Re: [humanism-174] Excellent and Informative Description of Science

From: Tim C.
Sent on: Monday, December 3, 2012 1:14 PM
I concur with Randy here.  While there are certainly individual scientists who are dogmatic about their pet ideas or theories, in the long run, the methods of science will determine how accurate and how acceptable their ideas really are.
 
I cannot think of any scientific principles or ideas that would be considered dogmatic.  Even the most cherished and the most well-confirmed theories are always subject to testing, qualification and possible revision if not downright rejection. 
 
Newton's theory of gravity, for example, has been perfectly acceptable and confirmed again and again FOR A SPECIFIC SCALE OF MASS.  When put up against a large scale of mass, Newton fell short and Einstein's General Relativity was required to pick up the slack.  So again, dogma has no firm place in science.
 
Tim Campbell
 
In a message dated 12/3/2012 9:59:41 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
Mark,

In fact many believers do dismiss scientific evidence. Please note that I said many, not all. Yes, some weave it in.But  others simply dismiss it. Name one Young Earth Creationist who has woven the scientific evidence for an old Earth into their belief system. Here is one example of a Young Earth Creationist who does exactly what I have just said: Ken Ham. Hell, here are some others: Duane Gish, Henry Morris, Kent Hovind and anyone who subscribes to the pablum issued or uttered by those at Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Science, the Discovery Institute, and the myriad other websites and organizations that peddle the tripe they call creation science, an oxymoron of the most pronounced kind.You're a jackass for even suggesting that all Christians weave evidence they don't like into their belief system. Muslims who are also believers in a young Earth likewise dismiss scientific evidence. Get your head out of your dictionary long enough to examine the bullshit you keep saying. You are so damn desperate to win this argument that you are grabbing at any idiotic comment that sounds like it supports you and using it without actually thinking it through.

I did not weave anything into the definition of dogma. Here is one definition from my computer dictionary that supports the meaning I have been using: 

a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. (my italics)

Here is another definition from the online Merriam-Websters Learning dictionary:

a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group
without being questioned or doubted (my italics)
(http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/dogma)
Here is yet another definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

a : something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet
b : a code of such tenets <pedagogical dogma>
c : a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dogma)
I bold-faced the definition that fits with what I have been saying. If this is not a component of the meaning of dogma then what the hell is it doing in any dictionary. Ask a sample of Christians what the word dogma means. Let's see if they give you the dictionary definition you gave or the one I offered. I suspect you'll get both. But I also suspect there will be more of them who use the definition I have offered. Like it or not we must deal with words as people use them. And don't come back with the retort that your definition is the only one that counts because you got it from the one true dictionary. The dictionary you are so fond of quoting is not one that is referred to by the typical person when consulting a dictionary. Incidentally, if what I have said about the meaning of dogma is not a part of the meaning of the word then why do some dictionaries, including some of the ones that most other people would use, contain the definition I have offered?

Lastly, whether I have wrongly added to the definition of dogma or not (I think I have not) is irrelevant to the central point I have repeatedly made and you have failed to address and refute. The definition you offered does not apply to nor describe science. Science is not a collection of "established opinions." It is not based on a set of "established opinions." You have offered no cogent argument that it is. All you have done is doggedly and repeatedly assert that science is based on dogma without offering evidence, examples, or even argumentation to support this claim. 

Randy

 

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