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It’s not clear that science can survive long in a post-modern world

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Becker1999/via Wikimedia Commons.

Where science means: Anything goes (with some targeted exceptions). From Denyse O’Leary at Evolution News & Views:

Modern science, beginning in Europe in the 18th century, has been dominated by educated European men. But their dominance was not a principle of science. The principles were the laws and theorems that apply an internationally recognized thought pattern to nature. “Hidden figures” who sought and gained equality applied the same principles to the same effect.

But for post-modernists, philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend (1924–1994) provided liberation: “Anything goes.” One outcome is that social justice activists have shifted away from helping marginalized people qualify in science toward questioning its principles, supposedly on behalf of the oppressed.

We hear that objectivity is “cultural discrimination” (or sexist), Newtonian physics is exploitative, mathematics is a “dehumanizing tool” (if not white privilege), and algebra creates hurdles for disadvantaged groups. And mavericks in science are a problem because they tend to be wealthy, white, and male.

These post-modern talking points are launched from American education faculties. It may be relevant that the United States spends far more on public education but gets far less than many developed countries. Do public educators find it convenient to focus attention on the personal attributes of current scientists and away from their own policies, practices, and performance?

Many hope that attacks on science’s core disciplines are a passing fad. Unfortunately, when biology professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying were targeted by social justice mobs at Evergreen State College, the message was clear: Attacks on core science values (like just teaching science, not politics) are inevitable, not random, outcomes of post-modernism… More.

What survives will look a lot more like social sciences today than physics yesterday.

See also: How naturalism rots science from the head down

The Big Bang: Put simply, the facts are wrong.

What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

Cosmology is naturalism’s playground. But does the fun mask a science decline?

Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence

Cosmic inflation theory loses hangups about the scientific method

The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide

Question for multiverse theorists: To what can science appeal, if not evidence?

Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

Nature, as defined today, cannot be all there is. Science demonstrates that.

4 Replies to “It’s not clear that science can survive long in a post-modern world

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    If so, it is long overdue, having been trivialised by atheists’ reductionism to the empirically testable on the one hand, and the ludicrously unempirically testable on the other.

    Both would be perfectly fine, even essential, except that they shoe-horn both approaches to produce their wish atheist fulfilments ; while the more shamefully vapid their expressions, the more oppressively-cynical is the authoritarian imposition of them in the scientific field.

    Fortunately, after defining science so narrowly, indeed, usurping its original meaning, in favour of the narrowest empiricism, i.e. which will raise no uncomfortable metaphysical entailments that they, qua the Establishment, can’t suppress by the powers, i.e. funds, extended them by the multinationals, they just might find it impossible to exchange one vapid, indeed, obstructionist, interpretation of the concept of science for its equally vacuous, post modern antithesis qua multiworlds, which is entirely nihilistic ; rather like the parallel, increasingly hyper-sexual, atheistic culture of many of its protagonists, in which ‘anything goes’.

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Well, of course what you’re talking about is something like “academic science”.

    Anyone who’s trying to solve a real problem in a business environment is going to continue to use REAL Science and hire people who can demonstrate that the know how to APPLY math and physics and chemistry.

    But, yeah, for people whose paychecks come from government agencies (which includes all of those wannabe government guys at Green Peace and such), “science” means whatever we want it to mean today.

    One of the best ways to sort things out is to note which guys are basing their claims on “computer simulations”. The simulations of course reproduce whatever prejudices the programmer holds. Global warming, peak oil, etc., are great examples of simulated science.

  3. 3
    tribune7 says:

    If we stick to our guns, we win and they lose.

    Truth is universal and objective.

  4. 4
    critical rationalist says:

    Saying someone is mistaken about the role empirical evidence plays does’t mean that empirical evidence doesn’t play an important role and that “anything goes.”

    Don’t you get tired of perpetuating this same misrepresentation of science?

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