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Is atheism a religion?


Off-Topic Discussions

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Shadow Lodge

To be fair, the qu'rans were in a pile of stuff, they were just getting rid of it (probably without knowing what they were) , not to mention that burning is a traditional method of sending a qu'ran off when its become too faded to read.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

To be fair, the qu'rans were in a pile of stuff, they were just getting rid of it (probably without knowing what they were) , not to mention that burning is a traditional method of sending a qu'ran off when its become too faded to read.

Oh, I freely admit I had no intention of being fair.

Sometimes one is confronted with an assertion so daft that the only two possible responses are despair and mockery. I was being an optimist. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ciretose wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
What I'm hearing in your posts, is a lot of throwing up your hands and admitting defeat. If that isn't what you're doing, please educate me on how you think we can do better.

If that is what you hear, I don't think you are listening correctly.

Science can't compete if we are discussing marketability. Science can't beat 72 virgins (yes I know that isn't in there...but do they...)

Selling Science as "cool" is the wrong approach in the same way as selling Brussel Sprouts as "tasty" is the wrong approach. It is a lie that is easily seen through, which undermines the salesman on purchase.

Science is correct. Science is unafraid of scrutiny, and in fact welcomes it. Because it is scrutiny. You confront people with science by taking their skepticism and showing that it works.

And when you do that, you then teach them to hold everything to the same scrutiny.

You don't sell shovels by talking about how shiny they are. You sell shovels because people need to dig holes and it works.

You tell people that they are alive past 30 because of science. Not because it's cool, but because it's true. Not because of prayer or miracles, but because of experiment and study.

Everything else follows.

I like brussel sprouts as well.

Science is cool though.

The fact that we essentially run light through a prism and can see what something that is millions of light years away is made of, is amazingly cool.

The ability to take a string of 1's and 0's and actually make physical things happen in places that are hundreds, thousands, and even millions, of miles away is super cool.

The fact that a dog at 8 weeks of age can read a human face using the same exact process that a human uses is astounding. The technology used to prove it is also pretty cool.

Science is full of really cool stuff.

Listen to the way Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about how amazing science is, and you can hear the deep wonder and amazement in their voice. Its the same deep wonder and amazement you might hear in a cheerful religious believer. The difference being that Carl Sagan is a skeptic, and he has these feelings over things he knows to be true because they can be proven.

Why do you not want to teach science in a way that directs peoples wonder and amazement towards the real world?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Charlie Bell wrote:
Maybe you don't know a lot of Christians? I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms, including 1st Amendment religious freedoms. You probably see what you want to see.
bugleyman wrote:

It almost seems like you're implying that every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom. Even those guys who urinated on the corpses of their (Muslim) enemies (which I assure you, I did not "want to see.") Or maybe the folks who burned those Qurans? I bet that was a tolerance BBQ.

But I must be misunderstanding you.

There's quite a leap from CB saying "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms" to your illogical inference that he implied 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

CB: "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms".

--in no way logically equals or implies--

BM: 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

I know of no evidence suggesting the Marines committed their crimes out of any religious observance or because of religion; and I know of no report that indicated the religious background of those Marines.

All reports indicate the Qur'ans that were burned were through administrative negligence and nothing more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Irontruth wrote:
Why do you not want to teach science in a way that directs peoples wonder and amazement towards the real world?

Clearly you had some s@$+ty science teachers.

I mean, that's how my science teachers were. Full of awe for the universe and healthy enthusiasm.

I think the difference is not how it's taught in THAT way you're talking about. Religion IS a social construct and as such is a method of binding communities together. Science WILL never be that. Thus it WILL never have that same emotional pull in its adherents.

It's not hopeless, but the key is not in aping religion and their modes of communication, I think science speaks well on its own. It's a matter of disassembling the religious infrastructure so we ARE on a level playing field.


meatrace wrote:


It's not hopeless, but the key is not in aping religion and their modes of communication, I think science speaks well on its own. It's a matter of disassembling the religious infrastructure so we ARE on a level playing field.

Can you point to a method of actually arriving at this conclusion, that doesn't involve studying religion?

If science is the best way we have to study and learn about the world around us. Why are you opposed to pointing it towards how humans interact with religion?

I'm not talking about studies on intercessory prayer. I'm talking about psychology, sociology, neuroscience and linguistics.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Why do you not want to teach science in a way that directs peoples wonder and amazement towards the real world?

Clearly you had some s!$!ty science teachers.

I mean, that's how my science teachers were. Full of awe for the universe and healthy enthusiasm.

None of mine were like that. Strictly speaking, a few weren't even science teachers. One was certified in art and had a sort of general idea of what science was about. Another was hired on decades before as a drafting teacher and pretty much taught a drafting class that happened to be about science.

The second guy was especially bad as I'd taken drafting classes and knew his standard lesson from there. The main progression through the year was going from drawing what we saw on s&#+ty bullseyed slides (The good ones were used up in the first row...and he never started passing out from the back to even things out. WTF?) and labeling it like it was a drafting assignment to doing dissections and labeling them like they were a drafting assignment. Oh yeah, and we were supposed to wait for him to come around and sign off on us seeing what we saw in the microscopes, which predictably took about six hours on a one-day pseudo-lab.

Man I hated that guy.


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Irontruth wrote:


If science is the best way we have to study and learn about the world around us. Why are you opposed to pointing it towards how humans interact with religion?

...because as soon as science changes its didactic method to be a)emotionally resonant and b)dogmatic, it ceases to be science at all.

The way humans "interact" with religion is intensely personal, but at the same time communal. Religion has grown out of the community of tribes, then whole ethnicities, and now it's entwined with nationalism because of these very things.

There are ways of experiencing science that are deeply personal, Tyson speaks of how revelatory being made of stardust is to him. You might say spiritual. It informs his place in the universe. There are ways in which it might feel very communal, a researcher's conference for example or a research team that made a big discovery. Because of its communal nature, that important papers are written by 2, 4, 50, or hundreds of people, it doesn't lend itself to charismatic leadership. This seems to be what you take issue with. There need to be more Neil DeGrasse Tysons, this we can agree on!

The point is that science's didactic method is "show, don't tell" because it CAN be shown. That's its strength. But we don't want to teach people that it's true BECAUSE of any emotionally resonant experiences an individual might experience. By all means, encourage children to look up at the stars or whatever floats their boat and gets them interested in science. They should never think it's out of their reach, however, or that findings aren't to be questioned.

What specific ways in which religion is taught would you like to see mimicked by science teachers? Maybe a chant to memorize the periodic table? I just think that what you're saying isn't specific enough for us to know where you're coming from.


Samnell wrote:
Man I hated that guy.

That sucks.

My first actual "science" teacher that wasn't just a general teacher who was assigned a science class was Dr. Horstmeier in 9th grade accelerated biology. He gave up a career as a surgeon to teach high school biology. He wasn't the most charismatic guy in the world, but he was incredibly smart.

I almost failed his class. I still don't have any interest in biology.
Probably has to do with both my parents being biologists...

Andoran

@Irontruth

Strawman is once again made of straw.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to make teaching science interesting, I'm saying the advantage science has isn't it's "coolness" but it's correctness.

You can't compete with the promise of a super happy afterlife if you don't first teach someone to question if it's legit.

Much like the windowless van with "Free Candy" on the side, it's too good to be true, but if you believe it to be true, the offer of "free brussel sprouts" can't compete.

However in the end, brussel sprouts are better for you than the "Free Candy" van. And if you teach people to think...

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.

@Irontruth

To make my point more clearly, when James Cameron made avatar, he gave the Navi breasts. He was asked in an interview why he did this, considering the species would likely not have breasts.

He said because people like boobs.

This is where science and science fiction part.

Half of the "cool" science articles that come out actually do a very poor job of giving science information, and are misleading. It leads to people having unrealistic expectations based in fantasy.

Science isn't Santa Claus, it's the actual grown up in the room who gives you the gift.

Science will never, ever, be able to be as cool as Santa Claus.

Fortunately Santa Claus isn't real.

Science shouldn't strive to be as cool as Santa Claus.

Science should be the rational grown up who actually gets you the gifts.

If science tries to compete with Michael Bay, it stops being science. I think the problem with science education isn't the "cool" factor or the "Shiny" factor.

When you say that it should compete, you imply they are equals. When you tell science to dress itself up for the camera, with that comes exaggeration and misinformation, which is the exact opposite of what good science is.

My best teachers were not always my most fun teachers. My best teachers were the ones who taught me to think.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

When you say that it should compete, you imply they are equals. When you tell science to dress itself up for the camera, with that comes exaggeration and misinformation, which is the exact opposite of what good science is.

A great example is Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

A couple good examples of solid science education dressed up for the popular audience:

Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos,

and

Brian Cox's Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe.


Andrew Turner wrote:
Charlie Bell wrote:
Maybe you don't know a lot of Christians? I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms, including 1st Amendment religious freedoms. You probably see what you want to see.
bugleyman wrote:

It almost seems like you're implying that every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom. Even those guys who urinated on the corpses of their (Muslim) enemies (which I assure you, I did not "want to see.") Or maybe the folks who burned those Qurans? I bet that was a tolerance BBQ.

But I must be misunderstanding you.

There's quite a leap from CB saying "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms" to your illogical inference that he implied 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

CB: "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms".

--in no way logically equals or implies--

BM: 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

I know of no evidence suggesting the Marines committed their crimes out of any religious observance or because of religion; and I know of no report that indicated the religious background of those Marines.

All reports indicate the Qur'ans that were burned were through administrative negligence and nothing more.

The Qu'rans were burned because they were being used to send classified information - and it was the right thing to do from a security standpoint.


Andrew Turner wrote:

A couple good examples of solid science education dressed up for the popular audience:

Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos,

and

Brian Cox's Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe.

Let's not forget Cosmos!


Andrew Turner wrote:

There's quite a leap from CB saying "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms" to your illogical inference that he implied 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

CB: "I personally know plenty of Christians in the Army who risk their lives for our freedoms".

--in no way logically equals or implies--

BM: 'every Christian in the military is there to champion religious freedom'.

I know of no evidence suggesting the Marines committed their crimes out of any religious observance or because of religion; and I know of no report that indicated the religious background of those Marines.

All reports indicate the Qur'ans that were burned were through administrative negligence and nothing more.

First, thank you for knowing the difference between "infer" and "imply." Seriously.

Second, I agree the statements aren't logically equivalent. That is, in fact, the whole point: Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.


ciretose wrote:

@Irontruth

To make my point more clearly, when James Cameron made avatar, he gave the Navi breasts. He was asked in an interview why he did this, considering the species would likely not have breasts.

He said because people like boobs.

This is where science and science fiction part.

Half of the "cool" science articles that come out actually do a very poor job of giving science information, and are misleading. It leads to people having unrealistic expectations based in fantasy.

Science isn't Santa Claus, it's the actual grown up in the room who gives you the gift.

Science will never, ever, be able to be as cool as Santa Claus.

Fortunately Santa Claus isn't real.

Science shouldn't strive to be as cool as Santa Claus.

Science should be the rational grown up who actually gets you the gifts.

If science tries to compete with Michael Bay, it stops being science. I think the problem with science education isn't the "cool" factor or the "Shiny" factor.

When you say that it should compete, you imply they are equals. When you tell science to dress itself up for the camera, with that comes exaggeration and misinformation, which is the exact opposite of what good science is.

My best teachers were not always my most fun teachers. My best teachers were the ones who taught me to think.

By the time I'd realized that (spoiler alert) Santa Claus is a Lie I was watching Carl Sagan explain stuff to me on Cosmos. A fantasy world view and a scientific world view were never in competition, and if they had been it wouldn't have broken my brain.

I went to a Montessori school through sixth grade. We never had biology class, but my teacher would go to a local butcher, buy animal organs and bring them into class to be discussed. This is only the most basic introduction to science, but let me tell you, when you're six or seven years old and someone shows up with an actual brain you can deal with as a physical object, that's cool.

I find, and found at the time, thinking fun.


ciretose wrote:

@Irontruth

Strawman is once again made of straw.

It's not a strawman when I'm asking you questions to clarify your position.

You are now making a claim. Reality is less interesting than fiction. That false promises will always win over reality.

How are you arriving at this conclusion? I'm asking this, because if you're approaching the topic scientifically, you're supposed to have evidence.

George Lakoff has done a lot of work that points to how the brain actually thinks in metaphors. The idea among linguists is that how we talk directly reflects how we think. There is evidence that without speech, our brain isn't much better than a rats.(1)

Joseph Campbell wrote the book on comparative religion. By that I mean he published the first academic work on the subject in 1949. He has shown significant similarities between religions, including pre-Columbus religions in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North/South America, etc. He has demonstrated how themes are universal amongst humans.(2)

Science is relevant to every day life, but it is so ubiquitous that people forget about it. Connections (Episode 1) The Trigger Effect gives a great example of this, the 1977 New York blackout.

Quote:

Slartibartfast: Science has achieved some wonderful things, I know, but I'd far rather be happy than right any day.

Arthur Dent: And are you?
Slartibartfast: No. That's where it all falls down, of course.
Arthur Dent: Pity, it sounded like rather a good lifestyle otherwise.

Understanding how we communicate will not only teach us to communicate better, it will also teach us more about the brain.

(1) Radio Lab - Words
(2) Hero with a Thousand Faces
(3) The Trigger Effect

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Irontruth wrote:

Science is relevant to every day life, but it is so ubiquitous that people forget about it. Connections (Episode 1) The Trigger Effect gives a great example of this, the 1977 New York blackout.

....

(3) The Trigger Effect

I love Connections! Such a great show.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

bugleyman wrote:
Second, I agree the statements aren't logically equivalent. That is, in fact, the whole point: Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

Nonetheless, specific examples are handy to discredit blatantly false generalizations like "An athiest will fight for you to worship as you want. A christian will only fight to worship HIS way or not at all."

Nor was I implying that every Christian in the military is there specifically to protect religious freedom. No matter their internal motives, every person in the military swears to support and defend the Constitution, and gives several years of his or her life to do so, which involves a certain level of commitment to freedom in general, including religious freedom. Basically what Andrew Turner said.

Andoran

Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:

@Irontruth

Strawman is once again made of straw.

It's not a strawman when I'm asking you questions to clarify your position.

You are now making a claim. Reality is less interesting than fiction. That false promises will always win over reality.

How are you arriving at this conclusion?

Well the 10 highest grossing films of all time are either completely fictional or (Avatar, Dark Knight, Star Wars, Shrek 2, E.T., Phantom Menace, Pirates of the Caribbean:Dead Man's Chest, Toy Story 3, and Spider Man) fictional accounts of real events (Titanic)

I only skimmed, but I didn't see any at all in the top 500 list.

Nielson only goes back to 1998 on books, but of the top 100 bestselling books since 1998 the closest to non-fiction in the top 20 was Jeremy Clarkson's "The World According to Clarkson". The first real non-fiction was #36, the Adkins Diet.

Your strawman is saying that I am saying it isn't interested or isn't relevant. This is the argument you are creating and then "defeating", much like a man building and then setting fire to a strawman.

What I am saying is that a promise of a magical fantasy afterlife, or an exaggeration of what can and cannot be done with science will attract more people than actual, factual science.

Because people want to believe.

Science shouldn't try to entertain at the expense of informing. Science is right, and that is why it will win in the end. But when people manipulate science to make it "cooler" it generally becomes false, and defeats the whole advantage of being right.


ciretose wrote:
Science shouldn't try to entertain at the expense of informing. Science is right, and that is why it will win in the end. But when people manipulate science to make it "cooler" it generally becomes false, and defeats the whole advantage of being right.

This is a false dichotomy. Science can be cool and right at the same time.

If you're going to propose a counter-claim:

ciretose wrote:
What I am saying is that a promise of a magical fantasy afterlife, or an exaggeration of what can and cannot be done with science will attract more people than actual, factual science.

Do you have something academic, scientific, etc that you can point to? Instead of anecdotal internet searches. That doesn't tell us why those are more popular than other things. Does viewing/reading those things make you less apt to understand science? Show your work if you're going to make a claim. I've been showing some.

Here's more information backing up my argument. How you talk about an issue is important to how that issue is perceived: article here

Andoran

Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Science shouldn't try to entertain at the expense of informing. Science is right, and that is why it will win in the end. But when people manipulate science to make it "cooler" it generally becomes false, and defeats the whole advantage of being right.

This is a false dichotomy. Science can be cool and right at the same time.

If you're going to propose a counter-claim:

ciretose wrote:
What I am saying is that a promise of a magical fantasy afterlife, or an exaggeration of what can and cannot be done with science will attract more people than actual, factual science.

Do you have something academic, scientific, etc that you can point to? Instead of anecdotal internet searches.

Here's more information backing up my argument. How you talk about an issue is important to how that issue is perceived: article here

I showed that the top 500 movies and nearly all of the top 100 books are fiction, and you have an anecdotal article from Berkeley about conservative language?

Really?

The magical narrative is a better story, because it isn't limited by facts or reason.

The counter to that is to show it is a false narrative, not to make your narrative false so it can keep up.


ciretose wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Science shouldn't try to entertain at the expense of informing. Science is right, and that is why it will win in the end. But when people manipulate science to make it "cooler" it generally becomes false, and defeats the whole advantage of being right.

This is a false dichotomy. Science can be cool and right at the same time.

If you're going to propose a counter-claim:

ciretose wrote:
What I am saying is that a promise of a magical fantasy afterlife, or an exaggeration of what can and cannot be done with science will attract more people than actual, factual science.

Do you have something academic, scientific, etc that you can point to? Instead of anecdotal internet searches.

Here's more information backing up my argument. How you talk about an issue is important to how that issue is perceived: article here

I showed that the top 500 movies and nearly all of the top 100 books are fiction, and you have an anecdotal article from Berkeley about conservative language?

Really?

The magical narrative is a better story, because it isn't limited by facts or reason.

The counter to that is to show it is a false narrative, not to make your narrative false so it can keep up.

I don't disagree with your second statement. I'm asking you to prove the first.

This episode of Nova shows that humans are more likely to take an option that is available now, over a better benefit in the future. This is scientific evidence that people are more likely to take an option that provides benefit now instead of a bigger benefit in an unknown future.

Your internet search is a hypothesis. Now use science to prove it.

Andoran

Irontruth wrote:

I don't disagree with your second statement. I'm asking you to prove the first.

This episode of Nova shows that humans are more likely to take an option that is available now, over a better benefit in the future. This is scientific evidence that people are more likely to take an option that provides benefit now instead of a bigger benefit in an unknown future.

Your internet search is a hypothesis. Now use science to prove it.

Every film ever made and over a decade of books isn't evidence to you?

The ratings of Nova also kind of speak to my argument. Great show, great topics. Neilsen ratings not so much...

You don't win by becoming something you are not. You win by being right and teaching people to think critically.

Critical thinking isn't cool, specifically because defining things as "cool" and "uncool" is counter to critical thinking.


Charlie Bell wrote:

Nonetheless, specific examples are handy to discredit blatantly false generalizations like "An athiest will fight for you to worship as you want. A christian will only fight to worship HIS way or not at all."

Good point. I just wrote that off as trolling, but I guess that's becuase of my POV.

Osirion

Charlie Bell wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Second, I agree the statements aren't logically equivalent. That is, in fact, the whole point: Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

Nonetheless, specific examples are handy to discredit blatantly false generalizations like "An athiest will fight for you to worship as you want. A christian will only fight to worship HIS way or not at all."

Nor was I implying that every Christian in the military is there specifically to protect religious freedom. No matter their internal motives, every person in the military swears to support and defend the Constitution, and gives several years of his or her life to do so, which involves a certain level of commitment to freedom in general, including religious freedom. Basically what Andrew Turner said.

Thing is, what I said is still true. I have yet to meet an atheist that wants to outlaw religion. I have had the misfortune to meet far too many christians that want to outlaw any religion that is not THEIR version of christianity. I guess you guys couldn't be bothered to read my posts after that.

I've lived on both coasts and just about everywhere in between, and it's the same no matter where I've lived. I left christianity for a reason.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sanakht Inaros wrote:


Thing is, what I said is still true. I have yet to meet an atheist that wants to outlaw religion.

I don't know, my policy preferences on state secularism probably sound like I'm outlawing religion to the crazier types.

"You mean we can't proselytize on the government dime? Or use government facilities and functions as a proselytism tool? If we have special diet restrictions it should be on us to follow them? You're outlawing our religion!"

Osirion

Samnell wrote:
Sanakht Inaros wrote:


Thing is, what I said is still true. I have yet to meet an atheist that wants to outlaw religion.

I don't know, my policy preferences on state secularism probably sound like I'm outlawing religion to the crazier types.

"You mean we can't proselytize on the government dime? Or use government facilities and functions as a proselytism tool? If we have special diet restrictions it should be on us to follow them? You're outlawing our religion!"

I don't mind if they talk religion on breaks or at lunch, but when it comes to work it's time to work. I've had the argument far more often than I really care to.


Sanakht Inaros wrote:
Samnell wrote:
Sanakht Inaros wrote:


Thing is, what I said is still true. I have yet to meet an atheist that wants to outlaw religion.

I don't know, my policy preferences on state secularism probably sound like I'm outlawing religion to the crazier types.

"You mean we can't proselytize on the government dime? Or use government facilities and functions as a proselytism tool? If we have special diet restrictions it should be on us to follow them? You're outlawing our religion!"

I don't mind if they talk religion on breaks or at lunch, but when it comes to work it's time to work. I've had the argument far more often than I really care to.

Sort of relevant here and to Samnell's previous post. I heard something recently, I know it's just hearsay, but in my everyday life. Someone wants there to be allowed "prayer breaks" on top of normal breaks throughout the day, and a prayer room instituted. A Muslim fella.

All I gotta say is, if you get that I get a padded masturbation cell with employer furnished pornography and periodic wank breaks.


@ Meatrace: no one checked over your shoulder during your lunch break though, right?


Let me see if I'm getting this correct.

Your hypothesis is that because the 10 highest grossing movies of all time are all fictional (or fictional accounts), that people will always believe fiction is real, instead of factual accounts.


Hitdice wrote:
@ Meatrace: no one checked over your shoulder during your lunch break though, right?

I have no clue what this is in reference to...

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Irontruth wrote:

Let me see if I'm getting this correct.

Your hypothesis is that because the 10 highest grossing movies of all time are all fictional (or fictional accounts), that people will always believe fiction is real, instead of factual accounts.

My argument is that the top 500 highest grossing movies of all time are all fictional (and so are the vast majority the best selling books of all time) because fiction is more entertaining than fact.

Factual accounts aren't going to be more interesting than fictional accounts to most people, specifically because facts can't be adjusted to fit a narrative that would improve the entertainment value of the story.

Unfortunately, many who are trying to make science "interesting" write misleading articles or science fiction that creates a false image of the world.

What we should be doing in science education is encouraging critical thinking skills, not just showing off cool special effects in corner cases. Sure, that stuff can be fun. But without the underlying teaching of thinking independently and testing hypotheses, it's just a light show of mental candy.


ciretose wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Let me see if I'm getting this correct.

Your hypothesis is that because the 10 highest grossing movies of all time are all fictional (or fictional accounts), that people will always believe fiction is real, instead of factual accounts.

My argument is that the top 500 highest grossing movies of all time are all fictional (and so are the vast majority the best selling books of all time) because fiction is more entertaining than fact.

Isn't the point of most movies, to be entertaining?

ciretose wrote:
Factual accounts aren't going to be more interesting than fictional accounts to most people, specifically because facts can't be adjusted to fit a narrative that would improve the entertainment value of the story.

Are you arguing that people can't tell that movies aren't real? That they can't distinguish onscreen fiction from real world fact?

ciretose wrote:

Unfortunately, many who are trying to make science "interesting" write misleading articles or science fiction that creates a false image of the world.

What we should be doing in science education is encouraging critical thinking skills, not just showing off cool special effects in corner cases. Sure, that stuff can be fun. But without the underlying teaching of thinking independently and testing hypotheses, it's just a light show of mental candy.

I never said that science had to be more interesting than these other things. I said that the way we teach science could be better. I've even presented some evidence that has some decent scientific backing, including the works of several prominent people in their field. Elements of their theories are starting to play out in experiments from a wide variety of disciplines, from linguistics, to psychology to neurology.

You, and several others, keep building a strawman, that I don't want science to teach the truth. But I haven't said that yet.

I've pointed out that another idea (religion) has had more success spreading itself (over 85% of the current world population). The only counter you guys have given is that "people are more likely to believe lies". You don't even seem to want to accept that there might be something to study. For example, even if you're right, wouldn't it be useful to figure out why people are more likely to believe lies?

Do you believe that it is impossible to teach science in a more compelling way? If so, please present some scientific evidence of this.

Andoran

Irontruth wrote:


Are you arguing that people can't tell that movies aren't real? That they can't distinguish onscreen fiction from real world fact?

I am saying that no matter how well made, a true and factual account of what happened on the Titanic is not going to get a larger audience that Leo and Kate standing arms outstretched.

The focus shouldn't be on showing that science can be "cool" or "interesting", it should be focused on teaching people to think critically about everything.

Science can't make promises that are better than what can be offered by a fictional world view. Attempting to compete in that arena is pointless and counter productive.

What teachers can do is to teach kids that movies aren't real, and to question things. To test things to see if they are true. To research for themselves.

Can this be entertaining? Yes. Mythbusters is great, and I think the best show for teaching science (as flawed as it is) as they follow the process of questioning and then testing things. Do they blow stuff up so people will watch? Yes. It is part of the process of teaching people to test? Generally yes.

And it still pales in the ratings to mainstream TV shows.

I loved Mr. Wizard growing up. But I learned very litter about science from him, because what he was doing was showing off "cool" stuff that happened when you mixed stuff together and calling it "Science".

Did it bring more people into studying chemistry and physics? Sure. But it didn't teach the most important lesson of science very well. Question everything.

Above I noticed a side conversation about the Q'uran burning, and I noted that the skeptics of this thread had all read accounts of the specific details of the event, because they questioned the narrative.

We shouldn't try to emulate an approach to education that creates fictional narratives, or tries to lure people in with "cool" stuff we can show that science can do. A baking soda volcano can't compete with eternal life in heaven.

However if you teach people to test and question, if you take the approach of challenging fiction rather than trying to emulate it, you create skeptics who will do the work for you.

Osirion

Irontruth wrote:


Are you arguing that people can't tell that movies aren't real? That they can't distinguish onscreen fiction from real world fact?

Sadly, there are a lot of people who are losing that ability. I had a teacher that believes that D&D taught you how to cast spells and that Stephen King teaches you how to use Satan for power. He also talked about the movie Monsters & Mazes showed that as fact. He also believed that some of the books he was giving us were actually fact NOT fiction (it was a fiction series about the mormon move to the West). I've met a lot of younger people who didn't realize that the Titanic was a real event. Let's also not forget the belief in Conspiracy theories.


"Conspiracy theories"? Which one, specifically? Certainly, there are good numbers of stupid examples, such as the four meter tall lizard aliens replacing our politicians, or Nibiru, but does that mean that no conspiracy theory is ever true? Would you sign a document saying that you hereby state your unquestioning belief that the government would never, under any circumstances, lie to you?

Furthermore, most conspiracy theories are the result of QUESTIONING EVERYTHING.

I don't get what you are trying to say in your post, Sanakht.


ciretose wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


Are you arguing that people can't tell that movies aren't real? That they can't distinguish onscreen fiction from real world fact?

I am saying that no matter how well made, a true and factual account of what happened on the Titanic is not going to get a larger audience that Leo and Kate standing arms outstretched.

The focus shouldn't be on showing that science can be "cool" or "interesting", it should be focused on teaching people to think critically about everything.

Science can't make promises that are better than what can be offered by a fictional world view. Attempting to compete in that arena is pointless and counter productive.

What teachers can do is to teach kids that movies aren't real, and to question things. To test things to see if they are true. To research for themselves.

Can this be entertaining? Yes. Mythbusters is great, and I think the best show for teaching science (as flawed as it is) as they follow the process of questioning and then testing things. Do they blow stuff up so people will watch? Yes. It is part of the process of teaching people to test? Generally yes.

And it still pales in the ratings to mainstream TV shows.

I loved Mr. Wizard growing up. But I learned very litter about science from him, because what he was doing was showing off "cool" stuff that happened when you mixed stuff together and calling it "Science".

Did it bring more people into studying chemistry and physics? Sure. But it didn't teach the most important lesson of science very well. Question everything.

Above I noticed a side conversation about the Q'uran burning, and I noted that the skeptics of this thread had all read accounts of the specific details of the event, because they questioned the narrative.

We shouldn't try to emulate an approach to education that creates fictional narratives, or tries to lure people in with "cool" stuff we can show that science can do. A baking soda volcano can't compete with eternal life in heaven.

However if you...

I am utterly convinced that you aren't actually reading and considering what I am saying. You just keep repeating yourself, without actually presenting evidence. You did two internet searches, one on the list of books and one on the list movies. Great. Do you know of anything actually resembling science that points towards your claims?

I'm presented the scholarly work of:

Joseph Campbell
George Lakoff
Charles Fernyhough
Elizabeth Spelke
Elaine Ecklund
NOVA
James Burke
Carol Bly

You've responded with two google searches. This isn't a plea to authority. This is showing the disparity between how I've made my argument and how you've made yours. I've brought a lot of different information and tried to piece it together. I don't have all the answers and I admit I might be wrong.

Your evidence of movie popularity is a fallacy of causation. You haven't actually presented evidence that links the phenomena, merely put the two next to each other insisted there is a link.

I believe science is losing ground in American culture. Facts can't speak for themselves, people have to do it for them.

Osirion

Sissyl wrote:

"Conspiracy theories"? Which one, specifically? Certainly, there are good numbers of stupid examples, such as the four meter tall lizard aliens replacing our politicians, or Nibiru, but does that mean that no conspiracy theory is ever true? Would you sign a document saying that you hereby state your unquestioning belief that the government would never, under any circumstances, lie to you?

Furthermore, most conspiracy theories are the result of QUESTIONING EVERYTHING.

I don't get what you are trying to say in your post, Sanakht.

Take your pick. What I was saying is that people choose to believe lies over the truth. Fiction over fact. There are people who actually believe that Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code is based on real people and events.


A group of people who want to increase collaboration between scientists and artists to make for better science fiction.

Paizo Employee Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a post and a reply to it. Offensive + not relevant to the topic = not OK. Please read our messageboard rules.


A scientific journal about improving communication between scientists and the public. Evidently, they think it's a serious enough issue to publish a quarterly journal on the topic.

Andoran

You actually are arguing for authority, but that is a whole other derail.

It is completely counter to the long term goals of science to use the same techniques that religion uses to, for lack of a better word, brainwash people into blindly believing in science.

You said 85% of people believe in religion. I say at least that many believe in science to at least some degree, despite what you feel is bad marketing.

Why? Because it works.

I don’t want to get people to blindly believe in scientists as they do religious figures. I want people to be taught to think scientifically.

Your position advocates learning how to indoctrinate from the people who are the masters of indoctrination.

I find a church of the scientists just as bad as any other church.

We don’t need to “sell” science. We need to train people to be scientists in everything they do by testing all of their assumptions.

Even if Neil Tyson Degrasse or Stephen Hawkins said it.

This is where we diverge.


ciretose wrote:
You actually are arguing for authority, but that is a whole other derail.

No, and I'm trying to make this clear. I listed those names, not because I'm trying to say "they're smarter". I'm listing them to point out that I have linked to evidence.

You have not.

You didn't even provide a link to your list of movies and books. Let alone evidence that says how your list correlates as proof.

Do you see the difference?

You are making claims and providing no actual backing, except for your own statements and opinions. Bring in some outside support for your stance. Document your findings. You know... science. You keep rephrasing the same statement over and over.

Remember, I am NOT advocating brainwashing. I am NOT advocating idolatry of science. So stop repeating the strawman that I am.

I am advocating effective communication with non-scientists.


More information on scientists trying to communicate batter

Quote:
Communicators can use all the same methods of entertainment and persuasion as in other professions, including humor, story telling, and metaphors. Scientists are sometimes even trained in some of the techniques used by actors.

A podcast from a PhD marine biologist about better communication

Radiolab episode about the importance of talking about science

Andoran

Are you refuting that the top 500 movies are fiction and the vast majority of bestselling books are as well?

You are arguing we should learn how religion indoctrinates people and use those techniques to further science education. I am arguing indoctrination techniques are anathema to science education.

We need to inoculate people from group think by teaching them critical thinking skills, not indoctrinate them into some "science" religion that is equally as damaging.

You say you are advocating communication with non-scientists, I am advocating teaching everyone to think scientifically and therefore make everyone a scientist.

I question both the Pope and Stephen Hawkins when I'm researching a topic, which is what science is all about.


ciretose wrote:


You are arguing we should learn how religion indoctrinates people and use those techniques to further science education. I am arguing indoctrination techniques are anathema to science education.

Please quote me where I said we should indoctrinate.

We're both saying "teach them".

You're pointing out why they aren't listening.

I'm pointing out ways to try and get them to listen.

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