Scientism and the Religion of Science

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Lawrence Principe, March 21, 2013

The Wheatley Institution

37 thoughts on “Scientism and the Religion of Science

  1. Now that was a good talk. Rational and spiritual. The universe is a mystery, science is a useful tool, but it's not an ideology, and it can't tackle the most important questions.

  2. How come tides only exist with salt-water oceans, but fresh water stays put at the exact same times? The moon ain't solid it's a lesser-light. Why is direct moon light colder than in shaded areas with no moon light? We know NOTHING! Science lies ALL of the time and will never change pre-conceived notions from reprobates like Einstein or Newton the force creator.

  3. Those Catholic scientists were also using the prior knowledge that we now know to be false, in terms of spinning balls and force. To think, people actually beleive human beings
    can go beyond the firmament, is in itself, a delusion of science which has convinced the population that earth travels millions of MPH with the galaxy, but never ask why the stars don't change above their heads? We've been massively deceived by our governments.

  4. It´s great to hear his position on Scientism, with its rich historical focus. It´s interesting to compare with Ian Hutchinson´s argument, for example, and even the Philosopher J de Ridder. The atheist-theist debates are interesting, too. Hutchinson, in particular, offers a rich perspective with his self-disclosing and modernized approach to Christianity.

  5. yep, science isnt science anymore, alot of scientists put all their faith in non proved theories and they teach that in schools, what a shame for science comnutity. Your becoming what you critisized the most, religeous fanatics!!!

  6. This needs to go viral. Man I feel like an idiot. I've never heard of this before!
    Who'd've thunk a chemist could be so profound in a social historical context?

  7. Our Father Gravity.
    Who art in singularity, omnipotent and omnipowerful.
    Hallowed be thy name.
    Your known and unknown Universes become.
    Your special relativity be done on Earth as your general relativity be done in
    the universes.
    Give us this day our daily assumptions.
    And forgive not those doubters, as we will not forgive them either.
    And lead us NOT into critical thinking, logic or experimentation.
    But deliver us from Geocentrists, Flat Earthers, and all variations thereof.
    For thine is the gravity wave, the mass and the dark matter, from zero to infinity.

    O-|-<( )>-|-O
    (trade mark of the Church of Scientism, Order of Heliocentricism, all
    rights reserved)

  8. People that think they know what a God thinks are effectively proving that they think they are Gods.

    Evangelical Christians think their God is not capable of creating anything they don’t understand. They have to reduce their god’s power to their level in order to believe.

    Theocracy is simply primitive scientism with primitive dictatorial politics thrown into the mix.

  9. Scientism is not science. Science deals with observations of what is, analysis of what is, forming an hypothesis of what is and what things are made, of how nature works, and experimentation is employed to prove what is the correct way to understand a particular subject. If men invent theories that cannot be proven, that is unproven theory, and is not to be considered as indisputable fact. Ideas such as evolution, gravity and the Big Bang are unproven theories and are unprovable using the scientific method. Scientism, when agreed on by consensus, and taught as fact in text books, is not much different than teaching children a godless religion. Scientism is at its core, is an atheistic alternative to the belief in an intelligent designer, that some call God. Scientism promotes many wildly illogical and unreasonable concepts, that are totally unprovable and contrary to what our natural senses observe.

  10. Too bad he's selling the catholic church and the fake Copernican cosmology. The Bible and God's creation have been hidden by the lies of the Vatican, and all the fake science of Evolution, and Big Bang, and Copernican false model.
    This man is a Jesuit cordjudor.
    But, God is real and scientism is satan's religion, and has nothing to do with actual Science.

  11. I am just curious if anybody can name who some prominent scientismists are? I must say that I disagree with the philosophy of scientism as presented here, but I can't think of any mainstream media personality that endorses or promotes that position, at least none that are taken seriously.

  12. Oh, come on. This is unadulterated bull sh.t. Science remains the single most powerful, coherent, accurate, successful, reliable, and the ONLY PREDICTIVE means of inquiry ever invented by human beings. Dwell in all the evidence-free superstition that you desire. No one denies the superstitious their notions. Give me science.

  13. Ph.D. = Doctor of PHILOSOPHY

    "Science" is derived from the older philosophical branch called "Natural Law". There were no science degrees until after the 1700s. Science is a narrative created by humans because ultimately scientific explanations require HUMAN INTERPRETATION of data.

  14. I'm sorry, this is unadulterated b.s. Science has no "authority" unlike supernaturalism in its myriad brands, permutations, variations, and mutations. Science relies on imaginative, unfettered inquiry, combined with VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE, combined with COHERENT REASON, to create robust, broad, coherent, FALSIFIABLE, PREDICTIVE explanations about our Universe (multi-Verse). That's what science does. It ain't a religion! It ain't supernaturalism, for sure! I ain't a "belief system." It creates FALSIFIABLE, PREDICTIVE explanations very, very, very successfully, unlike supernaturalism which has never explained anything ever.

  15. If scientists are the mouth of Satan then you are the most egregious generation of all time. Look at you, embracing radio waves, cars, agriculture, housing, all to fulfill lust-full desires of the flesh! Satan has revealed these technologies to tempt you, and you've failed miserably. Either repent, surrender all your worldly-goods, and return to the forest, or continue as the filthy, disgusting, shameful sinner you are.

  16. Thank you for such a thought provoking, considerate and humane presentation. I was led to it by reading a review of the book Scientism: the New Orthodoxy. So refreshing to not have to take an either or position on science or religion, see the commonalities shared by fundamentalism and hear the suggested antidote for a member of the public tired of intellectual trivia fed to me by the media. After growing up with enormous intellectual freedom due to relatively uneducated (but not unintelligent) parents, I have noticed in the last decade an ever increasing imposition of what knowledge and evidence counts as valid to the point where I have seriously begun to do what Foucault wrote about, participate in my own subjugation and surveillance! Therefore your presentation has given me a glimmer of encouragement about retaining a critical faculty and having those conversations in small ways in my immediate social sphere.

  17. Great discussion! I think many people are growing more disillusioned by our culture’s overconfidence in Science. They tend to give almost salvific significance to it. They stretch science from a fruitful method of inquiry to a comprehensive picture of the whole of the reality. We hear stuff like ‘Physics is a theory of everything,’ ‘Science is the end of philosophy,’ ‘the avenue of all truth,’ the maker of the atomic bomb, and the end of all questions. I agree with Wittgenstein, who called this type of scientism “almost too ridiculous for words.”

  18. Demagogy and charlatanism.
    He is confused and attempts to confuse others.
    This charlatan earns his keep by lying to children, scaring them with eternal punishment of worse kind, coercing children into compulsory love of the monster from the bible that was invented before we had microscopes and telescopes. Silly, and scary too.

  19. Really interesting and enlightening talk, I feel I learned some things from it.

    Personally, I disagree just a bit with the talk in that I don't really see the need to have the dogmas of scientism OR the dogmas of traditional organized religions.  In my opinion, the best philosophy is to view the universe, natural and spiritual, with open minded humility and wonder.  And to not accept any worldview that purports to explain "everything," whether they justify their explanation by virtue of it being written in an old book, or by faith that materialistic science will eventually explain everything so it must be right.

  20. complete nonsense. He goes to great pains comparing "scientism" to religion, equating the great scientists to saints, etc. Yet he also goes on to say that religion is good. If scientism is a religion, and religion is good, why isn't scientism be good?

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