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Do you think religious or spiritual belief systems should be allowed to interfere with scientific research?

Homicide in Kennewick (Ancient Mystery Documentary) - Real Stories

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pixiedust 8 July 16

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religion should have no interaction with science at all. when it tries to wander into the lab it should be taken by the shoulders, turned around and shoved back down the hall, and if it won't go, it should be kicked in the butt.



Religion has been stifling progress for thousands of years!


The Kennewick Man case is an interesting one. Eventually DNA analysis established that he was local to the Washington state area and his remains were transferred to the care of a local tribe. What I found most interesting was that relying so heavily on morphology led to an erroneous conclusion. Skull shape was not a good indicator of geographic origin. It goes to show that within each so-called racial group there is as much diversity as there is between the groups. So the whole concept of different modern human races breaks down. So racists are wrong not only on ethical/moral grounds but also on scientific grounds. Learning things like this is important and stand as an example of why science should not be impeded, as long as it is carried out with respect and sensitivity.

That said, skull morphology is still a valid set of markers, this speaks largely to perceptive bias and fitting facts to match theories instead of the other way around. The skull wall at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is fascinating from an anthropological perspective.

Morphology is still the gold standard in distinguishing more ancient hominid species.


As both an author and scientist I would be horrified if my creation/composition were used as a deterrent to advancing science.

FynTul Level 6 July 16, 2018

Should religion interfere with science, not in any way. None of the tenets of religion as a paradigm are conducive to the scientific process in any way.

Ethics, on the other hand, are the force that balances scientific inquiry with human and social responsibility. And while ethics slow the progress of science, the cost of scientific progress free from ethical consideration is...there are entire books and college classes designed around historical examples of what happens when the scientific mind is not guided by the hand of ethics. The name Mengele comes to mind.

Now where religion and ethics intersect is a valid consideration, but those ideas are not religious, they are rules of ethics assimilated into a religiously-centered code of conduct.


Totally enjoyed the video. I've known about Kennewick man because I live on the east side of the mountains in Ellensburg. I am not happy with the way the Native People were treated, we are all humans and the discovery of ancient bones can tell us so very much.
Enter the politics and the Native Peoples mistrust of whitemans government. There has to be a compromise, a way to respect the bones and the science.
To take a look at just the area around easter WA. In the Yakima Basin water is the huge issue, the Yakima Nation's senior water rights are greedily eyed so anything that might be interpreted down the road as they not being the first in time is HUGE. Western water law states 'first in time first in line'. The Yakima Nation has the largest share of senior water in a closed basin that is over allocated. So I can see where the concern lies and where politics, law and science come to a confluence.


Best not to muddy the waters with unprovable nonsense...


As another post quoted (paraphrased here) rulers find religious useful... it can be in a good way, so I voted Sometimes, but most often it is not.

godef Level 7 July 16, 2018

I would say no, regarding religion. But, spiritual practice could be manifested out of intuition and that is mostly unexplainable. It may be from the ‘collective consciousness.’ Or it could come from gathered knowledge.


Absolutely not. There are no such things as holy books.


Religious beliefs have always interfered with the exercise and advance of science -- and will continue to do so as long as religion exists. That interference is a force which must always be fought.


In general, I'd say that a scientist who permits his research to be influenced by religious belief is less a scientist that a proselyte attempting to co-op science.

However, there are certain scientific circumstances that almost demand some religious/spiritual consideration when undertaken. One that comes to mind involves some archaeological work done on the site of the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland. The camp had been razed by the SS to eliminate evidence of its existence, and research was being performed by an archaeologist from the UK to find proof of the crematoria locations. Rabbis were on site to request a halt to any further digging if a mass grave was unearthed. In this case, I support the religious interference, if it could even be called that.



weeman Level 7 July 16, 2018

Religious beliefs have no value because there isn't a rational idea behind them.


In this case there may be more of a political motive than a religious one.

Betty Level 7 July 16, 2018

Religious and spiritual beliefs have no place interfering with anything, anywhere, at anytime. They're nonsense.

and for any reason.


The video was fascinating. Thanks for sharing it.

My feeling is that religion is often used to prevent knowledge. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, and that goes for all religions.

This tactic of assigning spiritual value to inanimate things seems to be used for questionable motives in many cases. Granted, it may sound callous to call bones inanimate, but the life spirit left those bones long ago.

We are not talking about identified remains, or bones of loved ones. These bones can't even be identified as to ethnicity, let alone religious preference. Without the scientific study of the bones, how do we know which religious group can claim it as their own?

It's almost spiritual to realize that the bones could hold the foundation or bridge for better understanding of migration, where we came from and where we are going.

In this particular case, it puts into question whether the tribe of that particular area were actually the "first people" there or possibly not.

Humans have always fought over who was here - or there - first. Some peoples were overtaken by force, likely unethically, sometimes illegally, and often with bloodshed. Power and greed are often the factors, and it's been that way for thousands of years. It's still going on, but does it have to be that way in these modern, more humanistic age?

Aren't we all members of the human race? This idea of territorialism and who was here first is something that affects our entire planet.

We are all visitors or temporary residents on this earth. Fights about who was where first and who should dictate whose agenda, lifestyle and religion shouldn't be the point of contention in a progressive world. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, it's the overtaking group that makes the rules.

Also, ethical practices toward whom? The deceased? The next of kin? Direct ancestors? What if the deceased person's identity, religion or even ethnicity, can not be known? To whom then is owed the ethical practices?

A very thoughtful response and I agree with your points. I'm glad you enjoyed the video.


No, they are different things and it is not helpful if they seep into each other. In their essence they are compatible but only if they act as colleagues rather than adversaries


Absolutely not. Science is looking for truth, plain and simple. Religious belief runs counter to this and is an active barrier to advancement and understanding.


I don't think so because they are not of the science community and have shown over and over that they have no idea how science works. Leave science to the scientists and religion/spiritual groups to themselves.

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