Science is indeed a most wonderful thing! It has helped humanity to accumulate and record knowledge – continuously building upon what has been previously known to advance our understanding of the world. Its endeavors have also done us a great deal of good: fighting and curing disease, allowing us to build advanced systems within which society can live and flourish, assisting people so that they might be able to overcome some form of physical dismemberment or disability, and also being utilized in agriculture so that better harvests can be expected and humanity can be kept on the path of survival. These scenarios truly are magnificent and I sincerely wish for more academic research to be done so that there might be more of these types of success stories, but I fear that science has fallen victim to its own success – not of its own doing, but that of people that use it to fight against a cause that they do not see as being beneficial to society.
So what is this “fight” that I’m referring to? It’s a struggle between worldviews where one desires to be triumphant over the other by a tool commonly referred to as science. Yes, my reference is to the naturalistic (more often than not, atheistic) worldview that has become very popular in the past few decades. The problem that I have with the naturalists is that they speak about science with evangelical fervor, yet have not grasped what it is, what it does, nor why we have it.
According to the naturalists, science can explain everything in and about the world, concluding that something can only be real if it is solely physical and can be subjected to various means of determining the properties (e.g. by means of senses) of such a thing. This is the fundamental description of scientism which is, for most parts, really just a misinterpretation of what science really is.
The definition of science can be derived from what the scientific method is known to be: the process of observation, research, experimentation, and conclusion that all work toward a systematic manner of collecting and organizing ideas, knowledge, and information. Even though people might hold the view of scientism as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, they do not consider the fact that science was merely systemized for the sake of understanding natural processes – of which I can completely account for during my time studying for a science degree. Never once during its construction and refinement was science ever systemized to account for everything that occurs – simply because it can’t. There are many things that have already occurred that cannot possibly be explained by the scientific method, hence we can know that there has to be more than the natural world. This is a conclusion that I have made from lots of meditation on the matter and not merely the result of “blind faith” as naturalists would commonly object.
Science should, in actual fact, explore the possibility of supernaturalism, else it’s untrue to what it should be achieving. One of the most fundamental parts to the scientific method is the final conclusion that can be made from an observed phenomenon. If possibilities that can explain a given phenomenon are completely discarded without regard, then the conclusion is utterly biased – completely contradicting what science is about. The point is simple: every stone must be turned over and investigated with bias to possible explanations.
My question then, according to what science is and what I mentioned, should make it clear that science and scientism are not in harmony, despite the utterances that naturalists might make to the contrary. Scientism is a flawed and biased idea that refuses to consider all possibilities. Science, on the other hand, is a method exploring all possibilities regardless of what the result may be, hence it has become such a wonderful tool contributing towards the accumalation and applications of knowledge.
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