Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), Theory of Evolution:
“I have never denied the existence of God. I think the theory of evolution is fully compatible with faith in God. I think the greatest argument for the existence of God is the impossibility of demonstrating and understanding that the immense universe, sublime above all measure, and man were the result of chance.”
Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931), the prolific inventor who held 1200 patents:
“My utmost respect and admiration to all the engineers, especially the greatest of them all: God.”
Carl Ludwig Schleich (1859 – 1922), famous surgeon, pioneer of local anesthesia:
“I became a believer in my own way through the microscope and observation of nature, and I want to contribute, insofar as I can, to the full harmony between science and religion.”
Guglielmo Marconi (1874 – 1937), inventor of wireless telegraphy, Nobel Prize 1909:
“I declare it proudly: I am a believer. I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe not only as a Catholic, but also as a scientist.”
Charles Tart, PhD: Evolving Science – YouTube
Standard dictionary definitions include the following applications of the term “scientism”:
- The use of the style, assumptions, techniques, and other attributes typically displayed by scientists.
- Methods and attitudes typical of or attributed to the natural scientist.
- An exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation, as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities.
- The use of scientific or pseudoscientific language.
- The contention that the social sciences, such as economics and sociology, are only properly sciences when they abide by the somewhat stricter interpretation of scientific method used by the natural sciences, and that otherwise they are not truly sciences.
- “A term applied (freq. in a derogatory manner) to a belief in the omnipotence of scientific knowledge and techniques; also to the view that the methods of study appropriate to physical science can replace those used in other fields such as philosophy and, esp., human behaviour and the social sciences.”
- “1. The collection of attitudes and practices considered typical of scientists. 2. The belief that the investigative methods of the physical sciences are applicable or justifiable in all fields of inquiry.”
Scientism is a term used to describe the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or the most valuable part of human learning—to the exclusion of other viewpoints. It has been defined as “the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society”.
The term “scientism” frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism and has been used by economists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam and Tzvetan Todorov to describe (for example) the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable. Tom Sorellprovides this definition of scientism: “Scientism is a matter of putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.” Philosophers such as Alexander Rosenberg have also appropriated “scientism” as a name for the view that science is the only reliable source of knowledge.
Scientism may refer to science applied “in excess”. The term scientism can apply in either of two senses:
- To indicate the improper usage of science or scientific claims. This usage applies equally in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived as beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion.
- ncludes an excessive deference to claims made by scientists or an uncritical eagerness to accept any result described as scientific. This can be a counterargument to appeals to scientific authority. It can also address the attempt to apply “hard science” methodology and claims of certainty to the social sciences, which Friedrich Hayek described in The Counter-Revolution of Science (1952) as being impossible, because that methodology involves attempting to eliminate the “human factor”, while social sciences (including his own field of economics) center almost purely on human action.
- To refer to “the belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry”, or that “science, and only science, describes the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective” with a concomitant “elimination of the psychological [and spiritual] dimensions of experience”.
Wave-particle duality, Schrödinger’s cat, the uncertainty principle, non-locality, instantaneous action-at-a-distance, a roll-the-dice universe—there are many mysterious ideas in quantum physics. A clear understanding of these ideas and their implications is given here.
The site is intended for both scientists and non-scientists. The main text is written for non-scientists, with an emphasis on clarity, while the more technical supporting arguments are given in appendices.
What makes our approach different? There is a set of principles that can be deduced from our ordinary perceptions of the world plus the mathematics of the theory. (These are stated in plain, non-mathematical language.) In other treatments, the power of all these principles together is not fully exploited. If you look at their cumulative implications, however, you find they eliminate most of the mysteries connected with quantum physics. Wave-particle duality, Schrödinger’s cat, the uncertainty principle, the double slit experiment, and non-locality all become clearly understood.
The Science Delusion / Science Set Free
Scientific and Medical Network
Book of the Year Award Winner
“Thirty years after his first heretical books, Sheldrake’s new one, Science Set Free, is a landmark achievement. No science writing has inspired me more.”
— Deepak Chopra, San Francisco Chronicle, read review
“Sheldrake drags ten of the most powerful dogmas out of the basement and into the light of day; and does science, humanity and the world a large, a considerable favour.”
— The Independent, read review
“For those of us who are suspicious of the claims of materialism it’s astonishing, and also heartening, to hear a scientist agree that it’s a hidebound ideology, dismiss the belief in determinism as a ‘delusion’ and call on the ‘high priests’ of science to abandon their ‘fantasy of omniscience’.”
— Robert McLuhan, read review