“God is dead,” proclaimed Nietzsche. God is not dead, he simply got a job and changed names. He goes by the name of Science now, and while he may no longer be the King of Kings, or the Lord of Lords…he is still worshipped much the same as before. While his old role relied much on a faith in what could not be seen, his new one relies on the inverse. Cleansing oneself of unseen sins by repenting has been replaced by science’s suggestion of washing one’s hands of germs that also cannot be seen. Regardless of “how far we have come,” the majority of people are still living in constant fear of unseen forces.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -John 1:9
Science, as the inverse of religion, seeks to define the world by confining it to what can be seen and comprehended by humans. Religion, on the other hand, based its definition on one supposedly given to humans by a being that could not be seen. While we were once slaves to the unseen…we are now slaves only to what can be seen only by scientists, ignoring anything that cannot be. While religion made us live by the rules that God set, science makes us live only by rules that scientists can see and comprehend, and in a way control. A scientific society is by nature a hierarchical one, by replacing God’s word with human thought. No thought is given to forces that scientists cannot comprehend or measure…if it cannot be tested, it is not real.
“It is likely that some people use their ideas about science to make sense of the world and for emotional compensation in difficult situations in the same way that religious people use their supernatural beliefs.” -Miguel Farias
Perhaps, though, it is science that is not real. It is nothing but a series of thoughts based on observable, but not necessarily true, things. It is a religion of estimation. Let us take “dark matter” for example. Dark matter is something that some scientists have spent lifetimes working to find, much as the conquistadors spent their lives subjugating and destroying in an attempt to find cities of gold.
In the 1930s, prominent scientists Oort and Zwicky looked at the way the universe moved, and noticed a large discrepancy between what we could see, and how things actually were. According to their calculations, the amount of mass in the universe did not equal enough to explain the current motion of galaxial systems. To compensate for this discrepancy, they inferred that there must be some sort of “dark matter” floating around in space, invisible to us. To them, in addition to the planets, stars, and other celestial bodies we can see, there must have been some invisible matter that could be plugged into their equations to make them correct. Rather than simply admit that they had no idea how the universe worked, they made something up. Dark matter is still not proven to exist, almost a century later, and yet scientists, obviously a proud bunch, continue to search for it. Current large scale scientific projects like CERN and SuperCDMS are specifically geared towards looking for dark matter. Again, as in the New World, the resources of empires are being poured into the search for something which may not exist, ignoring the world that exists in front of us…Let us forget the fact that we still don’t even completely understand gravity.
Science has not only projected our hubris into the stars, but also uses it to explain earthly happenings as well. It is the job of economists and sociologists to project made up structures onto the real world. The economy should not exist as something that can be studied separate from people…it only does because we allow it. Our physical acts support the non-physical entity of the economy, because we think we have to. Because we are not economists, we defer the running of the economy to the “experts.” We avoid seeking ways to exist outside of the economy, simply because in our minds, it is THE economy. The trick, though, is that the economy would exist without experts…it would just not be called an economy…let alone THE economy.
“The impasse of the present, everywhere in evidence, is everywhere denied. There will be no end of psychologists, sociologists, and literary hacks applying themselves to the case, each with a specialized jargon from which the conclusions are especially absent.” -comité invisible
The same holds true for sociologists. The societal structures that they study would not exist if people simply let them go. Sociology treats society, and often the state, as a given…ignoring the fact that people can exist outside of them. Sociology attempts to divide people into camps of “primitive” and “civilized”, but denies the existence of lifestyles outside of these polarities. Science is naturally hierarchical in this way, perpetually creating a class of scientists who “objectively” study the behavior of those below them, while at the same time perpetually stressing the need for this upper class by telling us that the fake structures they study are real.
Science, at its core, is nothing but people attempting to prove that their guesses are correct. Somehow the word “faith” does not come into play.
“hypothesis - an idea or theory that is not proven but that leads to further study or discussion” -Merriam-Webster
Even hypotheses that can be proven true in a number of circumstances are still called theories. While one one hand, science acknowledges its shortcomings, we still treat these theories as laws. Physicists, cosmologists, biologists, and every other sort of scientists make entire careers out of proving or disproving the theories of others. They even go as far as to base their work on theories of others, stacking theories upon theories. Just as Augustine based his work on the Gospels, which sat atop the Old Testament…Einstein’s work would not exist without Newton, and concepts like string theory would not exist without Einstein.
We are taught from an early age that science is based on guesses about the world around us. The hypothesis is an integral part of the science taught to young children, and in many cases, they are required to take part in the scientific process by means of the science fair to solidify their knowledge of the “scientific method”. The indoctrination of the young into the faith of science begins with dioramas, tri-fold poster boards, and potato batteries. It is no wonder that many schools make the science fair a requirement, and that the current presidential administration is undergoing a campaign to make the science fair more relevant.
Those in power have a vested interest in introducing science to children early on. The separation of children into scientists and those who defer to scientists starts at a young age. Children often declare early on that they may not “get science” before they can even really fully understand it. The division of society into experts and non-experts is an important part of how science is used to control people. The same children who shy away from science in their younger years, may be the same type of adults who just “don’t get computers”. Science as a field taught in schools often ends up separating human capital into those who produce via scientific means, and those who produce via more manual means. In our technological society, those who practice the art of science (be it through classical sciences, computer science, math, etc.) are essentially given a sort of privilege and separation from the rest of society. Scientists are essentially a class of middle-managers, given the task of maintaining and improving the machine of domination.
From its origins, science, and its physical offspring technology, have served power. Originally passed along orally, tool-making techniques established dominance over animals, and agricultural techniques established dominance over the flora. These oral traditions were eventually written down and turned into theories and laws. The “proven” theories of one generation became the law of the next, and within a few thousand years, we now have the capability of erasing all that in a few hours. This acceptance of theories and laws has led us down a path that has enslaved nearly every human on the planet and pushed us to the brink of ecological catastrophe. Perhaps nuclear weapons would have never existed had more primitive societies not embraced tools like the atlatl. Perhaps everyone in the world would be fed if we had never eliminated our carnivore competitors, and hunted to extinction those herbivores that could not be domesticated. Perhaps all these things would have been forgotten if they were not written down. Perhaps not…but to take things like domestication and writing as givens, to not question their role in our society, is to have faith in them. Unquestioningly supporting a technology, without ever having experienced life without it, is to have faith. While followers of science claim to base their judgements on empirical evidence, no chance is given for empirical evidence contrary to their beliefs to arise. Those who oppose science and “progress” are labeled as would-be murderers at worst, and backwards at best…ignoring the actual murder committed by science.
“All science appears as magic to the ignorant.” - Glenn Morris
Science, or thought, that exists outside the existing realm, is denounced as “pseudo-science” or simple hoaxes. Scientists like Rubert Sheldrake chastise their colleagues for ignoring concepts such as telepathy…others, like Carlo Rovelli, seek revolutions within the field itself. Wilhelm Reich died in prison for his attempts at establishing science outside of state sanctioned fields. Western civilization itself has all but eliminated any trace of indigenous thought, which generally sought to live alongside nature rather than dominate it.
“We will know something of his feats as a hunter or a warrior, as a long-distance walker, as a lover. We will know less of the depth of his friendships with kinsmen or strangers, and almost nothing of his friendships with wolves and bears whose tracks he followed, whose signals he tried to grasp, whose universe he tried to understand. And we will know nothing at all of his fasts on mountain tops or alongside green mirror-like tree-surrounded lakes, of the journeys he undertook with his guide across and through the water to the place of life’s origin, of his flights on the guide’s wings to the sunset land where his ancestors gathered.” -Fredy Perlman
Science has been used to erase nearly any and all trace of life outside of science. With one side of its mouth science claims to be neutral, objective, and based on reason…With the other side it attempts to define what being neutral, objectivity, and reason are. Any ideas that seek knowledge outside of approved science are flat out rejected. Much as the Church once denounced those who attempted to take Christianity in unapproved directions, Science denounces those who make similar attempts as pseudo-scientists. The Church of old killed and imprisoned people it deemed heretics, and Science is no different…just ask Mr. Reich.
“Science, at bottom, is really anti-intellectual. It always distrusts pure reason, and demands the production of objective fact.” -Henry Louis Mencken
Science and the use of force have always been inextricably linked. Most universities rely on military funding to conduct their research. The Pentagon spends billions of dollars each year to conduct military research using the universities’ students. The university is essentially used as a proving ground for those scientists who eventually go onto creating new generations of weapons. From Fredy Perlman, quoted above, to Ward Churchill, to countless others…Those who work in the university will not for very long if they stand opposed to the military. The state is, and always has been the true keeper of science.
“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” -Carl Sagan
We have absolutely arranged things so that no one understands science and technology. We are taught that science and technology are neutral, or even that they are tools of liberation. The exact opposite is true. Science is the domain of scientists. Scientists are servants of power. Science will only lead to liberation when science as a discipline, as something separate from people, ceases to exist. When we are all scientists, there will be no scientists. There will be no science because it will merely be people learning, experiencing, and communicating.