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AmericanGodless's Avatar Jump to comment 134 by AmericanGodless

Quine, Bonzai: re Dawkins' "scientism" (as charged by Robert J. Russell in the CNS story linked above).

I don't care if it is Robert J. Russell accusing Richard Dawkins, or Massimo Pigliucci speaking of Paul Churchland, whenever the charge of "scientism" comes up, I expect to be served another plate of nonsense and woo. The term may have once been useful to describe the transformation of an area of science into a dogmatic (even religious) faith, as in the case of Lysenko. But today it is almost exclusively used to try to mark off a portion of the real world where science is supposed to be impotent to provide understanding or explanation. Since science is just a procedure by which we make every effort not to fool ourselves, what we are left with is an area wherein the case is being made that we must be allowed to tell ourselves (and each other) some real whoppers if we are to find the (capital T) Truth. A once useful word has become a tag for supernatural excuse-making or other special pleading.

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 10:31:00 UTC | #334902