Monday, March 3, 2014

Science, Scientism & What it Means to be Human

     Right now "the arts & humanities are struggling for survival on campuses across America as they are increasingly eclipsed by the 'STEM' disciplines (science, technology, engineering, & math). ... what we are witnessing is a takeover, on the part of science, of the multiple narratives of what it means to be human - narratives that have flourished throughout Western history in religion, art, literature, and philosophy.
     Scientism* comes with its own narrative ... : 'We are not "free"; we are chemical expressions of our DNA and our neurons. We cannot will anything, because our brains do our acting for us. We are like computers or systems, and so is nature.' When this is what we think we are, we become quiescent cogs readily manipulated by societal forces. ... once scientism rewrites our story so that the things human beings care about - like love, wonder, presence, or play - are reduced to atoms, genes, or neurons, human lives become easy prey to corporate and political interests. We become 'mere functions within systems.' (We need) to wake up and recognize that this view is not scientific discovery, it is ideology. Mistaking one for the other has profound consequences, 'not just for knowledge but even more importantly for how we live.'"

     Scientism*- "an unwarrented triumphalism based on unproven premises - such as the claim that science has got the world nailed down (or soon will, anyway) that the answer to all of our human problems lies in the discovery of natural laws, or that submitting to a scientific perspective is a choiceless imperative dictated by impersonal facts."

     Linda Heuman's entire excellent interview with Curtis White, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Illinois State University, about his latest book:  
     "The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers" 
is available online: 

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