In a conversation recently I made this statement:
“Science needs to recognize that it has failed as a humanly relevant belief system.”
Too often, people who worship science think it is the ‘answer’ to everything. They think it answers the question of god, life, and reality. The fact is that it has not ‘answered’ these at all. The only people who think it answers anything are the people who have usually gone to school to learn it, as you usually got to go to school to learn it, and the schooling is often quite involved and detailed. The fact that you have to go through so much schooling shows its not “for everyone” but something that caters to specific people. For the everyday guy, science has no real value or worth (see my article called “How I prooved science wrong“). It has very little impact in how they view the world, how they live in the world, and so on. In addition, most people don’t use science to dictate how they interpret and solve things in life either.
The problem can be summed up as: there’s no human relevance. That is to say, the great bulk of science has no relevance in the human life. Frankly, who cares what the temperature of the sun is or what a paramecium is? So what about evolution? Why do I need to know algebra? What use is sending satellites out into space? How does any of this knowledge make a more meaningful human life? The fact is that it doesn’t. Most of science deals with facts, figures, and information often of things unrelated to human life. They are so abstract and removed from human life that you can’t help but say, “so what is the use of knowing this?” Just because there may be a truth in them, in an abstract way, this does not make them humanly relevant and meaningful. And since science is not humanly relevant its “truths” are not ‘integrated’ into human life. This is why science remains removed and separate from human life regardless of whether it can be ‘proven’ or not. So prove a scientific theory right . . . so what?
SCIENCE AS TRADE KNOWLEDGE
The problem of human relevance shows that there are different forms of truths ( I wrote an article involving these two forms of interpretations of the world called “Thoughts on the ‘two interpretations’ – aspects of the interpretation of the world“). These are:
- A truth based in human relevance, which is rooted in the realities of human life
- A truth not based in human relevance, such as scientific truth, which tended to be rooted in practical application
I’ve often compared scientific knowledge to a trade knowledge, of knowing how to weld or do carpentry. These display a practical truth but their only use is the application of that practical truth for practical ends. One does not make the technique of welding a way of life or a model of how to live. Under this classification, science can be described as “mechanical knowledge”, which is practical knowledge. Its knowledge that has value in its application, such as knowing how to cook or build a shed. It has no real human relevance.
SCIENCE AS POWER STRUCTURE
Much of the “power” in science isn’t because of its “truths”, necessarily, but in the fact that a “power structure” has been created from it in the past 200 years. This is why I speak of a “science-based power structure”. This power structure is really no different than any other form of power structure, such as we saw in medieval society, for example, or in ancient Egypt. While its in power it seems the “almighty thing” but, in actuality, its just another power structure in a long line throughout the centuries. In this way, the power of science is not in any of its “truths” but in its power structure that its associated with. This makes its “truths” even less humanly relevant.
SCIENCES DOES NOT REPLACE NECESSARY HUMAN INSTITUTIONS
What all this shows is that science does not replace necessary human institutions, such as religion, a belief system, or a culture. I tend to think that science has left a big vacuum in society as a result. People want to believe in something but have nothing to believe in as the scientific viewpoint leaves little open (for example, see my article Thoughts on the ‘alien issue’: peoples need to believe in the Divine when they can’t). I think that there’s almost a desperation in society, of people wanting to believe, but having no idea what to believe in.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen