Think About IT: Is Science a Truth Seeker or…?

The dilemma for science is this.  If science claims or presents itself to be the pursuer of truth, following the evidence wherever it may lead, then all plausible answers regarding questions and observations of the empirical data must be weighed and debated based upon their own merit and ability to explain a particular phenomenon or set of phenomena.

For example, if the plausibility of the universe coming into existence by an immaterial cause is either the or one of the most plausible answers, then it, as well as purely natural cosmogonies, must be evaluated based upon its own merit.  It cannot, under this definition of science, be a priori excluded from consideration merely because it is an immaterial answer, one held by religion/s, or seems to support the probable existence of God since science is seeking truth by following the empirical evidence regardless where it leads. ((Another consideration regarding rejecting immaterial answers because they happen to be religious beliefs as well is that would cause all material answers to be rejected since some religions believe in the eternality of matter.))

On the other hand, if science is defined as the study of empirical data, which allows only natural or material antecedents thereby a priori excluding any answer involving immaterial or other than natural antecedents, it may do so.  However, it cannot be defined as such and simultaneously be presented as a pursuer of the truth following the evidence since possible answers are a priori and definitionally excluded from consideration regardless of their plausibility or cogency.  Scientists cannot have it both ways, and scientists need to be precise and honest about what science is and is not.  Moreover, the public needs to demand that science do so and operate accordingly, thereby dispelling the illegitimate hegemony of science in pronouncements and areas that it has no real domanial supremacy.

Unfortunately, and I think rather deceptively, many scientists intentionally present science as the foremost objective pursuer of the truth, and therefore the best basis for public education, and what is and is not suitable knowledge for public policy, while simultaneously dogmatically defining science to exclude any rival non-natural answers.  The result is that religious knowledge becomes unsuitable for public debate or education because it is automatically classified as innately inferior albeit artificially so.  The two areas of public policy debate and education necessarily explore and impact every consequential area of human life, and if science is the sufficient guide, then by definition life and all knowable and publically meaningful knowledge is knowable empirically, which ipso facto reduces life to nothing more than nature.  This is not only naturalism; it is a tyrannical, stealth, religious naturalism sanctioned by the state masquerading as a truth seeker.

Tragically, most Americans and the vast majority of the church seem to not understand this subterfuge, and therefore they grant science far too much authority and influence without requiring science to be accountable or to clearly define it.   Unfortunately, most people think if science says it, it is true because science is the unbiased, noble pursuer of truth, and religious beliefs are just that, beliefs. In reality, when one pulls back the cloak of objectivity draped around many of the most significant scientific claims, one often finds philosophical and religious commitments, rather than unsullied scientific evidence, driving scientists to embrace one conclusion over alternates. For example, Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg said that the “steady state theory is philosophically the most attractive theory because it least resembles the account given in Genesis.” ((Cited in John D. Barrow, The World Within the World (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 226))