I would content that Dr. Richard Dawkins knows what scientific method is. He has stated clearly that the claim for the existence of god is a claim which can be examined by scientific method as it is a claim about the real world. Dawkins in "The GOD Delusion" titles one of the chapters "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". Notice the language, "almost certainly". My argument is that the improbability of the existence of God is so high as to be practically absolute.
New born babies don't like science, but one day they might grow to like it. And not just little babies, there are lots of people out there, Christians, Red-necks who today may not like science but may one grow an interest in science, but retarded comments like the above don't help science at all.
If I express my opinion of Dawkins here at Atheist Nexus, I am afraid I might be banned, so I'll do what Dawkins should have done and that is shut-up.
I would say to be 100% certain is to be dogmatic and not "scientific" or even rational.
Not Scientific: Yes.
I would like to point out though, any comment about Gods existence or non-existence falls outside Scientific Method.
My Old Testament professor in Seminary used to tell a story. The Bible mentions the Hittites. It was the contention at one time by most if not all scholarly archeologist that the Bible was in error. Why? Because up to that point no archeological evidence had sufficed to show or prove that the Hittites actually existed. So they would categorically claim that the Bible was historically wrong and there were not, nor had there ever been, nor would there ever be any Hittites.
Well, if you know anything about ancient civilizations you know that one day and archeologist stuck his spade into a tell and it almost erupted with tablets in a heretofore unknown language that was not in the Semitic family. He had found the Hittites. Now you can go to university and get a doctoral degree in Hittitology.
Just because there is not yet extent evidence does not mean there never will be. Perhaps God is waiting for just this moment for you to state just this opinion to come down and announce himself to the world. You don't know, you never can unless you want to be dogmatic like those archeologists. Absence of evidence for a claim is not absolute proof that the claim is false, only that there is no evidence or that the evidence is insufficient.
Nice link about the Hittites discovery.
The bible exists. And the words in the bible exist. Anatolia exists. The tablets with cuneiform exist. Up until these things existed Scientific method could not be applied to them. As soon as each of these things were discovered, scientific method could be used to expand knowledge around each of them.
In regards to God and Scientific Method: Scientific Method can never be used on God until God appears and lets us do some experiments on him. But this doesn't mean we can't talk about God and use reason and logic in those talks, we can.
But by definition of Scientific Method, we can not use Science in regards to God.
However, some claims are so extraordinary and would require such extraordinary proof that you can be practically certain they are false.
I am an Atheist. By definition I do not believe in Gods existence. Christians believe in his existence. Atheists do not, by definition.
Like Dennis states, your definition of the scientific process is correct. What Dennis is trying to say is you have fallen into the same trap as the dogmatic theist and until they have some doubt about their 100% certainty god exists then nothing will change. They do not engage in the scientifc method because their absolute certainty tells them there is no need.
I understand what you are saying, but Dogma is not always bad.
Let's say I believe rape is wrong and I am dogmatic about this belief. Is this wrong?
Let's say somebody believes rape is wrong 99.99% of the time. What happens when that somebody who believes this, meets there 10,000th girl.
I don't think my example here is befitting the topic we are talking about, because it is an extreme example. But it is an example of good dogma all the same.
And for all intensive purposes I know you guys are atheists and the 99.99999% thing has less to do with doubt about Gods existence and more to do with not being dogmatic.
I have an objection to mixing science with god.
I have no problem with anti-Christian sentiment, because it usually involves ex-Christians vs Christians, and I am neither, and therefore it is none of my business, but I am beginning to notice Christians are starting to use science and turning it upside down or they are turning their backs on science. And this is not good. Science is for everybody, and it is a damn shame if a whole group of people start to turn science on its head or ignore it, because they are scared of science rather than being curious about it. And people like Dawkins are not helping the cause.
Part of the scientific method is being open-minded. Open to where the evidence leads. Open to challeges to that evidence. Open to finding new evidence. Open to new ways of observing.
The street of open-mindedness must go both ways to get closer to a better theory or truth.
I think everybody here has an open mind, mine is just 99.999...% open.
But I am not too sure science is open minded, I would like your opinion on this one.
Science is open minded in regards to knowledge that exists, for it evolves as knowledge grows, but what does science make of a subject where there is no knowledge?
I once had a person tell me she was a witch. I said ok, could you define witch? Can you demonstrate by flying on a broom? Can you tell me what I'm thinking now? Can you show me some magic? As soon as I started demanding evidence the converstation got very short. She changed the subject and I was 99.999...% sure she was not a witch when that conversation ended.
People make assertions all the time, some I believe and some I don't, but I am never close-minded about them. I may choose not to investigate some as time does not permit.
In regards to things like homoeopathy etc, I don't really believe in it, and I have never studied it, but maybe it works. Pheromones play a big part in all species so maybe there is something there. If your witch friend knew something about this sort of thing, maybe she would be entitled to call herself a witch. And if science got involved in the study of 'witches potions', great. Science can do this because the potions would exist. But her being a tradition witch of fairy tales etc, I can't even contemplate it.
When the theist come to me and engages in their proselytizing I proceed with the same types of questions. If God exist, why doesn't he show himself, show me one verifiable miracle? Et cetera, et cetera. Every time it comes down to "you just gotta open your heart and believe". Carl Sagan wrote a book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle Light in the Dark, you should read the first part of Chapter 10 -- The Dragon in My Garage. You can find in by doing a search on google books it's on page 171.
All I can say is that I am 99.999...% open minded.
What I've been trying to say is I agree with you I don't believe God exists whether it's God, Allah, Zues, Baal, et cetera. But I am NOT dogmatic about it -- i'm open-minded and if someone comes to me with good evidence and not pseudo-science I'll give it the same riogorous scientific method as I gave to the Jehovah Witnesses or the lady who claimed to be a witch.
Yep, I know you are saying 99.9..% in order not to be dogmatic and to be fair to every bodies opinion.
I guess I can pretend to be 100% open minded(but please remember I'm not, I'm only 99.99..% open minded). So, if God does exist and if the lady is a witch. Where do they fit-in in regards to science?
At this point I would like to resurrect my comments made a year ago, attached below. The short of it is: either there is a god or there isn't. Biologist Richard Dawkins is mistaken to prevaricate, even slightly. By contrast, I argue from the point of view of physics.
My original question was:
"Science is open minded in regards to knowledge that exists, for it evolves as knowledge grows, but what does science make of a subject where there is no knowledge?"
And you have a query about it:
I have a little trouble comprehending your statement “where no knowledge exists”
I think I now understand where our discrepancy/misunderstanding exists. It isn't the meaning of Scientific method, and I don't even think it's semantics, I think it is timing.
When does scientific method begin?
For example 'the Dragon in my garage':
If we go to Carl Sagan's Garage to see the Dragon:
For you: Upon hearing the story you decide to apply scientific method to ascertain the truth of the matter.
For me: I don't think science can become involved until I have seen the dragon. Once the dragon has been seen, scientific method can be used to ascertain the truth of the matter. And everything leading up to the opening up of the garage door is just hearsay and general interest.
A more difficult example would be Uri Geller:
For you: upon hearing about him bending spoons you would use scientific method to ascertain the truth of the matter. And you could go one step closer than the previous example because you would be able to see him bend a spoon in front of your eyes.
For me: I still don't think scientific method could be used until after he bent a spoon in front of many people(preferably rational sceptics) who then agreed psychokinesis had taken place. So only after a group of rational sceptics had agreed psychokinesis had taken place could scientific method begin, and everything up until this decision is just hearsay, general interest and common courtesy.
I think our thinking is basically the same, but our timing is out.
No, I'm not 100% sure but if there is, he is one sadistic bastard. I would say I am 99.9999999999999999, etc.. sure.