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Earth Science

Mapping a Monster Volcano 105

bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes In one of the biggest-ever seismology deployments at an active volcano, researchers are peppering Mount St Helens in Washington state with equipment to study the intricate system of chambers and pipes that fed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. This month, they plan to set off 24 explosions — each equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake — around around the slumbering beast in an effort to map the its interior with unprecedented depth and clarity.
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Mapping a Monster Volcano

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  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @02:23PM (#47408917) Journal

    There's absolutely no difference between "faith in scientists" and "faith in wise men". If you believe the conclusions of some area of science because you did some research and you understand, at least shallowly, the arguments and evidence, then you can claim a difference from religion. But anything you just believe because the "smart people" say it's so? That's religious faith, plain and simple.

    (It's also quite silly to disbelieve something just because of its source, of course, though skepticism is often warranted.)

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @03:01PM (#47409221)

    But anything you just believe because the "smart people" say it's so? That's religious faith, plain and simple.

    Wrong. There is one HUGE and critical difference. I can at any time I wish attempt to duplicate the experiment of the scientist. With religion there is no possibility of confirming the assertions of religious "wise men" because they are making claims that cannot be falsified. For example I haven't actually gotten out a telescope to confirm the existence of the moon Titan around Saturn even though plenty of scientists assure me it is there. However I can actually do so any time I wish. That is not religion, it is simply pragmatism. I don't have time to confirm everything for myself but I'm willing to lend more credence to observations I can replicate myself if I so choose.

    Religion is taking something on blind faith that cannot be confirmed with observation. That is enormously different than trusting to a scientist who is describing his observations.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller