Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Religion of Science

Emails from a number of high profile climate scientists (e.g. Phil Jones at University of East Anglia) were leaked to the world revealing intentional efforts to manipulate climate data and report results inaccurately for the sake of globalism.  Any self-respecting individual who has been told with a straight face that science is and objective methodology for obtaining knowledge should now be questioning how it is possible that something so profoundly objective could produce "Climate Gate."  The answer is quite simple: it's the Religion of Science.

The emails reveal a sordid tale of personal bias overpowering objectivity, thus revealing the fatal flaw in scientific methodology: humanity.  I've always found Wikipedia's version of the scientific method the most honest and revelaing, note step 6, "Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis."  This is the first stumbling block because it requires the human mind to filter the data and observations into a conclusion, or set of conclusions.  However, if that individual has a predetermined bias, the conclusions he or she draws may be tainted by that bias. 

For instance, if you believe dinosaurs were completely obliterated by the Chicxulub meterorite 65 Million years ago, then you would conclude that soft dinosaur tissues found in the Hell Creek formation in Montana are a result of some yet unknown process that preserves soft tissues for millions of years, just as Dr. Schweitzer concluded.  Her follow-on research might include study on long-term preservation of soft tissues.  However, if some dinosaurs survived, as more recent research suggests, then her bias may have skewed her conclusion and there may in fact be no process that preserves soft tissues over 65 million years.  Although the repititious nature of scientific methodology is supposed to account for these judgement errors, i.e. follow-on research excludes the possibility of soft tissue preservation over 65 million years, if the individual is strongly biased she may continue to reject findings and iterate fecklessly making the same conclusion. 

Some people would suggest the peer review process is used to account for this kind of personal bias, which may be true except when a large scientific community, i.e. the peers, share the same bias.  This introduces the Religion of Science whereby a particular view or bias permeates a scientific community and results in the promulgation of erroneous conclusions.  The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) issue offers an apt example (as does Molecules-to-Man Evolution, Big Bang, etc.).  Some scientists are compelled towards their bias not because of scientific reasons, but because they share a political or ideological zealousy for globalism, marxism, socialism, progressivism, or environmentalism.  Others are motivated, conciously or unconsciously, by their need/desire to continue their research and receive grant money.  Some are purely motivated by the financial gain (as evidenced by the recent reveals of various fossils perported to be the fabled "missing link" despite the scientific evidence agaisnt such claims).

The Humanist Manifesto 2000 offers an excellent glimpse into the religion of science by revealing a complete doctrine of aethistic religion.  Religion is defined as a belief held to with ardor; Humanism fits this definition well - even coming complete with ceremonies, symbology, cathedrals (our public schools and universities), and priests (e.g. professors).  It should be no surprise that Richard Dawkins is a signatory to this document, and may be the pope.

Similarly, AGW has clearly become a religious following.  Many people continue to rigerously defend AGW despite its pitiful "scientific" basis.  It has descending into comedy in many instances with its staunchest allies proclaiming that Global Warming will cause cooling in some parts of the globe.  In order to keep their faith, the AGW prognosticators point to every climate event as further "proof" of AGW while it may at best only be a proof that climates change.  Furthermore, assuming that any anomoly in climate is proof of AGW first requires a faithful assumption that AGW is true - a clear indication of deterministic science.  Of course, the University of East Angila emails also show a clear political motivation; perhaps the religion being observed is more centered around political ideology than climate science.

Ultimately, the success of the religion of science is caused by the failure to educate our children, and past generations, how to think instead of what to think.  We stifle true inspiration and science by constantly attempting to first teach others what they should think if they are to be responsible members of society rather than teaching and enabling them how to think.  You may strongly disagree with my positions in this post, but I challenge you (even if you do agree) to reflect on your own positions and determine if they are based on sound provable science, or personal belief.


  1. I had to translate this comment, but roughly interpret it to mean, "The only constant on Earth is change." Not sure if that's what you intended.