Seeker of Truth

Ruminations of One Suspended between Catholic Christianity and Scientific Utopianism

Location: Washington, United States

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Thoughts About Scientific Method

The replacement of religion by science proceeds approximately along the lines that science, first, develops an explanation for some physical phenomenon, in other words, it is able to use mathematics or a similarly simplifying method to describe the process under scrutiny. E=mc2, evolution through natural selection, the periodic table. Some of the theories are very concise and coded in symbols, others describe a set of simple, standard steps, such as evolution, to describe a complex phenomenon, such as the vast number of different animal and plant species and how they relate to each-other.
Second, as science is successful in one, than many, than seemingly all areas of research, its adherents reason that nothing else is needed to account for the world as it is.
The problem is that if God created a universe that follows rules, and no matter what rules he chose, sooner or later some kind of scientist would come along and discover those rules, and then deduce that the rules explain the world. The question is not if there is evolution, or if God plays dice with the universe, but wether our discoveries mean what many scientists claim, namely that God does not exist. If God makes the universe knowable through discovery of its laws, then it must follow that the discoverers can make the claim that God does not exist.
There is really nothing in the above sentence that would link the first to the second part causally. The missing link is ‘Occam’s razor’ or the assumption adopted by Western science that the simpler explanation, i.e. one that can do without recourse to the supernatural, divine etc. is the correct one. Funny to think that Occam was a catholic friar. His ‘contribution’ to post-medieval thought may be the greatest curse that our civilization has ever suffered, insidiously poisoning the foundations of our reasoning.


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