07.1.2022

Scientism: When science becomes a religion

“The role of scientists is to investigate the structure and laws of natural phenomena and to conduct research and advance knowledge. Science is ideally an open-minded and open-ended process, where theories are continually tested and updated based on evidence. … But.., for many people, science has become associated with a particular worldview, which is often maintained and defended in a similar way to a religion. This is the worldview of materialism, which holds that…human beings are just biological machines and that the only purpose of our lives is to survive and reproduce. … An alternative term for this belief system is scientism since it is a paradigm that has been derived from some of the findings of modern science.”

As the psychologist Imants Baruss has described it, “Science is an open-ended exploration of reality based on logical thinking about empirical observations. Scientism is the adherence to a materialist version of reality that confines investigation to those sorts of things that are permitted by materialism.”

Originally published here at Psychology Today on 13 November 2019.

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