Science as the new God

There are many good things one can say about the effects of a century of science on life in general, including a better standard of living on average, longer lifespans, perhaps even peace between nations. However, there is one aspect of it against which reasonable arguments can be made. The scientific attitude is supposed to be one of deep skepticism and relentless doubt but science itself has inculcated in the general masses, curiously enough, an utter morbidity of thought, a complete surrender of skepticism. It has ushered in a whole generation which celebrates everything it associates with science with the exact same devotion as is expected of a religious person. Science has silenced debate even in areas where its grip is still too weak and its mad worship has completely undermined such fruitful activities as the liberal arts. It has made the idea of a well rounded human being who can think on his own and argue, a total anachronism. With its reductionist tendencies, science has created what are essentially robots who seem to think in similarly fragmented, hyper-specialized, broken ways and who are only too eager to appeal to borrowed arguments from authority. The result is a population which seems to have lost its sense of all that is human in this world, the grayness of issues, the lack of clear blacks and whites, the idea that we still live in a world where, when all is said and done and strictly speaking, nothing can be proven as a surety and which is why it is still of use to learn from diverse sources.

I think the idea that there either already exists some scientific explanation to our question or that there will be one one day is a dangerous one because it allows us to shift the responsibility of thinking about it to someone else and to some other time. We are, once again, throwing our lot and our hopes with an external authority. We have done it time and time again with different gods but this time the God is Science. It's the latest agency to say to us, believe in me, I'm right. At this point I want to clarify that I have the utmost respect for the true scientific attitude. My problem is with how science is seen in the current society, as the last word in all matters, as something worth groveling against. And this is not an accident but the unintended consequence of the narrow-minded and idiotic efforts of such scientists as Dawkins.

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