What is "Reconciliation"? What is "Peace"?


(Ann Gauger) #21

No. You can’t lob it back at ID. I was speaking as a person to a group of people. You narrow it to me and you. But the issue is finding common ground for this group called Peaceful Science. We probably have to start with some basics. There are things that are good or bad that we all can agree upon, at least I hope so.


A minimal list. I’ll be interested to see how @Patrick reacts.

Our Common Ground in This Group Here
(Dan Eastwood) #22

Thinking back to the discussion with TSZ mods, we wanted to know what we might do differently. When I look at the history of online communities like UD, Panda’s Thumb, TSZ, and ENV, the pattern is an initial surge of interest, a period of high activity which establishes a routine, then a long slow tappering off of interest locked in that routine. I’ve seen the same in my own atheism community, where the resistance to change grew until it prevented any efforts at change or innovation.

What I’m getting at (finally) is this discussion about Reconciliation and Peace may need to be ongoing and continually renewed. That will be hard to do - it’s human nature to try to settle into that comfortable routine.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #23

One difference here is that we are planning a migration pathway. This is important. Everyone should expect our format and structure will be changing. This means that feedback on what is working and and what is not working is very important. It is very likely to change things. Everyone who frequents this forum is important here. I want know how we can serve you, especially as we grow. Things will change. Help us make changes to welcome more people in and to grow together.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #24

This is a good list, however most here has different views of fairness, goodness, and peace. I think that the discussion here at PS shows that various people have very different views on what is good and what is bad. It really is situational, individual, and requires human reasoning to work things out. No absolutes on any of these.

(Ann Gauger) #25

@Patrick, yes, different people have different views. That is why we sometimes talk past each other. That’s why I suggested working out what we can agree on. Which means we have to define what we mean by good. You say good is situational. Are you saying there are some situations you would call good and I wouldn’t? Leaving aside ID getting trashed, and all creationists accepting an ancient earth and evolution. :wink:

I know there are things we both consider bad. We have discussed them on this forum. And I am pretty sure there are things we both consider good.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #26

Yes, the Dover decision.

(Ann Gauger) #27

OK, so where do we agree?

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #28

Family, living life with purpose and meaning, happiness, love.

(Ann Gauger) #29

Good list. I agree with those, at least as I understand the terms. Now can we push the boundaries? What do we agree on about science in general, then biology in specific?

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #30

That science is provisional truth. That science continues to provide better lives for people. That biological science is at the cusp of providing new and enormous benefits to us, our children and grandchildren in the years ahead.

(Ann Gauger) #31

Interesting answer. It will take me a little time to type my response and I am sitting in a freesing office (maybe 30˚ F) so I am going to turn on the heat and get a coat. Otherwise my fingers will get too stiff. and my shivering will make my typos even worse. I’ll be back shortly.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #32

Why are you sitting in a freezing office? I feel empathy for your fingers. Please go to a nice warm Starbuck’s and get a cappuccino on me via my Starbuck app.

(Ann Gauger) #33


I came in just to look for speaker wires. The owners we bought the house from said it was wired for stereo throughout the house. The rooms listed were LR (living room) kitchen, and SP. The only thing I could think of for SP was sun porch. My office would qualify as a sun porch, having wall to wall windows on three sides, and no heat, except the little portable heater I use when I am there. Alas, no wires, and I was lured by the siren call of the computer, sitting in the cold for just a minute…it’s 22° F, I checked.
Thanks for the Starbucks offer. I went downstairs and made hot chocolate with my daughter.

I can agree with your statements, but would have to qualify the last one. I suspect some things you would see as a benefit I see as a danger, such as reproductive human cloning and animal/human chimeras. Somatic cell genetic engineering is fine, but germline, not so much. Too much danger of vanity children, and incomplete knowledge of the interactions of genes. For example, genes linked to bipolar disease and autism may be genetically linked to extraordinary gifts and creativity as well. You eliminate the one and you may eliminate the other.

My statements about science:

Science is a discipline that seeks to understand the natural world by observation and experimentation where possible, or by observation, comparison of possible causes known to be capable of producing the thing being observed, and inferring which cause best explains the observation.

Science is cumulative in its understanding, but always capable of revision.

Science has been both a powerful force for good and for evil in the last century. Society as a whole, not just scientists, must decide on what is a right use of science.

Scientists are human, and subject to the same weaknesses as all humans. We should not set ourselves apart as some sort of high priesthood of knowledge. We can be dreadfully wrong, and that wrong can have dreadful consequences. Think eugenics.

Do you agree with these?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #34

Go wireless - try Sono or the new Bose . Music all over the house wirelessly from your apps like Pandora.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #35

Every new technology has a dangerous side and a benefits side. The key is to minimize the danger and risks and maximize the benefits. Take CRISPR Cas9 enormous risks and enormous potential benefits. More scientific research and more reason based technological development.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #36

Yes, pretty much agree but I am less gloomy about what can be achieved with science and reason. The key is to agree to use science and reasoning to make informed public policy decisions on how to proceed for the benefit of all.

(Ann Gauger) #37

I have a large collection of CDs, and so far I haven’t been able to get my Bose to play therm (but it is years old).

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #38

My collection of CDs like the previous collection of VHS, LPs, cassettes and 8-tracks are long gone. Even my tube amp went with the Big Sony Big tube TV a decade ago. I tend not to keep any old media as the new media is so much better in listening to the old stuff on. Listening to 1940’s music via streaming HD audio on wireless Bose noise canceling headphones is really amazing or having the music follow you around the house via Sono.


I’ve missed the 48hr period, but I’ll add that I certainly don’t find peaceful a negative or weak word. However I often refer people on facebook to your website and when I type in Peaceful Science it doesn’t gel for me somehow.

I note that Miriam Webster lists 4 definitions for peaceful:
1 disposed to peace, not contentious or quarrelsome
2 untroubled by conflict, agitation, or commotion
3 of or relating to a state or time of peace
4 devoid of violence or force
I assume that it is sense #1 that is the aspiration here? Promoting a view of Science that is not contentious or quarrelsome? Now that I have looked that up I feel better about the name.

I live in a nation that is seeking (mostly) to come to terms with its history of colonisation of the indigenous people. Reconciliation makes me immediately think of that. People from other nations may have a different response to that word.

I think part of my unease with the label “Peaceful Science” is that it seems lopsided, or unbalanced. Science is one party, but who is the other party which it is trying to avoid quarrels with? Faith presumably? Specifically, Christian faith? Perhaps a a tagline would clarify that. I no longer hold to the non-overlapping Magisteria view as tightly as I used to, but I feel talking about crossroads and intersection presumes that such an intersection exist. Perhaps “relationship” would be less constrictive? “Peaceful Science - exploring the relationship between Science and Faith” ?


off-topic, I greatly enjoyed novelist Veronica Roth exploring this theme in her Divergent trilogy - Wikipedia, where a society seeking to improve its society genetically unintentionally creates more damage than improvement.