by Emily Morales
January 1, 2020
It’s a pretty scary thing when the world of respected science is turned on its head due to adherence and homage to the Idols of the Marketplace, as elucidated by 17th century statesman, Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon, credited as the “father” of the scientific method, spoke in detail in The Great Instauration concerning four types of idols occupying the minds of humans, which serve to get in the way of ascertaining and advancing knowledge of the natural world: 1) Idols of the Tribe, 2) Idols of the Cave, 3) Idols of the Marketplace, and, 4) Idols of the Theater.
The Idols of the Marketplace were characterized as being the most menacing, as these creep into the minds of humans by way of terms and definitions for things that are not necessarily tangible or concrete, within the human “marketplace.” We might today find that these grab hold by way of the marketplace of the media. Consider that when the notion of transgenderism first appeared, how many people truly believed that a person could change their gender by the pronouncement of a new pronoun? Probably not many, initially, but today, since this Idol has made its way in the nooks and crannies of every shop and coffee house of the human cyber-marketplace, folks may feel the pressure to sacrifice real science in homage to this newfound idol (after all, it comes with it’s own lovely rainbow flag).
For more on Bacon’s discussion, consider the below article:
We might even see where Darwinism has enjoyed similar adherence from the materialistic faithful, as a cursed idol of Bacon’s marketplace. Darwin, in his day was excoriated by Adam Sedgewick (his mentor of the past) for abandoning the tram-road of inductive thinking (Baconian methodology) in favor of embracing the methodologies associated with deductive reasoning carried out by the likes of Aristotle.
Sedgewick was not alone in his criticism of Darwin. Louis Agassiz, at Harvard similarly rebuked Darwin for a thesis having no support in the known fossil record (refer to Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt). Note that neither of these men pushed back against Darwin because they were creationists – it was rather that Darwin drew some conclusions on the diversity of life and origin of species that were presumptuous to say the least. As it turns out, Bacon addressed the dangers of this manner of “logic” and “reasoning,” at length, warning us of its ability to stifle scientific inquiry two hundred and thirty years before Darwin’s published work.
Bacon today, would not be impressed with where the brave new world of science is heading. Rather than holding on to those facts that are the fruit of repeated experimentation or steadied observation, society is clinging to fallacies that are oftentimes the fruit of a past college professor’s wild imagination. We best take head of these wild imaginations, no matter how absurd they are – because they eventually show up in your child’s Kindergarten curriculum, and taught as fact!
Bacon, F. (2016). New Atlantis and the Great Instauration. John Wiley & Sons.
Meyer, S. C. (2014). Darwin’s doubt: Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. New York.