Some Thoughts on Putting Science Back in “Her” Rightful Place

To begin, science is a thing, not a living being.

Using the pronoun “her” sounds curiously like the same talk we’ve heard for years about that almighty female, “Mother Earth”.

So we have a problem talking about putting “Science” back in ITS rightful place when we’ve started by using the language of Greek Mythology and what is a tree-hugging pseudo-religion.

But, what is this thing, “Science”?

One dictionary properly defines it:

“the observation, identification, description, experimental indentification,  description, and theoretical explanation of phenomenon.”

Notice the word, “theoretical”, the root word of which is theory.

The intellectually honest, well-trained scientist would tell you that most “conclusions” from science, are actually properly called theories.

Actual basic scientific method and principle dictates the reality that science has few absolutes, few laws. Why? Because most theories can never be absolutely proven, beyond all doubt.

So anyone who says “the debate is over” on almost any scientific subject are actually ignorant or deceptive at the most basic level.

Scientists, in particular, those long experienced and properly trained, should and actually do know, if they remove their own agenda, silencing debate on any area of science-based inquiry is totally anti-scientific.

Silencing debate and ending inquiry, is a perversion of science, itself.

So what is the rightful place for Science? Should Science be the primary impetus for many government policy decisions?

I say, “No.”

There are historical examples of leaders who decided to base many critical decisions on “science”. Nazi Germany comes to mind, for one. A climate of opinion existed at the same time based on “science”. This climate paved the way for a tolerance of eugenics. Principles of eugenics were behind the mass sterilization of the “unfit” and helped fuel the push towards legalized abortion.

President Obama’s desire to base many important decisions on “science” is a very dangerous thing. The voices currently being granted credibility from the scientific community are not espousing “science”.

What they espouse is a perversion of it.

Sir Winston Churchill spoke eloquently regarding the dangers of decision-making based on “science” in his own day. His remarks are relevant.

Please visit CatoIV’s log to read an important quote from Churchill which actually inspired this post.

So what is the rightful place of “Science”?

Science should not be front and center in decision-making. It can only be one element taken into account. Whatever “science” uncovers should be compared to basic principles above other considerations. When scientists theories contradict the notions of the protection of life, individual liberty, and limited governmental power on which our nation was founded, then those theories are to be rejected.

Beyond that, history teaches us that all information coming from science should be viewed skeptically. Skepticism is actually a foundational scientific principle.


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