“The Advance of Knowledge Over Faith”

This post is inspired by a phrase appearing in the latest Discovery Institute essay, in which they worry about the direction being taken by the new “Cosmos” TV series.

Evolution News and Views

The DI quotes Cosmos producer, Seth MacFarlane, as promoting “…the advancement of knowledge over faith.”

This quote seems to come from an interview in Esquire Magazine.

Interview

There really isn’t much to the interview, but the phrase does kind of jump out and beg to be discussed.

357 thoughts on ““The Advance of Knowledge Over Faith”

  1. Robin: William, why don’t you present an example of what you think a fact is. I’m just really curious about what a fact is to you.

    For example, is it a fact to you that light travels at 299,792,458 meters per second?

    I think that some or many facts are stated in ways that embed paradigm/worldview interpretation, such as “the sun revolves around the earth in 24 hours”, which was a factual statement for along, long time. The problem is not realizing the distinction between a fact (the sun appears to ….), which is a statement about the observer, and a fact embedded in and interpreted by a paradigm (the sun revolves around ..) which is a statement about the sun and what it is supposedly actually doing.

    In our light example, light appears to travel from point X to Y in Y-X time, but to claim that light (itself) travels from point X to Y in Y-X time is to embed it in a paradigm that basically ignores relativistic effects when it comes to light and any observer.

    That’s a very clear and very good demonstration of exactly what I’m talking about. Statements of fact are always about the observation, not about the thing itself.

  2. keiths:
    Is anyone surprised that William is avoiding my question?

    Not I. If you look carefully, he’s avoiding Robin’s question too, viz:
    “…is it a fact to you that light travels at 299,792,458 meters per second?”

  3. William J. Murray: I think that some or many facts are stated in ways that embed paradigm/worldview interpretation, such as “the sun revolves around the earth in 24 hours”, which was a factual statement for along, long time.The problem is not realizing the distinction between a fact (the sun appears to ….), which is a statement about the observer, and a fact embedded in and interpreted by a paradigm (the sun revolves around ..) which is a statement about the sun and what it is supposedly actually doing.

    Well, this explains a lot at least. This is not and never was a fact by scientific standards, William.

    In our light example, light appears to travel from point X to Y in Y-X time, but to claim that light (itself) travels from point X to Y in Y-X time is to embed it in a paradigm that basically ignores relativistic effects when it comes to light and any observer.

    This does illustrate that your approach in investigating your experiences is not based in science.

    That’s a very clear and very good demonstration of exactly what I’m talking about.Statements of fact are always about the observation, not about the thing itself.

    If you’ve come away with that impression, u r doin it wrong.

    On that note, I’ll leave you to your whimsies, content that clarity and factual enlightenment cannot be found through your methods and that you don’t much care.

  4. Richardthughes:
    William believes himself to be in KF’s, er, Plato’s Cave?

    Maybe, but Plato was wise enough to realize that although they were reflections, they still represented reflections of true states. WJM doesn’t seem to recognize even that distinction…

    ETA: cut double reference

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