Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Scientism as a mistake

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Adam Frank seems to be a fairly sensible science writer and here’s something he wrote that bears a look:

There are in fact many philosophical positions — many kinds of metaphysics — that you can adopt about reality and science depending on your inclinations. The good ones illuminate critical aspects of what is happening as human beings collectively go about trying to make sense of their experiences. Scientism claims to be the only philosophy that can speak for science, but that is simply not the case. There are lots of philosophies of science out there.

It is really important to distinguish between science as a method and scientism as metaphysics. The point is that a lot has happened since the metaphysics underpinning scientism emerged a few hundred years ago under very specific historical pressures. History has moved on, and that metaphysics — that view of the relationship between humans and their world — is no longer up to the challenge of meeting the most pressing issues of today.

Adam Frank, “What is scientism, and why is it a mistake?” at Big Think (December 9, 2021)

Some of us knew something was going wrong when — due to “science” — local government shut down the churches but kept the bars open. So drunks were staggering around doing whatever they wanted but grannies were kneeling on the frozen gravel in the teeth of the wind in the church parking lot…

Yay science.

No, seriously. None of that has been a banner moment for science. They’re sure not making converts.

6 Replies to “Scientism as a mistake

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Some of us knew something was going wrong when — due to “science” — local government shut down the churches but kept the bars open. So drunks were staggering around doing whatever they wanted but grannies were kneeling on the frozen gravel in the teeth of the wind in the church parking lot…

    If that ever happened, it was not “science” that closed the churches and left the bars open. “Science” does not have the authority.

    On the other hand, we have instances where local pastors blatantly ignored the medical advice about masks and social distancing. A number of those pastors and members of their congregations are now dead from COVID-19. They said God would protect them. For whatever reason, He didn’t. Not exactly a banner moment for the faith either.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    The method turned out to be powerful? NO.

    Real inventions and real improvements DO NOT HAPPEN through the textbook method. Real improvements, whether we call them inventions or not, happen through normal negative feedback, trial and error.

    A new telegraph is invented the same way we find a better way of getting out of bed when our back hurts. We have a dream or a need. As the optician used to say, Better THIS way???? or THIS way??? Reality answers each choice, (OW! or AHH!) and we refine each choice until the result works.

    The textbook method is tacked on AFTER the real experiments are done.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    Pull your head in Seversky.
    In the town I live in, the church was closed, allowed open on on Sunday on very restricted conditions, but closed during the week day when there were no services at all.
    We have two churches, one is a small one about 200, the other is a multi-purpose church and hall sitting about 450. There are fetes and fairs and dinner presentations in the hall/church.Now according to the science we can hold music and dance in one up to 1000 without signing in or masking or social distancing, but must have masks and sign-ins etc in the other small one. They are about 60 yards apart- AND the church is locked up during the week day when bare half a dozen may go but not the hall.
    All because of the science – they tell us that regularly.
    As to these dead pastors and flocks – I don’t believe you.

  4. 4
    Viola Lee says:

    Sev is right. All these decisions have been made by people for a mixture of reasons, including what they think is the best scientific understanding of the situation, but also including political values, emotions, sociological estimates of cost/benefits, etc. That is not “scientism”. That is human beings using scientific knowledge, as they understand it, as a factor in the much broader arena of human decision.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Viola Lee: “Sev is right,,,”

    Oh Great, now hell has frozen over.


  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    Sev honestly the few churches that did that had very little impact at all, many Catholic Churches did the opposite and even FORCED clergy to get the tester vaccine

    So could you please STOP with the implied religion sucks and is hypocritical nonsense it looks stupid and it’s annoying here is why

    On the contrary, science and politics DID do what was being claimed. California kept strip clubs open while closing churches, similar happened in Michigan. What made matters worse was the science *cough* I mean farther Fauci *cough* Dr Fauci was questioned on this publicly and refused to answer Jim Jordan’s questions on the matter

    Further more during the BLM riots several SCIENCE studies where posted on Newsweek claiming that the BLM protests hardly if at all spread Covid while Newsweek in the subsequent week posted SCIENCE studies claiming that they found that Trump rallies greatly spread the virus. This was literally science that was done to support political propaganda. I posted both articles a year back

    ANY IDIOT KNOWS that both the protests and rally spread the virus. Another study found the there was a surge of Covid in one particular age group 20-30 mostly BLM but you could only read about that study at nature it was not advertised by any politically motivated news stations that claimed to follow the science very similar to their silence on the science done on natural immunity to Covid

    Science is used as a political tool to push agendas. The controlling agenda is LEFT the supposed party of science and instigators of the nonsense we now call America.

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