Is Science Always Right?

Of course not! Science can’t be always right by definition because scientific knowledge isn’t something cut in stone. It can be changed and redefined. Scientists can be mistaken in certain issues and then admit their mistakes. The funniest example of that is medieval scientists believing that insects have eight feet because Aristotle, the great Ancient Greek scholar, wrote that, and his authority was unquestionable for almost two thousand years. No one even thought of doubting his conclusion and rechecking how many feet a grasshopper or a fly really had. Scientists of the 18th century – and I mean real and respected scientists, not charlatans – believed that there was an invisible fluid called caloric, and it was that substance that conducted heat. French academics claimed in the same 18th century that stones can’t fall from the sky. That is, they denied that meteorites fall on Earth sometimes.

This is precisely how science works: scientists keep doubting and testing seemingly established facts, looking for new ways to explain them, which allow us to describe our observations more accurately. That is why, if science is wrong about any issue, it won’t continue to be wrong indefinitely. Scientists will correct their mistakes and replace an inaccurate theory with a more accurate one; they will reduce a law that is now considered universal to a particular case of an even more universal law.

Here is another point worth stressing: science cannot (and doesn’t try to) explain everything there is. There are phenomena that fall out of scope of science, e.g., love between people, the perception of beauty and the emotions that we have when we are looking on pictures, listening to music, or reading poetry.

In fact, there are some scholars who attempt to explore those phenomena and to explain all human feelings and thoughts away by physics or chemistry. Physics and chemistry can only look into what happens in our body when we feel something. Feelings can’t be reduced to physics and chemistry. It’s like trying to explain how a poet writes a poem: “Well, he gets a sheet of paper and a pencil. The pencil scratches the paper, small particles of graphite leave their traces on the paper, that’s how…” Can this method explain why the poet decided to write Those Parts Of Thee That The World’s Eye Doth View, rather than So Oft Have I Invoked Thee For My Muse or Oh Shadow on the Grass?

Naturally, science doesn’t look into the issues of faith. Science doesn’t say anything about angels, heaven and hell, or miracles – if it’s real science, that is, not a religious doctrine pretending to be science. There have been quite a few such fakes. Besides, there are people who are convinced that there isn’t anything except the things that science can explore. In other words, there is neither love nor beauty nor God. In fact, this opinion is by no means scientific. It is a philosophical doctrine called scientism (derived from the word ‘science’), which isn’t related to real science, such as physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry and so forth.

Avatar photo

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Know everything about Orthodoxy? We can tell you a bit more!

Subscribe for our weekly newsletter not to miss the most interesting articles on our blog.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: