We'll invent the wheel yet (ex_animate138) wrote in phil240,
We'll invent the wheel yet

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1. Is there a branch of science that deals solely with religion, God, or Christianity, or if there was, what do you think it would be called and just what might they do?

2. What are the fields of science that have the most to do with God and religion, in particular, Christianity?
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Why are you interested in Christianity? What is it you wish to know about it? I was raised Christian, specifically Roman Catholic, and perhaps I can answer some questions? Peace : )
Yeah, I was raised Catholic too, but this is research now.

What is it you wish to know about it?

See post.
Although I think that science is the study of material objects and religion is the study of the self understanding of humans, I think that physics is the branch of science that has the most interesting things to say re Christianity.

Big bang theory has a lot of elements that suggest the old intelligent design theory of the universe, this, to many Christians, is very close to a "proof" there is a God. However, no philosopher or scientist thinks there is much relation between the scientific theory itself and the interpretations of it put forth by believers.

Quantum mechanics can tell us alot about what is possible, not possible in the universe. I find it to be very suggestive as well.

There is also the "science" of biblical archeology, if you were seeking a scientific examination of the historical content of the Bible.

Any thoughts on Frank Tipler?
I did a quick scan of Frank Tipler stuff online and here's my thoughts. The most important thought that Tipler has is that human minds will be able to be transferred fully onto computers.

This is probably based on the fact that the current models of the human mind are hardware/software models based on the examples of computers. Right now, some functions of human mind such as chess playing can be adequately "downloaded" onto computers. Some other ones can't.

Language is one good example. Ever notice how spellchecker can't figure out what word you intended to type? Ever notice how often grammar checker uses rules arbitrarily and/or fails totally in some circumstances? I do. I'm in school to be a high school English teacher.

Human language is inherently creative. If two students go through identical steps to solve a math problem, they both get an A. If two students use identical language to answer the same essay question, they both get an F.

In order to simulate language use in a computer, you would have to have a computer who would answer the same question in different ways based on mood, based on personal experience, based on its evaluation of the intelligence of the speaker, and so on, and so on . . .

Even if this was accomplished, EVEN IF COMPUTERS COULD PERFORM/SIMULATE ALL FUNCTIONS OF A HUMAN MIND, there is simply no way to say they are intelligent in the same sense as a human.

To put it another way, just because the boy is acting exactly like he is in love with you, it doesn't necessarily mean that he is in love.

If in the boy's head, he feels nothing, we would use a different word to describe that situation and that boy. We instinctively recognize that the situation is different, despite all outward indications. You must know both the outward and inward aspects in order to know the "truth."

I am of the opinion that the universe is evolving and is inherently creative. Science cannot predict much about humans with accuracy. To put it a better way,

"Any astronomer, if he is techinically competant, can tell you where Venus will be 10,000 years from now. No vetrinarian, no matter how technically competant, can tell you what a dog will do five minutes from now."

PS. None of these thoughts are my own. I'm mostly paraphrasing smart people I've read.
I swear I'm not being an asshole by pointing this out, but because I have little to add to your smart comments about science, and since you're an aspiring English teacher, AND since I made the same mistake in my post, I might as well get technical about grammar. One rule you want to know, which I didn't when I made this post, is the subjunctive, where you should have said, "Even if this were accomplished" and where I should have said, "If there were a branch of science.." Most people get this wrong and now you will be able to change the world by making them stop. Yes.

Have you read "Human and Machine Intelligence: An Evolutionary View"? I need to finish that book. It talked about knowledge versus intelligence, pointing out that most human jobs don't require intelligence, only knowledge, which computers are [huge, fabricated percentage] better at retaining than we are anyway.

Humans use language so much differently ourselves.. Reading a transcript of signing gorillas reminded me more of literal translations of Japanese than English, but it's still language. I need to learn a lot more about all of this as I'm about to start a sci-fi book on uploading..

And as for how to tell, I guess someone is just going to have to fall in love with a computer.
Good point about the subjunctive.

Oddly enough, I know how to use it in Spanish better than English.

The book sounds really interesting. I took most of what I have to say from Ken Wilber and my Linguistics textbook I used in college, but the best book about Minds and Machines I've ever read is Douglas Hofstadter's Godol, Escher, Bach.

He convinced me that computer's can come DARN CLOSE to being intelligent.

Final thought
Humans have already learned to fall in love on a computer. I wouldn't be surprised if falling in love with one happened next.


Do you know about Douglas Hofstadter's obsession with self-reference?

Q: Why did Douglas Hofstadter cross the road?

A: To make this joke possible.
Consider hofstadter's law:

It always takes longer than you expect, especially when you consider Hofstadter's law.

Consider the Chinese parable about the different adventurers that all went to visit the elephant. Each pilgrim, with individual limitations, brought back only a partial description of what the beast really was. Science is still infant with aspects concerning certain formats of reality. Which is staggering considering what developments have been made to date. What a daunting task- describing and categorizing the universe with all her hidden moods and laws. Yet, over time, in areas the method decides to embrace we might eventually develop a vocabulary and working model of deeper human concepts…those which we ‘feel’ in our gut are real and worthwhile…or it might free us from irrationality and superstition.

When analyzing God you get into dimensional issues quickly. He applies to us as we do to ‘flat-landers’. It is difficult and tedious chasing fleeting hints and unnamed shadows. It requires a well-developed discipline, one with tradition and experience, to even notice the tracks of such quarry. Unlike snark hunters of the past, scientists today eliminate entire helpful fields of knowledge by denying even the thinnest premises of the religious doctrine they are trying to prove or disprove.

From my experience and reading, God is like an expert jungle Guerilla - if you seek him in malice, with a dark disbelieving heart bent on maiming and belittling his name, He expertly fades into the forest unseen and untraceable to all efforts. While those that approach him with love, an open heart to his will, and a genuine desire to be better people find a loving God that supports their quest by running to them with open arms and honest answers. Consider the science camp’s doctrine and consider how it is trying to track down God. Whatever the science discipline, if they do not believe intent to be a relevant issue they will fail and be led astray.

Hoping I did not ramble, I am new at this. Besides with the sunny afternoon, a large glass of iced tea, and the Spanish guitar music playing delicately in the background, well it was nice to see your post and let the mind kinda open throttle.