The Religious Beliefs of Scientists
Copyright 2012, John Manimas
1) Scientific fact: There is only one universe.
Religious doctrine of scientists: There may be two or more “universes.” Parallel universes, universes that one gets to through a “wormhole” in “space-time.”
Explanation: Scientists need to study language so that they can communicate better. You cannot take a word like “universe” and make it mean something entirely the opposite of its original meaning. The word “universe” means that which encompasses all that exists, and therefore there can be only one set, or one event, or one thing, that encompasses all that exists. To be scientific, that which is everything has to be one, and cannot be more than one. If you really want “universe” to means something that is small on the cosmic scale, such as a planet or a galaxy or a “realm,” then you have to invent a new word to take the place of “universe,” a new word that will convey the traditional meaning of “universe” – the largest of all sets, the unit that includes everything that exists.
2) Scientific fact: There is no concrete evidence or scientific demonstration that Nature requires “time” in order to accomplish what it does. We cannot travel “through time” because there is nothing to travel through.
Religious doctrine of scientists: There is a material thing called “time” that has an existence independent of all other things. We can travel to the past or the future.
Explanation: There is no credible scientific evidence that time possesses a form of independent existence, such that time can exist before matter exists, or separately from matter, such as having a period of time that is “empty” where time “passes” but nothing happens. Time is actually exactly that, something happening, and whatever is happening, we count it, and that is all that time is. For a more elaborate defense of the viewpoint that time is a fiction of consciousness, take a look at Crazy James’ Clocks in the January 2013 issue of J Manimas Magazine. Scientists say that “If it cannot be measured, it does not exist.” That being the case, it is obviously not possible to measure time, because everything that we call time is counting events. If we are counting events, we are measuring matter, or process. Twelve revolutions of a planet have been counted. We call that “time” but it is not a thing that has an independent existence. It is just a count.
3) Scientific fact: We can square the circle using a compass and straightedge.
Religious doctrine of scientists: We cannot square the Euclidean circle and this means something profound and pi is a magic number worshipped by mathematicians.
Explanation: It means nothing significant that we cannot square a Euclidean circle because the Euclidean circle definition is the definition of an “ideal form” that does not exist in the real, physical universe. The Euclidean circle is defined as having a circumference that is comprised of an infinite number of points, each point having no dimension. This means, according to the conventions of all mathematicians, that a circle has a circumference of zero length. Or, if we assign some dimension to each point, no matter how small, if the number of points on the circumference is infinite, then the length of the circumference is infinite. The original Pythagorean riddle “Can we construct a circle having exactly the same area as a given square, using only the compass and straightedge?” was a declarative statement rather than a question: “We can construct a circle having exactly the same area as a given square, using only the compass and straightedge.” The reason we can do this, using only the compass and straightedge, is because there is a “smallest possible particle” and that means that we can use the concept of proportion to construct a regular polygon with 64 sides. Each side represents the width of one particle, the smallest possible particle. Since the width or length or “dimension” of each side cannot be diminished or divided further, we can use that smallest possible particle, or “smip” as our unit of measurement. The circumference or perimeter of our circular regular polygon is now 64 smips. Pi is not needed here. We will encounter pi instead in the diameter, as 64/pi. In our regular polygon we have 64 long and thin pairs of right triangles. We do not measure their sides. There is no need to measure a line length that is a multiple of pi or 1/pi. We use each pair of long right triangles to join them at the hypotenuse and we then have 64 rectangles. We can assemble our 64 rectangles to make one rectangle, and then we can use the common “square the rectangle” procedure to construct a square that has exactly the same area as our circular regular polygon. All mathematicians know this and hate this reality, because it deprives them of their sacred god pi. Physical pi, the real pi that exists in the real molecular universe, is a rational number, not a transcendental number, and it varies slightly. Physical pi and only physical pi is consistent with the accepted physics principle of the “smallest possible particle.” I have documented my many years of geometric constructions on my website, under “geometry.” The transcendental idea for infinite pi was invented because mathematicians wanted a religious symbol. Their god is infinite pi. Their worship of infinite pi is the religion for math nerds. Psychologists tell us that everyone needs something to believe in. Mathematicians believe in infinite pi. Therefore, their pi is a religious concept.
4) Scientific fact: Nature does not require numbers or calculations of any kind, but only proportion and geometry. The universe is proportional, not mathematical.
Religious doctrine of scientists: Plants, animals and the cosmos use the same mathematics – counting and calculation -- that engineers and scientists use to measure and make things.
Explanation: The really real numbers arise entirely and only from proportion. The Pythagoreans said “Proportion is everything.” Biological science, and medical and molecular science demonstrate that matter is self-organizing by means of geometry, by means of the shapes of atoms and molecules.
5) Scientific fact: If light travels at the same velocity for thousands of years, or millions of years, or billions of years, it violates the accepted laws of physics.
Religious doctrine of scientists: Photon particles travel indefinitely without ever losing momentum or velocity – photons never slow down.
Explanation: The Big Bang Theory is based on this religious doctrine. The Big Bang Theory, or theory that the universe is expanding, is based primarily upon the belief that light never loses momentum or velocity. This is part of what scientists discuss as “waveform” behavior. However, if light does possess the nature of a material particle, in photons, and the material photon slows down over cosmic distances, then all distant light sources would possess a “red-shift” and we would have no reliable way to determine what part of the red-shift is due to motion away from the observer and what part is due to the slowing down of the photon particles – a very small loss of velocity over cosmic distances. Therefore, the Big Bang Theory is a religious theory, a type of “creation story,” because it depends upon the certainty that photons travel at the same velocity for billions of light years of distance, through space that subjects them to gravitational forces and other energy forces, including “dark energy” and “dark matter.” The recent discussion of “dark energy” and “dark matter” by astronomers and physicists has taken us back to the “dark” ages, because the authorities are letting us know, in awkward language, that the billions of dollars the taxpayers pay for scientific research have led to the viewpoint that we don’t understand much of anything, and it might as well all be attributed to God, or pi. All we know about the newly discovered matter and energy is that they are “dark” which is kind of like being sinister, or mysterious, and really means we cannot see it. The dark energy and dark matter exist in such significant quantities that they may be the cause of everything that happens in the universe, or nearly everything. Maybe this is why physicists are looking for the “God particle,” because they don’t want their souls to be captured by the “dark energy.” Scientists really do need to study language. They have no idea of the strange meanings their words convey. There is a language problem, and science will become more and more distasteful to people if scientists continue to use the language of medieval religion.
6) Scientific fact: If there is a smallest possible particle, there should also be a smallest possible duration. Or, why do physicists observe an event and call it a particle?
Religious doctrine of physicists: When they see an instrument detect a flash of light that lasts for less than a millionth of a second, they say it must be a particle of matter. When physicists observe particles using a particle collider, the particles perceived usually have extremely short life spans. They exist or are deemed to exist for less than a millionth of a second. These are particles with names like hadron, meson, baryon, lepton, and quark. Their characteristics are supposedly described by words from the dictionary of “Candyland” or a world where words have some purpose other than to convey a specific meaning. As when one asks about Relativity, if one asks for a description of Quantum Mechanics, you are likely to be advised that although you cannot understand it, and even some physicists do not understand it, there are some people who do. This is supposed to be encouraging, or perhaps even convincing. I find it to be neither. When I asked a priest a question about theology, he responded that it is a mystery. The priest lost my respect for that response, and I feel compelled, being a democrat, to equally disrespect the physicists who will not or cannot explain a serious question when I ask. The problem is that scientists want to be priests, and having that aspiration, they want the priestly privilege of claiming to know the will of God without having to explain anything further. There is a lower boundary to size. Matter is not and cannot be infinitely small in size. But now I am raising the question as to whether matter can be infinitely short in duration. In other words, physicists who have been granted billions of dollars for a very complicated pea-shooter are telling us that they are studying particles that exist for less than one-millionth of a second. What is the meaning or function of such a particle? We know that just because we cannot see it does not mean it does not exist. However, if the physicists insist that time is a real thing, then they need to decide whether a particle of matter has a lower boundary for duration? We are not going to have a nilion that has a duration of no time at all.
7) Scientific fact: The detection of an event is always an event in itself that is separate from the event that is detected.
Religious doctrine of scientists: How we know and what we “know” is exactly as the real universe is.
Explanation: How we know (neurobiology, neurochemistry), not technology, is the key to our future chances to learn more about the universe. Learning more about our own brains, the internal world, and how knowledge “occurs” and is stored and used is going to teach us far more about the real universe than the continuation of studies of things that exist outside our brains.
8) Scientific fact: There is no such thing as a cause that has only a single effect. This is one of the most fundamental principles of science.
Religious doctrine of scientists: Science is “amoral” and therefore all that scientists and engineers do is without any moral meaning or impact. Scientists do not have any control over how science is used, and therefore they are not responsible for the astounding destruction of life that is caused by weapons, manufactured chemicals and the deceptions used by scientists and corporate business to make a monetary profit. Every one of the numberless containers that says there is a poison inside, or a cleaner inside, that kills ants, or kills mosquitoes, or kills germs, or cuts grease is a deliberate and conscious deception or the work of dangerous bumblers. All labels on manufactured chemicals are a lie because there is no chemical toxin that kills only one species of life. The corporate program for Earth is “more ways of dying through chemistry.” The damage to life and the entire planetary ecology is occurring far faster than the most pessimistic forecasts. Those who harvest oysters and scallops already see the thinner, weaker shells. Birth defects and cancers are expected in every family, not just a few. The most lucrative business in the world is chemistry, because the chemists make people sick and then offer to alleviate the illness with another chemical. The allegation that science is “amoral” is blatantly irrational, nothing more than cheap denial. We are responsible for the consequences of what we make or manufacture. For centuries scientists playing philosopher and historian have blamed the violent wars of nations on religion, but they continue to make the weapons for a profit. They have not faced the reality that all wars would be nearly harmless if the rules of war required that men and women fight naked, with only their own hands and feet and teeth. Certainly there would be injuries, but nothing like the immense pain and harm caused by weapons that cut and explode and tear and burn and kill by chemicals or disease. Every scientist who has taken part in the production or sale of a chemical product is responsible for all of the unintended effects. No child would be fully forgiven for burning his brother and then saying “I didn’t mean it.” An educated person is accountable. You are expected to know that your actions have many consequences. The concept that a chemical achieves only what we want it to achieve is ridiculous and this has been understood for centuries. The twentieth century provides us with abundant experience as to which classes of organic chemicals are destructive of life, and which forms of technology lead to ecological disaster. There may be a range of definitions for what is an “intelligent being,” but all definitions of intelligence include the principle that an intelligent being learns from experience. That means that the human scientists on Earth do not fulfill that definition.
Understanding Science as a religion:
Scientists propose and promote concepts of reality for which there is no credible scientific evidence. Since the nineteenth century, and possibly since the beginnings of modern science in the sixteenth century, science has been developing the characteristics of a religion. What is occurring is not that science is displacing religion, but science is becoming religion -- because both religion and science serve the human impulse to manufacture certainty where there is an unresolvable question. As presented in Chapter Twelve of The Primacy of Stewardship, a rational way to study religion is to use The Seven Pillars of Religion: People, Calendar, Ritual, History, Teleology, Ethics, Institutions. Science can reasonably be studied as a religious institution without straining logic or normal intellectual inquiry. The institution of science has all seven of these “pillars” or elements. Americans believe in technology. Even though technology, especially chemical technology, is destroying life on Earth, people still are sucked into the confidence game that all problems are technological problems that can be solved with new or more creative technology. During the Middle Ages, the Church was married to money. During our times, Science is married to money. I propose that the real problem is that science has become our religion, and science is equally as rigid and authoritarian, misused and destructive as any other authoritarian religion. The few scientists who voice their concern about ecological disaster are ineffective. The only way to stop the planetary holocaust and suicide of humanity is to overtly acknowledge that this is a religious issue for all of us and is most definitely not restricted to a debate on comparative technologies. Either we are the friends of life, or the enemy. For more information on The Information Gospel and what the New Testament really says when one examines the Gospel parables for scientific content, see The Primacy of Stewardship: the handbook for Christians who believe in democracy.
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