Science Versus Scientism

“It’s very dangerous, Chuck, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science. Because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science. Sometimes those things were inconvenient truths for people, and there was pushback against me.

So if you are trying to get at me as a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science. And anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that. You have to be asleep not to see that.”

NIH NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, quoted during a MSNBC/Chuck Todd “Meet The Press Daily” interview June 09, 2021(Relevant Aside- Chuck Todd and MTP-Daily were dropped by MSNBC effective June 06, 2022. )

The impetus for Fauci’s famous self-own was a video from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who floated a theory that the Director of the NIAID was colluding with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to develop a narrative about COVID-19. Chuck Todd teed this up by calling the Senator’s accusation a “really wild, fantastical conspiracy”. According to Senator Blackburn:

“Dr. Fauci was emailing with Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, trying to create that narrative,” “Cherrypicking information so that you would only know what they wanted you to know, and there would be a narrative that would fit with this cherrypicked information.”

You can see the full interview here.

With the passage of time (and a couple of pending lawsuits), we now know that the accusation of Senator Blackburn and her colleagues appears to have had significant merit.

Anthony Fauci, America’s high priest of scientism, wears out his welcome

Scientific ‘progress’ unrestrained by sacred principles is fraught with dangers

Everett Piper, Washington Times, April 18, 2021

OPINION:

On April 13, the editors of National Review opined: “More than a year ago, Americans welcomed [Dr.] Anthony Fauci into their homes as a sober scientist who was helping them make sense of a deadly new virus. But he has worn out that welcome.”

William F. Buckley’s heirs are absolutely right, and here’s why.

Anthony Fauci is no longer viewed as our nation’s sober “scientist” because he’s not one. Instead, he has shown himself to be a political opportunist and our country’s new high priest of “scientism.”

Continuing…

In the early 1900s, G.K. Chesterton spoke of the unavoidable consequences of worshipping science above the sacred. Observing that the naturalists of his day were only too willing to turn their science into a philosophy and then impose their new religion upon all of culture with near fanatic zeal, Chesterton said, “I never said a word against eminent men of science. What I complain of is a vague, popular philosophy which supposes itself to be scientific when it is really nothing but a sort of new religion and an uncommonly nasty one.”

Recognizing that science could never presume to compete in the moral arena, Chesterton went further.  “To mix science up with philosophy is only to produce a philosophy that has lost all its ideal value and a science that has lost all its practical value. It is for my private physician to tell me whether this or that food will kill me. It is for my private philosopher to tell me whether I ought to be killed.”

Chesterton knew science could answer the questions of mathematics and medicine, but he was likewise keenly aware it had little to say about meaning and morality. He warned that scientific “progress” unrestrained by sacred principles was fraught with dangers.

Precisely. And this becomes even more of a problem when Scientism is coupled with Utilitarianism (and Marxism) as I discussed in the previous chapter “Tyranny of the Modelers”. Piper then cites prophetic words from writer and novelist CS Lewis:

C.S. Lewis also spoke of Western society’s diminishment of God’s created order while elevating personal power to fill the chaotic void. Predicting the rise of what he and others labeled “scientism,” Lewis warned of a dystopia where public policy and even moral and religious beliefs would be dictated by oligarchs only too eager to assume the role of our new cultural high priests.

In his novel “That Hideous Strength,” Lewis asks an obvious question: After two world wars in which technology has brought us the “advancements” of the mass slaughter, ballistic missiles, and the atomic bomb, how is our new man-made god of “scientism” working for us?

C. S. Lewis, November 29, 1893– November 22, 1963

Read the Whole Article

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