Science vs. Scientistism
Science is not a body of knowledge.
Science is a method for acquiring knowledge.
In spirit, it's a verb - not a noun.
But in recent times, the word "science" has strayed from its original meaning.
And the people who are most attached to it... tend to be the ones who have strayed the farthest from it.
In recent years, it has become common to hear the word "science" shouted abruptly, as if it were a kind of magic Harry Potter spell.
It's the middle of an argument. You just pointed out what you believe to be logical flaws in your opponent's reasoning, and you're eagerly waiting to see if they can, in turn, point out any flaws in your own. Because you're a logical person. You believe there are rules to how logic works, and you believe that both people in an argument should follow logic.
And then, they drop the magic word: science.
And just like that, they've won the argument.
Apparently, "Science" is a Level 1 Spell, which costs no mana, and yet is extremely powerful. It can be cast at any time, (with or without a wand), to instantly win any argument. Automatically.
The caster says it, and they're done. They've won. They are the correct one. They successfully refuted all arguments you've made, or could make - without actually addressing any.
Now of course, the Spell does require a grammatically correct sentence. And that does involve some additional words around the main word.
"Trust the science!"
"I trust the science!"
"I trust the scientists!"
"Listen to the science!"
"My opinion is based in science!"
"The science supports my opinion!"
"The science agrees with me!"
"All the scientists agree with me!"
"You're an anti-science moron!"
And just like that, the argument is concluded.
People who think this spell "works" - who use it to avoid debating on real, point-by-point logic - are not scientists. They're not science-minded. Their accusation of unscientific attitudes is pure projection of their own aversion to science.
What Is Science?
Science is a quest for knowledge. It seeks to learn. It looks at reality, and reports what it finds.
It uses logical safeguards to make sure that its observations are as pure as possible, and its conclusions are as rational as possible - unaffected by biases, personal agendas, emotions, or confounding variables.
Inquiry that is dispassionate, empirical, and inspected under the light of rational scrutiny, is science. It doesn't matter who is doing it. Science is a method, and anyone who uses the method is practicing science.
But in the False Left, in which the Spell is taught, science is no longer a method or a process for finding knowledge - it's an existing body of knowledge. It's no longer something you do. It's a thing.
An existing body of claimed knowledge.
An existing set of beliefs.
A group of people.
A social class.
A good person is no longer someone who seeks truth - but, rather, someone who stops seeking truth when told to stop.
When someone casts Science on you, they're not seeking knowledge, and they don't think you should be seeking it either. The knowledge has already been found, and there is no need for further inquiry.
This is religious thinking. It's how Christians treat the Bible, and Muslims treat the Qur'an.
"Everything you need to know is already in here. Stop seeking."
That's because people who act this way are actually following a religion. Its name is Scientistism.
Science As A Religion
If a we define a religion as anything that has:
(A) a set of beliefs, and
(B) a class hierarchy, and
(C) an elite class for enforcing the consistency of those beliefs...
Then scientist-ism meets the criteria for a religion.
And like any religion, it's designed around a priesthood.
This particular priesthood is called The Academy. And its temple rests upon four pillars:
1. Accredited colleges and universities (with extra authority in the oldest, wealthiest ones),
2. Government agencies (in blue states and U.S.-allied countries),
3. Acronym associations with the word "Science" (or some related word, like "Medical") in their name (but only the ones with recognition from the other three pillars),
4. Mainstream (corporate-funded) media (like the New York Times and NBC).
Universities, governments, associations, and media networks.
The good-guy ones. Not the bad-guy ones, of course.
Together, they form the Academy - the priesthood of scientistism.
Every human being is either a Member of the Academy, or a Non-Member.
Every priesthood claims a monopoly on interpretation of Truth, and the exclusive privilege of arbitrating it for the masses. And the Academy is no different.
If you're not one of them, then the most you have the right to do is parrot what they've published. You don't have the right to theorize on your own, nor analyze on your own, and you certainly don't have the right to question or dispute what they've published.
The declarations of a member of the Academy can only be disputed by another member of the Academy - and even then, not all members are equal, and truth is subject to a prestige-hierarchy based on the age, name-recognition, public admiration, and, most importantly, financial wealth of the university with which the member is most closely affiliated. (For instance, a Harvard researcher trumps a Tehran University researcher any day of the week). If the dispute cannot be resolved through prestige-based subordination (like if it's Harvard vs. Yale, or Stanford vs. MIT), then the next two pillars - government science agencies and acronym associations - will make the call. And if they can't agree either, if the dispute cannot be resolved within the scientific community, then the fourth pillar, the media, arbitrates as a last appeal. If its on NBC, that's the answer. Whichever conclusion the corporate oligarchy endorses, through television and major newspapers, that's the correct one.
This is a class-system. Not a search for knowledge.
Scientist-ists are not interested in a debate on the data, nor the logic by which the conclusion was drawn from that data.
That would be the *scientific* thing to do.
But you're not a scientist - so it doesn't matter. And in the off-chance that you are one, (or, more commonly, if you're citing one - one who is not endorsed by the other 3 pillars of the Academy - i.e. government, private capital, and media), then you're not sufficiently credentialed, and thus too low in the hierarchy to have authority to speak on the matter, or even to evaluate its reasoning on your own.
It doesn't matter what you say.
It doesn't matter how insightful your critique is.
It doesn't matter if you found a hole in their reasoning.
It doesn't matter if they're completely at a loss to plug it up.
None of it matters.
Because you're you, and you're not them.
Science as a Social Class
In identity politics, nothing is ever really about what you do. It's only about who you are when you do it.
Horrible things - like racism and sexism - for instance, demanding the segregation of people by race, or proclaiming hatred of a particular sex, or using the phrase "all ____ are ____" - all of these things are neither good nor bad, in and of themselves. Their moral nature depends entirely on who is doing them, and to whom they're doing them. If you're a member of the Good Identity (like dark-skinned, female, LGBTQ, etc), then these things are acceptable to do to someone in the "Bad" identity. They only count as bigotry if you're in the "Bad" Tribe (light-skinned, male, straight) while doing them, and you're doing them to the Good Tribe.
Likewise, when identitarianism is applied to science, it produces similar philosophical inversions.
It doesn't matter what the data is, nor what sequence of logic was used to draw the conclusion from the data. It doesn't matter what process was used. The process doesn't matter. All that matters is who collected the data and who is analyzing it.
This means that a Non-Member who uses sound reasoning techniques - like the Scientific Method and Socratic Dialogue - can be overruled by a Member (or someone parroting a Member) who doesn't give a crap about any of it and just calls the Non-Member a "moron", with a laugh-emoji.
This is the unspoken way scientist-ism operates. This is what scientist-ists think "science" is.
It gets crazier.
The word of a Member carries authority over that of any Non-Member:
-Even if the Member didn't participate in any direct investigation of the subject matter
-Even if no direct investigation has been performed at all, by anyone
-And even if the Non-Member has direct experience of the phenomenon in question!
If a Member proclaims the color of your underwear, it's considered the truth - even if he never looked in your pants.
A far less funny real-world example is when someone claims that "vaccines can't cause injury", even if they never investigated the question experimentally, and even if no double-blind experiment has ever been performed, by any scientists anywhere, to test the total vaccine schedule on any human being - and even if the person to whom they're stating this has direct personal experience of vaccine injury.
Because it's not about the data, or the process. Or the truth. It's about the person.
The person of the scientist.
Scientist ism is a cult of personality around an elite class of priests who are appointed by money and power.
This entire system is massively un-scientific, and a massive danger to public health and ecology.
Scientist-ism is Not Scientific
Science is the search for knowledge, through a combination of direct observation, and loyalty to the principles of Reason while evaluating those observations.
But in the mind of a scientist-ist, science is a body of existing knowledge. And unless you have the blessing of the Academy, your job is to conform your belief to it, and cease any attempt to question or dispute it.
Instead of seeking knowledge, they attempt to interrupt the seeking of knowledge, by declaring that it has already been found, conclusively, and that there is no need to look further - and, indeed, that seeking further is actually a bad thing - an irresponsible thing.
In fact, according to them, you don't even have the right to seek knowledge on your own, independently of the Academy.
Scientist-ism is, at its core, the suppression of science. The suppression of the search for truth.
And this causes groupthink. It prevents knowledge from being found.
It prevents faulty assumptions from being exposed.
It causes faulty paradigms to reign over their respective fields, for decades longer than they should have.
When they say that word, "science", they're not talking about any reasoning process - they're talking about an existing creed of beliefs.
People who talk this way don't want to facilitate inquiry. They want to stop inquiry.
They don't want to gather knowledge. They don't want to evaluate arguments with logic. They don't want to question any established beliefs or paradigms. They want the opposite. They want you to stop questioning. Precisely the opposite of the spirit of science.
Paradigms Must Be Questioned
Questioning paradigms is how science advances, and has always advanced, throughout its history.
Every major breakthrough happened when someone questioned the experts. When someone refused to "shut up and listen to the scientists."
And each time, it happened in the face of vicious resistance from self-proclaimed "scientific authorities."
For instance, the theory of plate tectonics was ridiculed and dismissed out-of-hand by the geology establishment, when it was first proposed. The man who came up with it - Alfred Wegener - became the target of a campaign to discredit him and ruin his career. His ideas were not taken seriously until after his death. Now, they're accepted as fact.
Another, even sadder example:
Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis [A] (German: [ˈɪɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]; Hungarian: Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician and scientist, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the "saviour of mothers", Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as "childbed fever") could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital's First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors' wards had three times the mortality of midwives' wards. He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.
Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis's observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. He could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it.
In 1865, the increasingly outspoken Semmelweis supposedly suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum by his colleagues. He died 14 days later after being beaten by the guards, from a gangrenous wound on his right hand which might have been caused by the beating.
Semmelweis's practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory, and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist's research, practiced and operated using hygienic methods, with great success.
It happens often, when someone questions the established "science":
-Their colleagues ridicule them and laugh at them
-Journals (and even newspapers) pillory them
-Their research grants dry up
-Their institutes fire them
-Their degrees, honors, and credentials are rescinded
-Their careers are systematically ruined.
There's a whole thread on Quora listing example after example.
There's even a book on it.
Self-proclaimed "scientific authorities" have displayed their arrogance time and time again. And this level of impervious self-confidence is coming from a profession that came up with such ideas as:
-Skull shape determines intelligence level
-Certain races are genetically superior to other races
-The cure for most illnesses is leeches
-Electrical shock "therapy" for men attracted to men
-Lobotomies for women "suffering" from sexual arousal
-Infant genital mutilation
-Spraying children with DDT
-Cigarettes helping with pregnancy
-Asbestos, thalidomide, and glyphosate being "safe"
-Hundreds of other toxic substances being "safe"
-The idea that mothers holding their baby "spoils" them
-Formulas are superior to breastfeeding
And on and on the list goes.
These people should not be so confident in themselves. They should certainly not be closed-off to questioning.
Science - real science - is a process of constant revision. A paradigm reigns for a while, and then new evidence arrives that proves it inadequate. And upon reviewing the new information, a true scientist is willing to let go of their old paradigm.
But they're not. Not in practice. Because they're human. And humans don't like to be wrong. We certainly don't like to admit when we're wrong. And the "scientific community" is not an exception to this rule.
And universal human reluctance to admit error is not the only thing corrupting the scientific community. It's just the tip of the iceberg.
Scientists As A "Social Class"
Rather than authentic inquiry, surrounded by safeguards for objectivity (also known as the Scientific Method), the profession of "science", now, is about ceasing inquiry and subordinating oneself to the proclamations of a social class that functions in much the same way as a priesthood.
It's almost like a religion. It even has a priesthood. And the priests have their own set of titles. And they even wear their own kind of white clothing.
In fact, science has become an actual religion, called scientistism.
Churches --> Universities
Priests --> Professors and Scientists
Deities --> Corporate Grant-Funders
Heresy --> Science-Denial
In the mind of a scientistist, Society is divided into two principle classes: Scientists and Non-Scientists.
Members of the Academy, and Non-Members.
If someone has their own office, with degrees and licenses and titles and plaques on their walls, then they are a Member.
A Member is an Arbiter of Truth, on any subject related to their field of study. Their word is Law - at least relative to anyone without such credentials - i.e. any Non-Member.
The word of a Member can only be disputed by another Member - a person with the same level of credentials. No one without credentials (or with fewer credentials, or less-prestigious credentials) may question the judgment of a credentialar superior.
In fact, if you're a Non-Member, you're not even permitted an opinion at all. The very formation of an opinion on any subject, by a Non-Member, independently of a Member, is an offense against the Academy. A heresy.
Non-Members should trust Members, no matter what they say. We are just ignorant little proles and they are the wise ones. They are the priesthood. They always know best.
It doesn't even matter how they know. They just know.
Even if they don't have any scientific evidence for what they claim to know, they still know.
They know what color underwear you're wearing, even if they've never looked in your pants.
Because it's not about the data - it's about the person. The person of the scientist. Because he's a Member. And everything, these days, is about class and identity.
It's never about what you do. It's only about who you are while you do it.
These are basic facts about the Universe and its nature. To even question one of these is to reveal oneself as a backwards, ignorant, knuckledragging Neanderthal. A troglodyte. To question the Authority of the Academy or its authorized Representatives is deplorable and unacceptable.
See? It's a religion.
And the only justification for trusting that particular tribe - the tribe that calls itself "The Scientific Community", or "The Academic Community" - is the idea that these communities actually do practice science - the original meaning of it - the scientific method - somewhere behind closed doors within their hallowed halls. And that by trusting them, we are vicariously trusting the actual scientific method of knowledge-seeking.
This argument might have had a leg to stand on if it could be safely assumed that the institutions that accredit them are not corrupt. But we have no reason to believe that they are not corrupt. Such a belief would indeed be unscientific. Because the preponderance of evidence points to massive corruption within the institution of Academia, and within all of its sub-institutions, and within the venerable scientific community.
Money has infiltrated all of them.
They do the bidding of their financiers. Just like politicians. This is not a hard concept to grasp.
The Long Corruption of Academia
Many of us grew up believing that Academia is the one un-corrupted institution of our society.
We gradually came to terms with the reality of corruption in every other major institution.
We learned that corporations are inherently corrupt and could not be trusted.
We eventually learned the same thing about governments.
And the media.
And all sorts of agencies, organizations, and institutions of culture.
We even found out that sports leagues and movie award-ceremonies have been corrupted!
One by one, we gained awareness of the corruption in all of them.
But all the while, there's one that escaped notice. One that we kept our trust in. One which we've singled out as eternally incorruptible.
And that is the institution of academia - which includes the scientific community.
We even made something approaching a religion out of it. The "creed", though not explicitly spoken, goes something like this:
Academia is the one institution that can never be corrupted. The one that will always remain a bastion of rational thought. Forever. And nothing will ever change that. It's invincible.
The mere concept of Academia or "Science" becoming corrupted is an oxymoron, a paradox, a non-concept. Something so far outside of Reality that it cannot even be spoken of without perfunctory virtue-signalling displays of snark.
Why is academia incorruptible?
After all, it relies on corporate money... just like all of those other institutions. If money can corrupt all the rest of them, why can't it corrupt academia?
We understand that politicians serve those who fund them, even if it goes against their own constituents' best interests. So why is it impossible for the same thing to be happening in Academia?
Why can't academics, like professors and scientists and doctors, also be influenced to serve the interests of their financiers?
They obviously can be.
We have a movement to "Get Money Out of Politics."
Why isn't there one to "Get Money Out of Academia"?
And who are the financiers of academia and science, anyway?
They're almost invariably corporations. If they're not corporations, they're "Foundations" set up by corporations, or the owners of corporations - like the "Gates Foundation", the "Rockefeller Foundation", or the "Open Society Foundation" (Soros) - or governments like those of the United States Canada England, Australia, France Etc, which are, in turn, owned by corporations.
The corporation's fund the governments, and the government's fund the academic and scientific institutions. It's all corporate money.
The institution of Academia is captive to the corporate world.
And perhaps no field provides a better illustration than the field of medicine.
The Corruption of the Healthcare Field
Big Pharma corporations control Academics in medicine. And they have been using that control to steer medicine onto a technocratic path, which has nothing to do with actual health, and everything to do with consolidating more and more power in the hands of the big Pharma corporations and their associated elites. Just like the military-industrial complex used our fear of terrorism to launch wars in other countries to take their natural resources, so, too, is the medical industrial complex is exploiting our fear of germs, to enact a new stage of totalitarian control over the population.
This. Is. Not. A. Hard. Concept.
Yes, it's a conspiracy theory. And yes, it's being proven true - more and more everyday. Everything we believe now - all of the basic tenets of reality that you believe in were at one point considered conspiracy theories. At one point, it was a conspiracy theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. And that it was round.
"No way! No way the Roman Catholic Church would be lying to us about the shape of the earth. You're a conspiracy theorist!"
In the 1950s, probably up through the end of the twentieth century, the majority of people still thought that corporations were basically altruistic entities, run by good people, just because they want to do some good in the world - and if they make a little money from it well that's a nice perk, but it's not their main motivation for being in business. They just want to help people! That's what most of us believed about corporations. But that myth collapsed. Almost nobody believes in that anymore.
And it took us a little longer to realize the same thing about governments. But we realized.
Eventually we did. We figured out that that governments were corrupt. We realized that if corporations control the government, and the corporations are corrupt, then it stands to reason that the government is corrupt as well.
Then we eventually realized that the civil service was corrupted as well. The Regulatory Agencies. We saw them getting captured by the very industries that they were supposed to be regulating.
If the mining industry can capture the mining Regulatory Agencies...
...and the meat packing industry can capture the meat-packing inspection agencies...
...and the Oil companies can capture the air emissions regulators...
...and and so forth...
...if big AG can capture the FDA...
...and so forth...
...then why is it such a stretch to imagine that the medical industry could capture medical agencies, like the CDC and the NIH and The Who? They get their funding from the corporations - or from corrupt governments whose politicians are bought and paid for by corporations.
The medical industry controls Medical Regulatory Agencies and medical Academia - and they're not controlling it with your best interests.
We know that the oil companies don't have our best interests at heart.
We know that the weapons manufacturers who supply the wars don't have our best interest at heart.
We know that the logging and mining companies don't have our best interests. They're just doing it for the money.
They're all doing it for the money.
So why are medical corporations exempt from this rule? Why are vaccine manufacturers exempt from this rule?
They all will do whatever it takes to make the most money, even if it hurts you.
Even if it hurts everyone. It doesn't matter how much it hurts society, as long as they can make money doing it. This is the same for all industires.. It's not an exception for the medical industry.
philanthropy is a cover for power
Science is a method of learning. It involves observing and reporting, with some safeguards to make sure biases and confounding variables don't get in the way.
Scientistism is a system of thought-control, which involves a priestly class of authority figures who act as gatekeepers and arbiters of "truth."
Science is a way of acquiring beliefs. It's an inquiry.
Scientistism is a set of established beliefs. It includes:
What does scientistism look like, in practice?
Here's an example. Imagine the following conversation:
Water is healthier than soda.
Interesting claim. Do you have any science to support it?
Uhh... like what are you looking for?
Peer reviewed studies, published in respected scientific journals.
I don't need that. It's common sense.
That's a fallacy. There's no such thing as common sense. A claim is either scientific, or it's not.
But dude. WATER. Vs. SODA. This is obvious.
Why is it obvious?
Because water is natural. It's been here for billions of years - soda hasn't. Every living organism drinks water - not soda. We evolved with water... and not with soda.
The appeal to nature is a fallacy. There is no such thing as natural. It's a word made up by quacks and pseudoscientists. Do you have any actual science?
WATER. VERSUS. SODA. Come ON.
Scientific evidence or nothing!
You are completely insane.
And you're unscientific! Come back when you have science!
Keep in mind that there are actually people who think this way. And their number includes the most influential and powerful leaders of industry and technology, who are making key decisions about our world and the path we take.
No wonder our world is in dire straits.
1. linear progress, our civ is best and brightest wisest cleverest
past cultures didn't havegadgetsand skyscrapers, lived in balance with nature, 100000, incredible feat, moreimportant than everything we'vedone combined. add up every invention and development that our civ hasever done ,addthem up, combinetheir value into one gigantic value of all good our civ has ever done, and it is less importantthan the ability tolive in balance with nature, becausethat's the foundation for civ to exist at all. if civ doens't, it doens't exist, and then allprogrees for nothing
2. current body of knowledge of universe is accurate. our academy funda understand universe and nature of reality. maybe a few holes to fil in and gaps to bridge,but big pic we got
2. what we can detect is all there is. only one layer level plane of reality
3. consciousness is epiphen of phys, generatedby brain, and therefore from within physical
4. absence of proof is evidence of absence
5. every techdev is intrinsic positive, nosuch things ad bad tech or baddevelop, whatever direction weprogressedin was theonly we couldhavfe, never any other options,
Certain things that belong in the domain of science, and certain things that don't.
Science should investigate laws of physics, and search for specific values. Not connections. Whenever we ask the question, "is X connected to Y?", the answer is YES, because everything is connected to everything. We live in an ecosystem, both biologically and socially, in which every part is connected to, and has an affect on, every other part, either directly or indirectly. If you had to ask the question, the answer is YES.