The problems with science
I’m going to start off by asking a simple question: What is science? Some might say it’s the only way to arrive at knowledge. But science only analyzes existing concepts, it is widely known that philosophy is the art of concept creation, and it’s not until a concept is declared by philosophy, when a scientific field spawns to study it.I’m going to start off by asking a simple question: What is science? Some might say it’s the only way to arrive at knowledge. But what questions does science answer? Science only analyzes existing concepts, and there is no scientific research before a concept is created. It is widely known that philosophy is preoccupied with concept creation, and it’s not until a concept is declared by philosophy, when a scientific field spawns to study it. What if science relies on philosophy to exist?
I’m going to start off by asking a simple question: What is science? Some might say it’s the only way to arrive at knowledge, and it’s the process of gradually “discovering” the truth. Scientism is the ideology of science, the term scientism generally points to an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities).
Science is nothing more than the gradual progress and discoveries, based on previous work, and we can describe the source of our current understanding of science, as the product of a collective mind of scientists working together, but in different timelines. Albert Einstein did not come up with relativity from scratch, the concept of time was already there. Isaac Newton based his absolute space and time theory on top of Johannes Kepler’s work, and so on. We make knowledge rather than discovering it.
Everything emerged out of the human mind seems to have its blueprint, a pattern visible everywhere. The role of science, like any other structure emerged from the human brain, is to describe reality. Philosophy creates ontological frameworks to help individuals grasp reality, and science creates formulas to do just the same thing.
Notice how everything inside a structure can verify itself, you cannot verify chemistry with biology, or mathematics with astronomy. You can only verify math with more math, or chemistry with more chemistry. All of them are mere structures, and not everything inside the structure has to be right in order to verify itself. Let’s take language for example, if you look up the definition of a word in the dictionary, you will only get more words to describe it.
What if all that science does, is to confirm itself? What if science is only making a filler knowledge, instead of discovering true knowledge. Maybe we should think about the entire history of philosophy or science as a process of creation, rather than discovery.
Now let’s switch our focus on the scientific method.
Science is a concept created by philosophy, and the scientific method itself was created by philosophers.
The scientific method was pioneered by three philosophers: René Descartes, Francis Bacon, and Galileo Galilei. They didn’t base the validity of a system on whether it’s true or not, all those philosophers were never to arrive at an absolute truth. But what they did, and what we always did, is to create ontological systems, devised of concepts, that in turn help bring order to the chaos of reality.
There was never one scientific method, the scientific method we know today was polished and upgraded many times in history. We have no reason to think we now use the ultimate scientific method, yet most individuals never doubt the effectiveness of the scientific method, they believe it gives results and whoever thinks of criticizing science must be a fool.
Galileo Galilei had a series of specific tests that would let experimenters confirm his laws with their own senses, he believed that independent confirmation is the ultimate way of verifying facts.
Francis Bacon believed that nature was by default chaotic, and he wanted to understand and control the chaos of the natural by creating ontological frameworks, that in turn helped other people to better understand reality. He believed that knowledge is acquired through first-hand experiences, and this ment testing answers to important questions without relying on the words of other philosophers or scientists.
René Descartes thought logic and rationality is the best way to arrive at knowledge. He believed you could break and deconstruct every problem in smaller pieces, or in more understandable questions and then doubt them. He believed that by doubting everything, he would arrive at absolute knowledge. René Descartes then arrived at the conclusion that the only thing he can be sure of, it’s his own mind, or as he put it, “I think, therefore I am“. He also believed that our senses are unreliable, and cannot be trusted to verify knowledge, but what if he was wrong about that?
What if we can indeed use our senses to verify reality?
After all, we can refine our senses to give better results. Take for example the job of a sommelier, he is specialized in wine, and can distinguish between specific wine types. Not everyone can do it, you would need to train your taste. Maybe we could retain information from our senses, repeat our experiments as we sharpen our senses, then we could notice changes in patterns, and after that find some kind of consistency as we make more progress. This is the root of what we call empiricism.
But then again, empiricism is subject to perception, and we have no idea how to prove that it is even real. Empiricism sets clear limits to what we can prove, for example: it can never be used to explain things like consciousness.
If you believe science wants you to question everything, then you won’t have a problem thinking about what I am about to instigate.
Now, lets try to let go of assumptions, and think about it from a different perspective. After all, how can we be certain about what we believe to be the truth, without the ability to think beyond what we think we know.
Science and religion have more in common than you think
The idea that science could be a new religion will obviously bother some of you, so you can call it an ideology, but it will make no difference, it’s just a semantic exercise.
Traditional religions worship Gods, this is where you might draw the line between traditional religion and science. If science is religion, then where is the God? The answer is simple, we now deify humanity. The technological singularity is the hypothesis that artificial intelligence will reach a point of uncontrollable growth triggered by a self-improvement feedback loop. It is also believed that in the not too distant future we will be able to upload our human minds into an artificial body, successfully merging with machines. We will become our own creator, we will be reborn as AI God. Traditional religion is following the path of God, and Science is following the elevation path.
But the similarities don’t stop here.
Some might think religion deals with imaginary forces, and science doesn’t. What if I told you that science does not only deal with the material world? Scientists believe in invisible dimensions, time travel, quantum entangled particles, faster than light speed, consciousness. Things we can only imagine. The phrase ghost in the machine now seems a rather religious point of view. Some scientists go as far as claiming that one day, science will be indistinguishable from magic. On the other side, just for consistency, we can say that traditional religions do not only deal with the supernatural. If you are looking for proof of this fact, look no further than the crusades, and ask yourself if this is true next time you donate money to the church. Also, some scientists are religious people too.
We think science wants to be proven wrong, and traditional religion is set in stone. Yet every scientist who presented a new idea struggled getting acknowledgment from the scientific community. Galileo Galilei was condemned not just by the church, but by the scientific community too. Einsteins relativity theory was rejected by most physicists at first, and Einstein himself would not accept anything in quantum theory, no matter how many individuals supported it. Thomas Edison was committed to DC current, and considered Teslas AC unsafe for years. Maybe we should be more open minded if we don’t want to fall into the same trap, and repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
A scientist might understand his area of study, but not grasp other branches of science very well. And so he has to accept what his fellow scientists are preaching. The common person might embrace anything the scientific community is advising just because there was some research done, and is supported by people with a PhD. This is called appeal to authority, and is a reasoning fallacy.
To be clear, I’m not discrediting science alltogether. I’m just pointing out some of it’s flaws and shortcomings. As I pointed out in my post about belief (click here to read more), not all belief is unhealthy. There is nothing wrong with believing science can progressively give us a more accurate description of the truth, but we must be aware of the difference between truth, knowledge, and blind belief.
Science might just be the most productive religion so far.
If you want to discover more, feel free to listen to my spotify playlist here (YouTube alternative here), or you can also access it from the menu. It is built to a structure, and it’s better if you play it in order, the message is in there. Now, read the italics, and do not think like you have to follow only one artist in there. Nobody is perfect, and they don’t know everything. I repeat, the playlist has a structure specially made by me.