Spirituality principles, struggles, knowledge base and insights for the earnest seeker.

Top Ten Scientific Lies

Everyday we are bombarded with statements and claims purporting to be scientific. These can range anywhere from scientific proofs about global warming all the way to scientific validation for the latest cure for cancer. How do we evaluate these claims and statements? Which can we believe and which should we just ignore? All these various conflicting claims and statements is the main reason why there is so much confusion about what real science is and what it is not. The result is many end up believing in all sorts of “scientific truths” without realizing they are nothing more “scientific lies”. Here then are the top ten scientific lies most commonly believed.

Scientific Lie #1: Everything science says is true.

This statement is equally a lie as the one opposite of it. Science is less of The Truth and more of the search for The Truth. The Truth in science is obtained through discovery, observation and experimentation. The search for the truth in science is an ongoing process. As such science is on a continuing quest of self improvement. In science, nothing is absolute or “known for good”. Scientific theories can and have been turned on their heads by new discoveries. Science never sees itself as knowing the truth. Rather science is always seeking the truth and apparently the truth appears to be a moving target. This search might lead us to some ultimate understanding of the universe – or it might not. We cannot be certain. Only time will tell. So for now science has to keep humble can keep searching and asking the questions no one else what’s to ask.

Scientific Lie #2: Scientific studies are reliable

Almost everyday a new scientific study is released purportedly claiming to answer some scientific inquiry. Also numerous people, organizations and companies use results from scientific studies to promote their brands, products or remedies. It is important to understand that a vast majority of scientific studies are not done extensively and their results are not peer reviewed by other scientist across the world. More often these so called scientific studies are done with a small sample or worst still are simply statistical analysis of old data. Most of these “scientific studies” are produce by scientist working in academia to fulfill some publishing quota set by their employers. To put it in simple terms “scientific studies” are not real serious scientific research or experimentation with conclusions that can be relied upon. So next time you see some scientific study, take it with a pinch of salt.

Scientific Lie #3: The Laws of Science are Man Made

Science is the study of the laws that govern the universe. These laws are not created by scientist – instead they are discovered by them. For example the laws of Gravity were not created by Newton, they were discovered by Newton. Gravity has been in existence since the beginning of the universe but Newton was the first human to figure out it’s existence and through a process of investigation, discovered how gravity works. Newton then wrote down the laws of gravity in the language of mathematics. So although the language of mathematics used to describe the laws of the universe is indeed man-man but the laws themselves are not. The laws of the universe are the universe’s own – they are not ours. A person who believes in God might even say that the laws of the universe are God’s own laws. In that case man simply discovered God’s laws and wrote those laws in the language of mathematics. Man did not create the laws – God did that. So the laws of science are not made made. It anything, they are God made.

Scientific Lie #4: Science is based on theories. As such it is unproven.

The way science describes it’s view of the world is called a theory. A theory is a way of understanding something. A scientific theory is not based on guesswork. It is based on observation and empirical data. These observations and data must be repeatable – that is they must be observable and capable of being reproduced by others not related to the original observers and experimenters. As such a scientific theory has a lot of proof. However it will always be called a theory because it is open to improvements. Science does not accept any theories as absolute truth. Any theory can be challenged and changed in light of new discoveries and new way of understanding but every scientific theory as ample of proof behind it.

Scientific Lie #5: Science is always changing. Therefore it cannot be true.

In science there is no such thing as an absolute truth – there is only approximation of the truth. The truth in science is an ongoing work in progress. Science never assumes it knows the absolute or ultimate truth. That is not the scientific way. Science is always seeking, always learning and always discovering. As such science view of the truth will and does change over time. This in no ways undermines the value of science. On the contrary, this ability of science to improve itself is it’s greatest strength.

Scientific Lie #6: Science is responsible for environmental degradation.

Science is no more responsible for environmental degradation than religion is responsible for environmental preservation. There is nothing in science that justifies the rape and plunder of the earth’s resources. All environmental degradation are caused by the greed of men – who despite their best intentions are overcome by their need for profit and gain and oftentimes overlook and ignore the findings and warnings from scientist. Indeed science has given humanity the tools and power by which to destroy the earth’s environment. That is not however the fault of science. Science is not a person. It cannot and does not speak for itself. Science is knowledge and power and if we cannot use this knowledge and power wisely we will pay a heavy price for it and we are ultimately responsible for it.

Scientific Lie #7: Science was created by atheists.

No statement speaks more of the ignorance of science that this lie. Science has been around for a very long time. In fact science was even before there was science. People have been trying to understand the universe even before they called such an endeavour “science”. In the history of science many of the early luminaries of science have come from people of religion. Indeed in the past the study of science was encouraged by religious institutions because it was thought to glorify God and religion. Many a great discovery were made by men and women of faith – from China, India to the Middle East and Europe scientist have come from many faiths. Religions such as Islam and Christianity have a rich heritage of scientific inquiries which were produced by men and women of faith. In a way, we can even say that religion gave birth to modern science.

Scientific Lie #8: Science is anti-religion.

Science is not anti-religion or anti-belief. In fact science is in itself a form of belief – that the universe is govern by laws that can be understood by man. Science cannot overrule an individual’s religious beliefs – no matter how scientifically inaccurate or even wrong those religious beliefs may be. Science does not have the power or the authority to do such a thing. A lot of publicity has been given to a small number of scientists who have been very vocal against religion. It is important to understand that these scientists do not speak for the whole of scientific community. Their opinions regarding religion – although shared by many and are even based on science – are just that, opinions. The conflict between science and religion usually has to do with the different ways in which science and religion try to understand the nature of reality, it’s origin and function. Religion proposes a supernatural explanation while science insist on a natural one. The two ways are diametrically opposed to each other and till date no one has been able to find a way to reconcile them. So to say that science is anti-religion is actually no more correct than to say religion is anti-science. If you believe the one is true, than the other is true as well. What science has going for it however is that it can proof and demonstrate it’s claims while religion simply demands we take it’s word based on faith. There will always be people who to put trust in faith and others who put trust in reason. We cannot expect the world to be filled with only one kind. So for the time being the debates between religion and science will continue. We can either close our ears and not listen to any of it or we can listen and learn. The choice is up to the individual.

Scientific Lie #9: Science teaches bad morality.

Science does not address questions of morality or ethical values. Science cannot – as yet – answer questions such as “What is the best way to live life?” or tell us which way to vote or how to best raise our children. The reason science cannot answer these questions is because there is as yet no way to quantify and measure all the parameters related to such questions. If and when science develops such a capability then such questions will fall within the realm of scientific inquiry and we will then be able to have scientific answers to moral questions. Until then, science leaves it to to individual to decide the moral course of their life. Science neither promotes nor condones any moral or ethical standpoint. It’s just not scientific. This however should be differentiated from the opinions and messages put forth by individual scientists. Many scientist today are most willing to make their point of view known to the public on issues such as religion, ethics and even politics. We should understand that these scientists – no matter how respected they are – are speaking in a personal capacity or on behalf of like minded individuals. They are not speaking on behalf of the whole scientific community and indeed they cannot because no scientific organization has given them the right to do so.

Scientific Lie #10: Science can only be practiced by scientists.

science of successIf this statement were true then science would be no different than magic. Science is the understanding of the laws that govern our lives and the universe we live in. Most people think of scientific laws has things that govern the movement of planets and other celestial bodies. What most people do not realize is that scientific laws also determine all aspects of our lives – from our health, to our success and even to our happiness. Our health, success and happiness are not the product of chance or random happenings, nor are they the work of some invisible distant omnipotent entity beyond our control and understanding. Science has discovered many laws and concepts that explain in great detail what makes a person healthy, how success is achieved in any given field and what the secrets to a happy life are. The problem is most people are wholly ignorant regarding these discoveries but would rather choose to depend on priests, shamans and holy waters to help them cure illness, gain success and achieve happiness. Having been hoodwinked into believing in superstition, these people develop a phobia – or worst still a hatred – for science and think that science has absolutely nothing to do with their lives. What they fail to understand is that the laws discovered by science play a greater role in determining their health, success and happiness than all the mantras, prayers and holy waters in the world.

Bonus Scientific Lie: Science has no relevance to day to day problems.

As you interact with the laws of the universe, they interact with you.

Human problems are NOT the result of some chance event. They are not caused by the gods or demons or the misalignment of planets or furniture in your bedroom. Your problems are the direct consequence of the laws of the universe interacting with the decisions you make. When your decisions are not in accordance to the laws of the universe, you will suffer the consequence in the form of problems. Your problems are a manifestation of the laws of the universe in your life. They are trying to tell you to look carefully at what you are doing wrong and figure out what the right thing to do is. You will only be able to do the right thing if you understand the laws that affected you. Otherwise you will be guessing, blaming others or worst still – blaming God. People who study and understand science can get to the root cause of their problems. They can then take the appropriate action to overcome those problems or at the very least reduce their negative effects. They are able to do this because they know and understand how to apply science to solving the day to day problems of human life. People with none or little knowledge of science will resort to trying any remedy they get from friends or online, visit priest, shamans and holy places in an effort to placate the gods or just pray feverishly in the hope that God will let up on causing them problems. These people not only demonstrate a lack of scientific knowledge but rather show their shallow knowledge of how God works as well.

A labor of love for the seeker – whoever you are and wherever you may be. May you find solace in these words.

Your brother in spirit

ben gill

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