Are scientists the modern apostles?

Human mind started to long for intellectuel liberty instead of fixed religious dogmas at one time in the past. This freedom has enabled it to discover the laws of nature through experiments. Nowadays, explanations are being sought in scientific researches.

I often wonder how all these scientific results can be unconditionally accepted by common people. Neither the necessary theoretical nor the technical background is at our disposal to run experiments or double-check the public findings. We are expected to trust the shared relevations and scientific calculations about our food, organs or the universe. Meanwhile, the credibility of science is starting to erode due to scandalous corruption and political impact.

Are scientist the modern apostles? How did science gain this dominant influence?

science

 

In Christian theology, the apostles, the main lecturers of gospel message, founded churches throughout the world. By the 2nd century, connection with them was considered proof of power (i.e. line of succession of bishops) and several Christian texts were ascribed to them. The Catholic Church had powerful effect on the whole Western civilisation from Late Antiquity.

In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation challenged the Church mainly because its religious authority and corruption. In the 17th century, it was attacked by the Enlightenment advocating  individual liberty, religious tolerance and scientific methods instead of fixed religious dogmas. In the 18th century, the French Revolution transferred power from the Church to the State. It was the first major political event to declare the authority of human reason. The end of the Napoleonis Wars resulted the temporary revival of Papal States. In the 20th century anti-clerical movements reshaped the political map and nowadays most states are run on secular basis.

Until the 19th century, science was more closely linked to philosophy and it included astronomy, medicine, and physics. In the 16th century, Galileo was persecuted by the Church for writing about the Copernican system. However, the importance of observation and calculation over contemplation was increasingly emphasized. In the age of Enlightenment (17-18th centuries), new physics stated general laws of nature confirmed by experiment and applied maths. Assumptions were abandonned and experiments became prevailing.

In the 19th century, the fields of biology, chemistry and phycics were significantly extended and scientific activities became professionalized and institutionalized. Becoming integrated in the operation of states shows their significance. Their promotion and financing are based on two assumptions.

Science has been expected to boost the citizens’ life, to guarantee military security and to maintain leading political position. Applied science is acknowledged for the abolishment of the past’s hard work.

 

 

Source: Wickipedia

36 comments

  1. I don’t think Scientists are the modern Apostles. The Apostles tried to show man the error of considering his ways and thoughts to be the highest authority over his life and the lives of others. That they should give honour and praise to something far greater than themselves (One God) or idols, which represented earthly powers, that they bowed down to in service. That they should all be as one in awe and praise of a single Supreme (non-human) being.

    This is far from what science/scientists tries to do.

    You ask why we believe in science so much? It is because although we may not be able to check them for ourselves, ALL true science is (able to be) checked, and can be repeated, by anyone with the relevant skill set. The process is called peer revue and is a tenet of the scientific method. Unless everyone makes the exact same mistake, science can always be trusted (even if people/scientists cannot!).

    Science may have abolished a lot of laborious work of man but now it is seeking to abolish all work of man. Robots/cyborgs will soon replace every job as we are teaching them to think and observe for themselves and they will think better and faster than we ever could, or will. (Driverless cars, trucks, trains, planes for a very ‘simple’ example)

    love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It goes without saying that science and religion have different aspects.
      However, the trend is obvious that official explanations in seculiar states have been underpinned by scientific argumentations for a while. We are supposed to accept statements just because British (etc) scientists have said so. Common people can not double check those experiments, (or even conceive infinite space), so they must rely on their belief in science. I think it is a huge shift in seculiar states that science has become the main motivator factor which any advance of civilisation is attributed to.

      Liked by 3 people

      • When you say ‘a lot’ i believe if researched fully you would find many more false ideas have been rejected by this method than were allowed to get through (but they don’t get the headlines!). No system is perfect, science is repeatable by anyone who is bothered and has the funds or means.

        The real problem is that whatever we use to guide us depends primarily on very human and fallible people in the end.

        Of course Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) may soon solve that problem. 🙂

        love

        Liked by 2 people

      • Actually I have heard about arrested scientist who went to the White House to protest against global warming and he said that his scientifically proved arguments had not been even listened to at political platforms.
        Yes, indeed fallible people should be trusted.

        Like

  2. Well said. It’s astounding to me how we will accept the authority of “science,” sight unseen. What that really means is we believe some opinion piece interpreting a study that was done and telling us what it all means. Because science.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. And you realise this power only when forged “scientific” results are unveiled. Modern societies trust scientific circles unconditionally while they believe that they act rationally. Although you rely on their belief in science.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm, I’m not sure.

    I mean, I get that a lot of us can’t follow the scientific papers as they’re written. But I can read what scientific journalists publish. You can start to get an idea of what is bunk and what isn’t, though I see the most spurious scientific research in areas of diet and weight loss.

    The great thing about science, though, is it must be repeatable before it becomes accepted. That repeatablity helps weed out charlatans.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am afraid that scientific circles have become so closely-knit and politically blackmailed that they can not act as they want or should.
      Furthermore, global warming/ food/ beauty products issues are all about production and consumption behaviours which have already been proved harmful yet maintained and concealed.

      There are scientific theories which can not be experienced at all (universe, evolution etc).
      However, it is incredible how society has accepted science as legitime source of information without being present at experiments.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. People have to BELIEVE in SOMETHING…and to LABEL EVERYTHING
    DOUBT not being allowed, they TRUST whoever is strong enough to spread pieces of information around , CUNNINGLY CONVINCING THE HUMAN FRIALTY……

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think there are larger issues that allow all this to happen and also some things that promote it. To simplify, a political system without adequate safeguards always goes astray, power partners with those who control the wealth. The auto insurance companies and traffic enforcement must be against self-driving cars (loss of revenue) but manufacturers and research groups are for them and likely the common man will be convinced by arguments of safety and the simple fact there would be few or no DUI tickets, as one example. I think you are asking good questions, the answers are difficult because of the massive shift in perspective required of a large population.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Earlier power joint the Church to bring the salvation together and to urge citizens to obey. (I do not want to be rude to religious people, I hope I use the appropriate expressions.)
        Nowadays, science and power are cooperating, they are liberating us from the past’s drudgery and improve our health and mental conditions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree there are benefits like you say. Yes about the church. Spain, for example, in the 13th and 14th century was the king, the church and the landholders sharing power. The majority of people had no say. History is what it is and no one should be offended by fact but some are, I agree, especially about current history. The US has an ideal of from many (people) one (government) but when most don’t know the issues, make their wishes known or vote we get poor government, controlled or influenced by those with special interests.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m afraid I mostly disagree with this one…

    Today, people have elevated their “feelings”/opinions to the same level as their thoughts. Science is actually disbelieved by a shocking number of people, considering it is one of the few areas where peer reviews exist to keep others honest. People sincerely argue that their beliefs make a counter-argument to facts.

    There really is no such thing as an alternate fact, as there is no other answer to 2+2 than 4 following standard rules of arithmetic.

    It is more likely for useful scientific work to blocked from appearing in a good journal by reviewers who don’t understand it (or have a political/personal motive to wish it unpublished) than it is for nonsense to make it in. It is a very competitive field of endeavor. The peer review journal system isn’t perfect, but it’s better than anything else anyone has come up with.

    There are many, many pseudo-scientific publications now, including most of the diet/nutrition nonsense that another commenter mentioned above. Formatting one’s opinion in the style of a scientific paper doesn’t make it a scientific paper.

    Science is based upon observable, repeatable tests of theories. That is, at its most fundamental level, different from religion which is based upon faith/belief, regardless of the complete absence of proof.

    You’d be surprised by how many experiments CAN be repeated without specialized equipment. Not large hadron collider stuff, obviously, but studies of more obtainable subjects. My husband published his first paper in high school, mostly because he was an immigrant to the land of opportunity, and no one had told him that such a thing was impossible!

    Expensive equipment helps tremendously, no doubt, but the gift of a great scientist is CREATIVE THOUGHT applied in a LOGICAL way. It’s worthy of more respect than it gets today.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nobody can deny that “British scientists” and “NASA” etc have gained such a credence that they can come out with theories totally unimaginable for common people, yet we tend to believe it just because the source of information is science (not online science).
      i.e. How many planets are there? black holes etc.
      A few centuries ago scientists used to be prosecuted and priests used to be each other’s peers.
      I can experiment gravity and so on, but I think that our scientific knowledge went beyond physical observence long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that, in my experience, people are more ready to disbelieve scientific findings than to agree with them. I think this is part of a larger problem about miscommunication between scientists and non-scientist, one that everyone is responsible for, and that has led to a lot of misunderstandings about what is and is not good science. I talk about this in my latest post (https://sciencestatus.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/bridging-the-gap-between-science-and-the-public/). My hope is that this problem will be readily acknowledged, that more effort will be put forth by scientists to communicate appropriately, and that non-scientists will be open and receptive to discussion!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. So very often this subject becomes one of pitting Science against Religion…

    An honest look at reality tells us that both of these areas of interest exist (but not always within the same mind.) They both share a common element within the thoughts of the common human creature; that being faith. When one is educated in the field of science there is much information that must be taken on faith rather than spending the time to prove every assumption. That is the only approach that allows human intelligence to grow beyond what would be possible were it not for those of discipline who came before and recorded and shared the results of their exploration. The faith that is required in science is placed in our fellow human creatures and serves to elevate the entire species.

    The faith born of religion is an acceptance that as great as human potential is, there are areas of knowledge and power that will always be beyond our ability to comprehend. It is faith in the notion that there truly is “something more” that drives our spirit of discovery in regards to science and fuels our desire to succeed as a civilization in regards to our quest for enlightenment. A certain religious text defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Human arrogance and pride has despoiled both of these hubs of conscientiousness. However, once we come into a realization of the truth we will find the important thing is not who we choose as apostle but how the path we each individually choose to walk will serve to elevate those who come after us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your point of view. As an economist, I do not have any complex insights into science. I am an outsider even if scientific journals and books are available for the public. Sometimes I feel that the extent I am expected to trust disciplines without hesitation goes beyond a sensible limit.
      On the other hand the scandals, such as diesel cars, cigarettes etc, enforce my reluctance to put aside any doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As in independent thinking human being there is no requirement for you to accept any information as true and reliable beyond what your own senses give you to work with (and we all know for certain even our senses can be the sources of disinformation.) Sometimes being a pacifist might be the most activist approach you can take in areas of conflicting data.

    Some people want to change the world while others wish to rule the world. Many such efforts do not necessarily require dealing with entirely factual evidence. The notion that you have to “know it all” before you express an opinion on a subject opens everyone to ridicule and silences many voices that might otherwise be crying out in the wilderness. (think: “trusting the ‘truth’ of a scientist over the ‘opinion’ of an uneducated person in regards to _anything_”)

    While knowledge may be the “brass ring” for many, it is the wisdom gained through life experience that often determines where your existence is going to have the most impact in a society.

    The words of encouragement often espoused to our youth that, “you can do anything you set your mind to” oftentimes rings hollow when one comes to discover they have neither “set their mind” nor “done their thing.” Sometimes changing the world means changing your mind.

    Science represents stability to many. However, looking to science to guide your steps may not be the wisest course of action. Just as dependence upon clergy is no guarantee of happiness.

    The Earth is a complex machine that is piloted by us all. Common sense will ultimately rule the day but unfortunately even common sense is not infallible. We all do our part to contribute to the global conscientiousness of the planet even though we know the light from an infinite number of stars mocks us all in our feelings of superiority.

    Like

    • In very contrast to the past, we are using pretty complex gadgets on a daily basis. Due to our advanced specialisation and cooperation, we use materials, parts, services without knowing their origin or their production method. There is nobody who could assemble a computer mouse from scratch (raw material etc). I am sure that the functioning of the internet or stock exchange prices are black holes for the majority. In the past we used to understand our utensils, livestock and food. There must be many others to be frustrated by this trend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good point. A civilization can only be expected to stand as long as there is some degree of understanding of its underlying foundation. Our increasing dependence on digital technologies feels every bit to me like the makings of a “house of cards.” Self-reliance is the watch-word and those who lack basic survival skills will be the ones who suffer most when the inevitable occurs.

    Perhaps the message of the pyramids points to the fact that a structures height is determined by the expanse of its base. Science/intellect is a pyramid built upside-down, resting upon a point of human potential. Without a counterpoised force drawing upward against this construct there would be no balance. Without balance there is only doom. The only defense against doom is faith. Faith in Science? Faith in God? I’d wager that in the final analysis it will be the ability to trust that will be found to be the secret to happiness as well as the ultimate cause of our destruction. It all hangs in the balance. Straight and narrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Science. Needed for the good of our world and can be deadly. President Truman used the Atom bombs. He never slept again properly and Einstein carry the burden of 300,000 deaths. Today world. Better in some ways because of science and we are walking on a edge of final battle.

    Liked by 1 person

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