Saturday, October 26, 2013

Scientism Schism

     It has been a long, long time since my last activity on this blog. The reasons for this absence are many and varied, and will no doubt be the subject of a future post, but for now I can do nothing better than to simply dive in where I climbed out. I want to discuss a topic which is ubiquitous in Christian apologetics but which is little talked about elsewhere. It is something called "scientism." Roughly defined, scientism is the view that the only way to gain knowledge is through science. This is often taken to mean the "hard sciences" like biology and physics, and, to some degree, mathematics. The reason it's important to know and to be able to interact with it is that it is the primary "ism" of contemporary popular-level atheism. Atheists like (you guessed it) Richard Dawkins paint a rhetorical picture wherein theists primarily know what they know through "faith" (which he interprets as believing in the absence of evidence, and even with disregard for evidence). For Dawkins, faith and science are very much competing and incompatible methods of arriving at knowledge. The insidious rot of this presumption is that it attaches with viral ferocity to the minds many unbelievers (and of many believers as well). It is my hope to explore scientism in some depth, and in addition, I hope to illuminate not only why scientism is false, but why it is dangerous.