“Scientism” is the view that the hard sciences—like chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy—provide the only genuine knowledge of reality.
Fortunately, J. P. Moreland; Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California with four earned degrees: a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri, a Th.M. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M. A. in philosophy from the University of California-Riverside, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California; has provided a devestateing critique to this genuinely mistaken view: Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology.
I have blogged about scientism before, but J. P. Moreland, with this book, has written the definitive work on the issue.
Here are some examples of people asserting scientism:
- “Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.” – (Bertrand Russell Religion and Science, 243)
- “Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” – (Stephen Hawking The Grand Design, 13)
- “Science, as the only begetter of truth.” – (Richard Lewontin, The New York Review of Books 1/9/97)
Crossway Books, the publisher of the book, has provided a series of articles by Moreland in preparation of the release:
“10 Things You Should Know about Scientism” by J. P. Moreland | Crossway Sept 19, 2018
“5 Myths About Science” by J. P. Moreland | Crossway Sept 21, 2018
“What is Scientism?” by J. P. Moreland | Crossway Sept 24, 2018
You couldn’t ask for a better resource on this topic. In his excellent work Love Your God With All Your Mind shares why we should reject scientism: “What I do reject is the idea that science and science alone can claim to give us knowledge. This assertion – known as scientism – is patently false and, in fact, not even a claim of science, but rather, a philosophical view about science.”
J. P. Moreland discusses the issue of scientism in this video:
Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology by J. P. Moreland (Crossway: 2018)
“The Dangers of ‘Scientism’ and an Over-Reliance on Science” by J. Warner Wallace | Cold-Case Christianity, Feb 11, 2015
“Is Scientism Self-Refuting?” by William Lane Craig | Reasonable Faith, Mar 21, 2011
“Blinded by Scientism” by Edward Feser | Public Discourse Mar 9, 2010
Post about other issues concerning science from this blog include:
Posts about other Apologetic Resources from this blog include: