What annoys me more than casual submission to religious doctrine by many who should by all rights call themselves atheist or agnostic, is the atheist that profess a dogmatic opinion on science.

The argument, usually against some religious person, contain a dogmatic refutation of what the religious person is saying by claiming a “truth of science”. I saw it today elsewhere on the net, something said that God couldn’t be proven; that there was no scientific proof for god, unlike the fact of gravity.

The truth is that gravity is the force we know the least of. We’ve explained the electromagnetic forces: weak and strong nuclear power, light, and so on. We recently found the boson responsible for making matter have mass. But gravity, gravity is still a mystery, and we have no idea how the things we see work. We can only see its effect, but don’t understand its cause.

Using gravity as proof of anything is merely observational inference. We can see the effects of the system at work, but the system itself is a black box which we don’t understand the innards of. So, to claim that the observational inference of gravity is superior to observational inference of a god is… strange. Using gravity in this way is a dogmatic expression of faith.

Science does not work as an expression of faith. And atheists using science this way just elevates natural effects into a sort of religion which has to be defended against. Expressions of doubt about the truth of gravity becomes apostatic. Using science this way, to brow-beat an opponent with the mallet of ‘fact’ doesn’t do anything but to expose the user of the method as someone who doesn’t understand what science is about.

Science is never ‘facts’. It is always about working hypotheses which have a more or less firm foundation of observational and experimental data. Those working hypotheses are abandoned as needed when new experimental data emerge. Science is, or it should never be, treated as dogma.

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