it discusses the behavior (and reasoning) behind people who come to dismiss science when it disproves their belief(s). here's an excerpt:

There’s also another strategy that people use to dismiss science that doesn’t conform to their beliefs. I hadn’t thought of this one before, but it seems obvious in retrospect after I encountered a recent study that suggested it. That mechanism is to start to lose faith in science itself as a means of making sense of nature and the world. The study was by Geoffrey D. Munro of Towson University in Maryland and appeared in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology under the title of The Scientific Impotence Excuse: Discounting Belief-Threatening Scientific Abstracts.

There were two main hypotheses and two studies included within this overall study. Basically, the hypothesis was that encountering evidence that conflicts with one’s beliefs system would tend to make the subject move toward a belief that science can’t study the hypothesis under consideration, a hypothesis known as the “scientific impotence” hypothesis or method. In essence, science is dismissed as “impotent” to study the issue where belief conflicts with evidence, thus allowing a person to dismiss the science that would tend to refute a strongly held belief. The problem, of course, is that the major side effect of asserting scientific impotence discounting is that it leads a person to distrust all science in general, or at least far more science than the science opposing that person’s belief.

End excerpt.

The entire article is at: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/certainty-versus-knowledge-in-m...


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