RationalWiki holds that science (along with scientism) are important:
Anti-science positions…can and has caused death and/or suffering on a large scale. For example, commentators discounted scientific evidence that HIV causes AIDS, and consequently appropriate treatment was not made available to those in need. Due to this lack of preparation, hundreds of thousands died; in South Africa alone, 300,000 people died.
But Paul De Vries noticed what happened when Lawrence Krauss pushed the implications of RationalWiki’so position to its logical conclusion:
In a one-hour interview on National Public Radio , Dr. Lawrence Krauss, professor of physics at Arizona State University, argued “on the basis of science” that the natural world is all that there is. While interviewed by Krista Tippett in the program “On Being,” he brazenly rejected the biblical writings as mere imaginings of bronze-age peasants, long before the liberating discoveries of modern science. He mocked the very idea of eternity or even of human purpose, let alone God, Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.
To Dr. Krauss it is liberating to think of ourselves as mere matter, purposeless matter. He enthusiastically embraced the position that we humans have no significance…At the conclusion of his remarks he [Krauss] boldly informed his audience, “You are far more insignificant than you ever imagined.” Such is the terrible human sacrifice required by Scientism.
My two cents
If scientism (and its current manifestation through scientific consensus) is correct, then in about 4-5 billion years, the sun will turn into a red giant. If science can’t become the saviour of humanity (by figuring out a way of sustaining life somewhere else in the universe), then I wonder if all human life, thought, and political opinion will be proven as ultimately futile, meaningless, and pointless.
RationalWiki points out that an anti-science position led to the deaths of 300,000 AIDS victims in South Africa. But if scientism is correct, then is the (possibly preventable) death of 300,000 significant for the time being, but ultimately pointless and irrelevant a few billion years from now?
But sane people tend not to think like that; they think as though our lives (and politics) have value—not just presently, but into the future. On this basis, I’m trying to figure out if scientism (if proven correct) is ultimately self-refuting. Maybe I can find a good web article on this very question.
- RationalWiki. (2013). Anti-science. Available: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anti-science. Last accessed 13th Oct 2013.
- De Vries, P. (2013). Scientism Strikes back. Available: http://www.christianpost.com/news/scientism-strikes-back-94442/. Last accessed 13th Oct 2013.