Ideology is canceling science

"To be sure, science, being a human enterprise, has never been completely free of bias and personal agendas.  But the scientific method attempts to limit such subjectivity as much as possible.  But to, in effect, require positive bias–though in the name of combatting negative bias–strikes at the foundation of the scientific enterprise." - Veith

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JD Miller's picture

Thank you to whoever shared this article.

From the article: 

To be sure, science, being a human enterprise, has never been completely free of bias and personal agendas.  But the scientific method attempts to limit such subjectivity as much as possible.  But to, in effect, require positive bias–though in the name of combatting negative bias–strikes at the foundation of the scientific enterprise.  And to censor the results of scientific research and mathematical analysis just because they do not support a preconceived ideology is to make science impossible.

This is why I believe we need to be very careful about calling a fellow Christian a "science denier" simply because they site data that does not fit with our agenda and/or the agenda of the popular media.  We need to be very careful that we not slander one another.

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

Scientism is a key component of the defacto religion of Western society. See any responsible definition of "religion" from a sociology text, and see J.P. Moreland's book Scientism. Where do you find objective revelation and ultimate truth? Depending on who you ask (for the Western worldview is increasingly incoherent), the sources of Truth are science and subjective feelings.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

This has always been the case.

The concern that I have now is the trend that I see within Christian circles which are taking the concerns noted above and then taking those concerns to legitimate science and devaluing that.  The same challenges I see with science today, I see sweeping through the church.

Mark_Smith's picture

TylerR wrote:

Scientism is a key component of the defacto religion of Western society. See any responsible definition of "religion" from a sociology text, and see J.P. Moreland's book Scientism. Where do you find objective revelation and ultimate truth? Depending on who you ask (for the Western worldview is increasingly incoherent), the sources of Truth are science and subjective feelings. They don't really "believe in" science, they just use it as an excuse.

Tyler,

I will agree that a few hardcore people believe in scientism. A small minority. Most people, however, are not followers of science, they are simply lazy, ignorant, and sinful, and like it that way. Calling on science gives them the excuse the avoid the Bible and Christianity. 

Mark_Smith's picture

dgszweda wrote:

This has always been the case.

The concern that I have now is the trend that I see within Christian circles which are taking the concerns noted above and then taking those concerns to legitimate science and devaluing that.  The same challenges I see with science today, I see sweeping through the church.

If people really believe in scientism, then why is teaching them the basics of science so hard? Let me tell you the facts: people, in general, know next to nothing about science and are happy about it. They just repeat what their 7th-grade teacher told them so they can go and do what they want to.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The belief that "science" is one key source of ultimate Truth is popular among the secular laity. It's true the average person knows little about science herself, just as the average "Christian" during the Middle Ages likely knew nothing about the doctrinal content of the Gospels. However, just as many "Christians" have always done, they place faith in the divine priests to mediate revelation from the deity. They spend little time in introspection or independent thought. If the "authority" says it, they believe it. This is why scientists are often the defacto secular priests, dispensing (for example) the sacrament of gender identity on letterhead.

Follow the science!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

No one trusts scientists... (very few). Its the dodge it gives them, not the science. People say science is "truth" because it causes them to have to be accountable to nothing, not because they really believe in the idea of science.

JD Miller's picture

Mark wrote:

 Let me tell you the facts: people, in general, know next to nothing about science and are happy about it. They just repeat what their 7th-grade teacher told them so they can go and do what they want to

I am becoming more and more convinced of this.  The light bulb really came on when I took was at a State University taking biology classes on crop and livestock reproduction.  We needed those classes in order to get a basic grasp on breeding programs and how genetics work.  Suddenly the professor was teaching us the opposite of evolutionary theory.  Instead of saying that positive mutations were happening by introduction of new genetic material he told us that diversity among plants and animals was happening because of a loss of genetic material and if we needed a new characteristic in a plant, we would have to reintroduce genetic material from another plant through cross breeding.  We then had to figure out how to get rid of the extra genetic material we did not want in order to get the specific characteristics we were breeding for.  In high school the agenda was to convince us of evolution.  In college the agenda was to prepare us for a job were we would actually have to use the science.  They had to tell us the truth so the science would actually work.

A few years ago we took our kids to a local science fair where other kids had their projects.  I was appalled that only a couple of the kids even had a control for their experiments.  (A control is the part of the experiment where you do not make any changes so that variables are shown to more likely be the cause of the change- an example would be a medication test where one group is given a placebo.) 

No doubt there are a lot of people who know much more about science than I do, but when I analyze data, look at the methods to get that data, read conclusions from professionals who have also looked at the data, and agree with those conclusions- conclusions by the way that many other educated Christians and non Christians came to as well- and it is suggested that we are science deniers- that sounds a lot like slander to me.  I expect that from those who reject scripture, but when it comes from fellow Christians who simply have another view on the data, that really hurts.  Let us have the integrity to debate the data, without calling each other science deniers.