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Posted by: anonom ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:08PM

Hey all! I am having a debate with my coworker and wanted your guys opinion. Do you think science is just another religion?

I don't and told my coworker such, and when I brought up the fact that science is ever changing unlike religion he just brought up living prophets.

When I said that science has no prophet or bible and nothing is infallible he said gravity is infallible.

I feel like I'm arguing with a wall but I can't let him win on this one. So any help?

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Posted by: gentleben ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:15PM

He doesn't know about gravity then. Ask him how magnets work.

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Posted by: onlinemoniker ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:15PM

You meant to say science is "never" changing, right? That's the very definition of scientific laws. They are always the same.

Engaging in this argument is folly. By even participating, you are legitimizing your friends claim that science and religion are on equal footing. Once you tacitly agree to that, you can't discount any of his arguments because he doesn't have to be logical--you've let the bar be lowered.

Science explains how the universe works and religion is a bunch of fairy tales.

End of convo.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:18PM


Theology/religion is a sub-discipline in the humanities discipline.
Natural science is it's own discipline. It contains sub-disciplines.

They think differently.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2013 11:20PM by zenjamin.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:28PM

In fact, the original disciplines were the arts, medicine, law, and theology.

The real purpose of advanced education is one learns how to think and problem solve like the discipline.

Go to medical school, one leaves thinking like a doctor.
Go to law school, one leaves thinking like a lawyer.
Theology school, think like a theologian.

These live in very different worlds.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:20PM

what is science ?

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Posted by: HangarXVIII ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 02:20PM

From Google:

"Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."

In other words, the antithesis of religion.

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Posted by: utahstateagnostics ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:20PM

From Tim Minchin's "Storm"


Believer: “You're so sure of your position
But you're just closed-minded
I think you'll find
Your faith in Science and Tests
Is just as blind
As the faith of any fundamentalist”

Tim: “Hm that's a good point, let me think for a bit
Oh wait, my mistake, it's absolute bullsh!t.
Science adjusts it's beliefs based on what's observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.

If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I'll spin on a fvcking dime
I'll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
It's a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it's memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it's had in it!

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Posted by: alyssum ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:23PM

I think science CAN be a religion, and is for many people. Reading the history of science is a long list of people refusing to move on from an old idea with positively religious fervor.

I think for either of you to get anywhere in this argument, you need to define your terms. What do you mean by "science?" What does he mean by "religion?"

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:41PM

No. The fundamental difference is this:

With religion, the facts are selected to support their conclusion.

With science, the conclusion is selected to fit the facts.

Religion is faith based which is code for no facts required.
Science is reason based which is code for verification of facts.

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Posted by: zarahemlatowndrunk ( )
Date: December 22, 2013 11:48PM

No, science is not a religion. And mathematics is not a religion. Literature isn't a religion either, nor is art.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:03AM

My religion is Calculous. I believe in it, but I haven't a clue as to how it works.

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Posted by: zarahemlatowndrunk ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:04AM

HAHA! So true!

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:05AM

so far nobody has given a correct definition of science.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 12:07AM

Science is a process, where by using carefully controlled experiments, we are able to gather data, and make reasonable conclusions based on that data.

Religion is a nonprocess, where by using carefully controlled teachings, we are able to close off minds, and make unreasonable assumptions based on wild speculation and good feelings.

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Posted by: Paidinfull ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:12AM

Depending on your political orientation global warming is "junk science." Forget about melting ice caps & rising seas. Pull out the data self-reported by fossil fuel utilities & other industries showing the millions of pounds of heavy metals & acid aerosols they pump into the air annually, well, if the former president said it's junk, some people believe. Science isn't always thoroughly objective.
Those annual, self-reported data btw are available on EPA's website under "toxics release inventory".

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Posted by: nickname ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:26AM

Then why are so many scientist irreligious?

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Posted by: HangarXVIII ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:31AM

Absolutely not. Religion is for people who are too dumb to understand science. After all, it's easier to read one book than a bunch of hard ones.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2013 01:36AM by hangar18.

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Posted by: deco ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:31AM

Science challenges us to prove it wrong. It welcomes the challenge in pursuit of knowledge. Religion attacks the people who question it.

In simpler terms, as stated by Richard Dawkins, "Science flies mankind to the moon, religion flies people into buildings"

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Posted by: HangarXVIII ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:44AM

I love that quote! Another good one is from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

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Posted by: buddyjoe ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:43AM

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Posted by: HangarXVIII ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 01:51AM

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 03:46AM

Science seeks answers by following evidence. Religion just makes things up and calls them facts.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 03:56AM

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 04:18AM

A few years ago I had the chance to do a 9-day white-water/calm-eddy river raft of the Colorado River, in the company of a group of various scientists (geneticists, biologists, anthropologists and physicists included).

It was an amazing and educating experience.

We camped out at night on the Colorado's sandbars and during the day--launching from a point in the Grand Canyon where the rocks, sediments and fossils were the oldest--steadily made our way along the river, examining the observable evidence for the long-term evolution of the Canyon.

What was particularly interesting was to have compare-and-contrast presentations made by scientists along the way regarding the real-science evolutionary vs. the pseudo-science creationary explanations for how the Grand Canyon physically came to be.

Among those on the rafting trip was Eugenie Scott, physical anthropologist and director of the National Center for Science Education (the group that organized the river expedition).

Eugenie has made it a point then and since that when educating supporters of evolution on how to deal with an remarkably uninformed and illiterate public, it is very important to "watch your language," so to speak.

In efforts to defend and explain the realities of evolution to novices and (in particular) to anti-science religious believer types, language is a critically important tactical device for use in the delivery of facts.

For an interview with her:

"Watch your language! It’s a common message from Eugenie Scott, a physical anthropologist and director of the National Center for Science Education (, an organization dedicated to promoting and defending the teaching of evolution in public schools. Scott recently spoke with Science News writer Susan Milius.

"[Question to Scott]: 'So you urge scientists not to say that they 'believe' in evolution?!'

"[Scott's answer]: 'Right. What your audience hears is more important than what you say. . . .What [people] hear is that evolution is a belief, it’s an opinion, it’s not well-substantiated science. And that is something that scientists need to avoid communicating.

"'You believe in God. You believe your sports team is going to win. But you don’t believe in cell division. You don’t believe in thermodynamics. Instead, you might say you 'accept evolution.'

"Q: 'How does the language used to discuss new discoveries add to the problem?'

"Scott: 'To put it mildly, it doesn’t help when evolutionary biologists say things like, “This completely revolutionizes our view of X.” Because hardly anything we come up with is going to completely revolutionize our view of the core ideas of science. . . . An insight into the early ape-men of East and South Africa is not going to completely change our understanding of Neandertals, for example. So the statement is just wrong. Worse, it’s miseducating the public as to the soundness of our understanding of evolution.

"'You can say that this fossil or this new bit of data 'sheds new light on this part of evolution.'

"Q: 'So people get confused when scientists discover things and change ideas?'

"Scott: 'Yes, all the time. This is one of the real confusions about evolution. Creationists have done a splendid job of convincing the public that evolution is weak science because scientists are always changing their minds about things.'

"Q: 'So how do you explain what science is?'

"Scott: 'An idea that I stole from [physicist] James Trefil visualizes the content of science as three concentric circles: the core ideas in the center, the frontier ideas in the next ring out and the fringe ideas in the outermost ring. . . .

"'[We need to] help the public understand that the nature of scientific explanations is to change with new information or new theory — this is a strength of science — but that science is still reliable. And the core ideas of science do not change much, if at all.

"'The core idea of evolution is common ancestry, and we’re not likely to change our minds about that. But we argue a lot about … how the tree of life is branched and what mechanisms bring evolutionary change about. That’s the frontier area of science.

"'And then of course you have areas that claim to be science, like "creation science" and "intelligent design,” that are off in the fringe. Scientists don’t spend much time here because the ideas haven’t proven useful in understanding the natural world.

"Q: 'You’ve been on talk radio a lot. What’s your sense of what the public understands about evolutionary biology?'

"Scott: 'The public has a very poor understanding of evolution. People don’t recognize evolution as referring to the common ancestry of living things. Even those who accept evolution often don’t understand it well. They think it’s a great chain . . . of gradual increases in complexity of forms through time, which is certainly an impoverished view of evolutionary biology. That view is the source, in my opinion, of: “If man evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?” ... That’s probably the second most common question I get on talk radio.

"'It’s like saying, "If you evolved from your cousins, why are your cousins still here?" And of course the answer is, well, in fact, I didn’t evolve from my cousins. My cousins and I shared common ancestors, in our grandparents.'

"Q: 'What’s the current state of the effort to keep schools teaching evolution?'

"Scott: 'Sometimes it feels like the Red Queen around here, where we’re running as hard as we can to stay in the same place. The thing is, creationism evolves. And for every victory we have, there’s pressure on the creationists to change their approach. We constantly have to shift our response. Ultimately the solution to this problem is not going to come from pouring more science on it."

"Q: 'What should scientists and people who care about science do?'

"Scott: 'I’m calling on scientists to be citizens. American education is decentralized. Which means it’s politicized. To make a change . . . you have to be a citizen who pays attention to local elections and votes [for] the right people. You can’t just sit back and expect that the magnificence of science will reveal itself and everybody will . . . accept the science."

(Eugenie Scott, "Accept It: Talk about Evolution Needs to Evolve," in "Science News: Magazine for the Society for Science and the Public," vol. 176, #3, 1 August 2009, p. 32, at:

For a related thread, see: "Why I hate the phrase 'I don't believe in god.'" posted by "kolobian," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 5 December 2011, at:,357373

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2013 04:18AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Krampus! ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 04:48AM

science is a religion for most people that arent scientists or who dont use the scientific method, they just take scientists word for it. The scientific method is not religion.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: December 23, 2013 02:27PM

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