I Don’t ‘Believe’ in Science


I read a headline the other day from Harrison Ford who state that we need to elect candidates that believe in science. Of course that’s a dig at Republicans who are regularly accused by the other side of not accepting scientific evidence. Yes, he’s just an actor and I rarely ever consider anything some entertainer says because in this case especially, it would be nice if those making statements like this actually understood basic science.

I found that a curious turn of phrase though because of the use of the word believe. That alone to me shows a lack of understanding in science. It’s not about belief in something, but the irrefutable, demonstrable evidence. That has nothing to do with belief.

Creationists always claim that we atheists worship the god of science, that yes, we have beliefs as well and science seems to be the one belief they always have at the top of their list.  I’m not sure I know anyone that believes in science. Unlike creationism which is trying to demonstrate s conclusion,  science works the opposite way. Science asks a question, tests it extensively, and possibly comes to a conclusion about that question. Sometimes that conclusion is negative. Creationists, keep banging their heads against the same concrete wall, never mind that  no matter how hard they try, cannot demonstrate their conclusion. That’s why what they do is called belief.

There have been problems in science in recent years: some papers published in peer-reviewed publications that, well, weren’t reviewed very well and later had to be retracted. There’s also been fraud. But none of this speaks for all scientists in every discipline.  In fact, in both circumstances, it was other scientists that raised red flags.

Unlike creationists, actual scientists observe and experiment. Scientists don’t depend on a book, written in the bronze age, to describe nature.

All of this is why when I hear someone say that they believe in science, or as above, we need elected officials that do the same, it is cringeworthy.  We don’t need elected officials that believe in science, we need the same to at least attempt to understand what science is before they cast a vote.


9 thoughts on “I Don’t ‘Believe’ in Science

  1. “Scientists don’t depend on a book, written in the bronze age, to describe nature.” Assuming that you’re referring, of course, to the “New Testament Bible” of Christanity, this is not the first time the story was written down. The same story of a god character being born on Earth and “ascending” is actually a few thousand years older, and was told by two other, earlier religions. Christanity is a reprise of Sumerian and other god stories.

    • Actually, I was referring to the entire book, from the creation story to the end of the world which mostly come from other, much older cultures/religions.

  2. Way too hung up on the word “believe”. Although belief in science is an imprecise phrase, I believe (have trust or confidence) in the scientific method.

  3. A belief in God is compatible with a belief in science. Science is the study of Gods creation. Including how it was created be it the big bang or some other theory. The causes of global warming are another area where to many are not interested in scientific study of all the causes than they are in there political agenda. The climate of the earth is far more complex than carbon dioxide.

  4. There’s about as much chance as two bits of dust rubbing together add a bit of heat and time and producing life as there is of a storm blowing through a bmw scrap yard and creatIng a 5 series.

    • I keep seeing references to probability in creationism. What are the figures and how were they derived? It’s not enough to refer to a probability, we need the figures to reassure us that it’s not just a guess. Give us the numbers.

    • Wrave-Not really even worth replying to, but shows a complete lack of understanding and, as usual, completely oversimplifies a complex subject

  5. The term “I believe” is absolutely loaded, but it is difficult to switch over to “I reason” which works better than “I think” because that always draws sneers from believers, who claim that it means “I don’t know.”

    The sad fact is that many believers actually “believe” all sorts of things that have nothing to do with science and more with faith in the supernatural. If I have faith in a scientific fact, then it is because it will probably be proved true time after time. Faith is a loaded word, as well.

    Face it, it is always a win-win situation with believers and their chosen unsubstantiated supernatural entity, mostly because reason is not on their side…just belief.

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