First, scientism is philosophy masquerading as science. It is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you are a scientist, you may not be enough of a philosopher to recognize its blatant falsehood. If you are a philosopher you might believe you do not know enough about science to refute its claims. If you are an average man or woman on the street you might just accept Scientism, thinking “surely all those academic people can’t be wrong.” Nevertheless, Scientism has never been proven true by ANY method, let alone the scientific method.
Second, scientism refutes itself. You don’t have to be “smart enough” to refute it! It is SELF-REFUTING! Scientism claims that the only things we can know about the universe are those things which have been tested and proven scientifically. Scientism has not been tested or proven scientifically. This is not only irrational. It is UNSCIENTIFIC. True scientists, for example, do not reject (out of hand with no evidence) the possibility that the universe originated at the hand of an omnipotent Creator. To do so is unscientific.
Third, scientism causes people to reject their faith. Faith, religion, and Christianity are viewed as unscientific. If you believe the false tenets of scientism, you are suspicious of everything except that which scientism promotes. You may believe, for instance, in evolution, although it is entirely UNSCIENTIFIC, and has been proven scientifically and statistically and biologically and biochemically impossible. But you will not believe in the possibility of an Omnipotent Creator God, which is the most probable and likely and reasonable explanation for the universe and the wonder of life.
Fourth, many things are better and more rationally explained by belief in a Creator than by science. J P Moreland in Ten Things You Should Know about Scientism, says there are at least 5 things science cannot explain but theism can:
- The origin of the universe.
- The origin of the fundamental laws of nature.
- The fine-tuning of the universe.
- The origin of consciousness.
- The existence of moral, rational, and aesthetic objective laws and intrinsically valuable properties. (1)
Fifth, a firm, logical, scientific, and philosophically sound exposure of scientism may save more souls than thousands of evangelists. This is because, at this point in history, so many of the benefits of science are easily seen, and are so much depended on, that much of society has come to believe that even sloppy science is better than meticulous faith. This is of course, not true. In fact, sloppy science is not science at all, and it is only by the rigorous application of the scientific method that scientific advances are made.
But Scientism is not rigorous. Scientism is not science. Scientism is not even good philosophy. It is by all definitions, and at all levels, a personally and societally destructive phenomenon. It must be addressed by pastors, real scientists, and real philosophers at every opportunity and exposed for the false teaching it really is.
(For more see “Differing with Dawkins” and “Lemmings”)