March 23, 2013

Another example of what's wrong with #scientism

Scientism goes beyond proper science in claiming that the methods of the sciences are appropriate for understanding poetry, music, and  things like philosophy.

It's greedy reductoinism, a misuse of science, a misunderstanding of science, and more

That "more" is ultimately the veneration of science, the putting of sceintific method on an unwarranted pedestal.

Scientists are humans, though, no less than anybody else.

And the latest news in the "immortal" cells of Henriettra Lacks, both privacy issues, and the lack of ethics of many scientists, and official scientific organizations and societies, to speak about said violations of privacy, proves this.

This is another reason the Michael Shermers and Sam Harrises of the world are just wrong in their veneration of scientism. Science is no guarantor of ethical superiority. As for the specific issues of gene sequencing without consent? American Indians have had similar done to them repeatedly. Scientists have egos, lusting for fame and more, and will in some cases cut ethical corners to their ends.

So, respect, support and use the scientific method. But, never, ever, let science arbitrate non-science issues. The eugenics movement started in the US, before Nazi German, in part for that reason.

Meanwhile, more scientism here from the Public Library of Science, as part of a paper claiming the scientific method makes you think more morally.
Science has stood as a powerful force in shaping human civilization and behavior.
Er, some specific examples on shaping behavior for good? What a #fail.

Let's say someone at PLoS points to science showing being gay/lesbian is driven largely by heredity, therefore we should treat gays/lesbians with equality. I counter that a philosophically based liberal humanism says we should treat them with equality whether homosexuality is biology or choice.


Thomas Riddering said...

"Scientism goes beyond proper science in claiming that the methods of the sciences are appropriate for understanding poetry, music, and things like philosophy."

"Science is no guarantor of ethical superiority."

These are both straw man arguments. No scientist I've ever known would make either claim.

Gadfly said...

I never said any scientist would make such claims.

That said, I never denied any scientist would make such claims.

What I implied, though never said, was that supporters and practitioners of #scientism might make such claims.

If any scientists wear the "scientism" label, then that's their issue.