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February 3, 2011

Atheism — the religion of science (III)

Filed under: The World in Fei's Eyes — Fei @ 11:46 pm

As I mentioned above, the scientific method has its limitations. It does not (and can not) reveal the secrets of the entire universe. It is only a subset (or a small subset) of all secrets that all human agree on. Science evolves over time, the theory seemly perfect now may be overthrown by a better, more seamless theory in the future. The question is, are we willing to believe in something that seems weird right now because the current science does not support it?

For example, in the middle ages, all scientific theories drew the conclusion that the earth was the center of the universe. Sun, moon, mars, and stars all circled around the earth. It was the science back then. Do you think a person at that time unscientific and believed wrong because he believed otherwise: the earth was not the center of universe? If we look back from now, we may probably say no. Because we well know that earth is not the center2. The science at that time was wrong and that person assumed correct. If, one day, God will fit in the scientific models, will the people at that time consider all the people now believing in God unscientific and believed wrong? It is a tough question… at least for people now…

I don’t know whether God will fit in the scientific models eventually. But even if it will not, can people still claim them believe wrong? After all, science only reveal a small portion of the secretes. God may well influence the world. But maybe the interaction time is too short; maybe the target is human, the observer; maybe the interaction pattern is too irregular, scientific method cannot derive useful results. It is in a gray area, and thus need belief.

To me, the scientific world is all inside a nutshell. The shell itself is composed of numerous assumptions. Science does not say anything outside the shell. But because of the Occam’s razor, the easiest assumption is that it is outside the range of science and has no effect on our world (inside the nutshell). But is it true? Nobody knows.

It still goes back to belief. After all, atheism is a religion. It is a religion of science — the current science.

2Based on current cosmology, an interpretation is that earth is not  the center of the universe. However, it is still the center of our universe: the universe that influence us (and the universe we care about). It does not mean science goes back to mid ages, but to mean yet another improvement in science.

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