Science as religion/Einstein

From Wikiversity
Jump to: navigation, search
Albert Einstein

Discussion[edit]

Is Gravitation a religion of public schools?[edit]

  • The question "Is Gravitation a religion of public schools?" makes several assumptions which themselves should be questioned. Perhaps a more valid heading is: Is Gravity a religion? Or "What defines a religion?"
  • I guess this discussion only makes sense if we first enumerate the 'goals':
  1. "What scientist and field of science relies on and solely depends on Einstein’s theory of gravity for any advances in human progress?"
  2. "and products were derived solely from relying on Einstein’s theory of gravity?"
  3. "Did gravity produce gas-powered mowers, sticky notes, aluminum foil, zip-lock bags, war and peace, medicines, mammogram machines, vaccines, zippers, microwaves, coffee machines, etc.?"
  4. "Would scientists have embarked on exploring the universe, developing complex mathematical equations, discovered black holes and other anomalies [without belief in Einstein’s overall theory]?"
  5. "How has spacetime theory contributed to discoveries of the building blocks, atoms and molecules?"
  6. "Do we really require Einstein’s theory for human societies and the study of all things?"
  7. "What has it produced?" or, more rhetorically laden "The deep silence of the Einsteinian faithful, who cannot give us the answers for their beliefs, speaks to us loudly and clearly."

Background[edit]

Einstein's theory of Gravity predicted a non-static and expanding universe, which was confirmed later by Edwin Hubble in the 1930s. This led ultimately to the conclusion that, if everything is expanding now, then at some point in the distant past all matter must have existed at the same physical point in time and space. Although not necessarily, this implies to some, a point of creation. Many religious organizations endorse the theory because of this apparent conclusion - it leaves room for a god of some sort.

What is the religion of public schools? (If any)[edit]

Since it appears to be generally accepted that state schools should not be places of religious indoctrination (because it would favor one religion over another), an apparent dilemma begins if scientific theories are brought under the heading of religion. However, theories like gravity need not necessarily have religious overtones. In fact most schools only teach Newton's theory of gravity, which is known to be ultimately incorrect. But students are taught that it is an approximation which works very well. Furthermore the implication of a Creator is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the big bang. There could well be a deeper theory behind Einsteinian gravity which would explain it all away (perhaps M-theory).

Is the Church of the FSM a science?[edit]

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was a satire invented to attempt to expose religious bias. It lays down rules which would explain the existence of the universe in terms of a being which controls all things and comes with its own creation myth too. Having no evidence to back any of its claims, however, it is clearly in the realms of religion, as it relies entirely upon faith. But don't all religions rely on faith?

  • Comment: I disagree with the usage of faith and religion in this context. I see the FSM as non-religious, but rather as an element of satire (which is literary in nature) which has entered folklore in the verbal more than the customary realm. I am not aware of a single individual which truly believes in/has faith in the FSM, rather it was designed as a sort of agent provocateur. The Jade Knight 02:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

What is Science? What is Religion?[edit]

What is Science?[edit]

Merriam-Webster defines science as:

1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study <the science of theology> b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge <have it down to a science>
3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE
4 : a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws <cooking is both a science and an art>
5 capitalized : CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

What is Religion? (taken from Darwinism as religion)[edit]

Merriam-Webster defines religion as:

1b. commitment or devotion to religious¹ faith or observance
2. a personal set or institutionalized system of religious¹ attitudes, beliefs, and practices
4. a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith²
¹religious: 1 : relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful b : FERVENT, ZEALOUS
²faith: 1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious¹ beliefs <the Protestant faith>

According to Merriam-Webster, then, religion may be (in the relevant senses):

  1. A commitment or devotion to faith² in (or observance relating to) an acknowledged ultimate reality
  2. A personal set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices relating to an acknoledged ultimate reality
  3. An institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices relating to an acknowledged ultimate reality
  4. A cause held to with ardor and faith²
  5. A principle held to with ardor and faith²
  6. A system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith²

Faith[edit]

Merriam-Webster defines faith as:

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious¹ beliefs <the Protestant faith>

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Albert Einstein Quotes

Wikipedia articles[edit]