A Skeptics Takes a Look at Science Part II

A Skeptics Takes a Look at Science

Part II

Personal Observations on Science as Salvation


Let me share with some personal observations that I hope will help the true believers to put science in proper perceptive.

  1. It seems from my point of view that much of modern science is no longer based on observation and experimentation, but rather on metaphysical cues, e.g. string theory.  Cues that they spend an inordinate amount time and money chasing, trying to convince us  that they are truthful. Why?  Then there is the huge amount of money spent proofing things that are supposedly already proven. An example is their constant chasing for the missing links of Darwinian’s evolution.  If Darwin’s evolution is a fact why are they sill chasing the evidence as though their life depends on it?  If they have overwhelming evidence like they claim, why keep looking for more? This seem to be a case where their behaves or action do not square with their words or beliefs. I was taught when studying counseling  not to believe what people said but to watch their action to know the truth of what the belief. Of course, scientist may be trying to falsify the theory, but how can you falsify a fact? The truth is that you cannot falsify facts. The problem with many scientist is that they really think their theories are facts. When a theory becomes fact, it is no longer science but something else. It can be religion, philosophy or history  but it cannot be science. Much of Darwinian evolution can never be a fact or even a good scientific theory, because the scientific method cannot be applied to it. Note Gee’s book “Deep Time”. Of course you can change the definition of science,  which I believe is not to far off. The age of proving things with empirical evidence is just about over and when happen the age of science will be over.
  2. In general the scientific community claims the higher ground of being free of bias. This belief is absolutely not true. There is no human being that is free of bias much less a community of human beings . All human knowledge is tainted by ideology and the spirit of the age. The best that any community can do is to be aware of the problem and try their best to avoid biases, which comes from ideology and undetected presuppositions.  The scientific method was created to overcome subjectivism of every kind, but to an increasing degree these fundamental principles are being set aside. For those who have either forgotten or have abandoned the scientific method: (1) Make observations on some area of interest. (2) Create a theory that explains those observations (3)Make predictions based on that theory (4) Run experiments and make new observations to test the predictions (5) If the predictions prove wrong (that is, the new observations do not match the predictions) go to step two. (6) If the predictions prove correct, go to step three.

The basic presumption of the scientific community is atheistic[1], which in itself is a bias. You could say the scientific community is “no gods land” for many who practice science.   One of the basic law of the community is “You cannot use God to explain natural causes.” Therefore, the community actual imposes a presupposition or a dogma on its members.   If you violate this dogma you will be expelled or excommunicated from the community. Taken to  extremes this unwritten law can blind science to a world of possibilities. Fortunately , not all scientist take it to the extreme.

I once asked a scientist about this and he told me that the law was put in place to distinguish natural philosophy from natural science.  His explanation sound logical until I began to think about it. He never did explained to me how a man who was a believer in a God could practice science without deny his most basic beliefs?  And why should a believer have to do science as an atheist?  Cannot a believer do experiments and observations as well as an atheist? Is not atheism based on a metaphysical philosophy of materialism that has nothing to do with science? Why the inconsistency? Why not push atheism out of science? William James the father of American pragmatism said this about the neutrality rule of modern science which in essence is a will to atheism. “I, therefore, for one cannot see my way to accepting the agnostic rules for truth-seeking, or willfully agree to keep my willing nature out of the game.  I cannot do so for this plain reason, that a rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth if those kinds of truth were really there, would be an irrational rule.  That for me is the long and short of the formal logic of the situation, no matter what  the kinds of truth might materially be (The Will to Believe).

Another scientist told me that they had to leave God out of science because to bring the idea of God in would hurt the scientific enterprise because people would appeal to what he referred to as the “God of the gaps”. What he was saying is that if you bring God in to science people would stop looking for answer to the gaps or problems with a theory and in turn would just make an appeal to God. My response was, what do you do now without the god of the gaps? His answer was, we assume that when our knowledge increases that we will be able to fill the gaps. At first I thought this was a fair answer and then I came to realize that it was the only answer. However, this answer is not without problems. The problem is that it bias the scientist toward filling in the gaps at any cost, for it easier to fill gaps than to falsify and create new theories or simply to say we do not know. It is also the same answer which a theologian could use to explain the gaps in theology. However, if this argument was used by theologian it would not be accepted by many scientist as a satisfactory answer. Why should we accept it for them.

  1.  I question a of lot of science because many scientist are fundamentalist, which take metaphors literally and therefore distort them and the reality that they point to . For example  many of them must exalt nature to the place of a metaphysical absolute or embrace chaos. Most cannot embrace chaos so they must put their faith in some cosmic order, which they call nature. Because of their dogma that you cannot appeal to a God, they must refer to the cosmic order with a different symbol than god.  They choose the symbol of nature, which they believe is  “the hold show[2]” that directs and control all things, i.e. their absolute. Thus, nature is used as a symbol that replace the concept of God.  For this reason scientists could accept nature as god or even a god within nature, e.g. man or some alien life form, but they cannot tolerate a God that is over or outside of nature, which created nature as the God of the Bible. The hold show must be the alp and omega or nothing.  The hold show must be the eternal one. Of course, nature being a metaphor of a large  unseen system is itself a creation of the mind of man and is used as a metaphor to express a metaphysical concept which science need to keep from slipping into chaos. How can you do science if there are no laws of nature governing the universe? And how can you have laws without a law-maker? Well, you have nature where the laws are simple there without begin or end. Sound a lot like God. Could we be playing the game, keep the concept, but change the name of the symbol for it?
  1. It also seem the older the discipline of science gets the more it resembles a religion or an ideology. It seem to have its holy men that you dare not question like Darwin, Freud, and even Max. Of course, Freud and Max have fallen from grace. However, there was a time when to question these pillars of the faith you would be brand a heretic and  be excommunicated  form the community.  Science as religion also has its apologist and its evangelist who guard and propagate the faith[3]. Scientism says you cannot believe in a heaven and be rational, but you can believe in a universe with 11 dimensions and be a genius. In other words, you cannot believe in a two story building (heaven and earth) but you can believe in a 11 story skyscraper as long as God did not make it.

One scientist told me that science is not like religion because it is self-correcting.  However, the Christian religion has had from the begin prophets that have call the faithful to change and reform. What would you call the reformation, but a self correction?

  1. It is also obvious that a large number of scientist has been brought under the influence of the ruling class and its money, if not directly, indirectly by the placing of grant money with those that will see things the way the oligarchy see them. Of course, this is the exactly the same thing that happen to the church during the dark ages. We have examples of this happing in science were science was directed by the German Nazis and in Russian by the communist. In Russian, science was direct not only by the scientific method but by the ideology of materialism and the state. They even had a church they called “the church of scientific Atheism”. It is truly amazing to see how money and power controls and directs the march of science, but what is more amazing is the fact that so few see it.
  1. Many who have placed their faith in science base it on the continuous progress of the discipline. They believe that science will continue to progress at its present rate or its past rate. They fail to see that there are limits to human knowledge and that already the number of large discoveries are dwindling. Many of the so-called new discoveries are really the development and refining of things already know. We could say that the discipline of science has picked all the low fruit off the tree of scientific knowledge. The outcome is that it will become harder and harder and cost more and more to pick the higher fruit. It is very likely that we will reach a omega point where human knowledge will reach its end.[4]

You might say that all of this is very pessimistic about science. However, I disagree, it is not pessimistic but realistic. For when we are talking about science we are talking about human knowledge and human knowledge is finite, which means it has limits and is often filled with Gaps and errors which will never be filled or corrected. The belief in unlimited progress is an illusion that denies our finiteness. This illusion in the end will unravel much of the progress that we have made and take us into an abyss of human arrogance.

[1] Richard Lewontin (evolutionary geneticist), “[The public] take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.” “Billions and Billions of Demons,” p. 31.

[2] That is everything that is, which means that there cannot be anything outside of her or above her. Sounds a little like God. Some are using the word universe instead of nature as the ultimate reality.

[3] Neil DeGrasse is an example of an apologist and evangelist for atheistic science.

[4] Many scholars feel that physics as we know it as the queen of science has reached its end. The science of biology will probably be the heir to the throne at least for a short time. However, it to will come to its end.