Science Needs a New Paradigm

Science and politics used to be very separate institutions. Where they did overlap, science was nonpartisan. The role of scientists was to provide objective evidence -- and dispassionate, nonpolitical interpretations of that evidence. Indeed, one rarely if ever could detect the political leanings of any particular scientist. Also, science and religion used to get along, at least for the most part.

Today, that has changed, and the results include significant dangers for society. For example, the topic of climate change has produced the myth of “settled science.” Science is never settled. While we all may agree that the climate does change, there is an anti-capitalist agenda behind the claims of many scientists -- that we must radically reduce our standards of living to prevent climate catastrophe. Politics and ideology, not science, promote that so-called scientific view.

But there is an even deeper and darker implication involving the politicization of science. Its first major public confrontation was in a state court case, dubbed the Scopes Monkey trial, which tested a law that forbade the teaching of Darwinian Evolution theory in public schools. On a legal maneuver, Darwinism technically lost that particular trial, but all subsequent federal court rulings since then, have upheld the theory of evolution as accepted fact. Contrary theories are essentially forbidden. Evolution is “settled science.”

It is not the purpose of this commentary to litigate the theory of evolution, or any other particular scientific theory. Rather, it is to examine the cultural fallout from that theory. The late paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, is quoted as having said that, “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned.”

What Darwin and Simpson have done, along with others, is to introduce into society the physicalist paradigm, the one that holds that nothing exists except stuff, that is, material reality. According to physicalism, there is no spirit, no God, no eternal afterlife. By extension of that paradigm, you and I are nothing more than stuff, that is, the atoms that make up our physical bodies. If that is to be considered true, then it necessarily must follow, at least eventually, that we have no inherent right to be treated as anything more than protoplasm, nothing more than just another species of animal.

That paradigm is, of course, dangerous. It contradicts not only the Bible, but also the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of our nation, which states that we are endowed by our Creator -- repeat, by our Creator -- with certain inalienable rights, including life and liberty.

This is a critical central tenet of our modern civilization. It informs us that our rights come to us not from the government, but from God. No government has the right to infringe on those rights. Government is not the ultimate moral authority. It must be constrained to its limited functions.

If we are considered to be nothing more than atoms, if the courts believe that, if judges and lawmakers act upon that belief, then we are in serious jeopardy. Such a paradigm is the one upon which authoritarians establish totalitarian dictatorships. It is the one that justifies genocide, which defines humans as livestock, and morality as whatever is convenient for the ruling class.

However, the physicalist paradigm is not only morally wrong, it is also unscientific. The universe itself provides overwhelming evidence of planning and purpose by an Intelligent Designer (Creator, God). The proof is so complete that, in order to refute it, scientists have had to resort to a thoroughly unsupported, unscientific speculation that there are an infinite number of universes, whereby one of them was destined to be, purely by chance, like ours.

Once again, it is not the purpose of this commentary to provide detailed support for any one particular theory, whether multiverse or Intelligent Design. That has been done elsewhere, including in my book.

But, when scientists resort to fantasy instead of observable, repeatable experiment by skeptics, then we have abandoned reason, and begun slouching toward barbarism.

There is more than enough evidence for science to reject the physicalist paradigm, and to move toward a God paradigm. While neither can be absolutely proved by the rules of science, the world view adopted by scientists has enormous power to direct the efforts of science, for better or worse.

It is now time to consider the far-reaching implications of the paradigm that governs science, to begin thinking of how to embed our values, our morals, our very spirituality into the process of our further development. We must decide whether, and how, to preserve the best features of our human nature. 

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