The limitations of modern science, aka "scientism"

Posted April 28, 2011 by Fallensoul in Open

Anonymous Icon

commented on Sept. 9, 2013
by dustproduction



The English word “science” derives from the Latin scientia, which means “knowledge.” Scientists are supposed to be on a lifelong search for knowledge and truth, regardless of where that search eventually leads. Science is based on an observation of the facts, and is directed at finding patterns of order in the observed data. To suggest that knowledge can be acquired solely on the basis of naturalism, and that empirical observation is the “court of ultimate appeal,” is to err. Such an attitude ignores other numerous, significant avenues of human endeavor, as well as additional means of coming to knowledge and truth. It also misuses and abuses the scientific method which, as great as it is, never was intended to be a panacea. Check out this article: "The Limitations of Science and Its Method."

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Sep 09, 2013

    I've noticed that people that comment we at IONS are not big on reading books. One that I will recommend in any case is "The Limits of Science," by Peter Medawar.

    "Science," writes Sir Peter Medawar, "is incomparably the most successful enterprise human beings have ever engaged upon." In this brief, brilliant book the Nobel laureate explores the nature and limitations of scientific pursuit. The three essays included touch on some of the largest questions known to man: Can science determine the existence of God? Is there one "scientific method" by which all the secrets of the universe can be discovered?
    In "An Essay on Scians" (an early spelling of "science"), Medawar examines the process of scientific inquiry. Debunking the common belief that science is inductively structured, he claims that great leaps of imagination are required to determine the laws of nature and likens the process of scientific hypothesis to the creative acts of poets and artists. The question posed in "Can Scientific Discovery Be Premeditated?" is answered with a firm no.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Aug 30, 2013

    "The God Particle" isn't an attempt by science to disprove the existence of "God" or to render life meaningless.

    It is simply the nickname scientists have given to their attempt to discover what ...originally... turned mass into matter.

    Hear the analogy?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 29, 2013

    It's second hand reporting at best. Like this writing is going to shed any new light on the debate.
    Why reinvent the wheel, when you can go to the source?


    It has also been discussed many times over at TED.


  • bestearth Aug 29, 2013

    cos that's where I saw it. It wouldn't hurt if people know about NaturalNews either....dusto babe.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 28, 2013

    Why are you directing people to Mike's website? Just post a link to the Sheldrake talk.

  • bestearth Aug 22, 2013

    Hope I haven't doubles up on a link. This relevant article just came through Naturalnews.com

    It points out the insanity of the search for a God particle in order to get rid of God the being and our higher nature. The ultimate pessimism of this approach to finally prove that life has no point and no purpose.


  • Anonymous Icon

    CreatureX Aug 14, 2013

    Believe, faith, religion? One dimensional and ends up leaving you a poor soul. There are things happening at a subatomic level that we have no idea about and defies natural law as we know it. Know imagine you can train yourself to see these interactions experience it first hand .... Oops there goes sanity. This would mean letting go of everything you have ever been taught about everything or else you would go mad. It being said there are those of us that knows there is things beyond the seen and it is like seeing "THE DOOR". But none ever got to walk on the road towards it ... or maybe some did? Know imagine this road to the door is called the road of knowledge/enlightenment or something of that sort, when you get to the door you open it. Then you look back and you realize, I know nothing. Question then, what have you discovered lies on the other side when you opened the door?

  • Billgreenjeans Aug 13, 2013

    "What is the source of these beliefs if not the human mind?"

    If I thought you were truly wanting an answer I would be happy to give my feelings and information on the subject. However there is an old saying about "casting your pearls before swine". And I am not into that. So end of discussion for me.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 13, 2013

    Re: "We are eternal Spirits having an earthly experience."

    There is no shortage of stories that suggest this, and they all pretty much differ on the details. What is the source of these beliefs if not the human mind?

  • Billgreenjeans Aug 13, 2013

    While religions have much truth almost all come short of answering the basic questions of life: where did I come from, Why am I here and Where am I going. These questions indicate that we are voyagers or sojourners and that this life is a temporary state and we are just passing thru. This is one of the main reasons Conventional science, as it is termed here, or mechanistic science is so set on doing away with the spirit because to accept the fact that the physical body is controlled by a spirit would mean that the memory of this life would remain with us after we pass on out of this life. Their view ends all memory at death because the brain dies as well and that is where they believe all memory is stored. We are eternal Spirits having an earthly experience. Our memory is important and what we do in this life is important as well. I am a reader of Rudolph Steiner and I agree with him on almost everything except reincarnation. I accept the resurrection of our selfs and our own physical bodies only in a more Enlighten and perfect state of being. With an eternal body we have many more possibilities than we now have, which I believe have to do with the cosmos.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Aug 11, 2013

    Modern science has inadvertently founded itself upon the confines and self-imposed limitations of the very same collective unconscious convention that religion has founded itself, and BOTH are very seriously flawed in their reasoning, as a result.

    Enlightenment/Consciousness resolves those issues and flaws, for BOTH science and religion, because it processes from a place of Balance, where all Universal Answers are ultimately found.

    Like it or not, scientists and the religious are...people first...and no matter what fancy or elitist or faith-filled or "empirical" spin they try to give to their "chosen" journey in life, ULTIMATELY they are, in REALITY, and inescapably, actually in search of...THEMSELVES!

    Whether they are searching for their answers from within themselves or from without themselves, Ultimately, those Answers are inescapably the EXACT SAME ANSWERS!

    There ARE actual Universal Answers at the (Balanced) Core that explain the origin of the Universe AND the origin of "God," revealing the truth of "the Big Bang" and "Creationism" (what they REALLY are) and everything else!

    It all boils down to...What are people REALLY doing?

    Enlightenment Answers that Reality!

  • Anonymous Icon

    neil2366 Aug 10, 2013

    Thank you for raising the question. This understanding applies to all hidden/detectable phenomena at all levels. Science is based on detection& measurement which involves detectable time and there is a limit to what is detectable. there are few points below and if you get a chance please see doc. Why Sankhya? has 10 points listed logically perhaps gives the over view. Important thing is all derived value which are dimensionless ratio and match with what physics has discovered through detection like value of electron, neutron,etc all mass values through numerical axioms up to 50 decimal precision and also hidden area (simultaneous time) which are not detectable . Simply simultaneous time which is hidden a merged vibrations can not be detect by any means and can logarithmically express as dimensionless ratio which is 2/3 of the total cycle while 1/3 is a sequential time can be detected as part of total cycle which can not be separated as they are two part of total cycle. Following point perhaps need careful inquiry.
    1. Discarding the reality of space which is a dynamic PHO state due to failure of experiments ...like Michelson Morley

    2.The failure to recognise the common point of three coordinates as hidden simultaneous three dimensional event that did not display time.

    3. Creation of field as a operational reality in space devoid of specification.

    4. relativity foundation as a event in four dimension continuity .

    all ESP ,telepathy ,parapsychological events also are part of this understanding with precise dimensionless ratio which is also discard in science.At last everything is vibrations and only thing change is eternal time which can be understood through numerical axioms !!

    Pls explore

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 09, 2013

    While I am willing to accept this, my comments are prompted by the fact that Googling the details of your message lead to many many sites where the message is also posted. That is curious. How does the comment apply to this thread?

  • Anonymous Icon

    neil2366 Aug 09, 2013

    Dear Friends ,

    Post made by me was to share to explore by anyone interested objectively without accepting or rejecting a unique understanding which been decoded by Mr. srinivasan a noble man in his 80's, who has point out derivations which are based on numerical axioms. Your own statement points out that you haven't explore the understanding. It is all free to download last 45 years of research work and there is nothing to sell or promote!! Again most respectfully understanding doesn't belong to any person ,country or organization...it is attempt to point out to explore PHO-genetic documents, abstract ,PPT etc. Live it to you ....

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 09, 2013

    BG, did you read the article?

  • Billgreenjeans Aug 09, 2013

    "There are no uncertainty when it comes to natural law. Is there?" Yes the is a lot of uncertainty, the constants are not constant. The earth is changing. Dark Matter and Dark Energy had to be invented because the "cosmological constant" was no longer constant. The universe continues to expand. We have a long way to go to understand just a little.

  • Billgreenjeans Aug 09, 2013

    "The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[1] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."[3]". Wikipedia quote

    Someone or some group has set up a standard of "empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning" that does not include many interesting and important areas of investigation. Therefore the first sentence "The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge." Is trumped by the rest of the definition.
    If the someone or some group does not want to investigate a "phenomena" they simply deem it as "non science conjecture" , unscientific or Pseudoscience. Here is one problem with all of this prejudice " a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century". Perhaps some areas of science have advanced past the 17th century dogma such as quantum physics and consciousness research.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 08, 2013

    This is spam. I believe their just selling books.

    Nilesh Modhwadia
    There are no uncertainty when it comes to natural law. Is there? "SANKHYA "(logic of counting) is perhaps more than 30000 years old understanding which is providing up to 50 decimal precision accuracy and consistency what science has discovered so far and also hidden aspect of nature without using any arbitrary constant, empirical value, experimental value. Practical approach also shows consistency and accuracy to SANKHYA's power. Please share , expose, learn to gather for sake of humanity and perhaps can bring about REAL CHANGE! Pls visit www.kapillavastu.com/index.html.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Aug 08, 2013

    Curious how part of this same comment shows up in other places. Who is "G Srinivasan?"

    Here is an answer for you. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Physics-1358/2013/7/cyclic-time-perameter.htm

    The main objection raised against Sankhya is that a suitable mechanism for Prakriti to serve the purpose of Purusha is unintelligible. Both these entities being unrelated to each other, it is not clear how a harmony exists between the needs of Purusha and the acts of Prakriti. It is also not clear how the equilibrium of Prakriti gets disturbed by Purusha. The only solution to these problems is to admit the existence of Isvara which guides the movements of Prakriti and aids in the liberation of Purusha.


  • Anonymous Icon

    neil2366 Aug 08, 2013

    Since universal phenomena existed long before the advent of human life ,a correct understanding must not depend on logic structured through intellectual analysis that is contrary to the observed characteristics of natural phenomena. .
    An axiom based theory will show that balance of interactive exchanges always prevails. Physics acknowledges Planck's mass and density as part of quantum mechanics hence the counterpart to balance it is the continuum in space at the opposite end of the density spectrum. Einstein searched for it as the critical matter densitythat creates his curvature in an "empty" space. The critical matter density is 3.6 E minus 25 kgs/cum .IT IS a universal limit for detection.
    Is it possible for Numerical axioms ,Law of self similarity, scale invariance, combinatorial mathematics to derive planks constant value, neutron, proton, electron mass value , neutrino value ,hidden/detectable state of space ,universal limits to detection from within(Eternally) up to 50 decimal precision with consistency as dimensionless ratio without using experimental value, empirical value ,arbitrary constant? http://www.kapillavastu.com/index.html Explore 33000 years old Vedic science understanding of NATURE!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 15, 2013

    Question: Why is the Dalai Lama including science into the monastic teaching?


  • telephoenician Mar 10, 2013

    Makes one consider the idea that mayhaps "sciencism" does exist, especially as the good folks at TEDx are discussing censorship of Mr Sheldrake's presentation.

    I listened and thought his comments were spot on - only my studies in Philosophy of Science did suggest that science was only to've been modelling and that the rules we're to use to model the universe are only good for this place and time, and apt to change - eg: Nature abhors a vacuum, then there's outer space...

    Perhaps we'll discover the Universal Constant when our consciousness reaches universal magnitude.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 08, 2013

    There is a great debate raging at TED regarding a Rupert Sheldrake TEDx talk.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 12, 2013

    This was just posted by IONS. I like the fact that it incorporates the ideas of complexity and network theory, physics, and the soft sciences of psychology and social psychology, and demonstrates how they act as a foundation for the noetic sciences.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 11, 2013

    G'day Fallensoul

    This again comes to the point that science only uses the five senses to make deductive reasoning’s while spirituality uses the sixth sense as well but of course this has its down sides in trying to use both methods at the same time to reach a deductive resolution, once you mix the five senses which are emotionally driven with the sixth senses it’s logical to think you might come up with the wrong deduction which has happened so much through past spiritual ideologies.

    Using one or the other obviously gives us a better deductive resolution processes to evaluate our environment & ourselves, it’s when we find the key that will allows us to use both methods that will propel us on into a different conscious awareness.


  • Fallensoul Jan 11, 2013

    dustproduction: Very nice post. Thank you. I do apologize for asserting the truth matter-of-factly, perhaps I should preface everything I say with, "According to my little perception of vedic wisdom..."

    Now here is the point: Both these statements are the root cause of the scientism consciousness, which I'm challenging:

    1) Science relies on being able to duplicate findings. This is an objective framework.

    It should be clarified that science aims as far as possible to be objective, although it cannot be fully objective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(science). Besides this the problem we face today is that while science may aim as far as possible to be objective, our modern scientific community, particularly certain prominent scientists use science as a tool for propagating scientism. Darwinian theory of evolution is one of the main tools. Because modern science has enjoyed its greatest success in the sphere of applied technology and the advancement of materialistic culture, the materialists have said, "Look. Just see what success you can have by concentrating on matter and excluding these old spiritual ideas." So materialists have used science to support their materialistic world view, although science per se doesn't support such a worldview.

    In fact noetic.org is swimming against the materialistic current in performing scientific research in areas that show that science doesn't support such a materialistic view, but rather shows support for spiritual ideas that have been spoken of thousands of years ago. Using the same objective science we speak so highly off. So one point is that theres nothing wrong with good science in assisting us in determining reality. But we should appreciate its limits and bias in understanding reality. I have expanded this idea in a thread entitled The Psientific Method!

    2) Spirituality depends on an individuals sense of perception, on a subjective experience, that cannot be verified, or falsified.
    According to the vedic knowledge, vedic spirituality or vedic science can be verified and falsified in the same way as modern science works. Its expanded in another thread entitled Bhakti Yoga: Verifiable Spirituality.

    We are discussing science in general. We are interested in the absolute objective truth as far as we can and not relative truths. I didn't make that 'common-knowledge' post so no comment on that.

    In summary, these two assumptions are the greatest barriers to expanding one's consciousness and appreciating reality.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 07, 2013

    Re: "Unfortunately what you say here is false."

    George Lakoff teaches a valuable lesson about linguistics and framing: it is not that the statements are false, rather it is that they are being perceived as being false. Let's suggest that the statements can be both, true and false, depending on ones perceptions. The question then becomes whether the conversation is a debate or a dialogue.

    Re: "The results of the scientific method is dependent on the performers sense perception."

    Science relies on being able to duplicate findings. This is an objective framework. Doesn't spirituality depend on an individuals sense of perception, on a subjective experience, one that cannot be verified, or falsified?

    Re: terms such as "a truer reality -- closest to the truth.

    Is truth and reality subjective or objective? While one might concede to an objective absolute truth or reality, it is arguable whether humans can know them, or whether our subjectivity limits us to perspective of a truth, of a reality.

    Re: "I think your experience of spirituality/religion is a bit naive."

    Perhaps "spirituality/ religion" as it is understood in the frame work of "common knowledge" is nave as well. What is under discussion here needs to be more clearly defined; are we discussing science in general or the perception of science as it is understood by more people, in the arena of common knowledge, are we discussion spirituality/religion in general, or the Verdic spirituality?

    The link provided, and the topic question are the boundaries of the discussion, in my limited perception.

    Finally, it seems that many here adhere to a single coherence, rather than a multi-coherence. This results in statements such as, "Unfortunately it may be too late to appreciate this truth, having become a disciple of the scientism gospel." This smacks of an egotism, a form of "I know the truth an you don't." Is this the point?

  • Fallensoul Jan 07, 2013

    dustproduction: Unfortunately what you say here is false.

    "It needs to be restated as frequently that spirituality is little more than a belief system...The scientific method involves asking a question, gathering information, forming a hypothesis, and designing and conducting experimentation from multiple trials that will support conclusions. Spirituality cannot submit to this to this process."

    I think your experience of spirituality/religion is a bit naive. Vedic Spirituality can and does submit to this process, unfortunately you havent been to perform the experiments to see the results for yourself.

    The other problem is what's stated in this thread. The results of the scientific method is dependent on the performers sense perception. The problem with this is that if one's senses are limited -- which they are, one cannot claim to have a complete picture of reality. However by performing the bhakti experiment, i.e controlling the senses and focusing ones consciousness on the Supreme consciousness, ones senses become enhanced, and that person's scientific method experiments reveals a truer reality -- closest to the truth.

    It is unfortunate that modern scientists due to over use in sense enjoyment have developed very dull material senses, and due to this limitation, their outlook in life excludes the very real spiritual reality. So in essence we may agree that the scientific method is useful in establishing the truth of both material and spiritual realities, but the performer of the experiments has to be qualified, with enhanced senses to get the full benefit of the scientific method. Unfortunately it may be too late to appreciate this truth, having become a disciple of the scientism gospel.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 05, 2013

    While "common knowledge" might understand the decision-making self to be a soul/spirit, this argument quickly finds its limits when the brain becomes altered or damaged in some fashion, demonstrating the material nature of mind. A severed corpus callosum causes the right half of the brain to argue with the left half. Which is the self? Clearly mind is an emergent property of brain.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Syamsu Jan 03, 2013

    The main thing is for science not to interfere with the common knowledge of people, the broad outlines of the logic people use in their daily lives, the knowledge with which they love their family and friends, the logic people use when they talk in terms of choosing.

    The logic of free will has two main parts, the agency which does the choosing, and the alternatives which are chosen. These two parts are wholy different from each other, the agency is called spiritual, what is chosen is called material. Together with these dual substances come dual ways of reaching a conclusion, subjectivity and objectivity. You have to choose to identify what is in the spiritual domain, resulting in opinions (subjectivity). You have to measure to find out what is in the material domain, resulting in facts (objectivity).

    So then love, hate, God and so on are in the spiritual domain, and rocks, planets, fantasy figures are in the material domain. This makes for a clean distinction between science and religion.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 29, 2012

    The question of science vs spirituality resurfaces here in the discussions time and time again. It needs to be restated as frequently that spirituality is little more than a belief system. Aspect of the limitations of which are sum up very nicely in this George Lakoff talk:

    Ww might ask, "What causes belief in religions?

    If one were to suggest that science is also a set of beliefs as well the argument is still over whether spirituality seeks to falsify itself in the ways science does. The scientific method involves asking a question, gathering information, forming a hypothesis, and designing and conducting experimentation from multiple trials that will support conclusions. Spirituality cannot submit to this to this process.
    IONS seeks to find evidence at the edges of spirituality in the hope that it will legitimize the beliefs in a variety of PSI issues, but in many of these discussions, such as this one, even these attempts are discounted because they employ science.

    Re: “Bigotry In Science.”
    This requires the admission of a "Bigotry of Religion." I am happy to forego both providing there is an alternative, but there isn't. And as such we remain in a discussion of science, albeit noetic science.


  • Theoldman Aug 28, 2011

    No two things anywhere in the known universe are alike (same or identical) be it on the cosmic level or on the micro level. No two events or actions are alike anywhere. The only exception to the last two phrases is that everything on all levels share one thing in common - everything changes always. Therein lies a singular and universal truth -the only constant is change - which defines the paradox of creation and the source power of our existence. If you can see the universe or even perceive seeing it in it's entirety you immediately step into another realm - outside the confines of the observer. Science separates the observer, limits our reality through measures of causality much the same way religion tend their flock, or the coveted elitist in their limited addiction to their perceptions of wealth and power. All forms of control (religious, scientific, government or corporate/elitism) in a constantly changing universe, are more an expression of ignorance than wisdom and is more on par with the definition of cultism, on many levels in our world. Necessity has always been the progenitor of creation - we need to decide was is necessary in our world in order for us all to survive.

  • Fallensoul Aug 28, 2011


  • cprize May 04, 2011

    Scientism without using what the Creator provides is filled with errors and omissions, and at times sounds ever so much like the braying of an ass. On the other hand those who use their dreams and visions like Einstein, Edison, Darwin, Franklin, Bell, Tesla and scores of others are leaders in science because they used their dreams. The Periodic Table of Elements, the benzine ring, the double helix of DNA were first found via dreams. So what scientific creation would you like to be remembered for? Or would you prefer it in music, art, literature or other social creations?

  • Anonymous Icon

    EthanT May 02, 2011

    I posted this elsewhere, thought it might be valid here


    Well, first I agree. Science has become very important in society, particularly the West. So, I think religion and science need to try and "get along" better.

    But, I personally find science to be the modern day myth that Western man uses. In saying that, I am defining myth as: an image that man forms, which enables him to get on in the world.

    Actually, in many ways the mainstream scientifc community can act like a fundamental exoteric stream of a religion, in the following ways

    (1) Appeal to Scripture (If it ain't in The Physical Review Letters and hasn't been under peer review, it's suspect)

    (2) Sole Owner of The Truth (Religion is fantasy, psychology is not a science, empirical evidence subject to critical scientific analysis is the only path to truth)

    (3) Intolerance Of Others Views (don't even bring up something not within the mainstream thought, or you're scoffed at, and it will be claimed the topic is unworthy of scientific investigation)

    (4) Hypocrisy (it's okay to talk about String Theory for the past 40 years, even though NO supporting evidence has yet been found. And, the theory is admired. Reincarnaion, NDEs, psychic ability, etc are considered ridiculous though)

    (5) The In Group (Relates to #3)

    (6) Idol Worship (With modern day idol worship being wrapped around a concept. Humans have a tendency to get wrapped up on concepts of God and not being able to get past them. As Meister Eckhart says, "The ultmiate leavetaking is the leaving of God for God". Scientists get hung up on paradigms - reductionism, materialism - and, often, cannot see past them. But, just as religious folk hold their concepts of God precious, so to do scientists hold their paradigms as precious, and often both do so unconsciously)

    (7) Dogmatic (In religion, follow these rules, or laws. In science, follow the scientific method to the letter, or it's not real science. Think this way, and don't think about other non-sense)

    Anyhow, I could probably go on all day long, but you get the point.

    Man can't help but to act "mythically", or even ritualistically, in thought. When you suppress and ignore- via a materialistic worldview - the deep psychic aspects of your myth, it can have negative manifestations. But, ultimately, the same human, or group, behaviors are still there.

    So, science may look a lot different and maybe they did throw out all those "superstitious thoughts and deities", but the same underlying needs and behaviors are still there.

    This isn't to put down science (or any religion, for that matter!). It 's just interesting to note.

  • RedDog May 02, 2011

    It is one of those important, yet simple points all enlightened individuals must face. Is Science the true path to knowledge, or can Truth be found with science?
    I say NO. Science is a tool within this reality and is part of the deception.
    We live in duality, or a dual world. A world of Black and White. True and False. One's and Zero's. Science has a foundation in both
    and is thus divided.

    I was pondering this idea while watching a recent popular movie seqel to an old popular movie: Tron.
    Reframe your comment about..."Science is based on an observation of facts, and is directed at finding patterns of order in the observed data."
    within the "Grid" or simulation that Tron and Clue exist. Without users, is it possible for these sophisticated programs to find any real truth using those tools created within the Grid?

    When the power is turned off what remains?

  • Fallensoul Apr 28, 2011

    I'm not endorsing the views of the website, but I thought I'd share the information they are presenting here in this article as it is quite relevant to us.

Stay in touch with IONS