Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Science is your religion"

Sometimes religious people will tell to a skeptic/atheist that "science is your religion" (or something to that effect.) In other words, they try to put all "belief systems" at the same level, and trying to give the impression that "believing in science" is no better than believing in gods.

I'm not even going to go to what "religion" actually means. However, from a certain perspective that claim is partially true. For example I tend to believe science significantly more easily and without having personally examined the evidence, than any religious or other supernatural claims. The reason for this is that science has earned my trust.

Unlike religion, science tends to produce actual, tangible and useful applications. Religion does not invent and produce new devices, new technology or new medicine, nor does it help us discover how the universe works, what causes which disease, and so on. It's those scientists doing experiments, building measurement devices, doing countless hours of endless work on their fields of expertise who produce these innovations.

Unlike religion, science is a self-correcting method that constantly seeks to better itself to be more accurate, increase its own knowledge and produce better innovations. Unlike religion, it's science that enables progress.

Unlike religion, science has proven to be right again and again. During the entire history of humanity, whenever there has been an unknown, religion has given a made-up answer that has turned out to be completely incorrect, while science has eventually discovered an answer that actually works. Unlike religion, science has an astounding track record of finding the actual truth about things. And unlike religion, most of these findings end up producing actual useful applications that better our lives.

Having seen how science works, what its methods are, and what kinds of results it produces, it more than deserves my trust. If the worldwide scientific community reaches a consensus about something, I'm more than happy to accept it without studying the evidence for myself.

Does this mean that science is never wrong? Of course not. Science does get things wrong sometimes. However, as already said, science is a self-correcting mechanism. It finds out if its previous conclusions were wrong and corrects them. This means that even if sometimes the wrong conclusions are made, they will be eventually fixed. Besides, science is not completely off the mark very often, and has a quite good track record of being at least close to correct.

This is much unlike religion. Having seen how religion works, what its methods are, and what kinds of results it produces, it deserves no trust whatsoever. There aren't many things in this world that one should distrust more than religion.

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