1030 Flat And Stupid.

I am a native of Kansas. Kansas, geographically, has many fine points. You can see a great distance from a high point, there are rarely earthquakes… I’m sure there are other things too. When it comes to farmland you can’t beat Kansas. The farmers take very good care of their work. Especially when compared to the shitholes that exist right across the border in Colorado. When I lived in Kansas I thought it was a filthy, but Colorado really doubles down on being crap. By comparison Kansans, on average, like to keep shit tidy. Don’t get me wrong, the place I come from has litter all over, dilapidated buildings on the edge of town, slum neighborhoods that are creeping into nice ones, but nothing like I’ve seen since I’ve been in Colorado. Colorado also has a surprisingly corrupt state government by comparison. I had no idea how good I had it until I moved. Of course the problem is not the states, physically, in either case. The problem is the people. The magic boundaries of law sculpts the people who live within them as they in turn scult those laws. It amazes me how much the thinking of people changes between two points bisected with a state border.

In all honesty I don’t mind living in either place. I keeps meself to meself, so the rule of law rarely interferes with me. Likewise the aggrivation of people generally. That said, I was no fan of Kansas’s backwards views about science in the classroom. My parents made sure I had a grasp of science that exceeded the narrow confines of the classroom, and a desire to learn on my own. If you intend to get anyplace in Kansas it’s kind of important to be a self starter. The public school system is not constructed in such a way as to facillitate a lot of “book learning”. Well, actually that’s not true on one level. You can learn from the books. You’ll just learn an outdated and distorted version of things. That’s a problem caused by Texas more than Kansas actually, and that’s also another topic entirely. Also, these issues are shared all over the country and are by no means exclusive to Kansas. It’s just really prevalent there.

There was a movie made not too long ago called Easy A. The protagonist pretends to have sex with boys, for gifts, to help them improve their image, pretend to be straight, or what have you. For this she is eventually targeted and ostrisized by a religious student organization. Although the group is a cartoonish caricature of such groups it is actually not unlike groups that existed in my school many years ago. I’m not someone who feels like religion has no place in school, government, or what have you, at all. Indeed you will never be able to fully seperate the two things so long as people are allowed to freely practice their religion. Elected officials will bring their beliefs to office. So long as they understand that their system of beliefs is not the rule of law there should be no problem, but that is rarely the case. Generally you’re gonna get some bleed. Damage is done to society as a whole when belief obscures fact. Science is not a belief system. It is an effort to understand what can be learned. A good scientist is not trying to pull a fast one on people. They present all the evidence available and attempt to construct a modle of understanding that is correct according to that evidence. If that evidence is proven incorrect a scientist moves forward with ammended knowledge.

The difference between belief and science is “this is what we know” versus “this is what we think we know”. The difference, in short, is arrogance.

Since many of you were in school our understanding of many things has changed. It is very likely that your current understanding of the world in regards to science is outdated. Dinosaurs may well have been covered in feathers. They may have been wildly colorful. Many new kinds have been discovered. Some old kinds have been found to be incorrect constructions of evidence. We are very lucky that a percentage of the population doesn’t get the answer to a question and say “WE HAVE LEARNED ALL THERE IS TO LEARN!” If those people weren’t around you wouldn’t be reading these words, because there would be no internet, your phone wouldn’t fit in your pocket, and your life expectancy would so short that a comic about people in their 20s not having their shit together wouldn’t even make sense.

Now, after all of that, I’m also glad that there is an opposition to scientific understanding. It may seem insane, but I have kind of a comic book worldview and things seem to work better if there is tension between two groups. Having an adversary to prove wrong, who never gives up even when you soundly thrash them, helps keep people motivated. Optimus Prime needs a Megatron to reach his full potential. Of course it’s even better if Megatron has a Starscream constantly fucking him over so he never manages to do much real damage. I wonder who the Starscream in this analogy would be…?

67 Comments

I’ve always found that the best foil for a man who claims that his god is perfect and everyone who doesn’t believe exactly what hes say is going to hell is… another man saying the exact same thing about a different god.

I say god because that’s the topic that people get the most angry about, but you could substitute economics or politics or any of the important, life changing things that people tend to accept without question and then try to kill each other over.

So really I don’t think opposition to science is like Optimus Prime vs. Megatron and Starscream. It’s more like Optimus Prime vs ten Starscreams who are all trying to stab each other in the back at the same time. :)

when you say it like that, I would have to say that you compare the proof each side has

now I figure you probably won’t believe me, but I have seen miracles happen right before my eyes, if someone comes from a different religion and claims the same thing, I just might do something like they did in the Bible, where I offer a challenge that only a god could do, like maybe healing an obvious injury in the blink of an eye, or maybe even something like making a tree burst randomly burst into flames
and obviously, the god who answers in the desired way is the real God

now my question is this: what would you do if something like that actually happened to you?

Jesse,
I am not trying to ask this in an insulting way, but what miracles have you seen? Did you document them anywhere? Were there other eyewitnesses? Cameras? Please describe them to me as completely and accurately as possible.

Thank you.

To be honest, if I saw someone performing a miracle, I would probably assume it was a trick, but then again I probably spend too much time around people who’s favorite activity is pulling pranks on each other. Stage magic is quite convincing at first glance, but often breaks down upon inspection.

So the first things I would do is investigate. Would God heal someone repeatedly? And which religion does God really support? If God is playing along and healing one religion and not the other, then I would try to figure out what the ‘real’ religion is. Jewish? Christian? Muslim? Unitarian? I would hold a contest on live TV with as many eyewitnesses as I could fit in the stadium.

On the other hand you might mean: What if a miracle happened near you that you didn’t cause? For instance: if a little girl was about to be hit by a car, and an unseen force moved her out of the way. Obviously I am not going to throw little girls into traffic to see if it will happen again, because that would be pretty evil.

In that kind of situation I would write down what I saw as quickly and accurately as possible. This is what I saw, this is what I know, this is what I did to make sure that it was not a hoax. I do not think that my story would be taken seriously because the world is filled with liars, but I would tell the truth as I saw it.

I don’t have any documented proof, and even if I did, most people wouldn’t believe it, because you can fake that sort of stuff pretty easily. in the end, you’ll have to decide wether or not you’ll believe a guy who just said something unbelieveable.
I only remember actually seeing one miracle up close that didn’t happen to me, and that was when my class at church prayed for someone with an uneven length in her arms, and the entire class watched as her shorter arm grew to match the other one
I have personally been healed a number of times, mostly when I twisted my ankle in karate, and a quick prayer later, I was back to running and kicking with a foot that would normally have taken at least a full day to recover
I have actually seen a few miracles just from the back of my church, people get prayed over, and suddenly they can walk without the crutches they had been needing for the past few years

and to paraphrase you:
this is what I saw, this is what I know. I didn’t think my story would be taken seriously because the world is full of liars, but I told the truth as I saw it

thanks for taking me seriously

Thank you for answering. When humans have their deeply held beliefs questioned, most get angry as a psychological defense. You show a lot of maturity and I respect that.

One last question. In case I am ever in the area, what is the name of your church?

judson baptist church
it’s in burton near flint

also, when something like this comes up, I make sure that any angry replies are polite and respectful

I unfortunately learned to do that the hard way, but that’s another story for another time

I live right on the border of Missouri and Kansas pretty much. I went to a Catholic school. When my friends and I talk about their experiences at public school I am always surprised to find out what was taught to them and/or read to them, etc. My school taught evolution… Theirs did not. Which, to me, is odd, considering. My school proposed both sides and explained that what is in the bible is probably an analogy and then they went on to teach us about evolution. When I think about the separation of church and state it blows my mind that a religious school would choose to teach the scientific theory while the state would choose to teach the religious idea.

If I remember correctly one of the Popes actually said that evolution was cool. My understanding is that it’s other sects of Christianity that have a problem with it. There’s actually a lot of science stuff that various Popes have been on board with. Like BC AD versus BCE and CE. Before the Common Era was coined by a monk and used by the church for many years. In fact I’m fairly sure that there are still churches that use that designation. But it’s often argued against by people who don’t know its origins.

That’s funny. You’re right. (Had to look up stuff about it just for the hell of it.) They’ve been okay with it for a long time. Weird, though. It just strikes me as weird that public schools would teach it when a religious institution didn’t.
I remember when we switched over to BCE and CE in school. It was hard to get used to. I think it was junior high. My school was pretty poor, though. I have no idea how old our text books were.

Been in state school all my life, like 80% of people here, never learned anything aside evolution (I’m not sure it’s allowed to bypass it, even in religious schools), and we were allways talking BC – I made a few years ago an attempts to be a teacher, it won’t change for a while. I guess it’s because for us, it’s more like, “oh you know, this random thing we took to amrk thing, so why change it, it’s not like we could divide it per ten, then expose it in a museum”

Hey, whaddya know?

“I know one thing: that I know nothing” – Socrates,

“A good scientist knows only one thing for certain, and that is that he/she knows nothing for certain” – Isaac Newton and/or Asimov, untold number of scientists, profs, and teachers,

“I know NOTHING!” – Manuel, Fawlty Towers employee.

Science and Religion can sometimes swap masks, as recently some scientists were quite certain they had proof of faster-than-light particles (they forgot to double-check their data), while other scientists would have you accept and believe a theory with no proof whatsoever (String Theory).

Who ya gonna believe?

Woah there buddy. You’re displaying a bit of ignorance there. The scientists saw their data indicating faster-than-light neutrinos (the particles in question), and basically published these results while saying “We think we something might be wrong here, can anyone else check this out?” Which, of course, people immediately began saying they had found it for sure. The scientists weren’t certain at all. It got warped by how amazing the possibility was by the people reporting it.

Scientist:
“Lets look at all the facts we can observe, come up with an explanation, test the explanation, and even if the explanation passes all the tests we can come up with, we will still call it a theory.” (example given, the theory of gravity)
Religious person:
“The bible says X, so all facts, observations, etc that don’t agree with X are wrong.”
(example given, the folks who insist the Earth is only 6000 years old, I’ve actually had conversations with these folks where they explain that the grand canyon was caused by noah’s flood).
Keep in mind that even as Engineers continue to use Newtonian physics, Scientists know that Newton was wrong, and use Einsteinian physics. There was actually an argument about this between scientists and engineers about the first GPS system, the scientists included a subroutine that adjusted the clocks for relativistic effects, the engineers insisted on turning it off because it didn’t make any sense to them. The GPS signals started getting further and further off (I think it was about 6 meters/day) and finally the engineers turned on the relativistic adjustment, and the GPS system started working again.

Now that is a fascinating tale about GPS. Do you have any resources on that, cause I’d love to read more about that debate.

Fortunately I live in a country where religion doesn’t really have a foothold. Some studies indicate that only about 30% of people are religious over here. I have nothing against religious people per se, but I get the feeling that when lots of very religious people get together the most extreme ones get a good platform to spread their insanity.

Hey. I will say this, religion in it’s many faucets can be excellent. I personally believe in God, for highly complex reasons that I will not release here, and believe that the only important bits in the bible are this: that the purpose of human life is to help each other avoid suffering, and to become more like God. I believe that if religion holds steadfast to this ideal, then it cannot do wrong. It is in this spirit that it becomes hard to screw up faith, if faith is based on dogmas of helping, and self-betterment. It is only when zealotry, ignorance, and laziness work their way in that you get things like the West Borough Baptist Church, and people that think that gays are evil, and that the world is only 6000 years old. It is lunacy for generations that causes problems in churches, not churches causing lunacy.

how do you know your beliefs are right and someone else is wrong? i think that’s my main problem with religion and the religious, its all belief based with no ability to be sure. Faith is your excuse for belief, which seems so unhelpful. Look at all the brands of Christians just because a few believed differently, and now you have a new denomination.

Muslims have 2 groups who blow each other up over their own beliefs about the prophet. So how is belief even useful?

The big 3 monotheistic religions place a huge value on faith. It is as much a commodity as knowledge is in science. In order to understand a religion, you have to figure out what their needs, fears, values, and roi are. Faith is valued by the deity, which means those that have more faith are more likely to reap the reward of heaven. The opposite of faith is doubt. In order to consider someone else might be right, and you might be wrong, you have to embrace doubt, but doing so reduces your faith which gets you into heaven. A big 3 cannot entertain the notion they may be wrong, or they lose favor with their deity. If you want to understand, you have to approach from their perspective.

Now, for how belief is useful.

Do you have anyone you love? More than anything?

They are dead. Everything that ever was or ever could be about them is gone. They have collapsed into atoms, and everything that made them human is erased from this world.

The same will happen to you. Nothing can stop this. Even if Science could, it would not save you, because that would prevent the growth and evolution of the species.

That’s a hard concept to come to terms with. Especially when your bones start creaking, and the aging you swore would never happen to you sets in. With religion, you never have to fully realize there is nothing after this. Faith protects you from the unknown. Even I indulge the idea that there’s something more we just don’t know about that gives meaning to it all. One day your parents are going to die, and you’ll (hopefully) be alive to see it. If people need a God to hold their hand that day, have mercy, and let them have him.

It just makes this life all the more precious because that’s all we know we have. Offering religion as a comfort to calm your fear of death and the end it brings, may be useful for some i guess, but without evidence for its truth, it provides no comfort for me.

I will die, but i don’t fear it, most of the time anyway… hugs.

I have a simple theory, if god exists either he will judge me by the way I treat my fellow humans, and I will hope to go where Ghandi and Mark Twain went, or he will judge me by whether I picked the right book (or more accurately, whether I was born in the right place), and I will go to where Ghandi and Twain went.
If the latter, I will be far happier in hell with good people who didn’t get lucky, than in heaven with Jeffrey Dahmer and Adolf Hitler.
The old Indian story says it best. A missionary is explaining god and Jesus to an Native American, and the Indian says “Well, what about my parents and grandparents who already died, do they go to hell?” The missionary quickly reassures the Native that since they didn’t know about god, they would be judged by their actions.
“So wait a second, before you told me of your god, as long as I was good I would have gone to heaven, but now that you have told me, I will go to hell if I don’t believe you? Why would you do something so horrible as telling me about your god? Did I do something to you that makes you want me to go to hell?”

What I don’t understand about the whole religion vs evolution debate is why people think that God and evolution are opposites. Evolution being true does not mean that God does not exist, nor does God existing preclude evolution. But it seems that most people I meet that want to argue this debate seem to think one or the other.

I think this is only a problem for biblical literalists. The other side argues because they start it.

honestly it’s not a problem if you say that god shaped evolution, he could’ve easily messed with things for a couple days to accelerate the process to make it many billions of times faster
but even then, it wouldn’t make sense to do that, because he could just as easily make new creatures appear out of thin air

The ones who agree with you, and I’ve met several, have nothing to argue or debate with you about, because you both agree.

My only issue is that one side insists on calling it intelligent design. The design is not intelligent unless the designer is a sadist.
Imagine you are designing a motorcycle, would you put a car chassis in first and then lift it up on two wheels? No, that would be moronic.
If you look at animals on Earth, you will see long bones used to support weight. The spine is great for an animal that doesn’t have to support any weight on it, it gives maximum flexibility. But if you were designing a biped, you would put two long bones in the back to support the shoulders and head, and let them twist to give flexibility and strength (think radius and Ulna). Instead we have a back support designed for a quadruped.
That is just one example, you can tell we evolved because of all the things that are wrong with our design. Now if you still want to say “god did it,” that is fine, but don’t call it intelligent design, call it stupid design or sadistic design.

Hence my knees. Ugh. Maybe not the worst design (heh) ever, but damn convincing that no thought went into them.

“Elected officials will bring their beliefs to office. So long as they understand that their system of beliefs is not the rule of law there should be no problem, but that is rarely the case.”

**In the US.

Also, in defense of Colorado, we have Denver, which is like Calgary without poutine and with USFootball instead of Hockey… The rest of the state is pretty shit, sure, though I’ll give a pass to Pueblo and Trinidad for various small reasons as being “ok”, I suppose. As someone who has a fair amount of disdain for the people in the world, I get both the tiny required walking range and anonymity I want and need, respectively, for my studies without the physical crowding on the street that NYC and LA have… I’d live in Calgary, but immigration to *stay* there is a hassle. >__>

Also on the note is that if vertical farming proves itself and catches the public imagination (the first thing will happen, the second will probably happen, just not likely to be soon), Kansas is going to be either a neat place to be for money (if they start converting farmland ASAP) or it’s going to implode thanks to people digging their heels in against it (Which seems the more likely case, given the religiosity index of the state…).

On the actual topic of the comic, If this plotline takes off, it seems like I’ll be able to point out how movie creation works (in some ways), and that’d be a neat resource for me, personally… similar to how I use Weregeek to explain gaming to mundanes. But I must say your writing has been phenomenal, lately… have the last few been easier to write or harder to write than usual?

I have a ridiculous amount of college education (about 15 years in college – 4 degrees) so I’ve hung out around a lot of high end scientists and such. Contrary to the way the media portrays it, I have observed that most hundreds of scientists I have met and worked with in the USA are religious. It may come from applying much the same philosophy to religion that they do to science, i.e. here is the truth, as best as we understand it. Let’s work of of that and see if we can’t learn to understand more truth. I subscribe to the idea that truth is knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they will be. I do believe in absolute truth, but I also believe that I’m way too limited to think that I know it all. I seem to remember a pretty wise fellow who said “prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” Huh – sounds a bit like the scientific method to me. I think those who have the worst problems with trying to debate religion vs science are those who expect others to do their thinking for them instead of taking the initiative to think for themselves and then put forth the effort to live accordingly. I see a LOT of people who arrogantly claim “I’m saved cuz I believe” and then act in contradiction to their claimed belief. Sorry, I can’t hear what you saying because your actions speak so much louder…
On the flip side I see people excusing their bad behavior because “there is no God”, “all morality is relative,” and/or “religion and morals are for stupid people”. I’m pretty sure that being dishonest, immoral, unkind, selfish, lazy, or any other “wicked” behavior will never bring lasting happiness. I’m also pretty sure that being kind, patient, loving, honest, hard-working, humble, and all other “good” behavior always bears positive fruit in the long term. That “humble” part is pretty important though. It means being willing to learn and change and even change what you believe when you learn something better.

“Sorry, I can’t hear what you saying because your actions speak so much louder…”
There’s a guy on facebook that I am friends with who, every once in a while, bitches about gun control and Obama, etc and tops it off with “I’m a Christian, so…” and whenever I see it all I want to do is post something like, “All I think when you say ‘I’m a Christian, blah blah blah,’ is ‘I know you cheated on your wife.'”
Because he did.
And I do know it.

Well.
Religion vs. Science debate. I haven’t been in one for a good while, so excuse any rustiness.

The two shouldn’t actively be compared. It’s apples to oranges- one is an explanation for the world around us, and the other is SUPPOSED to be a behavior monitoring mechanism. Thus, airless arguments deflated, you may feel free to discuss the awesome comic again.

‘The difference between belief and science is “this is what we know” versus “this is what we think we know”. The difference, in short, is arrogance.’

I’m feeling the need to contest this statement. Belief isn’t about knowing. Belief is acceptance, trust, and even choice. I don’t know a great deal of things about science from first hand experience aside from the fundamental things I can perceive. I choose to trust and accept what science explains to be the truth. I believe in science. The two concepts are interrelated and inseparable. Saying that we know nothing is an exaggeration, but it is true that we can’t know everything.

What a cool place for a science vs. religion discussion. Pope John Paul II made a definitive speech re. evolution in 1996. You can look it up in the John Paul II article at Dr. Wiki’s site. I remember it making the news at the time. Really though, it was the culmination of a process that took many years… many, many years to arrive at its final conclusion. That’s the way the Roman Catholic Church works. If the church is considering a question of what its position should be, it’ll take decades, or even centuries, to make up its official mind about something. OTOH, if they just want to argue for something that’s already been decided, they can turn that around fast and get a papal letter published real fast.

in this debate, I think that I’m going to settle with both science AND religion
not because I want to have my cake and eat it too (although that’d be nice in a literal sense), but because I have never seen science conclusively disprove my christian faith
in fact, science has made my faith stronger, partly because I’ve read historical accounts of christians saying “what if this thing in the Bible were true? what would it mean for science?” and then they go on to be a big shot scientist who is respected worldwide long after they’re dead (notable off the top of my head are Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, both followed their faith, and from that, were regarded as very smart men)

I am a biblical literallist when it comes to the creation of earth, I believe it was made in six days, and on the seventh day the dude that had just created everything from nothing took a day off to just chill
my basis for this belief is that I have seen things that prove to me that God can do at least some of the things that he says he can, and has no reason to lie
if something comes up that disproves this, I will gladly change my worldview
if you come up and say “what about evolution?” I will begin by asking how evolution would have happened over millions of years, when there is actually some proof that the earth couldn’t be more than a few thousand years old, or at least, how the earth couldn’t have been able to support life until maybe up to some tens of thousands of years ago
and while you’re struggling with that, I’ll ask about why no fossils of missing links have been found

anyway, my point is: I have never seen any science that goes against Christian beliefs that has lasted very long without being dis proven by atheistic scientists who were trying to prove that the Bible is wrong, it’s kind of hilarious, actually

anyway, that’s just my two cents on the topic, I may be very biased by being raised as a christian, and homeschooled with christian books, but I’m smart enough to know when something doesn’t make sense, and science butting heads with religion really doesn’t make sense to me

My biggest beef with evolution is there is not even one real-world example of a living organism that should actually qualify as a living organism, changing and maintaining even a single property of their DNA chain, let alone such a thing occurring on any significant scale. People hell-bent on arguing without the whole picture like to point to bacteria as their so-called example, but unlike everything else in the world classified as “living”, they are a circular single protein chain, that by their very nature is unstable and parasitic. All other things classified as living have a very rigid “blueprint”, so to speak. You can mix and match the pieces to achieve different results, but the pieces have stayed the same during all of the time we’ve been able to monitor genes on a protein level. If an anomaly occurs (usually in the form of cancer), it either kills the host, or renders the host infertile. Our increased scientific knowledge of genetics should have thrown out evolution as a feasible theory a long time ago, let alone trying to pass it off as an absolute truth to the masses.

Dogs.

I would explain the process of animal domestication is a result of natural selection (which is essentially a re-arrangement of already existing traits, not the fabrication of new traits), as can be seen in modern experiments of a controlled population of foxes in Russia, but that information would probably fall on deaf ears.

There is a very interesting documentary called Science of Dogs by National Geographic that looks at the domestication process. I suggest you check it out; it may make you rethink that. Even if it doesn’t it’s a very interesting watch.

The fox experiments don’t necessarily disprove evolution, only the idea of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” as certain genes are linked to things that make no sense. Like, why do their ears get floppy and their tails curl the more domesticated they become? It doesn’t discount evolution, only that our current view of evolution may be wrong.

As humans, we like to try to make sense of things, but sometimes things don’t make sense.

It’s easier for us to think of evolution as a directed process, or even an anthropomorphized process: evolution “wants to” improve a species. Not really.

Natural selection works: if trait X helps a species survive, you see more and more of trait X. If trait X is linked with some other trait, by pure random accident, you get more of both. I don’t see a paradox here.

Also, there are plenty of examples of traits that increase survival in some ways, and thus get selected for in a population, but are harmful in other ways. People with recessive sickle-cell anemia are better able to survive malaria, but people who inherit it from both parents have horrible problems and possibly die young. Evolution doesn’t care about individuals; the process is statistical and operates on populations.

Also, we like to think of processes as having a slow continual progress; but sometimes things can progress in jumps. A sufficiently lucky accidental mutation might cause a startling difference. And most of the time that difference will kill the organism, but on rare occasions the mutation will be useful. Even if the odds are long against it, when you have enough millions of years, unlikely things will happen a lot.

(One of my favorite sayings from a class in operating systems: if the odds are a million to one against something happening in the operating system, then it happens dozens of times per second inside your computer. If a beneficial mutation only happens once every 500 years in the whole world, then still the world has seen many many such mutations over the millions of years of life.)

I haven’t seen this fox study, but I am very dubious about any study in a short bounded time frame proving anything about evolution over a span of millions of years.

Not for your sake, but for those following: the parent post seems to have conflated evolution with mutation. From their description, I would cite cancer as an example of something changing the creature from it’s initial blueprint. I think it’s been shown that some cancers are a result of dna transcription errors which allow cell division to take off unimpeded. Also, virus gene therapy allows for changing a creatures dna on the fly.

Evolution is not about a specific creature changing. It’s about that creature’s offspring being different from the parent creature. And that can be seen when you look at practically every baby on the planet. (there are some reptiles where females can undergo spontaneous pregnancy, like Mary but with a god, but they’re rare). If a particular baby goes on to have babies of its own, it was a successful evolutionary change from its parent. If it doesn’t have babies, it was a failed evolution. (what Darwin called Survival of the Fittest: fitness just described the success or not at reproducing)

‘The difference between belief and science is “this is what we know” versus “this is what we think we know”. The difference, in short, is arrogance.’
I don’t think that’s quite it. One’s religion is based on faith-the belief in something that you do not have physical evidence for. If you have physical evidence, belief is easier, but faith is no longer required. As to evolution, one of the most devout creationists agrees that species evolve. It’s species becoming completely different species that he disagrees with. And how many things that science “knows” are found to be not just wrong, but rather ridiculous shortly thereafter? To me, the most amazing thing is that science and religion would be at odds. If you believe that God created the world, shouldn’t you be excited to learn something of how He did it? Thomas Jefferson wrote,”Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

So…. am I the only one who doesn’t get the random transition from planning to “when do you go to school?”?

Seriously. Is that just me? Because i’m sooooooooooo lost right now…

At least one other person has been unable to understand, so you are not alone.

Ed is simply concerned about when Jess will have time to fuck around on this movie nonsense and go to school. Luckily she is quick enough on the draw, and knows her brother well enough, to instantly understand his new line of questioning.

Came to this page late, since I read webcomics pretty much as soon as they’re posted.

I have opinions and beliefs regarding the coexistence of science and religion, and logic and scripture with which to back them up, but I will honor Crave’s request that we “never speak of [this] again.

Thank you, uhm, for bringing it back to the comic at the end.

It’s sort of like this:

“You are promising to do a lot of work, to help with this movie. That will take a lot of time. How much time will you have left over for doing your school work? If you undertake this, will you have enough time to do your school work?” He said it very tersely: “When do you go to school?”

Her answer was long. To make it short: she is a smart person in a school that doesn’t make her work very hard. (She wrote a paper in half an hour and got “full marks”.)

Her brother now regrets that he isn’t also in that school. It does sound nice to be able to get a college degree without needing to work hard… but I wonder how valuable such a degree really would be.

I’ve posted elsewhere on this site but because what I’m about to write might come off as arrogant and I don’t want to poison what you might think of my other posts I think I’ll remain anonymous…
I’ve been tested with an IQ of about 175 so I’m supposed to be pretty smart. I’ve also been identified as ADHD so I have the attention span of cocker spaniel puppy. I can attest to the fact that some really smart people can breeze through moderately difficult academics with little effort. I once wrote an essay for a contest in about 30 minutes – and won a prize for it. It was a bit of random puffery and right wing rantings – but the judges liked it. I’ve also done my time as a college student and decided to tackle some difficult stuff that WAS a challenge and really kicked my butt because of my lazy habits and ADHD (graduated though). I’ve observed that it isn’t so much the school you attend as the work you put into your education that makes the difference. Yes – some half-baked school may not be able to give you quite as good an education as some big name schools, but the difference at the undergraduate level is not as pronounced as you might be led to believe.
As an example I offer the account of one of my classmates when I was attempting a graduate degree. This fellow got his undergraduate degree from MIT (Supposedly one of the top schools in the world). The graduate students were all required to take “qualifying examinations” – comprehensive examinations on everything they had learned in their undergraduate curriculum in the same field where they were going for a graduate degree. It turns out that this fellow had a tough time passing the exams although students from the supposedly 2nd tier schools did just fine. In talking with the fellow, I found that he was in the upper half of his class at MIT, but not the top. That degree from a big name school meant nothing when the rubber met the road. One big difference might have been that he never had a class taught by a professor until he was a senior. All his classes up to that point were taught by graduate students. Students in community colleges never encounter that. Students at most mid-level colleges don’t have to put up with much of it either. The biggest factors seem to be how much effort the students put into their coursework and how much the faculty interact with the students. Even if the rest of the students are a bunch of slackers, a good student will still learn and excel and come out with a useful education and skills to succeed. Of course smart slackers can still get good grades and come out with a degree but no real skills.
Sadly, that appears to be where Jess is headed.

The other side of the coin is science vs scientism. Science is as you described it, a continuing attempt to understand our world using a certain methodology. Scientism is the belief that science will answer all questions. In other words it is the religion of believing in science. Personally, I have found most people claiming to be atheists are actually believers in scientism.

Also, if you talk to a scientist, there are many things that science can not measure and are not subject to scientific methodology (repeatable), so those things fall outside the realm of science. Which is not to say those things are not real or do not exist, they simply are not within the realm of science.

This right here is why I’ve had a certain amount of difficulty talking with atheists. It’s also why I prefer to call myself an agnostic: I don’t know. Further, I don’t think that it’s a topic that one *can* know. Any being with sufficiently advanced technology could convince a human with our current technology that they were a god, if that human was open to proof of godhood. It wouldn’t require being the creator of this universe, or even the power to create a universe. Further, anyone who tries to test god is forgetting that scientific tests on someone who is aware of the test is likely to yield skewed results, and that is much more likely when the person being tested is more aware and more capable of things than the person giving the test.

My atheist associates hear this and wonder how it is that I can believe this and not then take ¨the next step¨ and say there is no god. Many would point out that applying Occam’s Razor would yield that answer. It feels to me like that response misses the entire point to my objection, but I have no other words I know to explain further.

For some reason this isn’t letting me reply to my original comment.
But thank you to those kind souls who took the time to enlighten my poor sleep deprived brain.
I get it now :)

Ancient Aliens… sigh.
I used to watch that show until it got too bad to even watch for laughs.
They had a whole episode about ancient Egyptians using pyramids to make gold… because somehow aliens want gold?

I really don’t like it when people argue about religion. That said, I’m going to act hypocritically anyway and try to explain my world view a little. I hope I don’t sound as arrogant to others as a few of the posters before me sounded to me.

Near as I can tell, religion and science are not opposites. A person can believe that god made the world and that the universe is the result of the big bang. They can believe that a person has an eternal soul and also that it’s impossible to bring that soul back into their body after death. In fact, there are a lot of things that aren’t exclusive, but seem like opposites at first glance. You can have a cold fire, for instance. Something can be hot and cold at the same time.

Einstein and some others of his time told us that matter cannot travel at or above the speed of light (I mention this kind of in response to a post above). And also that matter and energy can be exchanged for one another at a fixed rate (E=m(c^2)). Some people thought they may have had proof of faster than light particles? That isn’t impossible. It just means that those particles don’t fit Einstein’s definition of mass. His theory only deals with massive particles anyway. Obviously light itself can travel at speeds impossible for matter. There’s no reason to believe that there isn’t a class of particles that can or must travel above the speed of light. We haven’t found any evidence yet. There’s a lot of things we haven’t found evidence of yet. But this may simply be because we don’t know how to look for it. Someone has to design an experiment for which the result changes depending on the existence of superluminal particles in order to prove one way or the other. Near as I can tell, nobody’s done that, so we don’t know.

Back to the topic of religion. If I had to say that there was an opposite to religion, I would choose philosophy instead of science. It seems to me that while a philosopher asks “Why is This?”, a priest (or representative of religion) says “This is Why”.
I mean: Think about it a moment.
When a religious person has his existence questioned, he says “I Am, so there must be a Reason”.
When a philosopher’s existence is questioned, he replies “I have Reason, therefore I must Be”.
A religious person knows that everything is god’s plan, while a philosopher questions everything he sees.

By comparison:
A philosopher seeks to understand the unknowable,
A scientist seeks to define the unknown,
and a religious man chooses to believe in the unprovable.

Each man has his own kind of unsupported belief:
The philosopher believes that the unknowable can be understood,
the scientist believes that everything unknown can be defined
and the religious man believes the unprovable can be fact.

Each man has his own views, Each has his own beliefs and Each has his own doubts. None of them can go on functioning without his belief, because without it, his pursuit lacks purpose. None of them can allow their doubts to gain power over them, or they cease to be what they were. A man with too much self-doubt can be little except confused.

Personally, I don’t believe in a god. I see no proof and no way to gain it. I also see problems with the concept of omnipotence (immovable vs unstoppable). I also see that religions seem to have a lot of commonalities. They all seem to want everyone to be good to each other, though they disagree on what behaviors are good. These facts and my own experiences lead me to my own beliefs. I believe that people try to be good, insofar as they can figure out what good is. People who make rules think that if everyone acts the same, everyone can be equally happy. People who break rules believe that the rules aren’t allowing happiness, don’t function, and therefore aren’t important or applicable. Neither is necessarily right or wrong. While rules attempt to instill balance, they often incorporate small amounts of bias that don’t become apparent until later. They often end up restricting one group more than another, which causes an imbalance. In order to make progress, we have to change the rule to be better or make a new rule that covers some of the problems the first one created. But if we have an inordinate number of rules, we need to have some way to know which ones need changing. The ones that people break most often are probably closely related to something wrong about the rule set. Also, breaking the rules allows people a way to get by temporarily until the rules are changed to better support them. This allows the rule makers a little slack, by giving them some time to figure out problems. In the end, the whole system winds up more or less functioning and gives people that aren’t sure some idea of how to live their lives. Most everybody is mostly happy, most of the time. As long as the system keeps working.

I’ve kind of lost track of what I was trying to explain, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that and hope I explained adequately. As always, I hope y’all enjoy readin’ what I wrote and that ya understand a bit more than before.

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