Human Exceptionalism

Warning Against the Fundamentalists of Scientism

I have long warned that some are attempting to turn science from a method of obtaining and applying knowledge, into a belief system known as scientism. I am not the only one who has noticed. From a column about debate tactics employed before a recent vote in the House of Commons to permit human/animal cloned hybrids and designer children, “Beware Scientists Who Think They Know Everything,” published in the UK’s Daily Mail:

Huge issues are being debated, deep emotions are involved and firmly rooted beliefs are lined up on either side. Indeed, seldom has more tolerance and understanding of contrary views been required.

But instead of tolerance, the debates have been marked by bigotry, zealotry and a refusal to accept that contrary views can have any validity at all. What’s more, this gross intolerance has not come from the ranks of politicians, who make a profession of denigrating their opponents, or the religious, who have a rich history of persecuting dissenters.

Shamefully, the worst offenders have been the scientists and their supporters, the very people who make the loudest claims to rationality and of being swayed by facts not fundamentalism.

It’s absolutely true. And many of these same propagandists are the most willing to play fast and loose with the facts–as we’ve often discussed here at SHS.

This is an important issue that needs more attention. Some of the very people who castigate religion are busy creating their own, complete with high priests whose word cannot be gainsaid.