Adam & Eve & science

We are, up here in the High Doganate, rather sceptical of the claims of Modern Science, and inclined to mock its self-important practitioners, often in rather whimsical ways. The effort to debunk specific “settled” conclusions — from Darwinoid ape-man evolutionism to the dark euphoric squeals of Global Warming — is time-consuming, of course. Yet we can know, even without debunking, that certain things are not going to happen, soon or ever.

It is a bore demonstrating, for instance, that no one’s gonna drown in Manhattan (or even in Miami) because of atmospheric CO2 levels; or that men will never (successfully) colonize Mars. Time spent in discussing such things (except for the purpose of satirical entertainment) is time wasted. The onus of proof is, anyway, not on our side. The more one goes into detail, the more risible the argument becomes, but also the angrier “settled scientists” become, whose livelihoods depend on our credulity — a proof, perhaps, of causal links between humour and intelligence.

Should we refute scientific claims by scientific method? No, because there is no such thing; and beyond that, no inference that is entirely reliable. As I suggested in a previous Idlepost, not even the existence of atoms can be taken for granted. The method to be pursued depends on what is being investigated, as Aristotle knew a couple dozen centuries ago. Unlike a later philosopher, he did not write a Discourse on Method.

We should instead refute nonsense with sharp logic, which begins and ends with the cautious application of common sense, turning upon the law of non-contradiction. Nothing in this universe, discoverable by men, can be A and not-A at the same time. This is not a theory but a premiss — an act of faith. Wisdom begins with recognition of our limitations — faith in them, as it were. That is why it is more likely to be acquired from religion, than from playing games with numbers.

Science is knowledge; nothing more. It is not acquired thanks to abstract method, and no method determines what can be acquired. Trial and error is never such a smooth process. Knowledge is a relationship with the world, and with its Creator. It can be true or false. Either way, it is internalized: our knowledge becomes a part of us. We eagerly embrace convenient error. We awkwardly flounder towards truth. The first is full of plausibilities, the second full of paradoxes. C’est la vie.

The arrogance, together with the ignorance in Modern Science, is founded upon the confidently false belief that we must accept what is “scientific,” in flavour, and reject what is “unscientific,” according to arbitrary rules fixed by “scientists.” But no: we must be predisposed to truth in every form, and flee error on all fronts.

There is nothing smug in this. “True” and “false” are absolutely exclusive categories, and the method of distinguishing them is not through a set of lab rules, but by humility and sincerity and the honesty that follows. The questions to be answered will always have moral and spiritual dimensions, as well as physical ones, and the person whose conscience is alive, will be vividly aware of this.

An inquirer should be sceptical not only of the results of his inquiry, when they “feel wrong,” but more fundamentally, of himself. Here is a possible first question for anyone who wants to know something:

Why do I want to know?

Do not simply assume that your inquiry is innocent or harmless. The first truly “scientific” experiment was, after all, that conducted by Adam and Eve.