Philosophy Science

Scientism is a state religion and a disaster for science

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From J. Daniels at Southern Blog:

A show that many of our Boyce students (and Southern students?) have probably grown up watching at home or in school is Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bill Nye has opened the eyes of an untold number of children to the fascinating world of science. …

But then …

Bill Nye has, in the past several years, moved beyond children’s science education into the culture wars over evolution and creationism, abortion rights, and reproductive rights. A video that has stirred up some controversy – at least among conservatives – is Nye’s video at BigThink titled “Bill Nye: Can We Stop Telling Women What to Do With Their Bodies?”

In this video, Nye argues against attempts to stop abortion by appealing to the question of when a fetus becomes a person. If the fetus is a person the moment an egg is fertilized (as some pro-lifers claim), then why aren’t pro-lifer’s looking to “sue” or “imprison” women who had a fertilized egg pass or miscarry naturally? Nye seeks to show the absurdity of the pro-lifers’ argument–no one would rationally say a woman was wrong for naturally passing a fertilized egg. How, then, can they say that a woman is wrong for choosing to have an abortion of an unwanted baby? In short, there is no difference between a miscarriage (a “natural abortion”) and the choice to abort an unwanted baby. For Nye, if one would just accept the fact that science has taught us this, then we would have no need for the abortion debate.

Nye’s pro-abortion argument is nothing new; nothing he says sheds new light on the issue. Rather, the point is that the vehicle for his argument is an assumption that has gained quite a bit of traction in our culture, the assumption that science gives us the answers we need to life’s questions. More.

Yes, and in this case, it is a particularly stupid assumption because the unborn human is as human as anyone else until death. That is all science can really say about the matter unless embryology has gone down the tubes.

Science cannot tell us whether we should practice abortion, female genital mutilation, or sex slavery unless one chooses to make it a religion. The religion is, of course, naturalism (nature is all there is).

But naturalism by itself cannot tell us whether we should do any of these things. All it really tells us is that the strong tend to prevail over the weak.

In a society where Top People want abortions, the kid gets it early. In a society where they want FGM and sex slavery, the kid gets it later, if a girl.

The big problem, as I’ve noted before, is that naturalism has been a disaster for science, as much as for human dignity. Just three examples:

Naturalism fronts the untestable and unfalsifiable multiverse, and ends up sponsoring a war on falsifiability.

Naturalism generates endless theories about the origin of life based on the assumption that it could somehow just happen randomly, without the input of information.

We hear any number of implausible chimps r’ us theories (see BBC’s “Chimps have entered the Stone Age).

Naturalism will go on generating such theories, usually at tax expense, indefinitely because no other perspective, however supported by evidence, can be admitted.

That’s because naturalism is now a state religion, supported by Top People, funded by taxpayers, and discreetly deprecated by the naturalists’ pet theists.

And none of the above is even particularly dangerous; just a waste of time, money, and energy.

But whenever naturalism gets its claws into law, medicine, economics, and culture, that’s the killing fields.

Nye got that one right. They usually do. – O’Leary for News

See also: What has naturalism done for science?

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3 Replies to “Scientism is a state religion and a disaster for science

  1. 1
    homerj1 says:

    Nye’s reasoning is so bad I’m embarrassed for him and those who agree with him.

    I encourage those using the miscarriage argument to consider these distinctions:

    A. Human being dies of natural causes (inside or outside the womb)

    B. Human being is deliberately killed by a 3rd party (inside or outside the womb)

    Miscarriages would be in category A and abortions are in category B. I think most people can see that they are significantly different. But in Nye’s pro-abortion world, bludgeoning Grandma to death is morally indistinguishable from her dying in her sleep.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    IF nye knows when the fetus isn’t a kid then he should show, scientifically , when the fetus is. If ever! I bet he doesn’t.
    If the fetus was a kid would he agree saying its a woman’s body choice would be plain wrong. BECAUSE another body is in a body. strange but true. if human then a human rights package is in another human rights package and to ignore the former by stressing the later is a rejection of human rights.
    People come out of people and so this means people were in people before coming out.
    not mu idea it was like that when I got here.
    id the nye reasoning here the reason why he thinks evolution has a case.
    stick to the children nye. Unless another big debate is in your plans.
    Excellent!!!!!

  3. 3
    harry says:

    Nye’s thinking (if one can call it that) is so absurd one is reluctant to even comment on his remarks since doing so tends to give his asininity a legitimacy it most certainly does not deserve.

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