This was part of a discussion for Norwescon panels:
The problem with these panels at fan cons is that often terms are not defined before they start, and they spend most of the hour tearing the terms apart instead of getting into the meat of the subject. If somebody thinks global warming is “junk,” use the scientific method — ask them for their reasons. Require proofs. And no, they don’t get to quote scientists whom we find out are pissed about having their names used in an argument for a theory they never backed. Either GET the proof — or go back to the lab.
Most religion IS the original science, but it is based on older theories. Or equipment. For example: “I have an eye. I can see the sun move. Therefore, the sun moves, not the earth.” With math, a proof could be offered that the EARTH moved. Certainly helped with those pesky retrograde planets. At last, with space travel, somebody could stand on the moon and see the earth as the planet it was. With the original (eyeball) equipment. Meanwhile, religion stayed static, depending on the old eyeball observations. It can’t change or move because it limits the equipment.
If religion or politics want to BE science, they have to bring proofs — and then where is faith? Or economic theory?
How to sooth a religious person who thinks the Big Bank is about creation: point out that it’s ONLY really about the movement of objects through space. If they ask, “Well, what if you prove there’s a god?” the shrug is: “Then it’ll be proved.” But remind them of what Douglas Adams said. QED.
Ethiopia is MUCH more civilized than us — they divide science and religion quite happily, and don’t mix them up. That very religious country is very proud of the Lucy exhibits.