Limitations of Science

Science has been described as the secular religion of our world. So much so that many people will believe anything that someone with PhD after their name says. John Marks criticizes this in his paper Science, Religion, and Worldview. He is a big critic of scientists and things that they consider fact. He takes a stark opposition to people treating science as some infallible way of doing things. It is true that science has made many great strides, and without the scientific method we would still be living in caves freezing to death because no one had invented fire. But Marks wishes to make sure that we keep science and scientists in check and that we do not allow our view of them become God-like in nature.

Carl Sagan takes the opposite stance regarding science in his Demon-Haunted World as “more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking.” While Carl Sagan, talks of science as a romance of his, he is also quick to point out that it is imperfect, but that it is ever correcting and quick to point out that it might be wrong. Science papers are always accompanied by error-bars showing that there have been mistakes or limitations that occurred.

I personally agree with both authors. I think that science is something that is wonderful and that we need that has provided us a way to consistently improve our lives, but we cannot take our trust in it further than that. We should not blindly trust whatever comes from the science community the same way that we shouldn’t necessarily trust the four out of five dentists that recommend a certain brand (by the way who is that other dentist and why does he disapprove of everything.) Like Marks says, we should be cognizant of where the facts about our world come from. He is spot on in saying, “If facts are made rather than being simply discovered, then how do we know what the facts are at any point in time? The facts are, of course, what the men in white coats say they are.” This is exactly what we must avoid.


One thought on “Limitations of Science

  1. A well conceived and presented comparison of Marks and Sagan. I especially like the ending quote from Marks–it makes he and Sagan, actually, sound more similar than I ever thought they were, and it makes your point nicely (that you can agree with both).

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