A bit of science and two bits on scientism

A bit of science and two bits on scientism September 30, 2019


IAU image of exoplanet
An artist’s conception of the surface of an exoplanet, from the International Astronomical Union (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


First, some general science news, which ranges from the sublime:


“Why Your Dog Likes Sticking Its Head Out the Car Window”


“Nature paper on ocean warming retracted”


To the ridiculous:


“NASA is close to finding life on Mars but the world isn’t ready for the discovery, the agency’s chief scientist says”


“Venus was potentially habitable until a mysterious event happened”


“How Many Humans Could the Moon Support?  First, we need to answer other questions — about lunar survival.”


“‘Imagined Life’ envisions the odd critters of other planets: A new book offers a science-based take on what aliens might look like”


“What Life Might Be Like in Alien Oceans: As we venture onto the moons of Jupiter and Saturn to look deep below their frozen surface, might we find new forms of life there?”




And now, for something completely different:


Professor Nicholas Rescher
Nicholas Rescher (b. 1928), a German-American philosopher of science, historian of philosophy, logician, and epistemologist at the University of Pittsburgh, is the youngest person ever to have earned a doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University. He is the Chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science and formerly served as Chairman of Pittsburgh’s Philosophy Department. He has also served as president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the American G. W. Leibniz Society, the American Metaphysical Society, the American Philosophical Association, and the C.S. Peirce Society, and is the founder of the “American Philosophical Quarterly.”
(Wikimedia Commons)


” . . . a view that we call ‘scientism’: and that is that science is the only way to truth.  Now that is just logically false, because the statement ‘science is the only way to truth’ is not a statement of science, so if it’s true, it’s false.”

John Lennox, Ph.D. Sc.D. D.Phil, Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford


“The theorist who maintains that science is the be-all and end-all — that what is not in science books is not worth knowing — is an  ideologist with a peculiar and distorted doctrine of his own. For him,  science is no longer a sector of the cognitive enterprise but an all-inclusive world-view. This is the doctrine not of science but of scientism.  To take this stance is not to celebrate science but to distort it by  casting the mantle of its authority over issues it was never meant to  address.”

Nicholas Rescher


Posted from Park City, Utah



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