The panel was made up of a self-professed Atheist/Agnostic (she started out as one and seemed to agree later she was more the other), an Irish Christian (I won't assume he was Catholic), a Muslim,
The Irish guy - some sort of Academic of Science, said something I've been saying to people for what seems like ever. He said that essentially Science is also a matter of faith (remember he is a scientist and a Christian).
Quite a few people in my Twitter stream took exception to this, stating that Science can be proven (implying Faith cannot) and making flippant comments about allowing their children to decide which laws of physics they will believe in when they grow up.
This is all very odd to me - hey, what's new, right?
To me, it is self-evident that Science relies heavily on Faith. Yes, some scientific theories can be proven by simple experiments (throw something in the air and eventually it will fall to the ground, oh look, the phenomenon scientists call gravity!). Other bits of science relies heavily on conceptual theories and letting yourself "go there" (quantum physics, string theory, theories of time and space).
I wonder how often people ask themselves whether Scientific Fact is actually fact. Many Scientific Facts have been discounted over time; modified with the emergence of new truths. There is so much Science still cannot account for. Human's don't even understand how their own brains work, or whether or not the mind is intrinsically linked with the body/brain, or something separate and intangible. That hasn't stopped some Scientists saying it is and some saying it isn't - who has the facts?
People scoff at Faith as if it is fairy hocus pocus, and yet blindly believe what they are told by nameless and faceless scientists without bothering to ask for the proof - that is, to be shown the proof in front of their eyes. Yet, they don't hesitate to demand that people of Faith prove to them that their Faith is fact, right here, right now! Prove it! Show me God's birth certificate! Oh, you can't, you're full of crap then...
Science is Faith.
Without Faith there would be no Science because all we could not see would cease to exist and many Facts would be in question.
Just as I will encourage my children to choose whether or not to follow a religious faith, I will also encourage them to thinking critically about which scientific facts they will believe without proof they can see for themselves.
There is popular flowchart that suggests science is evidence based and faith ignores evidence. So much Science has yet to be proven conclusively but people are already believing it as they always do because Science represents fact - but hmmm, Science created facts, just as it created time, weight, and dimensions. So, we believe those things because we were told to believe them.
|Faith - exploring the possibilities (where's the difference?)|