The Corner

Re: On Science and Scientism

Derb

A very quick search of the Corner archives for chapter-and-verse reveals a few things. First, it shows that it’s very hard to find what you want quickly in the Corner archives!

Second, it shows that we’ve been around this horn many times. Here’s a list of posts with the word “scientism” in them (though I think some may be missing).

One exchange I recall is when you said that “If only PH.D.s in the sciences had the vote, we should have Libertarian govt.” I objected, and to your credit, you clarified your position so as to agree with me that you were wrong! (always a sign of a keen mind and sound judgment if you ask me). You can find the whole exchange here (your initial post is at 8:11).

I also have in mind our lengthy exchanges on the issue of whether fathers “matter.” Your position, in a nutshell, was “not so much” (peers and genes are more important, sayeth you). Mine was “that’s nuts.” Here are two posts from that round-robin. In the course of that discussion, you seemed to sound as if science is a source of values more than I think is possible. I don’t want to rehearse all of the old arguments, but my view is that science is not a source of values. It can inform — mightily — how we apply our values, but it is not so useful on what our values should be. It doesn’t always sound — which is to say I may be mis-hearing you — that you and I are on the same page in this regard. I have other instances in mind, but I can’t find them easily and my sloth is in full bloom.

Again, I don’t think you are guilty of scientism just that you sometimes sound a bit too much like you are.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More