Re: Science and Religion

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.SU.OZ.AU)
Sat, 7 Oct 1995 21:24:22 +1000

> D. Read wrote:
> "The distinguishing characteristic of science is...its insistence on
> public scrutiny and verification of its claims by empirical obervations
> that must be publically replicable."

jrotholz@WSUNIX.WSU.EDU comments
> It seems to me that religion comes very close to fulfilling these
> criteria.

You have to be joking. This is a troll, isn't it?

> Most religious activities are open to public scrutiny and find
> a verification of sorts through the replication of religious experience
> among those "outsiders" who come to an experiential religious knowledge,
> thereby "verifying" the given religious belief(s) on a personal level.

What about the large number of religions where participation by outsiders
is either impossible or discouraged?

> Most religious groups actively invite nonbelievers to put their claims to
> the test.

Most mainstream Christian groups (at least in Australia) do no such
thing (and indeed I don't think most would claim their beliefs were
"testable". Those who actually make potentially testable claims about
reality (like the creationists) will generally go to any lengths to
avoid direct confrontation with people who know anything about the
subject and are capable of testing their claims.

> And somewhat like the scientific method, religious movements
> which fail to deliver a verifiable experience (of God/peace/etc) fall by
> the wayside like disproven scientific theories.

Really? Name one "experience of God" that has been "verified" in the
sense that (say) General Relativity has been verified. And what about
all those religious and quasi-religious movements claiming palpably
ridiculous things but still thriving... The success or failure of
religions has very little to do with their intellectual aspects.

Danny Yee.