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Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response

I disagree strongly. 

Scientists can be (and frequently are) persons of deep faith. I would even 
agree w/ the proposition that it is theoretically impossible for the human mind 
to be operational in the absence of faith. There is even (from the 1930s, IIRC) 
mathematical proof that no logical system can exist w/out at least one 
assumption (sorry, no reference; 30 miles away, maybe later).

However, faith and the _practice_ of science do not, by definition, 
intermingle. Note that persons making policy decisions (or chosing phenomena to 
investigate) are NOT _practicing_ science, but are using (hopefully) the 
results of the _practice_ of science to inform their decisions. I feel that you 
are confusing social status/caste (= "I am a scientist"), and the _practice_ of 
science (= "I am engaging in the practice of science"). 


PS-- Sorry, Mickey. Getting uncomfortably close to those matters that must not 
be mentioned. Barring possible posting of above-mentioned reference, this is my 
last comment (on list) on this highly important distinction, blah, blah...

----- Original Message ----
From: Jaime A. Headden <qilongia@yahoo.com>
To: don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:28:30 AM
Subject: Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response

Don Ohmes (d_ohmes@yahoo.com) wrote:

<Picking nits here. Faith and religion are kept _entirely_ separate from the
_practice_ of science, _by definition_.  By _all_ people.>

  I'm not sure this is entirely correct. Science by definition states that it
does not look into the supernatural, but not all religions claim to the
supernatural, and it is perfectly possible to be a "religious" person without
any supernatural entities. I notice that for those advocating such a
supernaturality-based definition, they are themselves either firmly on one side
or the other of the debate, and opposed to the other side. I hardly find an
unbiased viewpoint and realized, how can there hardly be an unbiased viewpoint
on the matter?

  Faith and science DO intermingle. It is the awareness of their interaction
that helps keep them in check, not that they simply automatically separate
themselves. Thus, I attempted to qualify my statement about weall-reasoning
people, and by "most" of them. That we can have "scientists" making science
po9licy decisions based on tenets or concerns of faith, such as the recent NASA
issue, should make us aware that there will always be people stepping between
the "worlds".


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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