Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Whether Or Not You Believe

[BTW, please forgive the shifting fonts in this post.  Can't make blogspot cooperate today . . . ]

It seems like I've been picking on scientists a lot lately, and I want to make something clear.  I have friends who are scientists; I know there are some who humble and reasonable.  But I wonder at how they have such tolerance for (and even sometimes get swept up in) the rampant arrogance in their profession.

Case in point: a friend posted a meme on FB with a scientist saying, “The one good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”  Oh, my goodness -- don't you know I went off on that one.

The glasses through which
we view reality . . .
So, when science told us that blood-letting would cure our ailments, science was true whether or not anyone believed it.  When science said that the medieval Black Death was caused by "bad air", science was true whether or not anyone believed it.  Re-e-eally.

No, folks -- reality is true, whether or not people believe it.  Scientists only speak truth when they have a complete and accurate interpretation of reality.  And this is where I believe the arrogance of science rears its ugly head, because for scientists to have a complete and accurate interpretation of reality, it means a few things.

1) They have all the facts.  We know this isn't true.  Scientists are discovering new facts and debunking old facts all the time.  (Kinda gives new meaning to the word "fact".)

2) They are an objective observer of those facts.  It's very distressing to me how many scientists are so deceived about themselves as to believe that they are able to step back and view the world without the colored glasses of worldview that the rest of humanity wears.  NOBODY is completely objective.  EVERYBODY has a worldview that colors the way you view reality.

3) Science, by definition, is the study of the natural world.  It cannot deal with anything that might be in the realm of supernatural.  This means that someone who believes science can provide us with a complete and accurate interpretation of reality must believe that the supernatural doesn't exist -- or that if it does exist, it has no effect on our reality.  This, for all practical purposes, is a statement of religious belief.  And it automatically makes the believer an unobjective observer. To eliminate the possibility of supernatural influence on our world is to shut your eyes to a lot of what could actually be reality out there. 

And frankly, I suspect that this is why the majority of everyday scientists actually do claim a belief in some kind of God or Deity.  A humble and thorough examination of reality will reveal phenomena that simply have no natural explanation.  And an honest and unbiased observer will then concede the possibility of something that is beyond the natural.

That, my friends, is true . . . whether or not you believe in it.  ;)

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