• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Criticism of the Supremacy of Science.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Criticism of the Supremacy of Science ` There are several different criticisms that have been commonly levelled at science and scientists as a whole. During the course of this essay I shall attempt to identify these criticisms and identify the reasoning behind each of them. The first of these criticisms is that science has been given similar status to a religion. It was commonly thought in the early days of science that science would eventually develop a theory for everything, thereby replacing religion through removing the ambiguous and the incomprehensible parts of life with which religion dealt. In many ways science has replaced religion in the 21st century, as it has become the object of faith and even devotion. A blind faith has been placed in the unquestionable correctness of science and scientific research. It was Emile Durkheim who first advanced the theory that given enough time, science would replace all traditional religions to be replaced by a formal, unquestionable religion based upon science. It is the arrogance of many scientists that leads us to believe that scientific theories are facts, and can be treated as 'truth' replacing religion by explaining the facts behind the creation and existence of the world. ...read more.

Middle

However, this strong criticism of science can be taken even further. Karl Popper put forward the theory that scientific 'facts' of the present day are simply probabilities, and only hold this status until such time as new evidence emerges allowing the theory to be dropped or adapted. Thomas Kuhn took this criticism of scientists even further, he believed that scientists, for the vast majority of the time, went to great lengths to fit their experiments to already existing theories, or when new information was taken into account, and it was simply accommodated by existing theories rather than new theories being created. Kuhn went further in his criticism; he claimed that when new theories were advanced, it was normally due to a competition between two scientists. Eventually, one theory would emerge victorious, however, this emergence, claimed Kuhn, had little to do with the correctness or otherwise of the theory and more to do with the political connections and status of the scientists involved in the battle. Feyerabend takes his criticism of the methodology of science to the extreme and claims that the scientific experiments are not based on observation of facts, but interpretation of what was seen. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, scientific supremacy has been taken so far through arrogance that the truth of science, as well as being rarely questioned, has gained the status of religion in our modern society, although science can never explain the human tendency to a belief in a 'God' or a supernatural being, nor can it prove to the contrary. In this, however, I believe we see even more apparently the human desire for something to believe in, and despite its many flaws, for some people, science provides the alternative to a religion. Furthermore, in the attempt to maintain the belief that all scientific theories should be taken as gospel, scientists simply attempt to fit new information into old theories, or when a theory must be disregarded, it is described as 'unscientific'. Scientific theories are also subject to human observation and therefore preconceived ideas, notions and creative thoughts. In this respect therefore, the observations can be made to fit the preconceived ideas. The supremacy of western science over other scientific cultures is also questionable as there are different ways to conduct science. In short, western science has arrogantly given the impression that there is only one true scientific method, that used by western scientists. This arrogance has led western peoples to believe unquestioningly in what scientists say, and those who read it unquestioningly apparently regard all scientific theory as absolutely correct. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Utilitarianism: Explanation And Study of Criticisms

    Because if they became egoists, they may sacrifice his interests to improve theirs. So, the total egoist will proclaim universalism or altruism to be the theory to follow, all the time waiting for the chance to take advantage of those who follow his advice.

  2. How and why does Locke explain the creation, value and protection of property?

    The legislative body which is entrusted with the people to making laws must pass nothing contrary to the law of nature even though people might consent to such enactments or it will cease to be legitimate. Locke therefore faces the problem of trying to justify action such as taxation that

  1. The study of international or rather global politics, seeks to provide an account of ...

    The need to develop regional institutions is a manifestation of globalisation, in very much the same way as the spread of the nation-state as the principle political form was earlier a product of increased global interaction (Baylis & Smith 2001:641).

  2. Assess popper's treatment of the problem of induction

    The sensory experiences could be explained by a military testing operation or an astronomical phenomenon. Hume provides us with the example of a young child who once burns his hand on the flame of a candle. After this the child is ultra sensitive to flames and does all it can to avoid them.

  1. The Search for independence, Macedonia

    In the Second World War Yugoslavia and Greece fell to the Germans early in 1941 despite their stubborn resistance. For a brief period during the Second World War the territory of Macedonia was over Bulgaria, but afterwards was incorporated into Yugoslavia.

  2. Assess critically Marx's distinction between ideology and science

    atheist no less than the most believing Christian."[5] Living for God or Man are most useless activities, believed Stirner. "... instead of continuing to serve these great egoists, I should rather be an egoist myself!"[6] Bruno Bauer, another Young Hegelian, too, relied on the power of ideas: man, in order

  1. Marxism Can Only Be Appreciated Retrospectively

    also by providing subsidies to the business's owned by the capitalists (what Marx called capitalist welfare). To stop the workers rebelling against these laws through the control over the institutions the capitalists are able to give rise to a way of thinking, meaning the workers accept the status quo or

  2. Natural Science

    It was the question he asked which gave birth to science, as we know it today. Another Ionian Greek, Anaximenes of Miletus, asked such questions as: "What is matter? What laws govern the transformations which it undergoes?" In seeking answers to these questions, he made systematic observations and conducted experiments;

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work