When a Paradox is not a Disproof

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7 Responses

  1. Very well put. I have also written much about it. Theology has to fit with reality. It has to adapt to new reality as we discover and understand it. Ki Hi Chochmaschem Ubinaschem ….

  2. micha says:

    RDG,

    You motivated me to expand my post. I do not agree that “Theology has to fit with reality. It has to adapt to new reality as we discover and understand it.” In fact, I am saying that while there is only one truth, don’t rush to adapt the theology rather than the science. Often it’s better to wait than to do any adapting.

    I’m saying that comparmentalization is better than compromise. Either the two sources of truth both provide us with truths, or just keep the two separate until you see how they fit.

  3. The conflict between science and religion occurs only when each insists on straying out of its own domain and into that of its fellow.
    Religion that presumes to determine what scientific truth is based on religious texts cause conflict for its believers by presenting “facts” that cannot possibly be true. For example, lice spontaneously generating from sweat.
    Science that presumes to advance moral ideas based on hard, logical theories cause conflicts for its believers because, in order to present one concrete view, other equally legitimate views have to be surpressed. For example, the conclusion that global warming is man’s fault and we have to alter our behaviour to atone for it.

  4. micha says:

    Garnel,

    I think you overstate it. There are areas of apparent conflict because the domains do overlap. Cosmogony, evolutionary biology, geology, etc… are all sciences. And the Torah does make claims about the same territory. Do we believe the archeologist’s theory that numbers the Canaanites of the days of Joshua and the Judges to be so few that 3mm immigrants would have overwhelmed them?

  5. Bob Miller says:

    1. One of my roommates at MIT proposed once in jest that once you get above the speed of light, Newtonian physics apply again.

    2. Lots of theories seem to work acceptably in practice, but, in principle, other theories might also seem to work acceptably in practice. For example, if Occam’s Razor is not taken to be an absolutely true guide, all kinds of options open up.

  6. Bob Miller says:

    There are modern theories showing how a tiny difference at one time can grow into a huge difference later. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

    This is what makes weather prediction so dicey.

    What if the whole edifice of archeology is built up out of bricks with tiny flaws (resulting from bias in data gathering and interpretation) ? Would an outsider have the means to evaluate this edifice objectively, or is it essentially unverifiable?

  7. Bob Miller says:

    To clarify one of my items above:

    2. Lots of generally believed theories seem to work acceptably in practice, but, in principle, other, “unconventional” theories might also seem to work just as acceptably in practice. For example, if Occam’s Razor is not taken to be an absolutely true guide, all kinds of options open up.

And your thoughts...?

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