Here we go again.
This article is a classic example of projection.
Science is at odds with my religious beliefs, therefore science must be a religious belief.
Give me a break.
Real science has no points of conflict with religion; just junk science and democrat science, i.e. things like global warming and evolutionism.
Ever hear of archaeologists, geologists, and astronomers?
In fact, I am an archaeologist. And I guarantee you that we can indeed observe the past.
The education system has largely failed to get this concept ingrained - all science is tentative. All descriptions and explanations of physical observation are tentative. The scientific method, if properly followed, is nothing but a way of most honestly describing the physical world around us based on the limited data available. Every physical description accrued using the scientific method is open to modification (or supplantation) in the face of new data.
When science is politicized, this natural process (good theories persisting with modification, and poor theories dying off and being replaced outright) is threatened, and poor theories end up being insulated from criticism, preventing improvement which would naturally arise from the scientific method. It is more like a welfare-state for bad science than science "turning into religion" (though the latter can also happen - see global warming).
As a matter of fact, science can so observe some aspects of the distant past. Light has a speed. Light from far away started long ago.
In this way, we know of some very early times in the existence of the universe, for the light from that early time is now the cosmic microwave background radiation.
Light from distant galaxies comes to us from 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 billion years ago.
We can also gain information about distant times from geology. From DNA, which evolves in its “junk” sections at a fairly constant rate. From radioactive elements, which decay at absolutely constant rates, with the exception of what happens in reactors. And yes, from tree rings and ice layers.
All these things give us observations of the past.
Perhaps some religions. I'm from a very conservative evangelical background, and I've always been told there is nothing wrong with doubts, that doubt and faith are not opposites (disobedience to conscience is the opposite of faith). I believe in spite of doubt.
Every attempt at a comprehensive world view has internal apparent contradictions and shortcomings of various magnitude. No one has presented me with a comprehensive world view that makes more sense to me than the Christian understanding, certainly not atheism which pretty much makes a complete botch of the immaterial world, and has its own "leaps of faith" in the material world.
Nobody undertakes science without an underlying philosophy or, if you will, religion. No human observer is fully capable of objectivity. There are any number of ways to make sense of the things we observe on a daily basis. Some, as do I, come at it from the perspective of the biblical texts. Others have texts of their own making from which to postulate and draw conclusions.
At bottom science is not as cut and dried as we’d like it to be. Human experience does not leave much, if any, room for absolute statements.
GW is clearly an example where politics has so taken over research that the whole field is taking on religious overtones. But I think that takeover is temporary. The nature of science is that it does self-correct.
To play the devil’s advocate, let me tell you that it’d illustrate better how science could degenerate into the realm of religion and philosophy by citing modern physics instead of the usual tired argument of “evolution ain’t science but religion stuff”.
Argue how SUSY or super string theories or quantum gravity are so far ahead of their experimental peers, they are no better than philosophical or religious musings of bearded old men in their citadels. You’d gain more followers in the “science is religion” camp by doing so.
bump for later reading
The problem isn't science but it's misuse.
Times must be tough at the Telegraph, now that they have fifth graders writing articles for them.
Though Israel means to struggle with God while islam to submit.
I argue with God, constantly.