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Re: science superior to religion? (CarolAnn)

Posted by Bob on November 17, 1999, at 13:48:06

In reply to Re: science superior to religion? (CarolAnn), posted by CC on November 17, 1999, at 4:04:32

> "God does not play dice with the universe" Einstein.
"Stop telling God what to do." Niels Bohr to Einstein.

Besides, the quote is about quantum mechanics, which ironically received its earliest big boost from Einstein's paper on the photoelectric effect (for which he won the Nobel Prize). Einstein also said, "God is subtle, but he is not malicious" which has been interpreted as "God may have created the universe as a puzzle for us to solve but, however He did it, He wouldn't have done it using quantum mechanics!" And then there was, I believe, Stephen Hawking, the first to apply quantum mechanics to black holes successfully, who said, "Not only *does* God play dice, sometimes he throws them where you can't see them!"

CC, lots of your questions are being explained fairly well. The Hubble has contributed quite a bit here, such as finding evidence of blackholes at the centers of most galaxies (lending credit to the primary explanation on the nature of quasars). *All* galaxies are moving away from us -- that's a central tenet of Big Bang theories. THAT should be acknowledged -- that there is no one Big Bang Theory, but litterally hundreds of them. The data from the COBE satellite, out of George Smoots' shop, pretty much eliminated 95% of those by demonstrating that there is a non-uniform distribution of background radiation (most contenders could not explain anything other than a uniform distribution). Work over the last few decades on "quantum" gravity has been making inroads into why spiral galaxies both spin the way they do and FORM the way they do, since the simple accretion-disk theories applied to planetary systems fail miserably at this. So, for any of your questions, science is making good progress on coming up with an answer. Even for the missing mass problem -- the bias in the cosmology community for a closed universe (big bang, big crunch, rinse, repeat...) smacks of how Occam's Razor and the notion of elegance can blind scientists to other, better explanations (such as the universe via the big bang truly being a unique event), but there's progress nonetheless.

So much for what science can answer and for what religion cannot. Religion won't give us explanations on how things work based upon true prophecy or the self-serving proclamations of authorities.

On the other hand, while one day we may be able to say how the universe came to be what it is today, science will never be able to explain "Why the universe?" or even "Why *this* universe?"

Apples and oranges, folks. The notion of science being better than religion, or religion being better than science, is non-sense when each stays within the bounds of what it can explain.





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