Why Neil DeGrasse Tyson Should Stick To Science

Is science unique for the reason Tyson thinks it is? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

How many of you have seen this meme in some form around the internet?

goodthingscience

The sad reality is that this gets shared in several places since some atheists seem to actually think this is an argument in some way. In fact, the reason Tyson himself said the quote is because he believes it is a powerful statement about a unique aspect of science. Of course, this is why he has been called a Philistine.

The reality is that about 10 seconds worth of thought on this quote would be enough to show that it is a terrible argument, but since there’s a meme of it it sadly seems to have some rhetorical power. How is it nonsense? Simple. Substitute anything in for science and see how it works.

“The good thing about astrology is that it’s true whether you believe in it or not.”

“The good thing about the Book of Mormon is that it’s true whether you believe in it or not.”

“The good thing about the moral acceptance of genocide is that it’s true whether you believe in it or not.”

Tyson’s claim should not be read as a claim about science per se, but rather a claim about the nature of truth. If anything is true, and that includes science, it is true whether or not anyone believes in it. If it’s true that Julius Caesar sneezed after he had lunch on his 21st birthday, it’s true whether you believe in it or not.

“Well we can’t prove that that’s true.”

Doesn’t matter. If it’s true, it’s true whether you believe in it or not.

“Well we have no evidence.”

Doesn’t matter. If it’s true, it’s true whether you believe in it or not.

Now Tyson could say that science can be done repeatedly in experiments so we can test a truth claim. Indeed it can and this is something that is unique, but it still doesn’t lend support to his earlier claim. This is just one way that distinguishes science but it doesn’t distinguish the nature of the claims themselves. All claims about reality that are true are true whether they’re believed in or not.

The real problem is a sort of scientism here that science is the highest way of knowing truth and sometimes the only way of knowing truth. Both of these should be rejected by everyone. Now if materialism was true and everything that was in the universe was matter, then you could perhaps have a start of a case, but that is not known through science. That is known by doing philosophy instead.

When it comes to understanding the way nature behaves in the material world, then science is without a doubt the best tool that we have. If you want to know what makes water what it is or how an internal combustion engine works or what the nature of planets in other galaxies are, then science is the way to go!

In fact, if anything can be demonstrated scientifically, the Christian should have no fear of it. After all, all truth is God’s truth and if Jesus rose from the dead, not a single fact established by science can ever overturn that. In fact, this is why I recommend that when you argue against a scientific position, don’t bring Scripture into it. That makes it the Bible vs. Science and guess which way your atheist opponent is going to go.

Honestly, if you’re not well-read in science, I wouldn’t even argue science at all. If you are, then if a claim about science is false, then that is simply bad science being done. How do you overturn that? You do good science instead!

Suppose you don’t believe macroevolution is true. Okay. That’s fine. If that’s what you think then you don’t need to go to Genesis which your opponent does not accept. It means as much to him as it does when a Muslim quotes you the Koran.

Instead, if macroevolution is false, then those who believe in it are somehow doing bad science. How will you demonstrate this? You’ll do what you think is good science. Now whether macroevolution is bad science or not is not my call to make, but if it is, it will only be overturned by good science. If it is not, then it will not be overturned.

While we should be thankful and celebrate people getting a more scientific education, let’s be wary of philosophy going around masquerading as science and not just philosophy, but bad philosophy (Which needs to be overturned by good philosophy). Tyson certainly has authority in his field of science, but when talking about the nature of truth, he is outside of his field and should not be taken as an authority.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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24 Responses to “Why Neil DeGrasse Tyson Should Stick To Science”

  1. David J Richards Says:

    Nick,

    You are correct. Tyson is a megaphone for “liberal science”. Presupposition in science such as evolution across species and global warming should alert the watcher that politics, not science is the agenda.

    Dave Richards

  2. Boxing Pythagoras Says:

    I think this Tyson quote is taken out of context– by both sides of the theism argument.

    Tyson wasn’t saying that philosophical naturalism is true. Nor was he even saying that all scientific claims are true. And he certainly wasn’t claiming that the only things which are true are those which science claims to be true.

    I think NdGT was referring specifically to the observations and data when he made this claim. For example, it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe that the universe is more than 6,000 years old, it is an observable fact that there are stars which are more than 6,000 light years away from us. This is as true for a Young Earth Creationist as it is for the staunchest of atheists.

    I completely agree with you that a thing which is True retains that value regardless of whether it is believed to be True or not. I suspect that Dr. Tyson would agree, as well.

    • apologianick Says:

      Agreed in part, though it would not surprise me if it is being accurate. Tyson’s usage of Bruno as a martyr of science really makes me call his research into question and then the link about why Tyson is a Philistine does raise good points. Sadly, too many atheists seem to put all the eggs in the science basket and reject other fields or treat them as lesser.

      • Boxing Pythagoras Says:

        I absolutely agree about the misrepresentation of Giordano Bruno, and called “Cosmos” to task on that, in my own blog. While the script did explicitly state that Bruno was not a scientist, it presented a very stilted, exaggerated, and even somewhat fabricated version of the events with the implication that all ideas which differed from the Church’s mainstream view were treated in such a manner.

        That said, I would also argue that science remains the best method for demonstrating the validity of a claim when two people disagree. For example, if a Christian wants to claim that the Earth is the physical center of the universe, a theological, metaphysical, or philosophical argument isn’t going to be very convincing even to most other Christians.

      • apologianick Says:

        I agree with the first part mostly but disagree with the second. For one thing, historically, the center of the universe was NOT where someone wanted to be. For the medievals, God was on the outer part of the universe. The Earth was in the center and underneath was Hell. Why would being in the center be a good thing? That’s our modern view we’ve put on the medievals.

        I also do not think science is the best tool when validating a claim. Suppose I am arguing with someone over an interpretation of the nature of the resurrected body in 1 Cor. 15. Science is not the place to go. Suppose I am arguing over whether a certain war is justified or not. Science is not the place to go. Suppose I am arguing over a certain economic policy. Science is not the place to go. Science is best at answering questions that are scientific, but it is not for those that are not.

      • Boxing Pythagoras Says:

        You know as well as I do that theology is not necessarily decided by whether or not people want something to be true. It could be entirely undesirable to be at the center, but that doesn’t imply that theology wouldn’t place us at the center. When the detractors of Galileo’s heliocentric model began to attack him, they did so largely on theological grounds. Tommaso Caccini preached a sermon on Joshua 10 in order to denounce mathematicians and astronomers. The Inquisition banned heliocentric works, in 1616, based largely on their reading of Scripture.

        It might surprise you to learn that there are still people, today, who argue for a geocentric universe, primarily due to their theological concerns. For example, Robert Sungenis is just one of a number of fringe apologists who argue this point.

        If you are arguing with someone over the interpretation of 1 Cor 15, you are likely to delve into quite a bit of science. Hermeneutics, the historical critical method, linguistics. If you are arguing over economic policies, you are absolutely best suited by arguing from a scientific vantage– presenting studies on such policies and their efficacy in different locations and times, calculating effects on supply and demand, generating statistical models to illustrate risk versus reward. Even as far as justification for war goes, you are more likely to convince a person that a war is justified by showing them reports of atomic energy development, statistics regarding weapons production, economic impact reports, and other such scientific tools than by attempting to justify the war philosophically or theologically.

        Look at Titus 2:13, for a moment. Let’s say someone wants to argue for the divinity of Christ by saying that τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is identifying Jesus as “the great God and our savior.” Would that person be convincing by saying they translate it this way because they already believe in Christ’s divinity, and therefore the passage should be translated in a manner which agrees with their theology? Or would they be more persuasive by citing the scientific research done by Greek linguists over the past 200 years on Granville Sharp constructions and their usage? Personally, I find the latter a much stronger argument.

      • apologianick Says:

        I believe the problem is you are making science to be everything. For instance, when one talks about publishing studies and such and looking at the works of leading authorities, I do not see that as science. I see science as making a hypothesis and doing repeated experimentation to see if it is true. You do not repeatedly experiment on Titus 2:13 to see if it is true. You look at the best evidence that you have, but that does not make it science in the sense we speak of science. It just makes it another body of knowledge, which is in fact the correct meaning of science.

        Now of course, wanting something to be true does not make it so, but I said what I said because that is usually what we are told. The system was designed with the Earth at the center because that’s how man saw the universe! He saw the Earth as the center of the universe. It’s silly right at the start. For the medievals, it would not be that everything would revolve around the Earth even if they thought the sun did, but it would be that God was the center of all things and the focus of all things.

        As for geocentrists, yes. I know they are still around and I know in fact that he is one of them.

        In conclusion, I just think you are expanding science to go beyond what is normally understood by science. If you mean we should all make decisions based on research and looking at the best evidence, well that is true in every field, but not every field does it the way natural philosophy, the proper term for what we call science, does.

        As for Galileo, when I look on the incident with him, I find it was not his heliocentrism that was the problem so much as his insistence that it be accepted immediately even if it had not been demonstrated. The science was quite frankly not there yet even if he had the right answer. It also didn’t help that he portrayed the Pope as a simpleton. Both he and the Pope had their own egos.

      • Boxing Pythagoras Says:

        Thanks for this conversation, Nick! I am thoroughly enjoying it.

        I do not intend everything to fall under the category of science, but neither am I restricting the definition of “science” to refer solely to the physical sciences (nor was Dr. Tyson, I’ll add with confidence). By “science,” I am indeed referring to the methodology: make a hypothesis, gather data, analyze, and revise the hypothesis if it is disconfirmed. This is exactly the case for Granville Sharp constructions. Sharp developed a hypothesis about the referent of a certain conjunctive syntax in Greek. He then gathered every example of that conjunctive syntax which he could find and showed that they always agreed with his hypothesis. Later researchers found similar constructions which seemed to disconfirm Granville Sharp’s idea, so the hypothesis was revised and re-tested. This is the Scientific Method.

        The medievals absolutely believed the Earth to be the unmoving center of the physical cosmos. When this view came to be challenged, it was defended on theological grounds. It is true that Galileo’s model also had some scientific issues, and that he did not make things any better for himself with his attitude; but it still remains that the Church banned heliocentric materials based largely on theological considerations. Whether or not they believed God to be at the center of metaphysics is irrelevant to how they viewed the physical world.

        So, yes, I do mean more than just the physical sciences when I refer to the term “science,” but I am fairly certain that Neil deGrasse Tyson is doing the same.

      • apologianick Says:

        My difference with calling it the scientific method is that it does not really fall under the same rubric. Consider for instance that you can’t repeatedly test some claims.

        As for the way of the church, I do not doubt that some of it was theological, but I also understand the church was open, they just wanted to have the evidence in first, and Galileo’s first opposition came by way of the secular state and the Aristotleans. Going against Aristotle was serious business.

        I also do not want to say the church was entirely innocent in the affair and frankly, neither was Galileo. Everyone made mistakes. It would be a mistake to think as Tyson seems to though that the church was anti-science. They were not. Galileo challenged a leading a paradigm, which is one reason I am not too quick to jump on any paradigm in a creation debate right now without having the proper scientific knowledge. I choose to simply be agnostic. If one idea will be overturned, such as macroevolution, it will be overturned because it turns out to be bad science and it will be overturned by good science. In saying that, I am not saying it is bad science. I cannot comment. I am just saying how it will be overturned if it turns out to be.

      • Boxing Pythagoras Says:

        I think we’re mostly at a point of agreement, now. I agree that claims which cannot be tested are not scientific. I also agree that anti-religious critics often make too much out of the Galileo affair. And I certainly agree that the physical sciences are not suited to being tools in other fields of knowledge.

        As an aside, if you’re interested in the science and evidence behind evolution by natural selection, the absolute best breakdown I’ve yet read actually comes from a Christian organization:
        http://biologos.org/blog/series/evolution-basics

        Thanks again for the dialogue!

      • apologianick Says:

        Well I’d invest in Biologos, but frankly to be really fluent in science requires years of study and I just don’t have that. I am willing to submit that my areas of study are going to be limited to certain fields and be content with that. My focus is the resurrection and the historical Jesus. This is not to disdain the sciences. It is just that we all don’t have equal interest.

  3. Tyson truth time: Guy is not a philosopher | Uncommon Descent Says:

    […] From apologist Nick Peters, here: […]

  4. tildeb Says:

    I think B.P. is much closer to understanding NdGT’s quote, that science remains the best method for demonstrating the validity of a claim. It is presumed that when a scientist says something about science, he or she means to describe, compare, or contrast this method with other methods by the reliability and consistency of its products. In this sense, Tyson’s claim is not a philosophical claim or a personal opinion; it is stating a fact: science is a method demonstrated to work at producing valuable explanatory models whether one chooses to believe in them or not.

    That’s why the notion of ‘accepting’ microevolution but not macroevolution, for example, is worthy of scientific ridicule and scientific mockery; in scientific parlance, the explanatory model either works or it does not. There is no arbitrary dividing line like ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ to insert into the model that creationists require to make wiggle room for some hoped-for divine interventionist agency.

    Evolution works.

    Contrary opinions, or metaphysical arguments, or philosophical differences with the explanatory model (a model demonstrated by its products to work reliably and consistently well for everyone everywhere all the time) are rendered inert by the working explanatory model and their contrary and incompatible claims (without any demonstrable explanatory equivalency) are revealed by reality to be the fluff they are in comparison to this robust method we call science.

    • apologianick Says:

      I only say macroevolution because virtually everyone agrees on microevolution. I know some disagree on macro. Are they right? I can’t say. Are they wrong? I can’t say. Neither one makes a bit of difference whatsoever to me. That’s for the scientists to discuss.

    • Ryan Arko Says:

      I think the issue Nick is creating is assuming Tyson cares about philosophy or theology. Science, in its reach, is true whether or not we believe it is. One can disbelieve electricity since it cannot be viewed, but industries and technologies have all capitalized on the use of it.
      Physics are near absolutes and we prove these things by safely shooting chunks of metal and computers throughout the solar system and landing them without issue.

      There is no reason to assume science would need to discuss theology. If you were arguing for the validity of the resurrection, then medical science and biology show that if Jesus was truly killed dead, then the resurrection would be biologically impossible. This can be verified with history as there are no other cases of resurrection outside of scripture. By 72 hours, the body would have gone through rigor mortis and cellular decomposition.

      And through the scientific method, we can tell the results of the resurrection theory are suspect because, as stated before, the results have never once been duplicated. Given this information and your own inability to resurrect yourself or others, as well as the lack of physical evidence, if you choose to believe the resurrection happened, then you place no value on science if it contradicts a belief. But by your belief, it doesn’t dismiss the science.

      There is no physical evidence for the resurrection. The peer review has yielded zero duplications of the original results. Short term death before cellular destruction can be reversed, although through no certain processes, but once decomposition begins, the body is just gone. This is a result that’s been duplicated thousands upon thousands of times.

      So there is little error in stating that science is true regardless of belief in it. It is. But science isn’t a religion, it’s just experimentation and observation with the goal of understanding the universe and its processes. Because of this, science has no place in philosophy. Philosophy has no place in science (Tyson has been criticized for stating this same thing). Theology and science should never cross paths unless physical aspects of theological arguments need verification. Science is only used in observation of falsifiable items, things that can be weighed, measured, and tested. Invisible transdimensional deities that no one has ever seen are theological and philosophical matters.

      Longest story short: Tyson isn’t overstepping his boundaries.

  5. labreuer Says:

    Only someone like the Christian God can assert the ultimate truth of something. I shall explain.

    Suppose that science can prove itself as the sole discoverer of truth. Well, ostensibly one can come up with a nice little formal system which describes what science actually is. Oops, in comes Kurt Gödel to spoil the fun (of Hilbert’s program as well) via his incompleteness theorems. You see, if ‘science’:

         (1) is finitely definable
         (2) includes “basic arithmetical truths”
         (3) includes “certain truths about formal provability”

    , then science either:

         (A) is inconsistent
         (B) cannot assert its completeness

    ! I doubt Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to give up (2) or (3), and should he reject (1), then he doesn’t even know [precisely] what he’s talking about when he uses the word ‘science’! The Christian (and Jewish) God is ¬(1):

    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Rom 11:33)

    That is, God is infinite in some deep way. He’s not infinite like π is infinite; we can write a finite computer program that would generate π if left to run forever. Instead, there is no way to finitely describe God, even if we had the best programming language or philosophy that could possibly be developed. This puts a new spin on:

        “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
            call upon him while he is near;
        let the wicked forsake his way,
            and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
        let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
            and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
        For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
            neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
        For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
            so are my ways higher than your ways
            and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    (Isaiah 55:6-9)

    It’s not that we cannot get closer to God’s ways and thoughts—that’s precisely what God wants, in this passage! Instead, we just can’t get all the way there, except after infinite time. Hence, John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Romans 3:23 is a description of failing to do John 17:3, failing to do Matthew 5:48. Jesus came to reverse the curse (had to), to re-open the John 17:3 path to God.

    Christianity takes the Greek, impersonal, probably-finite ‘Logos‘, and makes it personal and infinite: Jesus Christ. Only an infinite-personal god can tell (personal) and prove (infinite) to us what is absolutely true. Kurt Gödel makes this quite clear. Only if ‘science’ becomes infinite and personal can it do the job without having a gaping inconsistency at its core.

    • Ryan Arko Says:

      As I stated about Nick’s misconception:

      Philosophy and science have no place with each other. Your proposal begins with an assumption that only the Christian God can assert the ultimate truth of something.

      Why? And why only the Christian God? And which of the 40,000 interpretations of the Christian God are you specifically referencing?

      There were gods before Yahweh. Why are they wrong? If you accept the Christian doctrines, then you accept apostacy as a reality. Why aren’t you and the whole of Christianity capable of being assumed as apostates? Oden and Zeus could be valid deities and you could have been turned from their truth by an Akkadian cult leader who hijacked the mythologies of Ashur (Yahweh) and Marduk (Satan) to assert himself over people he viewed as unworthy.

      Your entire dismissal of science and value of the existence of god relies on a biased, unproven doctrinal set as well as philosophical reasoning. Essentially, you came up with the hypothesis, convinced yourself it was right before testing, refused to test, and then cherry picked reasoning that suited your predetermined (yet unestablished) result.

      Science is not a religion or a philosophy set. It is observation through experimentation. There are no preconceived notions. When a result can be repeatedly reproduced through the same processes, it is considered valid. Weak disproven ideals are dismissed and removed for stronger, established observations.

      That’s it. Science is not an entity and it’s not trying to replace any deity. So biased hypothesis and dogmatic reasoning convert to rhetoric as your goal was to establish science as an unworthy successor to your god.

      But as I’ve shown, your point that only the Christian God can assert the ultimate truth of something has unanswered questions,lacks evidence to establish the premise, and ignores the exceptionally high divisions among the quantified Christian God and his expectations.
      This is why I hate philosophy and believe it should have no part with science. Philosophy, you ask questions and assume the answers. Science, we ask questions and go to the ends of the earth to find the answers. Jeebus, scientists have built a city-sized atom smasher to prove the existence of a hypothesized particle (the Higgs Boson). They spent 48 years following leads, testing, recording results, and retesting to confirm results. They built the Hadron Collider, smashed some atoms and found definitive proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.
      Philosophers would have theorized, postulated, and said “well, that’s right,” and moved on. No evidence or proof required. But for philosophy, there are numerous theories and propositions that are all considered true, yet conflict with each other greatly.

      When someone thinks their beliefs shouldn’t hold up to the scrutiny of testing or the obligation of observable, tangible evidence, and that ponderous assumptions are enough to validate those beliefs, I seriously question both the beliefs and the believer.

      • apologianick Says:

        Wow. It’s so interesting that there is so little scientific here and so much that is philosophical all the while claiming you hate philosophy. Consider this idea that there is no possibility of miracles and miracles would violate science. Could that be demonstrated scientifically? Not at all. That’s an overstepping of boundaries.

        Btw, it’s not my claim that only the Christian God can assert the ultimate truth of something. I am not a presuppositionalist. I am neither a Christian one nor an atheist one.

      • apologianick Says:

        Oh. If you say there’s no evidence for the resurrection, then please do demonstrate you’ve already dealt with the works of people like Wright, Licona, Habermas, Lapides, etc. Also, you should know that even in ancient Israel, they knew that all things being equal, dead people stay dead. It’s not a new discovery from science.

      • labreuer Says:

        Philosophy and science have no place with each other.

        False: Einstein was a philosopher, and his philosophy demonstrably aided his science.

        Your proposal begins with an assumption that only the Christian God can assert the ultimate truth of something.

        False: I said “Only someone like the Christian God”, and gave a technical definition of ‘like’.

        Your entire dismissal of science

        False: I dismissed scientism, not science.

        unproven doctrinal set

        Nothing is proven from rock-solid foundations according to your epistemology; see the Neurathian bootstrap. Logical Positivism is a failed enterprise. There are no secular reasons. (John Rawls’ overlapping consensus can be empty.) Oh, and Hilbert’s program failed. Solidity? Provenness? You have neither.

        Science is not a religion or a philosophy set. It is observation through experimentation.

        Do tell how you got the original universal prior probability, noting that radical skepticism, which corresponds to the principle of indifference (a 100% uninformative prior) cannot be escaped.

        There are no preconceived notions.

        False. You must have something like a universal prior, and it is logically impossible that it come from observation. There is no such thing as a theory-free observation. Grossberg 1999, The Link between Brain Learning, Attention, and Consciousness, gives reason to believe that you don’t even become conscious of a percept unless that percept sufficiently matches a pattern already in your brain. Consciousness might be predicated upon confirmation bias.

        This is why I hate philosophy and believe it should have no part with science.

        Massimo Pigliucci, holder of PhDs in botany and philosophy, and author of Denying Evolution, wrote an article you need to read: Lawrence Krauss: another physicist with an anti-philosophy complex. Also, read Einstein was a philosopher. Rejecting philosophy will eviscerate science, in the long term. Another good read is Can we dispense with ontology in physics?, especially the accepted answer, which references empirical results (history).

  6. infowarrior1 Says:

    ”If that’s what you think then you don’t need to go to Genesis which your opponent does not accept.”

    A good example is the way Jesus engaged the Sadducees which do not regard the prophets as authoritative, therefore he only quoted the law.

  7. dene62 Says:

    “After all, all truth is God’s truth and if Jesus rose from the dead, not a single fact established by science can ever overturn that.”

    Is this not precisely the same logic for which you have criticised Tyson? Moreover, science does not try to “overturn” anything claimed in any religion. You make it sound as though the goal of science is to disprove your religion whereas, in fact, science has far more important and relevant things to do. A good scientist would also recognise the logical fallacy of trying to prove a negative. The burden of proof that Jesus rose from the dead is on you.

    I do. however, note that you leave room for manouvre, saying “if” Jesus rose from the dead. Very wise 😉

    • apologianick Says:

      I would be delighted to make a case for the resurrection of Jesus, but no, it’s not the same at all. The statement is true about religion as it is about everything else. Tyson makes it sound like it’s only true about science.

      As for proving a negative, who says that’s a fallacy? There’s a problem with that.

      First off, has it been proven that you can’t prove a negative? If not, then the negative claim that you can’t prove a negative is not one that should be taken as rock-solid.

      Has it been proven you can prove a negative? Then it’s a contradiction. A negative has been proven.

      We also prove negatives all the time. I just looked around my office. There are no black holes in my office. Negative proven.

    • labreuer Says:

      Moreover, science does not try to “overturn” anything claimed in any religion.

      This is patently false, on pain of so restricting the meaning of ‘science’ that much of what folks like Neil deGrasse Tyson say are not-‘science’. Or we could say that “the scientific enterprise”, as defined by actuality instead of idealistic conception, does plenty of non-‘science’. Modernism very clearly pushed for reductionism (the mechanical philosophy), which is built on atomism. Due to the Enlightenment habit of thinking of social reality in terms of scientific reality, this led to an individualism which mirrors atomism.

      This individualism has had drastic consequences, such as in the moral realm as pointed out by Alasdair MacIntyre in his seminal After Virtue. This individualism was an attack on religious tradition, as pointed out Jeffrey R. Stout’s Flight from Authority: Religion, Morality, and the Quest for Autonomy. However, tradition simpliciter was not actually attacked, because rationality cannot exist without tradition (see Richard J. Bernstein’s Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis).

      Furthermore, the ‘secular’/’religious’ dualism was invented by Enlightenment thinkers to delegitimize the religious and legitimize the secular, even though neither of those terms refers to a natural kind. That is, the key trait to religion which allows generalization is probably the belief in absolutes, which can be done without a supernatural mind. William Cavanaugh discusses this matter in scholarly detail in his The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict. The end result is that the Enlightenment convinced people to die in the name of their State instead of their religion. States, as the twentieth century revealed, are just as capable of violence as religions.

      Only by taking a narrow vision of ‘science’ can one uphold your statement. This narrow idea itself is a natural kind, but it simply doesn’t map onto what has been called ‘science’ in the past, as well as today. You will routinely hear that “science shows reality is unguided”. No, it doesn’t show this. All we know for sure is that science can explain what it does explain without teleological reference (bracketing teleonomy, which might be problematic).

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