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DevilKisses
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27 Jan 2016, 11:44 pm

I'm actually asking a slightly different question. I just couldn't think of a better title. Let's say there's a guy named Luke. Luke is writing a book about how DNA affects the way you are. Luke believes in God and other paranormal things. Would this affect your opinion of his book? Will it make his book seem less credible to you?


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naturalplastic
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27 Jan 2016, 11:56 pm

"God, and other supernatural things" is a better way of putting it.

Ghosts, bigfoot, and UFOs, are the "paranormal".

God, per se, is not quite in the category of the "paranormal". Though yes- some alleged manifestations of God, like alleged miracles being real, and faith healing, are under that rubrick of the paranormal.

But thats an aside.

The example you use wouldnt bother me. Religious folks contribute to science all of the time.

But definitely (whether rightly or wrongly) I will have my hackles up if I know certain things about a certain author.

To take an extreme example: if a scientist claimed that cigarettes are not really that bad for you- and if that scientist was named "Phillip Morris jr" ( and was heir to a tobacco fortune) - I might read his book with a pillar of salt, and with a chip on my shoulder.



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28 Jan 2016, 12:25 am

DevilKisses wrote:
I'm actually asking a slightly different question. I just couldn't think of a better title. Let's say there's a guy named Luke. Luke is writing a book about how DNA affects the way you are. Luke believes in God and other paranormal things. Would this affect your opinion of his book? Will it make his book seem less credible to you?


I would only care about a person's beliefs insofar that it could potentially influence the person's scientific writings and publications, and consequently, introduce bias.


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Feyokien
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28 Jan 2016, 12:33 am

I guess it would depend on how intertwined he has pure science and his beliefs. People can believe anything and still have the capacity to do good science. I'd probably be more prone to fact checking any statements that might seem fishy.



Yigeren
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28 Jan 2016, 1:58 am

Only if those beliefs cause a biased view which is reflected in the book.



Edenthiel
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28 Jan 2016, 3:44 am

I'd guess I read a few hundred published papers a year & often have to read the papers they cite to see what they are basing their assumptions upon. If it all stitches together into a consistent web of knowledge, I accept that body of knowledge as true.

Books are a different beast altogether. I've yet to read one by a single author that wasn't exceedingly biased and self referencing. That's okay, though; it allows an author to build an argument in a sandbox on a topic that may be complex. But before I accept that argument as true as well as valid, it has to match & mesh with knowledge outside of the bubble the author has created. Does their argument build upon and reinforce other knowledge, or does it expect me to take it on their authority as an author or expert that what they claim is true? Does it hold up under external scrutiny?

If they don't use it in their argument, I don't care what their personal cosmology is any more than I care what their favorite flavor of ice cream may be; both are personal opinion and have nothing to do with it. The only time it would make me cautious is if they have a reputation for, or I find that they show, a bias or use selective omission to make their argument seem more likely to be true.


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Kraichgauer
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28 Jan 2016, 5:43 am

If Luke keeps to the scientific facts, then it wouldn't bother me at all.


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28 Jan 2016, 10:51 am

Depends on the content.


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29 Jan 2016, 8:20 am

Well, I'd really love to comment, but after 27X trying to get past CAPTCHA, I've given-up. I've copied, pasted, and saved my response; so, maybe later, I hope.....













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29 Jan 2016, 8:26 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
If Luke keeps to the scientific facts, then it wouldn't bother me at all.


Me either. If the data is solid and based on empirical research, and holds up to scrutiny, then I wouldn't have any issues with it. If he skews the data to validate his personal beliefs and compell them on others, then I'd have a problem.


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JakJak
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29 Jan 2016, 8:32 am

Like others have said.. If the book leaves the religion out of it, I'm fine with it. But any type of religious viewpoints within the book, and I'd probably not want to continue reading, unless I was simply curious to know his religious viewpoints. But that would be the only reason I could see in continuing, as I wouldn't find the information as serious as I otherwise would have.



AspE
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29 Jan 2016, 11:03 am

DevilKisses wrote:
I'm actually asking a slightly different question. I just couldn't think of a better title. Let's say there's a guy named Luke. Luke is writing a book about how DNA affects the way you are. Luke believes in God and other paranormal things. Would this affect your opinion of his book? Will it make his book seem less credible to you?

Yes. Luke obviously has no standards when it comes to evidence. I would be far more skeptical of his findings, which no doubt would be used to support his faith.



Jacoby
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29 Jan 2016, 11:32 am

Depends on what this person wrote and how they let their beliefs effect it, superstitious beliefs aren't too uncommon so on the surface it means nothing but...



Last edited by Jacoby on 29 Jan 2016, 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

lostonearth35
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29 Jan 2016, 11:43 am

I care about facts. If people's beliefs are based on actual facts, then I care about them. If people would rather believe in some nonsense based on ancient superstitions rather than the facts that are right in front of their face, then they're not worth my time.

Like just recently on Facebook I read about someone's two-year-old "praying" in the middle of the night, and they're raising a huge stink about it. I think the parents should be concerned that their kid might be schizophrenic.



SonicMisaki
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29 Jan 2016, 6:22 pm

I don't care about people's beliefs if they keep it to themselves.

If they don't, it depends. If the person likes to shove proven facts down people's throats (Provided it's in an appropriate manner), I'll take it and then some. Someone who doesn't care for facts and tries to make me live out their dogmas is suspicious at best.

Besides, for example, I've heard my mom consider fundamentalists to not be "True Christians" - if that doesn't mean they break the flow of Christianity, then that might as well be a No True Scotsman. But my point still stands.


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29 Jan 2016, 7:00 pm

Not at all.

I judge ideas and arguments on their own terms. I would expect his ideas to hold together and be backed up with appropriate references.

However, when it comes to engaging in a conversation about certain ideas, I may judge that some perspectives are too different.


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