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Atheist Community of Austin
Our Constitution favors science, not religion

Our Constitution explicity favors “the Progress of Science and useful Arts” and does not favor religion.<br /> <br /> Article I, Section 8 provides that “The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts ....” As one of the few powers vested in Congress, and as one of the still fewer that were adopted unanimously (according to Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787), this power stands as convincing evidence that the Framers, all of them, considered the progress of science and useful arts to be of supreme national importance.<br /> <br /> Article VI provides that “... no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” This prohibition applies to all subdivisions of government, ... legislative, executive, and judicial, ... federal, state, and local.<br /> <br /> These days, there should be little doubt that the progress of science and technology has been, and remains, crucial to our economy, security, and well-being. This stands in stark contrast to religion.

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Please explain to me how religion has stopped the growth of society?????? If anything, it brings people together in a smaller group that can be related based on its ideas. And that is from the science of pyschology!!!! Please please tell me how religion has caused society to stop growing or even slow down? Religion kept people together during the first years of settlment on American soil. If anything it gave them hope. Let Science do that.

Brian, thank you for your interest.

Throughout history, huge numbers of people have spent great amounts of their time, effort, and resources on religion. Despite this, religious predictions have been stunningly sparse, vague, unsuccessful, and unproductive. In view of such great waste and failure, it makes little sense to draw hope from religion.

In stark contrast to religion, the benefits of science and technology have been immense, giving us cause to believe that the progress of science and technology will continue to result in tremendous benefits.

It is appropriate that our Constitution favor the progress of science and technology and that it protect every American from ever being required to waste his or her time, effort, or resources on religion.

We Americans are fortunate that the Framers, including Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, had the wisdom and foresight to embrace science and technology and to cast religion adrift when devising our promising new system of government.

Mark,

I understand where you coming from. But you must also realize that science has wasted money, time, and immense amounts of resources discovering "theories " about certain things. Most of science is based on theory, that is only relevant at certain times or certain situations, hence the reason it is a theory and not a fact. Also, by saying there should be no resource left wasted on religion you are taking away the very spirit of science. Science is here to discover truth. You are completely ruling out that there is the possiblity that religion is true, for an example on Creation. Science has the spirit of a search for truth, in whatever form it may come in. If you don't believe in religion, why deny the chance to prove it wrong. The only way to do this is through constant research. Science still cannot prove everything, especially how a ball of gasses became this great planet. And for that reason you cannot rule out any one theory!

If I may interject-

Firstly, Brian, you do not seem to fully grasp the concept of a theory. "Theory" and "fact" are in no way mutually exclusive terms. While the word "theory" has been casually thrown about to the point that the meaning is not clear to the general populace, the scientific strength of the word is not diminished. Belittling science my misinterpreting the language does not make for a sound comparison. There is a great deal of scrutiny preceeding the title of "theory." Evolution is both a theory and a fact. Creationism is neither.

While you claim that one cannot rule out any single "theory" (by theory I assume you mean belief), I doubt that you adhere to such a statement. Do you not rule out the Greek Titans? What about the Hmong belief that people originated from the slices of a round lump born of incest? Do you honestly give every legend and suggestion equal thought?

It is hardly a violation of the scientific mindset to limit investigation to plausible or reasonable ideas. Unless you honestly investigate every single claim you hear equally, you are guilty of the same intellectual triage.

You hold science under greater scrutiny than religion. You want science to prove everything, yet ignore that religion has never proven a single thing. Science (as we currently understand it) need not explain everything. It would be rediculous to suggest that it should. To suggest that a perceived lapse in science gives validity to every single idea is a leap that defies logic.

As for the societal benefits of the two, there is hardly room for comparison. Religion has, throughout history, acted as a divider among people. Science has done quite the opposite. By and large, science has done more societal good in the last century than religion managed to do in all prior centuries. The very message board we are using is evidence of science bringing societies together.

There are no benefits exclusive to religion. Any alleged good coming from religion can be acheived without it. Hope, peace, love, morality, etc. can all occur independently of religion. However, scientific benefits are almost entirely exclusive. The communication, transportation, education, etc. that we have today would not have been possible without science. Science is a necessary part of societal improvement. Religion is not. It may be a help at times (and at times a hindrance), but it is not required.

The framers understood this. Religions come and go, leaving both benefit and detriment in their wake. Science has only progressed. A nation cannot survive without science, so it is in the country's best interest to promote it.

Brian,

May I add that ENERGY was the first thing to be in the Theory of the Big Bang?

Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It is only transformed from one into another.

But how can ONE energy transform into another with nothing behind it? It doesn't sound so logical to me.

Talking about before the Big Bang (BB) is difficult as we don't have the language to deal with *events* before the first event. So let this just be a thought experiment. As there is no time *things* maybe present? - but nothing is actually moving, no energy is exchanged. This may have been a state that lasted for an eternity or an instant, there is no difference really. Now the question: If a super-ordered state *existed* for an eternity that would take an infinite degree of improbability to unbalance, what are the odds it would? It is a bloody certainty! Either that or it just popped outa nothing. My interest is in something we now can talk about: What was or what could this uncertainty thing be? My guess is that it every now and then created, and then destroyed some matter, due to an uncertainly principle - a mere flicker of energy - then gone. Basically it leaked, and still is! A fuzzy beginning not a BB, due to the quantum fluctuations of the nature of the interactions of Energy though Time.

Sooner or later a Universe would appear. The Universe contains everything it needs to create it self. It started from a super ordered state, and is currently winding down, whilst in the background something is gearing up to wind it all back up again :)

life

Brian,

You have the opportunity to do research on questions related to whether and "how a ball of gasses became this great planet". You may wish to begin your study of gasses and of this planet with the help of a good chemistry textbook and a good physics textbook.

An excellent chemistry textbook is Linus Pauling, "General chemistry", Dover, New York 1988, ISBN: 04866562225. Pauling was "one of the two greatest scientists of the 20th century" (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/lpbio/lpbio2.html). No other human has known as much as Pauling about how Nature works. Copies of Pauling's textbook can be perused at several Austin bookstores; a new copy costs about 20 dollars.

An excellent physics textbook is Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca, "Physics for scientists and engineers", Fifth Edition, W. H. Freeman, New York 2004, ISBN: 0716743892 (also available in a three volume set, ISBN: 071678338X, ISBN: 0716783371, ISBN: 0716783363). Tipler's textbook is being used for a summer course at Austin Community College and can probably be perused at an ACC bookstore. It is expensive. Related information is posted at http://www.whfreeman.com/college/book.asp?2001003137 and http://bcs.whfreeman.com/tiplerphysics5e/default.asp?s=&n=&i=&v=&o=&ns=0&uid=0&rau=0.

Both books are intended for college Freshmen and Sophomores.

Self-study and intermittent research may not satisfy you; if not, then you may wish to enroll in relevant courses or do "constant research". Your scientific research may, someday, contribute to benefits to yourself and to others.

Of course the constitution favors science.

Religion doesn't even favor the constitution.

Agreed. It is a well known fact that a few of our founding fathers were atheists. But it is also known that some beleived in a higher, but did not fanaticize over it.

There may have been a few atheists at the time, but it's more probable that if they were anything but Christian they were deist or something. It's not so easy to break from something that society holds so dear at such a time, even though they were rebelling from another society that promoted it at the time. Regardless of what they were, they lived in another time and believed in things at the time as well. They may not have held what we believe as true, such as all humans deserving a fair treatment regardless of color of skin. Basically, I disagree that it is a "well known fact", but even if it were it matters little what they believed and more on what we do in the present even though that is based on what they believed in the past in a way.

Your religion doesn't favor it.

Most people think a false belief is any belief other than their own. The Bible consists of many forgeries this has been proven. Deceptive! .... There are over 20 books mentioned in the Bible, but not found there. ...But this really doesn't matter considering… Revelation 14:3-4 the apostle John notes that those who've had sex with women will not be saved.

Most people are taught to have some kind of religious belief. Usually religion is inherited. (It has nothing to do with it being true) It's has more to do with being part of the crowd. The teachings are accepted without question there just true? How do you know what is true and what is fiction when you don't ask questions? Does it have any bases in reality, is it reasonable or rational. When there has been a concerted effort to rid the record of any other facts most people began to smell a rat. You have been taken in, and it was done intentionally in order to deceive. Biblical archaeology does not support the Bible. Each major Christian doctrine is inconsistent or is not provable. The creationist theory in Genesis is unreasonable. Now, here is a multiple-choice question for those who don't believe in science! If you had a terminal decease would you take a scientifically proven new cure or just ask the Dr. to pray for you, because the Bible teaches that disease is caused by the wrath of God or The Devil.

Some of those on the Religious Right make the statement that this country is a "Christian Nation founded on Christian principles". Research into American history will show that this statement is false. The men responsible for building the foundation of the United States of America had no use for Christianity, and many were strongly opposed to it.

Thomas Jefferson viewed the corruptions of Christianity and religion. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

In the late 20s an American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered through observations that distant stars and galaxies are receding from Earth in every direction. Also, the further away they were the faster they were receding. This discovery has been confirmed by numerous and repeated measurements since Hubble's time. The finding is that the universe is expanding. The theory of an expanding universe lead to other conclusions; that the universe was more condensed at a previous time. From this reasoning came the theory that all the currently observed matter and energy in the universe were initially condensed in a very small and infinitely hot mass. A huge explosion (The Big Bang) sent matter and energy expanding in all directions. This Big Bang hypothesis led to more testable deductions. The temperature in deep space today should be several degrees above absolute zero. Observations show to be correct. The Cosmic Microwave Background Explorer (COBE) satellite launched in 1991 confirmed that the background radiation field has exactly the spectrum predicted by a Big Bang origin for the universe. As the universe expanded, according to current scientific understanding, matter collected into clouds that began to condense and rotate, forming the forerunners of galaxies.

The cause of lightning was once thought to be God's wrath, but turned out to be the unintelligent outcome of mindless natural forces…

"Still less was it ever intended that men should so prostitute their reason, as to believe with infallible faith what they are unable to prove with infallible arguments."

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