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Science, the Scientific Method and Their Detractors

  1. profile image0
    mbuggiehposted 3 years ago

    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/8952050.jpg
    The scientific method is by simple definition:

    A "body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning...[the scientific methods is] a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses...The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false." [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method]

    Note two very important points in this definition: (1) Science and the scientific method are open to "correcting" previous knowledge and to challenging previously held theories AND (2) Science enables "reality speak for itself" even when that reality challenges previously held theories.

    Why, then, do anti-science activists and their allies (in society and government) claim that science is unreliable as a source of knowledge of reality simply because it sometimes needs correcting?

  2. PDXBuys profile image80
    PDXBuysposted 3 years ago

    I am not sure that "anti-science activists" exist.  More often, people reject specific scientific "conclusions", not science itself.  Most people will accept a scientific explanation of, say, how a light bulb works and not attribute the generation of light to magic or a supernatural origin.  But some might reject the theories about the causes of global warming.  A complex and chaotic environment is more difficult to analyze than a simple electrical circuit.

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I think what you're saying is that people accept technology and engineering (for example: the light bulb), but not science---the stuff that underwrites technologies and engineering.

      And, I agree with that, but I strongly disagree that an anti-science biases and anti-science activism is non-existent.

      Clearly, we are at a cultural point of privileging religion (mythology) while working to discredit science---no matter what the subject.

      How else can one explain 7 people seeking the Presidency of the United States raising their hands claiming to believe in Creationism and to reject evolutionary biology?

      How else can we explain a persistent litmus test among conservative voters being whether or not a candidate is a Creationist and rejects evolutionary biology?

  3. Travis Wakeman profile image82
    Travis Wakemanposted 3 years ago

    The idea that science and religion are inherently contradictory (the warring camp theory) has been discredited. There are no serious academics today who maintain that religion and scientific thought are mutually exclusive.

    The problem comes when you get logical positivism (which also has been discredited).

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Science and FAITH are not contradictory, but science and religion can be and often are contradictory.

      For example: Science tells us that the earth is billions of years old and that humans evolved over time. Religion---admittedly some religions and not all, tells us that the earth is barely thousands of years old and that humans arrived on it in the forms of Adam and Eve. Such thinking cannot be reconciled.

      1. Travis Wakeman profile image82
        Travis Wakemanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Have you ever heard of "old earth creationism?"

        I'd recommend this lecture series, lecture 2: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/cour … x?cid=4691

        Your definition of faith is equivalent to "blind faith" right?

        Well then, provided that you use you the "lack of belief" redefinition for atheism, aren't you staying that you believe something without knowledge, but isn't that in itself blind faith?

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Not playing this game.

          Science is about facts and evidence.

          Faith is about belief. Atheism too is a function of belief.

          Belief is unrelated to science.

          End of story.

          1. Travis Wakeman profile image82
            Travis Wakemanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            I would like to respectfully disagree if I may.

            Science is about facts and evidence. Yes.

            But the empirical method isn't the only way to know what is true about the world. We can use logic and reason as well to determine what is true.  To say that the scientific method is the only way to "know" something, or "It isn't scientifically testable, and therefore cannot be true" is called logical positivism, which died in the 1960s. See: http://press.anu.edu.au//info_systems/m … 01s02.html

            I don't agree with the definition that you use of faith. This is my understanding of the biblical concept:

            http://s1.hubimg.com/u/8952832_f248.jpg

            In the words of  Jung, "I don't believe, I know."

            And so, like I said before in conjunction with that lecture series, the warring camps thesis is dead and buried.

            You could repeat yourself and simply reassert your definitions, but that wouldn't be addressing my points in a rational manner.

            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Don't you think using a definition of faith offered in the Bible and Scriptures---documents whose earthly authors and editors were deeply invested in maintaining their worldly authority, is at the very least problematic?

              1. Travis Wakeman profile image82
                Travis Wakemanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                "whose earthly authors and editors were deeply invested in maintaining their worldly authority."

                This seems like a vague and unsubstantiated generalization.

                Problematic in what sense? Could you please spell it out for me?

  4. profile image0
    mbuggiehposted 3 years ago

    Do some research on the Council of Nicaea (Nicea) for details and substantiation of my comments.

    1. Travis Wakeman profile image82
      Travis Wakemanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I'm already decently versed in Church history.

      http://www.audible.com/pd/History/Churc … B00GTWYXTW

      If you don't want to substantiate your remarks this conversation is probably over.

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Whatever.

 
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