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by: Makayla Austin

FDSCI 210 FDSCI 210-01

Makayla Austin
GPA 3.793

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About this Document

These notes cover the debate about science and truth from religious standpoints.
Neanderthals/Other Successes
John S. Griffith
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Makayla Austin on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to FDSCI 210-01 at Brigham Young University - Idaho taught by John S. Griffith in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 50 views. For similar materials see Neanderthals/Other Successes in Science at Brigham Young University - Idaho.


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Date Created: 02/15/16
Science and Truth Study Questions 1. What has the Lord promised to reveal to us in our day and in the millennium? In our day and in the millennium, the Lord will reveal to us knowledge, both spiritual and temporal, which has not been revealed “since the world began until now” (D&C 121: 26). We are also promised that we will learn how the creation occurred. 2. If you could graph human society’s knowledge and understanding of the world around us and our ability to make and use tools over the past 2000 years, what would that graph look like? There would be a gradual increase over the years, with a plateau and even a small drop during the Dark Ages, until there is a sudden sharp incline representing the age of technology. It differs according to cultures as well, but that is the general trend of the world. 3. What message is Brigham Young trying to convey in the quotes at the bottom of page 2? Brigham Young was saying that there are a lot of facts in the world which are proved scientifically, yet differ from a teaching given by religious leaders. A common disagreement is the belief that the earth is flat, which has been disproved by science. When there are a lot of contradictions such as this one, then people begin to lose faith and instead adopt the view that if they can see it and if they can feel it, then it’s real. This is a dangerous frame of mind for religions and Young is noticing that there are many who no longer believe in religion because of the truths discovered by science which contradicts doctrinal teachings which were given before. 4. Describe the source of conflict between science and religion. There is a large conflict regarding truth. Some religions will pronounce certain things as true but science will prove it false. Or religion may say something is false which science proves to be true. 5. Differentiate between Rationalism and Empiricism and how can they work together? Rationalism is the concept that man can understand the universe by pure reasoning. It is the ability to be able to come to conclusions and apply learning to a future scenario. For example, if I were to drop a pen 10 times and see it fall to the ground every time, I would rationalize that the pen will continue to fall, no matter how many times I dropped it. Empiricism is the concept that we learn only through observations made by the senses. It is the “if I see it and feel it, then I will believe it” mindset. In this mode of thinking, if a man drops a pen 10 times and sees it fall every time, then he will conclude that the pen has dropped every time I let it go, but I cannot say that it will continue dropping. It could go up one of these times and so I can only conclude that for the amount of time that I dropped the pen, it has fallen. 6. What is a hypothesis? A hypothesis is a working theory. The duty of a hypothesis is to guide a scientists/researcher towards a specific goal. A hypothesis is formed when there is a question to be answered through research and when there is a possible answer to that question. For example, if the question is What will happen if the pen is dropped from five feet in the air? And the possible answer (or theorized result) is the pen will fall, then this could be the hypothesis which guides the experiment: If the pen is dropped from five feet, then it will fall every time because of the pull of gravity. 7. What is the connection between predictions and hypotheses? A hypothesis includes a prediction. If a hypothesis makes no predictions then it isn’t testable and doesn’t promote new knowledge. A prediction is simply an observation that we should see if the hypothesis is correct. Basically, the connection between a prediction and a hypothesis is that the prediction is the starting point of the hypothesis. 8. What is the difference between experimental and historical science? Experimental science is the act of having a controlled environment or controlled substances with the intent of isolating an influencing factor and proving a hypothesis. There is physics, chemistry, and some subspecialties of biology and geology which fall under this category. For historical sciences, there is no control. It is about the observational sciences such as astronomy and paleontology. 9. What is a theory and what functions do theories serve? A theory is an educated “guess” which has here main functions. Theories explain why we see observations, it describes nature. It provides conceptual economy; it relates a number of otherwise unconnected observations and makes them easier to remember. Theories also guide future research by providing predictions. 10.What is an assumption and what are the five assumptions made in modern science? An assumption is a concept that cannot be proven but serves as the foundation upon which the rest of the system is built. The five modern assumptions which underlay today’s science is that 1) man can understand the universe, 2) theories should be quantitative, testable, and fit observations, 3) simple laws are better, 4) uniformitarianism (the presumption that theories and laws that we discover through science apply throughout space and time), and 5) mechanism/naturalism (the presumption that every observation is produced by a describable mechanism). 11.How does faith play a role in science? Faith is seen when a community takes the words of a scientist as true. Also, accepting a scientific theory as truth is an act of faith because a theory can never be proven true, it can only be proven false. Lastly, accepting scientific assumptions is an act of faith because assumptions also cannot be proven true. 12.Is the faith applied in science different or the same as religious faith, why or why not? Faith serves the same role in science as in religion. It is faith to take the words of another scientist as true and it requires faith to take the recorded words of a prophet as true. 13.What are the strengths and limits of science? Two limits of science as identified by Elder Richard G. Scott is that, “First, we never can be sure we have identified absolute truth, though we often draw nearer and nearer to it. Second, sometimes, no matter how earnestly we apply the method, we can get the wrong answer.” There can also be limitations with the questions that science can answer, including questions regarding the supernatural. Strengths include that science can identify some truths and about the laws of nature. It is possible to find conclusive evidence of how the earth works, such as the law of gravity. Another strength is that it is self-correcting, mainly because it is open to public scrutiny.


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