Belief in Science is Not Scientific Itself
I’m a true believer in Science and am formally trained in it. I strongly believe Science to be among the most powerful methods of inquiry that humanity has developed, permitting us to create the marvels of the modern world the increase of quality in life that comes from applying Science via Technology.
However, I cringe when I hear variations of the idea “Trust Science” when advocates of positions across a wide range of scientific fields such as vaccination, climate change, psychometrics, and even cosmology, appeal to Science to justify their non-scientific positions or reasoning that may fall out of the domain of Science.
I want to outline the reasons why “Trust Science” is a highly problematic view, and why we should be mindful when using scientific findings to inform other domains, especially since the belief in Science is not scientific itself.
1. Science is the Process of Inquiry and not Truth Itself
Advocates for various positions confuse the process of Science with truths obtained from that process of Science.
1.A Tentative Truth and Domain of Validity
There always exists a context and domain of validity of scientific truth. This may be more superficial in terms of the data used in a specific scientific research project, but may be far more generalized, such as that data is tied to current the current state of Science and Technology, and under a certain implied set of assumptions Philosophy in philosophy of. Any current ideas are tentative and subject to revision or outright refutation upon future advances in Science, technology, or philosophy.
One example here would be the state of instrumentation to detect neuronal firings in the human brain. Once the scientific data is gathered and analyzed, it may also be under implicit philosophical ideas of mind, such as whether consciousness and mind can arise out of those neurons, Physicalist point of view, or whether those brain neurons are independent of the mind, which is a stance under Cartesian Dualism.