Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Science: Right or Wrong

Does science prove theories or laws correct? Or does science simply say that a theory hasn't yet been proven wrong? These sound like very esoteric questions but it's the difference between scientism and science, respectively.

Science attempts to guess at the laws of the universe, computes the implications and consequences of the guess and compares them to experience or experiment. If they don't match, the theory is wrong. If further experiment reveals gaps, the theory is incomplete and thus wrong. Incomplete theories can still be useful. We use newtonian style calculations to this day even though we know that those theories are wrong. They are close enough to reality for a wide range of use cases that they still work, just as long as the limits to their usefulness are kept in mind.

Science is utterly useless as a religious system. For that scientism is a far superior option but scientism has no credibility and no usefulness except when it camouflages itself as science. Scientism says stop thinking, stop examining, stop studying settled issues. They are the corpus of established science, the bible which should not be questioned. When preachers rail against science, it is this that they are protesting by and large. But scientists should be just as dubious about scientism as the preachers. Scientism is not science. It is a kind of philosophical cuckoo's egg, a fraud pretending to be science and bringing actual science into disrepute, causing confusion as to what science actually is.