She took on a variety of overstuffed concepts, for example, what we now call “trust the science”, abbreviated for convenience to “scientism”:
She points out that there’s a difference between “doing science” and Scientism. Science is a method and discipline, but Scientism is something more – it establishes a set of beliefs by which to view things. It sees science as “realistic” or “just the facts”, like some objective totem. What’s more, Midgley argued that Scientism is invariably aligned with some kind of excessive reductionism, where everything is reduced to neurons or evolutionary psychology, for instance. It simplifies the complexities of life to being “nothing but” this or that. Love is, for example, “nothing but…” social cohesion. Consciousness is “nothing but…” neurons firing in a certain sequence. Scientism reduces the world to a single explanatory factor. Yet, this is a philosophical abstraction that has become untethered from how life is lived. It elevates one aspect of life at the expense of other things, such as culture or society.
Midgley also noted Scientism often comes with a condescension towards those who don’t see science as they do. Oppositional views are lambasted as the naïve wish-fulfillment of the weak, probably involving unicorns and leprechauns, angels and devils. Scientism, then, is a faith, or at least a value system, in favour of materialistic asceticism. Which means that it wants to say, “Accept the bleakness of reality!” or “Don’t childishly daydream!” We must all accept The Truth, as defined by science, and to do otherwise is ignorant and superstitious.Jonny Thomson, “The Three Myths of Scientism” at RealClearScience
It’s going to be interesting to see what the COVID-19 Crazy does for “trust the science!” once the smoke clears.
Coincidentally, in the province of Ontario, Canada, another ridiculous mass “Trust the Science!” lockdown has sparked a police revolt, as the police have been refusing to carry out unconstitutional and otherwise ridiculous orders:
The public is pretty fed up too. It’s not at all clear that the provincial government’s response to the pandemic was any better than what we might have expected from the Three Stooges. It mainly created huge collateral damage like a big spike in isolated suicidal teens and addicted adults. Few of these people would have died of COVID anyway.
If only the government had made such a mess of things on behalf of something other than science…