12 February 2015

Fixing Science

With Vox Day and Karl Denninger weighing in on yet another global warming scandal, and Scott Adams arguing that science has completely failed in the realm of health and fitness, it seems appropriate to offer a tentative solution to the problems currently facing the practice of science.  The biggest problem, it appears to me, is that an unfortunate number of the practitioners of science are morally bankrupt, and thus can (and are) bought and sold by vested interests, usually big business, big government, or big business and big government working in tandem.

That an appallingly large number of scientists are corrupt enough to fudge data and publicize almost meaningless “studies” and “surveys” shouldn’t be all that surprising given how secularized the practice and dissemination of science is.  If one thing is true, it’s that secular philosophy does a downright terrible job of maintaining a moral order.  Furthermore, science offers no intrinsic moral guidance whatsoever, and so its practitioners must rely on some outside source.  Since many practitioners reject supernatural sources of moral order, it should come as no surprise that said practitioners are thus morally bankrupt and can easily be persuaded of the value of representing certain, well-funded ideas.

Given that the corruption of rich businessmen and power-seeking politicians and bureaucrats is so common as to be mundane, it should also come as no surprise that those who have a vested interest in the scientific validation of their marketing plans and/or policy prescriptions are both willing and able to buy morally suspect scientists’ opinions.  This, of course, is called research funding.

Ultimately, the biggest issue with science is that is practiced and funded by morally suspect people.  Therefore, the solution to this problem is the remove the morally bankrupt from the process altogether and let the whole of scientific practice by carried out by those who are both and intelligent and honest.  To this end, I propose that scientific research be church-funded and conducted in theological seminaries (preferably Roman Catholic seminaries) instead of being funded by big business and conducted in state universities.

The obvious objections are that a) the church is anti-science and b) the church is more dishonest than secular authorities.  Both of the objections are patently wrong.

In the first place, the modern conception of the scientific method was originated by a Catholic theologian in the 13th century.  Furthermore, the Catholic Church hardly limited the exploration of scientific concepts, and in fact generally encouraged scientific research.*  The church was also quite tolerant of controversial research, perhaps to an even greater degree than modern secularists are.**

In the second place, the church is more forthcoming about its failures than the state.  All human institutions are imperfect, but the church doesn’t engage in near the coverups that the state does, nor does it make near as many attempts to alter its history and protect its herd.  Of course, the main reason for this is that the church is composed primarily of Christians who aspire to Godliness while the state is generally composed of assholes who aspire to power.  Christians fear God, while those of the state fear and envy their superiors.  Unsurprisingly, those with a fear of the Lord tend to do a better job of behaving themselves, even if they are not sinlessly flawless.

While no human endeavor will be free from failure, especially of the moral kind, I think that a strong case can be made for putting science back under the purview of the church.  While it may not eliminate the dishonesty and shoddy practices that currently dominate the realm of science, it should reduce them considerably.

** For example, the Catholic Church was more tolerant of the theory of evolution way back in the 13th century than modern secularists are of the study of human biodiversity today.  So tell me, just what are the dark ages when scientific truth was suppressed?