Tag Archives: scientific materialism

Hidden religious agendas

My recent post Scientific “authority” gave an example of writing which claimed scientific “authority” but was actually religiously motivated – although that was not admitted up-front. I think this is quite common. People will take up a stance, or write articles, in which they are motivated by religious belief – but don’t acknowledge this. Or even attempt to hide it.

A recent short article by Amanda Gefter (How to spot a hidden religious agenda). discusses this problem. She faces it in her job as a book reviews editor at New Scientist: “I often come across so-called science books which after a few pages reveal themselves to be harbouring ulterior motives. I have learned to recognise clues that the author is pushing a religious agenda.” Of course this agenda is often a creationist one. Gefter offers “a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science’s clothing.” Continue reading

Bringing the supernatural into science

Modern science is often attacked. Despite its obvious benefits to humanity there are many in today’s society who wish to undermine or discredit science. They talk about the “limits of science” as if we were investigating things we shouldn’t. An example is the claim that it’s OK for science to investigate how matter behaves but the question of how matter arose should be left to philosophy and religion. They assert there is a conspiracy by the science “establishment” to control research and to limit scientific explanations. They claim the naturalism of science is too limiting and call for a new “scientific paradigm” which is not limited to the natural. Religious opponents of evolutionary theory are one organised source of these attacks. But attacks also come from others with superstitious beliefs or those trying to advance supernatural explanations and ideas. You can understand their motivation. Frustrated because science does not support, or even disproves, their most cherished beliefs they blame the scientific method, rather than their belief. It’s logical, then, for them to wish to expand the meaning of science to somehow include their belief and then be able to claim that these beliefs are supported by “science.”

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