Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Science or scientism?

You be the judge.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Dr. Porco said. “Let’s teach our children from a very young age about the story of the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so much more glorious and awesome — and even comforting — than anything offered by any scripture or God concept I know.”

I doubt Dr. Porco really means this. Or, he only means it when nature is being gentle, benign and beautiful. But when nature rears its head and brings death and destruction upon many, there’s a different view of this new god they call "Nature."

I was utterly fascinated by world reaction in the few days after the tsunami several years ago. There was no possible way to blame humans for that. No human activity could possibly have contributed to an earthquake a mile under the ocean. And in the few days after the tsunami there was a kind of stunned "lostness" about the world as it struggled to reconcile the incredible destructiveness of something so purely the result of nature. It took a few days until they could find a way to transfer blame in some way. Eventually they refocused themselves with public displays of charity, and blame heaped upon the United States for not giving more.

These people put on a happy face about the value of science and progress. But I really don’t think they find much comfort, deep in their hearts, relying on science as their Rock, their Fortress, or their Redeemer. Destructive acts of nature, wholly outside the scope of human control or contribution, shows how unstable their "faith" really is.

Oh, this is definitely scientism, or faith based on the scientific method. Dawkins is a brilliant scientific populizer, but he is throwing away science’s one big advantage over religion...epistemological humility. Since science can in no way disprove a Creator, scientists really have no business advocating an end to religious philosophy. They should stick to empirical validation of the world and let people construct the kinds of worldviews necessary to everyday life.

It’s really happened: I completely agree with dain. Happy Thanksgiving, dain.

Readers may be interested in this statement">statement">http://www.thecrimson.com/printerfriendly.aspx?ref=515314">statement from Steven Pinker. He’s commenting on Harvard’s gen ed curriculum planning.

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