Science Conceptions and Misconceptions
Who can exist without the benefits of science in this “Age of Science?” The current Age of Science in which we live has generated other Ages: technology, digital, computer, information, electronic, electromagnetic, and mechanical to name a few. Our society is immersed in positive and negative commentary about science and science-generated outcomes.
In the 16th and 17th centuries the Christian worldview influenced the development of what has become known as the “Scientific Revolution.” In our current day the discipline of science has enhanced our lives in many ways. In most respects our lives have benefitted from the scientific endeavor. Our Science/Faith blog is predicated on the knowledge of science and how science supports belief in the Creator and in the beauty and coherence of the physical laws the Creator authored. Science, however, can be a threat to humanity—for example, when technology produces weapons of war or artificial intelligence (AI) with its frightening potential.
Industrial advertisers describe science as beneficial to our human condition. At the turn of the millennium the DuPont Company used “The Miracles of Science” in their advertising. Recently television advertisements for animal food products have stated “Science did that.” The power of science can be appropriately or inappropriately used as it was by our recently retired Chief Medical Adviser to the US president, Anthony Fauci. He boasted “I represent science.” The use of science as a descriptor or modifier possesses both strengths and shortcomings. The terms “It’s scientific” or “Established science” could signal a variety of meanings. We are exhorted to “Follow the science.” Are there any hidden agendas in play?
The previous three paragraphs discussed a number of issues related to the endeavor of science and the role of scientists. Even though the root word of science in several languages is knowledge, our understanding of science is more complex. The discipline of science is difficult to define for many people.
We studied the website of Science Learning Hub. Based in New Zealand, the website discussed many myths of the “nature of science.” Following is an abbreviated account of the “myths” section of the article. Along with many positive features, the site addresses cautions about the nature of science for readers’ consideration:
The Scientific Method: There is no one particular scientific method.
Experiments: These are not the main route to scientific knowledge. They are not a commentary on ethical, moral, aesthetic, social, and metaphysical questions.
Science methods: These methods can answer amazing things, but science methodology is not a cure-all.
Proof: Science does not always provide absolute proof.
Unchanging science: Science is not always absolute and unchanging.
Creativity: Science is often creative, not dull or boring.
Objectivity: Scientists are often influenced by their own subjective biases or preconceptions.
New ideas: Science innovators may encounter resistance from people accustomed to thinking only in a certain way.
Science modeling: Models are used to predict reality, but they are not indicators of reality.
Hypotheses: These are tentative explanations. Prior experience, background knowledge, and careful observation skills are necessary for good hypotheses formation.
Readers should not assume your author is negative concerning the beauty and benefits of science. We are intensely positive about science, especially as it amplifies our vision of reality and love for our Creator who established all physical and spiritual realities of our human existence. He is the Creator of All Things. We give thanks to Him.