When Rationalists themselves acknowledge the limitations and flaws in their Scientism, then they are on the path to enlightenment.
When they finally desist with the puerile “it’s been scientifically proven” as an argument, for the reason that scientific discovery is always changing, along with some of the observed phenomena themselves, then maturity of intellect is the result.
When they then admit the metaphysical into their worldview as part and parcel of physically observed phenomena, than that is close to wisdom.
I was wandering through a rationalist site [as distinct from refusing to read something because it might not say something new on a topic I’ve already prejudged] and read:
Since knowledge is still growing at an impressively rapid pace, it should not be surprising that many facts people learned in school have been overturned and are now out of date. But at what rate do former facts disappear?
Arbesman applies to the dissolution of facts the concept of half-life—the time required for half the atoms of a given amount of a radioactive substance to disintegrate. For example, the half-life of the radioactive isotope strontium-90 is just over 29 years. Applying the concept of half-life to facts, Arbesman cites research that looked into the decay in the truth of clinical knowledge about cirrhosis and hepatitis. “The half-life of truth was 45 years,” he found.
In other words, half of what physicians thought they knew about liver diseases was wrong or obsolete 45 years later. Similarly, ordinary people’s brains are cluttered with outdated lists of things, such as the 10 biggest cities in the United States.
Facts are being manufactured all of the time, and, as Arbesman shows, many of them turn out to be wrong.
Indeed so. Not only in an honest manner but also in a dishonest or flawed thing called pseudo-science. A reader and fellow-blogger called Don QuiScottie wrote:
It’s not surprising if some residual irrationality leaks through into the operation of science by people.
Of course it could be wrong. It often is. And it acknowledges that, eventually, That, I repeat, is how Science and science works – big S small s or any squiggly s you prefer. I fail to understand why you think the possibility that Science may make mistakes is worthy of comment. The history of Science and science is riddled with powerful cabals reluctant to accept challenge to their ideas, but their ideas are challenged, and science and Science proceeds.
The most fundamental point about science is that it works by forever being open to the idea that what it has suggested previously might be wrong.
That is indeed what science should do but it doesn’t. It goes down one of three paths today – the big money pseudo-science which has been written about even by DQS and this other phenomenon of Scientism – the chiselling in stone of eternal verities which is the new Orthodoxy, the new Moses tablets, when by DQS’s own definition, science is a most imprecise thing by its very nature.
The third path post-1700s “science” has gone down is to enter politics and religion and try to set itself in opposition to an entirely different discipline, i.e. understanding the phenomena which cannot be physically explained.
That this other field exists is beyond question – whole lifetimes of countless people in many nations have been devoted to this. The overweening arrogance of the rationalists in airily dismissing this with a sweep of the hand through their ignorance shows that their own worldview is severely hampered, retarded in fact by their chronic psychological inability to work with the evidence rather than set themselves implacably against it.
A most unreasoned and anti-scientific approach, using DQS’s definition of science.