Science, in its purest form, is the *lack* of faith. The basis of science is to question everything, taking nothing for granted. The path that science takes is one where no matter what seems right, the question will always come up, "But what about...?" Granted, science relies on assumptions to forward its cause, but does not take these assumptions for fact. We treat some suppositions as postulations, but the truth is (excuse the wording) that science acknowledges that these assumptions are not the actual ways that the universe may work, but rather a model that we can use to better our understanding of the universe. Faith asks that we accept something, blindly and without reason. We are not to question faith. Science questions everything, and thus faith has no place in science.


Update (regarding Lamed-Ah-Zohar's contribution):
I completely agree with you in that the layman's reliance on science is faith. However, the point I was trying to make (being the devil's advocate that I am) was that science "in its purest form" has no faith. How science is used by others is not necessarily science itself.

So as to the first problem, "Apparently people don't pay attention to science in its purest form," my assertion is that those that don't pay attention should not have an effect on the idea of science itself. Science as it is, does not rely on what others assert as truth, as it constantly questions everything it assumes.

The second problem you present I think I've already explained away as science not relying on every person to care about the "filament in the lightbulb." Perhaps I'm not too clear by what you mean here. For this, I apologize.

The third problem you present here, that "There are some questions that science will never be able to answer but are no less important," seems very narrow-minded. My thought is that these questions do exist, but science strives to answer them or come close at least, despite the limitations of our understandings of the universe and the limitations we place on science. Science does not write off the question of the existence of a god or gods, but looks to find evidence either way.

I guess the main point I'm trying to make is that faith requires no questioning or reason, whereas science does.
I think it's hard to truly address the core of this node, and what might be called the companion node (Blind faith in Science is just as bad as blind faith in Religion), unless one is a practicing scientist, and on the way to a Noble Prize, since that is probably what all would concede is the accolade of the true Scientist.

It has been a few years since I read in the philosophy of science, but the readings I most enjoyed were the ones by scientists, not academics with a second-hand knowledge of the practice of science--the successful practice of science.

Maybe there are those Nobel Prize bound among E2's membership? Short of that, I must rely upon what I believe, and know.

Certainly a strange combination for a node upon the project of doubt, for what else is the enterprise that Loon describes? The question will always come up, "But what about...?"

But I, and any practicioner of anything, must believe in the method I use, even the Cartesian Method--a philosophical one. And the language I use to describe it. The best writer I ever found was Michael Polanyi, who was a physical scientist before he became a philosopher of science, who spoke of some connection with reality. . .through the method!.

I suspect that many we might point to, would have a reverence for the nature of things that exceeds, and overflows a dry, academice exercise of answering some questions. I have always entertained the notion of the scientist, not as some company man, working for Omni-Consumer Products, or its academic affiliates, but the true pursuer of pure knowledge; a truly passionate individual who whould rather be following some definite though indefinable goal than anything else.

On the opposite track, the uses of "Science" are the subject of everyday politics. This is the "science" that is employed by corporations to make or save them much money, but its appeal is to the same questioning that Loon does above:

Despite the wide-spread agreement in global warming, as attested to by the statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "science" is used to say, "Wait a minute, all the questions haven't been asked. The answer isn't in yet."

Or the groups that wish to say, though maybe they have given up recently, that cigarette smoking doesn't doesn't cause lung cancer because the "science" isn't in. This is not a new story, nor is it likely to ever grow old.

We are beings of passion and faith, even if our goals are ones others may not understand, or even see. I believe the history of science as it is lived by its true followers is quite different from the story we are usually told.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.