Reblog: Other Ways of Knowing

Steve has written what I consider an EXCELLENT post related to “scientism” — a word that is often flung around on some Christian blogs.

So now you know …

Class Warfare Blog

In the on-going conflict between science and religion that either doesn’t exist (because the two are compatible) or shouldn’t exist (because the two are incompatible), science types, like me, are accused of scientism, the thrusting of science into areas of human discourse where it doesn’t belong and, more specifically, stepping on religion’s toes. How dare, the critics say, science tell us anything about morality or aesthetics or … religion?

There are, they say, “other ways of knowing” than science. With regard to religion, specifically. they mention: faith, dogma, scripture, personal experience, and revelation.

So, let’s look at this.

First, what we call science is what originally was called “natural philosophy,” which was a branch of philosophy, just like ethics, politics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, and aesthetics. When the scientific method was devised to make studying the natural world more effective, many of the categories of nature (chemistry—the study of the…

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The Ongoing Struggle: Faith vs. Science

belief-factsMany believers are feeling considerable discomfort related to the current TV series entitled “COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey” — an outstanding presentation hosted and narrated by well-known physicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. The program is an updated version of the television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyagewhich was presented in 1980 by Carl Sagan (deceased 1996).

To the devout, this documentary is a blasphemy against their Creator-God since it is based on “science” — a nefarious, liberal, secular agenda whose sole purpose is to turn people from god (quote by Brandon Fibbs at FaithStreet.com).

In truth, Science is an objective, methodological tool that uses reason and evidence to study the world around us. Unfortunately, these two words are often missing from the vocabulary of many believers. They prefer the word FAITH. For them, the words from a book written centuries ago by unknown authors carries much more weight than the experiments and observations made today by astrophysicists, astronomers, cosmologists, etc.  They prefer to cling to the old adage, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”

Probably the biggest difference between Faith and Science is that science is always asking, always seeking, always yearning to know more. It is never satisfied with the status quo. Religion, on the other hand, is static, preferring to cling to traditions and doctrines established by individuals who lived in vastly different times and under widely different circumstances.

For some, Faith may have the answers … but Science asks the questions.