Science or Superstition Q&A

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Science or Superstition Questions and Answers

Presented by Honey B Wackx

Sandy asks…

What scientific basis did people have for believing the earth was flat?

I know why we now know it is round. But did people have some scientific reason for believing it was flat or was it just superstition?

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

There was little science behind the belief. Although it originated in ancient greece, the belief did not last very long before round earth hypotheses, and eventual data to prove these hypothesis existed. It was perpetuated by some Christians, who had a hard time reconciling the fact that there were lands elsewhere in the world that they did not know about. But, for the most part, people believed that the earth was spherical. In fact, it is a common misconception that Columbus and his crew actually thought that the earth was flat and were afraid of traveling off the edge. There’s no evidence of such a belief.

You can think of it this way: it was an early hypothesis that scientific method later disproved.

Laura asks…

Why the pen which is used for writing Capital punishment is broken immediately by the judge?

Is there some superstition or some scientific reason behind this ? Is this done in all the countries of the world or some special ones?

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that particular custom. I suspect it’s a symbolic act to represent the finality of the sentence and that a pen which has essentially been used to take a human life should never be used for a lesser purpose.

It sounds a bit like the Presidential custom of signing a bill with several pens, which are then given to those who worked to get that bill passed. In that case, the pens symbolize the joint effort and cooperation between the different people.

James asks…

Agree or disagree? believing in miracle is like believing in superstitions?

Because miracles are the things you cant find a scientific reason for that

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

I agree.

I think miracles are superstitions.


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Donald asks…

what do u think is 2012 really going to be the worlds end?

there are many superstitions and also some scientific reasons for this

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

Scientific reasons ? Please elaborate, I’m interested…
Ok, leaving that aside, I don’t believe in any bit of this 2012 doomsday. The science behind these “theories” doesn’t make much sense, especially since the people who started all this aren’t even actual scientists. Most of them got their info from ancient writings, which they interpreted in their unique way. I’m not even gonna talk about the ones who say they were informed by aliens…
All in all, I see no reason to even consider any of these scenarios…

Sandra asks…

Should one not sleep with one’s head towards the north?

Ppl say that one shouldn’t sleep with their head pointing towards the north. Is there a scientific reason for this or is this blind superstition? Some people tell me it’s got something to do with the earth’s magentism or some such thing. Any clear explanations?

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

Unless somebody can come up with a convincing reason, I’d put it down to superstition.

Magnetism, to figure in, would entail humans being sensitive to very weak magnetic fields. So far, such has not been demonstrated.

It occurs that the human race got along for hundreds of thousands of years without observing such nicities.

All that said, science is tentative. There might be a big discovery that will provide such a good reason. Until then, sleep in whatever direction your bed is in.

Thomas asks…

our ancestors more intelligent and futuristic than us ??? ur ideas ?


we claim…we are in Information superhighway age…its true.. we send rockets to MARS and MOON..and beyond. our medical scientists are doing absolutely unbelievable things..cloning…etc etc.. our IT experts are doing tremendous things and made world really smaller. but thinking of our ancestors they did many things which we at many times consider superstition. for eg. our ancestors suggested that we need to shave our foreheads and grow hair at the back of head. theres a scientific reason. foreheads get activated towards sunlight and backhead protects us from any unforeseen situations like someone hitting us at our head. those protect us. so are our ancestors really more intelligent than us ?

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

Maybe, historians have researched and found manuals of scientific machines and inexplicable devices that are lost to the present too.

David asks…

What are the reasons for the paradoxical failure of classical social theory?

Classical social theory developed under the guidance of some of Europe’s greatest
thinkers. These people were committed to the ideals of the “Enlightenment” and they
believed they had discovered “the key to the world.” Moreover, they were convinced
that man was a rational creature and that with rational, scientific models, the suffering of
humankind under the influence ignorance and superstition would eliminated, and a Utopia
of peace and prosperity would replace the old order ruled by despotism and war. But, as
the 20th century bears witness, this did not happen. Why?
What are the reasons for the
paradoxical failure of classical social theory?
This is a homework assignment that I really need help with. I have to write a paper, and have no idea where to start.

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

Classical social theory was not a paradoxical failure; just a failure. Theory is defined thus; a group of working hypothesizes that are supported by fact and that which has the power to predict empirical results for the theory. This, sociologist did not and do not have. They do have ideological, relativistic positions that are fundamentally flawed. Society is NOT sui generis and the preceding social facts Can be found in individuals. They refuse to inform themselves in an evolutionary fashion; then and now. So, they have a fallacious view of human nature that leads to constant naturalistic and moralistic fallacy’s. ” There is no society, just men , woman and their families “. The classical theorists never could come to grips with this concept and had Emile Durkheim to blame. Science is not done from a cloistered tower.

Paul asks…

Should atheists promote SECULAR HUMANISM as a positive alternative to faith & superstition?

Secular humanists reject supernatural and authoritarian beliefs. They affirm that we must take responsibility for our own lives and the communities and world in which we live. Secular humanism emphasizes reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation.
(From )

Atheist in R&S are sometimes accused of offering nothing in place of faith.

If those who agreed with the philosophy described ourselves as secular humanists, would people perceive us as having more to offer to the world?

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

Are you SURE secularists reject supernatural beliefs?

The idea of a government or anything else being secular is that it keeps religious beliefs out of the way, lets them be private.

Morality based on rationality has to be better than the dogma based on a holy book – no court in America has ever sentenced a child to death for insulting their parents but thats what the bible prescribes.

OK I looked at their site and it does say that – that must be the ‘humanist’ part – I’d be happy with an american government that was secular, if not humanist. Bush telling people God told him to Iraq does not excuse anything and its pretty scary to most people. He does what the voices in his head tell him to…

Basic answer to the question really is not necessarily, atheists arent a group really, you cant define a group by what it is not. Secular humanism should be promoted but I’m not interested in it myself. I don’t think we really need to work those things out. We know the difference between right and wrong and we sure don’t get it from the bible.

**atheists are accused of not offering anything in faith’s place? So if I told you that your imaginary friend, Mungo the monster wasnt real… You’d want… A real monster to take its place? Sorry don’t see where you’re going with that. If people need comfort in spite of rationality then they can stick to the kindly (not often!) sky-fairy. Atheism is about truth, not pandering to what people would like to be true.**

Mark asks…

Even though most of China is atheist, why are they so superstitious?

Example in hand:

* Preference for male child

* Afraid of number 4

* Ghost marriage. Girls are often killed to be bride in a ghost marriage

* Even CCP which is a despotic cabal of atheist people chose to have the opening ceremony precisely at 8:00 pm on August 8, 2008.

What is the reason for all this superstition? I though that atheists are supposed to have a scientific temperament and broad outlook.

Science or Superstition

Suzi Q answers:

I also have the same question for the locals, and the answer they gave is that because it was the way it is for a long time, more like a belief turned into culture. The preference of male child has long been a practice. The number 4 and number 8 have some link in each other, possible superstition and fengshui involved. Ghost marriage and burning of things to get into afterlife seemed more like culture and tradition.

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