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Author Topic:   Difference between Science and Scientism
Cold Foreign Object 
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Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 1 of 29 (450880)
01-24-2008 3:08 PM


Science is a general term or even an incomplete term. Unless understood correctly it can give a false impression by persons who want it defined to reflect a (= their) bias.
Historically, Science attempts to explain reality according to paradigmS, also known as presupposition(s). Before the rise of Darwinism, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the reigning scientific paradigm was Creationism-Design. Its presuppositions accepted reality to be the product or effect of direct Divine power, mind and intelligence. But between 1859 and 1874, that is, when Darwin's Origin of Species converted biology to evolutionism, scientific paradigm change occurred. Science abandoned the presuppositions of Creationism-Design and adopted the presuppositions of Materialism-Naturalism. These suppositions assume the exact opposite of Creationism-Design, that reality is not the product or effect of Divine mind, intelligence or power, but unguided material processes.
In essence, paradigm change shifted from Divine causation to material causation based on the evidence of evolution.
Evolutionists, basking in their victory, have claimed sole title to the word "science". They equate their theory to be science and science to be their theory. But all they are really saying is that "our paradigm best explains reality". Evolutionists reject Creationism to be science. But, as I have already pointed out, before Darwin, Creationism was science.
Therefore, the best-objective definition of science is that science is the investigation of reality via paradigmS. This is why I said that science was an incomplete term. It can only be understood in view of the quick history lesson just provided.
Both major paradigms claim to have an explanation for the other paradigm:
Materialism: claims that material causation (evolution) created the human brain which in turn imagined the idea of gods, spirits and demons.
Creationism-Design: claims acceptance of material causation is a reality defying choice based on anti-religious reasons (this explanation is deliberately ambiguous based on the fact that I do not want to borrow from my forth-coming paper).
What is Scientism?
Scientism is the belief or proposition that either major paradigm excludes ANY phenomena or evidence for explanation.
We assume that the best paradigm is the one that explains ALL of the phenomena or evidence best. Therefore, when any evolutionist says "science excludes or cannot address the supernatural" (for any reason) THIS is advocating Scientism because Science exists to explain reality and all of its phenomena (via paradigms).
Scientism is the exclusion of evidence, phenomena or knowledge of any kind for any reason, since we know that Science seeks to explain reality via paradigms.
Ray

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Modulous, posted 01-24-2008 5:37 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

  
Cold Foreign Object 
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Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 5 of 29 (450909)
01-24-2008 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Modulous
01-24-2008 5:37 PM


More explanation
I'm not sure I follow. Scientism is the (often perjoritive) term used for the idea that science is the best method for explaining all things. It is a sort of a claim of dogma.
Almost correct.
Traditionally, Scientism is the term used to describe the belief that Science is the ONLY way (not the "best way") to arrive at, or determine truth, or explain reality.
Do you see the difference? (Also, the "ISM" denotes an undesired and negative connotation.)
I wouldn't say it was scientism to say that science cannot explain a certain realm....
I am attempting to show and explain why we need to adjust the meaning of scientism based on the arguments presented in the OP. These arguments evidence the fact that Science has always claimed to explain ALL phenomena of reality since the rise of Darwin and Darwinism. Please review the OP?
....that would be the opposite of scientism which claims science can explain all existing realms.
Based on the stipulated definition of scientism that I am offering, and based on your understanding of scientism that was corrected above, which I ASK you to accept for the sake of the argument, ANY "realm" (as you put it) or phenomena as I have described it (in the OP) which is asserted to not be explainable IS SCIENTISM because Science, like I explained in the OP DOES attempt to explain ALL realms and phenomena of reality via paradigms?
The paradigm of Materialism does claim to explain Creationism, God, Christianity, Islam, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.etc. (see OP).
While you may disagree, do you understand my argument?
What 'evolutionists' mean when they say science has nothing to say on supernatural is that science can only comment about evidence -and the supernatural is notorious in its lack of evidence.
But based on the fact that Science has had two major biological paradigms in Western society, both of which claim to explain the existence of the other, it is right and just to say that Science, that is the investigation of reality via paradigms (see OP) does claim to explain supernatural phenomena, as it claims to explain the phenomena of excluding the supernatural (for whatever reason).
I am saying that if ANYONE says that their paradigm does not explain or say anything about ANY realm of reality (includes supernatural) then THIS perception is advocating Scientism because both major biological paradigms do CLAIM to explain ALL phenomena.
Modulous: the paradigm of evolution is Materialism-Naturalism, it CLAIMS to explain the supernatural. This is a historical fact. I am saying if you or anyone says or claims that Science has no opinion about the supernatural you are wrong. Science, defined as the investigation of reality via paradigms, which is an uncontested fact, paradigms do exist to explain scientific reality, says the supernatural is explained by both major paradigms.
Ray writes:
Scientism is the exclusion of evidence, phenomena or knowledge of any kind for any reason, since we know that Science seeks to explain reality via paradigms.
Modulous responds and writes:
It sounds like the argument Behe put forward at Dover. Your proposal ushers in astrology as science.
False.
Behe did not. He was misunderstood, and I am certainly not. We both know that no one wants astrology to be part of science or education. Astrology is a gimmick to make money from bored persons and stupid persons.
Based on everything explained, if any evolutionist were to say that "Science has nothing to say concerning the supernatural" this is false and I have the evidence to back it up. Since said belief is not going away (for whatever reason) I propose that we adjust the meaning of Scientism to describe the belief just quoted or ANY belief that thinks that Science does not claim to explain all phenomena.
Ray

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 Message 4 by Modulous, posted 01-24-2008 5:37 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Modulous, posted 01-24-2008 8:23 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

  
Cold Foreign Object 
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Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 6 of 29 (450912)
01-24-2008 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by grandfather raven
01-24-2008 4:42 PM


science is empirical. it does NOT exclude empirical evidence of the supernatural, because there is none
Welcome to EvC Forum. We hope you stick around.
Science has always, since the rise of Darwin, claim to explain supernatural phenomena.
Notice I said "phenomena" and not "empirical evidence" or "evidence".
Materialism-Naturalism (the paradigm of evolution) does claim to explain the phenomena of belief in God.
Ray

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
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Message 8 of 29 (451052)
01-25-2008 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Modulous
01-24-2008 8:23 PM


Re: More explanation
I don't think we disagree, though there are many variations on the same theme: it doesn't just mean one thing.
My sources have said that Scientism is the belief that Science is the ONLY way to arrive at truth and explain reality.
Your variation suggested "the BEST way" - and that does not make sense because when we compare the two "variations" (as you describe it) the existence of the coinage is not justified. Nobody would propagate a negative connotation coinage to demean something for being "the best way". But they would for "the only way" - do you see my point?
I hope to change your mind on this particular point.
I also hope you do not lose interest in this topic. I need to run these ideas past an evolutionist, and I need a couple more exchanges. I am discovering, through your thoughts and points, problems my argument might face before publication. I have also stated the entire argument rather badly in the OP from the outset. I am not attempting to explain the difference between these two words; rather, I am attempting to prove that Science, since the rise of Darwinism, has always CLAIMED to explain the supernatural via paradigms.
In the OP you claimed that 'when any evolutionist says "science excludes or cannot address the supernatural"...[they are] advocating Scientism'. I disagreed with this claim. If you want to say that it is true, if we change the meaning of the word scientism in a specific fashion, then I'd agree (it's trivially true).
I was confused.
I do not want to depart from the definition of Scientism argued just above (which, of course, I await your next response).
If scientism is saying that science cannot explain the supernatural, then so be it.
No, scientism is the term used to describe the belief that science is the only way to arrive at truth. Again, I await your response.
I am putting forth the idea that Science, since the rise of Darwinism, claims to explain supernatural phenomena (notice I said "phenomena" and not "evidence").
Before Darwin, Science presupposed the supernatural as manifest in nature. After Darwin, Science reversed itself.
Science cannot explain the supernatural itself....SNIP
But it does.
Facts:
1. Science is actually the investigation of reality via paradigmS or presuppositions. Before Darwin, Creationism-Design was the paradigm of science. After Darwin, Materialism-Naturalism has been the majority paradigm of science. Creationism-Design is now the minority paradigm of science.
2. Materialism-Naturalism DOES CLAIM to explain the supernatural. The material process of evolution eventually produced the human brain. In turn the material brain invented the idea of gods, spirits and demons (= supernatural phenomena explained).
Materialism-Naturalism does not explain the supernatural, it rejects its existence.
I can reference facts number one and two (above) from scholarship ad nauseum.
I agree that Materialism-Naturalism rejects the existence of the supernatural in reality, but, however, it also claims to explain the phenomena?
Materialism is a school metaphysics - it would probably be best if we didn't use the word paradigm if you are talking about metaphysics since paradigm can be used ambiguously and cause confusion.
We are far apart here.
Materialism is a philosophy used to interpret scientific evidence.
A paradigm is simply a synonym for a philosophy that is used to explain reality and evidence, more literally, a paradigm is simply presupposition(s). In the case of Materialism the presupposition is that causation is always material and never supernatural.
I have to log off. Will finish ASAP.
Ray
Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : spelling

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 Message 7 by Modulous, posted 01-24-2008 8:23 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 12 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2008 3:38 AM Cold Foreign Object has replied

  
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 13 of 29 (451420)
01-27-2008 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Modulous
01-24-2008 8:23 PM


Re: More explanation
double post; content deleted - sorry.
Ray
Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : No reason given.

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 14 of 29 (451421)
01-27-2008 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Modulous
01-24-2008 8:23 PM


Re: More explanation
I am picking up where I left off in your previous message.
Science, the methodology, has nothing to say concerning the supernatural - other than 'there is no convincing evidence of its existence'.
False.
The major paradigm of Science today is Materialism-Naturalism. This paradigm or episteme or simply presupposition to interpret reality says the supernatural is not manifest in reality; and the same, that is, supernatural phenomena is an effect or by-product of material causation.
Materialism means causation is always material.
Naturalism means causation is always natural.
Both are synonyms; both presuppose the non-existence of God in reality and explain "Divine" phenomena to be caused by the human imagination produced by material evolution.
Therefore, the paradigm of science (Materialism-Naturalism), contrary to your assertion that it "has nothing to say concerning the supernatural" is proven false.
Ray

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Modulous, posted 01-24-2008 8:23 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2008 5:37 PM Cold Foreign Object has replied

  
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 15 of 29 (451432)
01-27-2008 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by subbie
01-25-2008 9:50 PM


Re: More explanation
Well, depending on how literally you want us to read this, it is demonstrably false.
Nobody (to my knowledge) has ever claimed that science is the best way to get to truths in many different areas.
I didn't say "best way" (that was Modulous) I and my sources said "only way". Scientism is the term used to describe the belief that Science is the ONLY way to arrive at truth.
The explication (and condemnation) of this view was published by Professor Huston Smith (taught at MIT for fifteen years) in a book called "Why Religion Matters" (2001).
Smith posits that Western society is living a tunnel controlled by Scientism: Floor = Naturalism Science; both Walls = Law and Higher Education (are comprised of persons who accept Naturalism science); Roof = Media (mouthpiece of Naturalism). The common denominator is the acceptance of Naturalism and total fanatical rejection of God to explain reality.
Modulous holds to a definition of Scientism that does not make sense. He says it means many things including the "best way" but like I told him, no one would coin a word to condemn something for being the "best way" but they would for the "only way" which is how Smith defines Scientism.
Most scientists, I think, would reject the notion that science has anything relevant to say about whether gods exist. The question of the existence of god is one of faith and, as such, is outside the realm of scientific inquiry.
Subbie: I just obtained controlling interest in a bridge in Brooklyn; email me quickly if you want in.
Science "explains" the supernatural by, in effect, showing how the same result can be achieved without appeal to the supernatural. In essence, science explains the supernatural by eliminating it. As applied to your example, science attempts to show how the idea of gods can appeal to humans even in the absence of any such being.
Then your last sentence above is in agreement: Science, or more precisely, Materialism-Naturalism, the predominant paradigm since Darwin, explicitly says that supernatural phenomena is the product of the material brain "created" by material evolution.
In addition, I think that your thesis is vulnerable to attack by pointing out that it appears you are trying to make a boogie man out of Darwinism.
False. This is your unwarranted misinterpretation and paranoia based on these misinterpretation(s). Darwinism, defined here, simply means the majority view of Science - nothing else. It is, in these context, a synonym for Materialism or Naturalism. I use these words interchangeably for this very reason.
You are broadly correct when you point out that pre-Darwin, science was based on a creation paradigm.
Okay.
(BTW, I'm quite unclear exactly what you mean by paradigm. In a few places, your usage is inconsistent with any definition of the term that I've ever seen.)
It simply denotes that a certain philosophy is being used to interpret scientific evidence. After 1859, paradigm change was in full swing completed by 1874 (references available upon request).
And, you are broadly correct when you point out that post-Darwin, science instead is empirically based and incorporates the idea of methodological naturalism.
Never said any such thing. I never used the word "methodological". I never presupposed that Creationism was not empirically based. Since I am a Creationist why would I do that?
"Methodological" anything never existed in Darwin's time. Darwin practiced vicious pro-Atheism Materialism.
However, by saying it in the way that you do, it appears that you are attempting to lay the "blame" for this shift at the feet of Darwinism. You certainly offer no argument in support of this thesis, and it's not one that is obviously true
This makes no sense.
It is a fact that Darwinism-Materialism-Naturalism or whatever you want to call it conquered Science. That is all that I have said - period. It is a historical fact. Are you contesting that Darwin did not conquer science? Again, this is why I have condemned this particular commentary as a [gross] misinterpretation.
Ray

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 Message 9 by subbie, posted 01-25-2008 9:50 PM subbie has replied

Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 18 of 29 (451437)
01-27-2008 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by subbie
01-25-2008 9:50 PM


Re: More explanation
Instead, science gradually moved away from the idea of attributing causes to gods, replacing that with methodological naturalism, and evolution was part of that movement. But it certainly wasn't the only, or even necessarily the main, driving force. It was a realization that goddidit was unsatisfying as an explanation and useless as a basis for predictions, but that empirical investigation was superior for both purposes.
Darwinism singlehandedly caused Science to forsake Creationism-Design paradigm and in its place accept Materialism. Within 15 years of publication 98 percent of all biologists in England had converted to Materialism-Naturalism. I say "98 percent" because scholarship says 100 percent which is simply too unbelievable.
If you do intend to blame Darwin for this shift, either exclusively or primarily, you need to provide support for that claim. If you do not, you need to rework your thesis to avoid giving the impression that you are trying to blame Darwin.
This comment falsely presupposes a negative ("blame") for the truth: "legitimate success".
Ray

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 20 of 29 (451439)
01-27-2008 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Modulous
01-27-2008 5:37 PM


Re: More explanation
That would be the philosophy of science, not the methodology. I tried to make it clear I was talking about the methodology of science.
I will keep this in mind when I address your outstanding post (ASAP).
Ray

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 21 of 29 (451679)
01-28-2008 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by subbie
01-27-2008 5:51 PM


sbbie
Every once in a while, you write something that makes it sound like you actually want to have a constructive conversation with someone. Then you go and ruin it all with swill like this:
[Big SNIP of me being an ass - R.M.]
You'd be a lot more likely to get people to engage you in an intelligent exchange of ideas if you could refrain from sounding like an arrogant ass.
I apologize.
Please accept?
As for your points, which caused me to become an ass (see how I craftily shift blame on the victim ) I will now re-address (rather quickly):
Subbie said that scientists have no bias for or against the supernatural, but are largely neutral.
No one person speaks for scientists, and the same are the most opinionated concerning God.
The greatest lies ever told in behalf of biological sciences:
Evolution: our theory says nothing about God.
DI IDism: our theory says nothing about God.
Biological origin theories are all about God, whether species owe their existence to Divine causation, or whether species owe their existence to material causation.
Subbie said that I was "blaming" Darwin and Darwinism for the shift in paradigm that occurred between 1859 and 1874.
False!
I was simply giving positive legitimate credit where credit was due. Origin of Species (1859) singlehandedly caused paradigm shift from Creationism-Design to Materialism-Naturalism to occur. Again, like I have pointed out, there were MAYBE two respected creationist biologists practicing in North America before Darwin's book celebrated twenty years in release. According to Darwin, before publication, he did not know of any biologists who were evolutionists.
Ray

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 22 of 29 (451695)
01-28-2008 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Modulous
01-27-2008 3:38 AM


I've seen scientism used in a variety of ways. I'm not going to change my mind on that.
How could "best way to arrive at truth" make any sense compared to "only way to arrive at truth"? The ISM denotes negativity which corresponds to the latter and not the former.
The 'Creationism-Design paradigm' doesn't explain the supernatural, it just utilizes it.
I realize your point but I must say that Creationism-Design presupposes the supernatural to exist in reality. And there is no issue here that harms anything that I have said. Technically, Creationism-Design does explain the supernatural in any sense that the word "explain" is understood.
Ray writes:
Materialism-Naturalism DOES CLAIM to explain the supernatural. The material process of evolution eventually produced the human brain. In turn the material brain invented the idea of gods, spirits and demons (= supernatural phenomena explained).
Modulous responding writes:
That is not an explanation of the supernatural. That is an explanation for a natural phenomenon (the belief in the supernatural). The two things are very different. You decided not to quote where I said this:
Science cannot explain the supernatural itself, though it can be employed to examine the phenomena of belief in the supernatural
What you describe is not explaining the supernatural itself. It is examining the phenomena of belief in the supernatural.
Word or understanding play - Modulous - there is no difference worth arguing over since the pay-off will certainly not justify the effort.
Ray writes:
Materialism is a philosophy used to interpret scientific evidence.
Modulous responding writes:
Materialism is a school of metaphysics upon which is built an epistemology of rational empiricism (where evidence has primacy over ideas).
In defense of my upper blue box: Materialism is a presupposition; it presupposes that causation is always material in origin (hence Materialism).
Your lower blue box: Materialism cannot be a school, it is a philosophy or even an ideology used by any given school, whether biological or metaphysical: reality owes its existence to material causation. As for "rational empiricism" and "evidence has primacy over ideas" these are not statements of fact, but predictable claims since all philosophies or ideologies could say, and do say, the same thing concerning itself.
I'm not sure using the words "paradigm", "philosophy" and "presupposition" as synonyms is going to alleviate confusion, but rather cause it. If you must, by all means press on with your point: but I'm just flagging this as a possible cause of communication problems.
Good point. I will not forget.
Modulous: Can I not say that you and I have come to the mutual understanding and agreement that Science does indeed address the supernatural?
Our views, without being nitpicky, agree that Materialism-Naturalism claims to explain supernatural phenomena, and of course Creationism-Design presupposes the same to be true.
Please think hard here. I feel we are close enough to say we agree.
Ray

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 Message 12 by Modulous, posted 01-27-2008 3:38 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 25 of 29 (452204)
01-29-2008 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Modulous
01-28-2008 2:01 PM


Yes, of course. That is what I meant when I said "The 'Creationism-Design paradigm' doesn't explain the supernatural, it just utilizes it."
Yes.
When someone says science has nothing to say about the supernatural they mean it in the way I described it.
No they do not. They do not share your view or mine.
If you choose to interpret their words to mean that they are saying that science does not give explanations for beliefs in the supernatural or claimed supernatural events then you are going to end up in trouble.
But that is exactly what is meant most of the time. Modulous: your understanding is far removed from the false understanding of Science. Most evolutionists actually believe Science is neutral toward the supernatural. They do not share your view or mine which are very close.
I will finish reply ASAP.
Ray

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3161 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 28 of 29 (452216)
01-29-2008 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Modulous
01-28-2008 2:01 PM


`
When someone says science has nothing to say about the supernatural they mean it in the way I described it. If you choose to interpret their words to mean that they are saying that science does not give explanations for beliefs in the supernatural or claimed supernatural events then you are going to end up in trouble.
As I was saying: most persons DO NOT share our similar (and correct view). They really believe the propaganda that Science is neutral concerning the supernatural.
It isn't that they are lying when they say science says nothing about the supernatural, it's that you simply don't understand their meaning.
It is you who do not understand the popular false perception of Science. When persons say that Science says nothing about the supernatural they are saying that they believe that Science is neutral. They are not holding to our similar view, Modulous.
There are several scientific hypotheses for a variety of claimed supernatural beliefs and experiences.
Most people believe the party line (perpetrated by evolutionists) that the above true statement is false.
In the context of your criticism of the claim 'Science doesn't explain the supernatural' no - we don't agree. Science doesn't, cannot explain the supernatural since the supernatural is not material by definition and science is the methodology for exploring the material world through empiricism and rationalism. One can be a dualist scientist. One can believe that their are two realms and there are two methods for understanding each of them. One does not need to be a materialist to engage in science.
This paragraph negates just about everything we have generally agreed upon and not agreed upon. Look, I have the flu and I do not have the patience to go any further.
When I started this topic I knew it would not attract a lot of attention. I believed that one evolutionist would engage but I didn't know who. I was glad to see that it was you. I see you as the quintessential evolutionist, Modulous. Your participation here has aided me in understanding how to go about expressing my views for future publication. Your replies have shown me that what is clear to myself is not so evident to others. I will read your reply if you choose to respond. Thanks for your time.
Ray

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