Today’s background music: “Here, There, and Everywhere” by The Beatles.
Breathed always had trouble with science. I imagine that Oliver is a parody of somebody, but I don’t really know who.
Well, if religion said you can do whatever you want, just be nice to others, and there is no hell, there would be no need to go into mental contortions in order to unravel the mystery of the first nanosecond of the “Big Bang”.
Thinking science is some form of religion shows a lack of understanding of science. Scientists don’t think dark matter is “glorious”. Sunday’s cartoon was great though.
It’s fantastic 4 hiding Things.
The theory of dark matter may require some faith (and it isn’t the only thing in science that does), but it has a fairly well-defined role that doesn’t impose any restrictive and arbitrary code of conduct on humankind, or any code of conduct at all, in fact. Dark matter simply exists, or doesn’t, and it should be possible to support or rule out its existence by scientific tests. God, on the other hand, is a vague and untestable concept that is easily manipulated to support various personal agendas and prejudices.
I’ve seen plenty of folk that are clearly made from Dork Matter
When I say that some things in science require faith, I mean that in a limited way. For example, I’m aware of one theorem that is known to be unprovable, but that is nonetheless generally accepted to be true. If it is in fact false, it should be possible to prove that, and no one has done so yet.
Astronomers no longer call it ‘dark matter’. It’s matter of color now. As opposed to ‘honky matter’.
Oooh! “Atheist chills!”What is best about Berke’s comics is that they cut both ways. He may have his favorite heroes and bad guys, but no one is immune from a poke, not even supremely self-confident self-styled scientists….
Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith
Atheism and Science (yes, I know they are different things) are both religions. The easiest proof is to simply state that they are, and watch the Atheist and/or Scientist defend themselves with religious fervor.
To NightGaunt49 from yesterday. Yeah, I know, but they still bring to my mind the remembrance of dead science, which occasionally gets resurrected in different ways. Who, including Einstein, would know that his cosmological constant, introduced into his equations to explain the steady state universe that he believed in, would describe the expansion of the Universe.Very few people now have any knowledge of the luminiferous ether. The 1910 Encyclopaedia Britannica gives a complete account of the Michaelson-Morley experiments. It also has an entry on luminiferous ether, still accepted as fact. (the 1910 and the 1911 edition are considered by scholars as the most scholarly editions ever, now online, I have both in print)Michaelson and Morley were searching for the ether, measuring the speed of light was a necessary adjunct for the experiment, which failed by the way. They are known now for their measurements of the speed of light, not the failed ether experiment. When Ernst Mach heard of the results of their experiment, he was the first physicist to declare that the lumiferous ether didn’t exist.
To be fair, Dark Matter’s gravity HAS been measured. That’s how we know it is there.
What do you get when you cross an agnostic, an insomniac, and a dyslexic?Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.
So that’s what the Philosopher’s Stone is made of.
@Sherlock. That is perfect. Of course it will be stuck in my head all day.
I love that we can have these conversations without anyone complaining of bullying or hurt feelings. I worked a very long shift today, and I spent most of it looking forward to seeing what sort of comments Breathed would provoke today. Just two comments from me:
SkyFisher, I’m on your side, man, but English has no lack of subtlety and nuance. Don’t you go blaming people’s illiteracy on the language of Keats and Wordsworth!
Bruno Zeigerts, do you realize you’ve just expressed the same sentiment as David in Psalm 8:3-4? But what is size to a being who transcends space and time? It’s anthropocentric to think (as far too many do) that humanity is God’s primary concern, but it’s equally anthropocentric to think God would not be concerned with us merely because we’re small. A man can drive a car blissfully ignorant of its construction, but the men who design and build cars must concern themselves with every nut and bolt. When God sets a galaxy on its course, he must also concern himself with the course of every fundamental particle in that galaxy. We are trivial to him, yes, but so is our galaxy, and so is our universe.
Indeed, but what distinguishes science from religion is how you respond to that lack of knowledge. Yesterday, when Oliver described the poorly understood cosmological phenomenon that we call dark energy, Opus suggested that it’s God. But that doesn’t explain anything. Science is about trying to understand it, not trying to explain it away.
Someone remarked in yesterday’s comments that giving a name to dark matter doesn’t explain anything either, and of course that’s correct. But Oliver’s reaction —make up a name and express awe— is not science. It’s just a parody of religion.
Scientists get excited about dark matter and dark energy because we don’t understand them. They give them names to make it easier to talk about them, but that’s not the point; what’s exciting is thinking of possible explanations, ideally explanations a little more interesting than God.
And there are a lot of ideas about what they might be, some fairly bland and some pretty far out there. The bland ideas are more likely to be correct, because the universe isn’t trying to surprise us. But we don’t know for sure, and the universe has surprised us before, so it’s still a lot of fun trying to figure it out.
Clarke’s Third Law Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke’s_three_laws
But advanced technology is still technology, not magic. Same with knowledge.
Superb; thank you! The “permalink” is not hotlinked, though; may I presume that you got this from a post at Dr. Coyne’s Why Evolution is True blog? I know that jblilie posts there often.
Football and Science (yes, I know they are different things) are both religions. The easiest proof is to simply state that they are, and watch the Football fan and/or Scientist defend themselves with religious fervor.