黄晓磊(Huang Xiaolei )分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/book Nature is teacher | 诚实点,简单点,专业点

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科学没有信仰,科学不是宗教

已有 4121 次阅读 2013-11-16 18:42 |个人分类:读-思-拾|系统分类:科普集锦| 科学, 宗教, 信仰

冬天的下午天黑的越来越早。窗外偶尔传来的呼呼风声,屋子里电器的嗡嗡声,再加上楼下那家人跟刚开始呀呀学语的小孩子的嬉闹声,觉得挺有意思的场景。看东西看得眼睛直发花,不知道是放松还是劳累,但不管如何,从日历上,这是周六的下午。

在这样的场景里,按说挺适合窝在什么地方读些有意思的东西,比如陈安老师的长篇小说《重大计划》,只可惜如一些老师说的,他第一章写了三次却还在那宾馆里。希望他的小说哪天能最终出版从而能给人一个在这样的天气里窝在哪儿捧着读的机会。

不过,我还是能够读到了点有意思的东西。在萧瑟的冬天谈科学和宗教好像是有点应景。那是Jerry Coyne于11月14日发表在Slate上的一篇文章,题目是“No Faith in Science”。Jerry Coyne是芝加哥大学的进化生物学家,《为什么要相信达尔文》一书的作者。

起因是这样的:亚利桑那州立大学的Daniel Sarewitz前段时间在Nature发表了一篇文章,谈论他对于希格斯玻色子发现的后续效应的思考,以及科学和宗教的关系,他在文章里说:“对那些不太懂数学的人来说,相信希格斯粒子就是一场信仰行动,而非理性(an act of faith, not of rationality)”,并且他文章的题目是“有时候科学要为宗教让路”。然而,Coyne不干了,出来说Sarewitz把相信希格斯粒子比作“信仰”是错的,况且意思还跟宗教里的信仰同义。

Coyne认为,科学是基于证据的,而宗教信仰却并非基于证据的,比如希格斯粒子是被证实了的(获得了2013年诺贝尔物理学奖)。这两者,一个是可以证明的,另一个则是无法证明的信仰。最精彩的地方在于他论述“科学没有信仰”。有人说做科学要有信仰,起码要信仰“冥冥中”的自然法则(unexplained set of physical laws),以及理性(reason)的价值。但这两点在Coyne看来都是错的。一方面,那些自然法则是被观察到的,并且其行为是可以预见的;另一方面理性是表现为批判、逻辑、从经验中学习的一种习惯,是做科学时的工具,而非一种先验性的假设或信仰。还是来看看他的原文吧:

So scientists don’t have a quasi-religious faith in authorities, books, or propositions without empirical support. Do we have faith in anything? Two objects of scientific faith are said to be physical laws and reason. Doing science, it is said, requires unevidenced faith in the “orderliness of nature” and an “unexplained set of physical laws,” as well as in the value of reason in determining truth.

Both claims are wrong.

The orderliness of nature—the set of so-called natural laws—is not an assumption but an observation. It is logically possible that the speed of light could vary from place to place, and while we’d have to adjust our theories to account for that, or dispense with certain theories altogether, it wouldn’t be a disaster. Other natural laws, such as the relative masses of neutrons and protons, probably can’t be violated in our universe. We wouldn’t be here to observe them if they were—our bodies depend on regularities of chemistry and physics. We take nature as we find it, and sometimes it behaves predictably.

What about faith in reason? Wrong again. Reason—the habit of being critical, logical, and of learning from experience—is not an a priori assumption but a tool that’s been shown to work. It’s what produced antibiotics, computers, and our ability to sequence DNA. We don’t have faith in reason; we use reason because, unlike revelation, it produces results and understanding. Even discussing why we should use reason employs reason!

Finally, isn’t science at least based on the faith that it’s good to know the truth? Hardly. The notion that knowledge is better than ignorance is not a quasi-religious faith, but a preference: We prefer to know what’s right because what’s wrong usually doesn't work. We don’t describe plumbing or auto mechanics as resting on the faith that it’s better to have your pipes and cars in working order, yet people in these professions also depend on finding truth.

才发现原来我之前也有多篇博文提到了科学和宗教的关系:

进化论不可以证伪(不是科学)吗?

进化论与智能设计之争

漫画之 进化论 & 神创论

达尔文对上帝的态度

我是猴子吗?

开放问题:盘古 & 女娲 & 上帝 & 科学



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