The many troubles of science are these:
My pal Jaap Hanekamp and I are writing a book on science, entitled—wait for it—Title Forthcoming. All suggestions for titles will be considered, even bad ones. Title writing is an art which eludes me.
Anyway, we discuss the book’s outline in this video. It went surprisingly well. I mean nothing broke during the recording and I managed not to mumble most of the time.
Maybe you have ideas or questions. Please let us know.
Here’s a rough summary of the video for those, like me, who don’t watch many videos.
Science is the seeking of the cause of measurable things in the world. To do that, a metaphysics is needed. It cannot be escaped. The worst philosophy of science is an unthinking philosophy of science, which is alas the most common philosophy in use by scientists. The mistake many make is to confuse The Way Things Are with knowledge of, or uncertainty in, the way things are. Ontology is not epistemology, and vice versa, though each feeds the other.
The preeminent scidolatrous slogan of our age is “Follow the science!” Without scientism that slogan would not exist.
Science cannot tell us what is best, worst, moral, immoral, right, wrong, but just about everybody thinks it can. I’ve written a lot lately about this, so let’s instead discuss the origin of scientism, a recent ideology in history.
That scientism has to come from somewhere, and that place is Utopia. Which since the oppositely named Enlightenment—remember when they constructed a temple of Reason? located abaft the guillotine, was it?—has been focused firmly on the edenic future that is ours to have if only we eliminate with extreme prejudice those baring the path. Meaning you, dear reader.
Utopianism comes in two forms: the childlike belief in the perfectibility of man, a proposition in precise and hilarious opposition to all (as in all) experience, and the now-shattered belief that science could come to know all causes.
That cultural Utopianism feeds scientism is, I think, more or less obvious, at least to regular readers. The ordinary scientist is likely not to have given the idea much thought, though.
The science can no longer find all causes is, after quantum mechanics, now well accepted. But the realization has caused a kind of psychic pain. Which has led to mulitverses and suchlike bizarraries (you heard me). Worst of all, it has led to a movement where it is believed observations no longer need be had to believe a theory about observations. Theory-strength, or theory-beauty, alone is thought to be sufficient to prove the truth of theory. If that’s not Utopianism, nothing is.
We didn’t get into that aspect so much in the video.
The void created by abandoning tradition and Christianity is being filled with angst, and lots of it. We have a need to believe we are under constant assault by the world. Because, we think, we have sinned against the world. Which means that just because we reject the labels of tradition and Christianity does not mean we have abandoned the idea of sin.
Everything is going to kill us. Global cooling, then global warming, then “climate change”. The ozone was going to abandon us. Dust in the air is strangling us. Nuclear power plants have radiation, and radiation is literally Hitler, electromagnetically speaking. There will be no more water. We can’t eat meat. We can’t use oil. Everything is bad for “the planet” and bad for you.
Now we take pains to explain that, indeed, some things are bad. Have you seen how fat people are today? Something is causing this, and that thing is bad. Or those things. A proper understanding of risk is necessary and must, however, replace the pseudo-religious ideology of precaution.
By this we mean the old-fashioned idea of an adept sect or cabal for whom secret knowledge (gnosis) has been revealed, such that this cabal, which is to say Experts, believe that they, and they alone, must guard and protect this knowledge and keep its inner secrets from the endarkened many. No meddling allowed! Do not do your own research!
The flight from transcendence has removed from science its true foundation. Science in search of an unshakable basis which is not transcendent has wandered into a swamp, upon which nothing solid can ever be built.
But since that subject is large, we shall leave it for another day.
Update Can anybody see to leave comments at YT? You don’t have to leave one, but I changed the comments setting to allow them with approval. Or something. I’m not sure.
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