Monday, December 23, 2019

Science And Knowledge

There is subjective knowledge, the knowledge we have within ourselves through our senses. Then, there is objective, empirical knowledge observable by others and is, therefore, able to be verified by others. The latter is science in the broadest terms. Many findings of science are counter-intuitive, and difficult to accept because the human brain has flaws, such as confirmation bias, hyperactive agency detection, false memories, the placebo effect, religious experiences, and the misinterpreting of medical spontaneous remissions. One of the hardest finding to accept by the religious is that all religion/belief in God is probably a by-product of our evolution, environment, and the development of our brain. Why do I say this: science has either falsified all claims for a God that are falsifiable, or the claims are not falsifiable (link).

Following are some links that educate on the topic:

 “We don’t need a scientifically based or a strong philosophical underpinning to validate science.  All we need to know is that the method works: that it produces results that all scientists could in principle replicate (if they can’t the results are discarded), and it produces—apologies to Jane Austen—truths universally acknowledged.  It also produces progress.  It cures diseases, flies us to the moon, improves our crops.  No other “way of knowing” does that—certainly not religion, Brown’s favorite hobbyhorse. And yes, the practice of science rests implicitly on the value that it’s good to find out what is true and real, but does Brown disagree with that?  In the end, the method is validated by its results and needs no a priori justification.  After all, the methods of science weren’t devised before science was practiced—we simply learned from experience that if we wanted to find truth, we had to go about it in a certain way.” (link)

A little reflection shows that there are several other ways of knowledge besides the one provided by science. None of these are in any meaningful sense ‘better’ or ‘going beyond’ science, thereby not yielding any comfort to the purveyors of woo. Each has its proper domain of application, and of course, there are plenty of areas of overlap and interaction.” (link)

 “The important point, which we both recognize, is that pure intuition, revelation, and unchallenged dogma are not ways of finding out things, other than about the subjective nature of the person who experiences them.” (link)

·               " - - - humanity has developed its approach to knowledge over time. Initially, much of our knowledge was superstitious and mythical. Mythology provided explanations. A philosophical approach, based on logic and reason, developed in Greece and Italy from about the sixth century BCE. Today, modern science has its feet firmly placed on evidence. Scientific ideas are, must be, tested against reality.
·                "To assert today that we should revert to a pre-scientific era, that theology or philosophy should trump scientific knowledge, is to claim that mythology/logic/reason is more reliable than evidence.
·                "Of course logic and reason are important – and they can contribute to knowledge. They can provide a synthesis, an overview, and intuitions to the researcher. But they are not a substitute for evidence. In the end our reason and logic must conform to the evidence, not displace it.
·                "It’s not surprising that philosophy/logic has limitations. It is after all just a refinement of common sense by reason. Philosophical/logical principles arise from intuitions and may not properly represent reality. Quantum mechanics is an obvious example.
·                "Logical distortions for ideological reasons are inherent in the process. In science, the requirement of evidential input counters this subjectivity." (link)


  1. “We don’t need a scientifically based or a strong philosophical underpinning to validate science. All we need to know is that the method works: that it produces results that all scientists could in principle replicate"

    To argue for the predictive success of something to the truth of a claim "science is the only thing that gives us knowledge" is a fallacy. This would be like saying that because metal detectors are so good at predicting metal along the beach, then no other method of finding things is valid. And to go further and argue that because metal detectors don't detect cardboard, therefore cardboard doesn't exist, would be even worse.

    But that's what your argument amounts to: if the scientific method doesn't find something, than that thing doesn't exist. Even worse is that this claim is ITSELF a philosophical claim, not a scientific claim. So it is self refuting.

    I suggest you get familiar with Ed Feser, who has a detailed blog and many books explaining this. Here is the most cited post of his, explaining why scientism is false:

    1. Following are my comments specifically addressing Feser's defense of HIS version of the Cosmological Argument:

      1. It is no more valid than any other "God of the Gaps"/Argument from Ignorance theist argument. There's no evidence for anything supernatural or an ultimate cause.

      2. "Cause" requires time: "- - - there was no when there was no Universe. There was never a time when the universe did not exist. The Universe is the SpaceTime Continuum so whenever there is time there is a universe, even if there was nothing but
      time. Time isn't an extension of the universe. The reason I don't believe that the Universe could have a cause is because to cause something to exist means to do something that results in a change from a time when that thing does not exist to a time when it does exist. Since there never was, or even coherently
      could be, a time when the SpaceTime Continuum didn't exist, the universe could not have had a cause." (

      3. Cosmologists are in agreement that the reality that we call the Universe is probably eternal, with either a multiverse or an expanding/collapsing single universe. (

      Feser said, "I make no judgment about whether Le Poidevin’s or Dennett’s sleaziness was deliberate. But that they should know better is beyond question." I give you a mirror to reflect on this statement. I think that you are projecting and avoiding reality.

  2. I am familiar with Feser: he is wrong. Read this post of mine



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Choose how you look at reality wisely. Yes, it is a binary choice.

Choose how you look at reality wisely. Yes, it is a binary choice.
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