No Such Thing as “Science” – It is Really Experimentally Based Knowledge, and Statements/Claims


The pop culture and journalistic use of the term “science” has a build in falsehood and mischaracterization.  Pop culture ad journalism includes most political and policy domains as well.  In fact, there is no uniform pattern of professional “science” activities that can be generalized, to the detriment of philosophy of science.

With, what is called, “science” what we really have is also a series of statements and claims primarily using everyday language but less and less.  By definition, there can be no such thing as a “belief” in “scientific” claims and statements since “science” statements and claims demand facts and evidence.  Now, individuals who do “science” can make subjective statements but “science” claims and statements must have a fact, data or evidence-basis and reference.  Thus, “science” and ideologies are opposite kinds of claims.  There can be no such thing as scientific ideologies, orthodoxy, dogma or ideological statements-claims, debunking the notion of “scientism.”

But there are “laws” of science which are simply regularities of measurable observations consistent enough to be patterns and highly predictable.  Let’s also remember that since all “scientific” statements have data, all data includes an “error term” since data collection, analysis and reporting is inherently flawed.  Still, most statements in peer-reviewed journals have pretty low error terms and those error possibilities are fully reported.

My suggestion is that what is meant when the short-hand term “science” is used is actually “experimental data.”  It is difficult to imagine a scientific statement/claim that doesn’t refer explicitly or implicitly to evidence, data and a peer-reviewed study or body of studies.   Even scientific theories must be validated, at some point, by measurable predictions and peer-reviewed data.

Using the term experimental data/knowledge is a mouthful but the mistake in using the term “science” is that it implies a uniform set of behaviors and generalized statements and claims.  That is misleading.  Predictably, the enemies of experimental information and knowledge take advantage of the ambiguity and mischaracterization of technical and experimental work and knowledge to attack.  The “straw man” of “scientism” is one example; also the so-called philosophy of science is pretty much bad faith false characterizations but that is how pop culture arguments, and the media, earn their attention.

Ultimately, all we can compare and contrast is statements using everyday language.  By definition, magical-supernatural-spiritual-fantasy-religious statements cannot be made using professional or technical language.


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