Wesley J. Smith on Scientism and Preaching Scientistic Religion
Discovery senior fellow and bioethicists Wesley J. Smith weighs in on scientism at his blog SecondHand Smoke.
I read this NYT op/ed by Columbia physics professor Brian Greene whilst flying home from Europe in the Herald Tribune. On its face, Greene seems to be promoting better science education both in schools and among the general public. But it struck me that his underlying message is that science should be elevated into a first principle that provides us with our personal values and our existence with its overarching meaning. Green writes:You can read the whole thing here.The reason science really matters runs deeper still. Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that's precise, predictive and reliable--a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional. To be able to think through and grasp explanations--for everything from why the sky is blue to how life formed on earth--not because they are declared dogma but rather because they reveal patterns confirmed by experiment and observation, is one of the most precious of human experiences.
With that, my scientism radar deployed through my skull and began twirling furiously. It seemed to me that Greene was preaching a sermon that would end in an altar call rather than promoting greater scientific knowledge and appreciation.