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Thursday, May 17, 2007

What happens when science disowns religion?: It discovers politics ...

Here's an intersting essay at The American Thinker on the perils of scientism:
When science lost its moral foundation through hostility to religion, it became preyed upon by another corrupting influence: politics. And once infected thus, science slowly transmogrified into scientism, or the religious advocacy (by elites within the scientific, academic, journalistic, and government communities) of consensus-based theories whereby a majority-rule mentality takes the place of the traditional scientific method. Under this system theories need not be proven, only agreed upon, and once agreed upon, these dogmatic beliefs become the stuff of enforced orthodoxy and woe to anyone who dissents from the majority.

... dubious scientific claims are made to oppose such things as over-population, man-made climate change, the use of bio-engineered foods, and nuclear power. These are clearly political movements dressed up as science and have had some truly bizarre results. For example, some proponents of secular scientism are in the weird position of rejecting the consumption by humans of bio-engineered foods whil supporting efforts (through cloning, selective abortion, euthanasia, DNA manipulation, embryonic stem-cell cultivation, etc.) to bio-engineer human beings themselves! They then propose to mitigate the unproven harmful effects of the consumption of bio-engineered foods by increasing the malnutrition and starvation which inevitably result from its ban.

These kinds of causes tend to become religions, over time, and I think it is better to leave religion to the experts in that kind of thing. By the way, don't miss Victor Davis Hanson's witty analysis of how the environment movement has rediscovered medieval penance, in the form of buying carbon offsets.

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