‘Science’, from the Latin Scire, related to the words ‘Cognition’ and ‘Consciousness’, is a form of Knowledge, a type of Knowing.
Science has three parts. First, the codified ‘Scientific Method’ itself. Repeatable, measurable tests; consistent, cumulative theory; verifiable data and documentation; informed peer review, and so on.
Secondly, its central principles, the Principle of Contradiction and the Principle of Induction [there are others but these are the big ones; we’ll get to them in later Posts].
And finally, very importantly, the ‘Scientific-Stance’.
We’ll take two Posts to cover the second and third points and spread the first point across the later Posts.
There are lots of ways we judge the truth of a situation [Pramana]. In court a judge may believe an ‘Eyewitness’ more than a ‘Hearsay’ accusation. And this grant of credibility has changed and shifted back and forth over the centuries.
Science undermined all the old criteria on which ‘Belief’ was based. A sea-change took place in the way people picked their convictions. Such factors as Age, Authority, Holy-Books, Tradition and Custom, while still significant, could now be trounced if they ran repeatedly afoul of the results of scientific Inquiry. Western Man, uniquely so, had stared down the authority of both Royalty and Religion.
And with it birthed Scientific-Method and much of our Modern World. And Science is our Modern Religion. We Believe.
You can still walk into a party on either coast of the United States and loudly declare: ‘Jesus was no son of God!’ and receive tolerant smiles. But if you declare: ‘The world is flat!’ you’ll soon find yourself alone.
At least that’s what I thought until Trump came along, denied Climate-Change and began to gut the EPA. Turkey under Erdoğan just deleted Evolution from text-books.