Faulty Paradigms Producing Faulty Science

I want to say a little something about an article that I read in USA Today entitled “People Trust Science. So Why Don’t They Believe It?” The article was interesting on a lot of levels, including the fact that a lot of anti-science is being passed off as actual science, which is precisely the problem.

Just as the masses only see what their paradigms allow them to see, so too scientists are not exempt from being bound by paradigms that unconsciously function as what we would call frames or perceptual filters. Put another way, scientists are not immune from being stuck in cycle epistemological cocoons or stuck in their own linguistic hall of mirrors or stuck in their own echo chambers. Therefore, scientists, like virtually all of us, are subject to misperceiving psychological certainty as though it were some kind of epistemological validity.

Moreover, there is also what I like to call stakeholder interests. These interests affect research in the sciences no less than any other discipline, perhaps even more. Add to that motivated blindness, and the elixir becomes ever more toxic. Once you drink the Kool-Aid, it becomes very difficult to perceive the force of inconvenient data.

The problems with objective science, of course, do not stop there: think shoddy research or sophistry or sensationalism. Worst yet, consider the possibility that scientists — I am thinking now in my mind of Bill Nye and James Watson — they are clearly advancing their own parochial cultural agendas. James Watson, for example, was a Nobel Prize laureate — you probably know this, but he was the co-discoverer of DNA, and very, very famous for that. His so-called scientific objectivity though is very, very colored by his worldview. That is why he has a very eugenic view, particularly when it comes to children. It was James Watson who said because of the limitations of present “detection methods, most birth defects are not discovered until birth.” However, says Watson, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth….the doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so chose and save a lot of misery and suffering.” Think of the implications of that? You have a child, you look it over for three days, then say, “I’m going to send that one back.” In other words, “I’m going to kill it.”

Bill Nye the anti-science guy has raised his anti-science rhetoric to a new decibel level. He is now suggesting that people (I think people like Kathy and I, living in the developed world) should be penalized for having extra kinds. Why? Because in his benighted view, we are woeful contributors to climate change. Of course, there is nothing original here. Celebrated Baptist pastor, Oliver “Buzz” Thomas pontificates having more than two children is downright sinful.

In truth, whether one has two or twelve, as in our case, is far less important than whether our children grow up to be selfless producers or merely selfish consumers. I have written about that in different places, including The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition (see especially “How Should Christians Think about Global Warming?”)

Regrettably, both Watson and Nye not only suffer from all of the things I have just mentioned, but I think as well a serious case of Christophobia is in play. Bottom line: make sure you examine your paradigm. We do not think as much about our paradigms as we think with our paradigms. We have to cleanse our perceptual lenses.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following:

Is Intelligent Design Really Science? (Hank Hanegraaff)

How Serious are the Consequences of Believing in Evolution? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Objections Overruled: Responding to the Top Ten Objections against Intelligent Design (William A. Dembski and Sean McDowell)

What Is Darwinism? Why Science Clings to a Fractured Paradigm (Phillip E. Johnson)

This blog adapted from the April 28, 2017, and April 28, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcasts.

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