To anyone who has read this blog for a while, it's probably apparent that I have a tendency to be critical of the scientific establishment. And I'd like to emphasize that my criticisms of the scientific establishment are just that, criticisms of the scientific establishment. They are not criticisms of the scientific method, the philosophy of science, scientific investigation, or learning in general.
One reason that I am so critical of the scientific establishment is because I don't see science as an establishment. I also don't lump everyone wearing the scientist label into one crowd. You could get a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Kabbalist together and label them as "religious" people. While that might be a true statement, that broad label overlooks the key differences between the religions the people represent.
On the same note, if you take an Archaeologist, Paleontologist, Medical Doctor, a Rocket Engineer, and a Computer Engineer, you could label them all as "scientists," but the label doesn't clarify the differences between the types of science.
However, people don't readily point out the differences between the scientists and the types of science they research. I think this is kind of tragic, because it allows some scientists to ride on the accomplishments of other scientists.
The point I want to get across here is that we don't have computers, airplanes, and GPS systems because of Charles Darwin or a Big Bang Theory. We have computers, airplanes, and GPS systems because someone took the time to conceptualize them and then figure out how to build their concept.
On the other hand, we have a group of people trying to rewrite history that they didn't live through or experience. Their version of history is based on a materialistic viewpoint, and they model their concept of history through that viewpoint.
However, these two groups of people label themselves as scientists. One group seeks to design new tools, the other seeks to rewrite history from their perspective. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the tool making scientists have made many notable accomplishments, allowing the history rewriters to ride along with that success and teach their materialism.
I'd like to point out that tool makers have been around since the earliest records of men (and presumably before that too). Regardless of whether you think we were created here, planted here by aliens, or 'evolved', its apparent that men have been making tools for a long time. One generation develops a tool, and another generation builds upon the original design. The wheel becomes a cart, the cart becomes a carriage, the carriage becomes a car. These toolmakers have been making tools since before the word "science" was invented. If our modern engineers want to call themselves scientists that is fine, but what they are doing is something people did before "science" was defined.
The medical doctors of today take what is called the Hippocratic Oath (or rather, a modernized version of it). The Hippocratic Oath is basically an oath a doctor makes to practice medicine ethically. Hippocrates is widely considered to be the father of Western medicine, yet he lived circa 460 BC - 370 BC - long before science was defined. So the study and practice of medicine has been around for a long time. Over the years, knowledge of medicine has increased tremendously. We might call it "Medical science" today, but the study of medicine existed before modern term was defined.
During the Renaissance, the Catholic establishment began to lose its hold on Europe once the Protestant reformers began questioning their authority. It wasn't long after that though that the so-called 'age of enlightenment' began, which led to some people considering non-traditional outlooks on life and history, which led to materialism, which led to the modern scientific establishment. Essentially we've traded one establishment for another. Woopty-doo.
So really my criticisms here are against the history rewriters. Sure, they may abide by the philosophy of science and use the scientific method as tool for investigations and research, but ultimately, their brand of science is highly interpretative. Their brand of science isn't like the science of an aerospace engineer. The aerospace engineer designs airplanes. The history rewriters just intepret data they find from a certain point of view.
Which brings me to another point. Scientists are always about the data. They want to see the data. Data, data, data. They want to know what the data says.
But the data doesn't "say" anything. Data is interpreted. And not everyone may interpret the data the same way.
I have a book called Thousands...Not Billions, which makes a case for the earth being much younger than 4.5 billion years old. The book is written by a group of scientists called Radioisotopes and the Age of Earth (RATE), and they used the same data and radiometric dating techniques that the mainstream scientific establisment uses. The establishment says the earth is 4.5 billion years old because the data 'says' so. But as I pointed out, data doesn't say anything. The establishment has interpreted the data to mean that earth is 4.5 billion years old.
So how did the RATE scientists, who, by the way, are credentialed scientists, determine that the earth is so much younger? The Great Flood. What the establishment views as age, the RATE scientists view as flood deposited rock. RATE lumped what the mainstream scientists refer to as Cenozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic eras together as a single layer of flood deposits.
So what we really have here is a debate between Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism. Catastrophism suggests that the earth has been affected by sudden, catastrophic events (such as the Great Flood). Uniformitarianism, on the other hand, suggests the opposite, that natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated that way without interruption. Uniformitarianism is the lens the scientific establishment views history through. It's actually pretty clear that the Uniformitarianism theory in its original form (which was developed by James Hutton and Charles Lyell) is not accurate, so during the 20th century the scientific establishment created a set of "correction tables" (or "calibration tables"). When asked how they 'know' the earth is 4.5 billion years old, the scientific establishment will say because the radiometric data 'says' so. Wrong. The data hasn't 'said' anything. They intepreted the data to mean that by examining it with a certain pre-conceived notion.
There are those out there that would suggest trying to dispute what the scientific establishment says about pre-history is just an attempt to cling to old religious beliefs. Well, I could say the same thing about those people. They are clinging to 19th century materialism and its interpretation of history and reality. How convenient that the Darwinist crowd created a new theory (Uniformitarianism) to support their theory of evolution. It was necessary to do so, otherwise the theory of evolution would have fallen apart long ago. The Darwinists needed a way to claim the earth was millions and billions of years old in order to make their theory of evolution plausible (by dismissing the hundreds of ancient stories of a catastrophic flood, the Darwinists can interpret radiometric data to suggest that the earth is billions of years old). Creating a theory about history to support another theory about history isn't the same as building airplanes.
I also criticize the scientific establishment because they often have a tendency to 'speak with authority'. They speak about theoretical concepts as though they were already known to be true. A recent example of what I mean can be seen in an article about dark matter. I think the main body of the article presents an authoritative tone regarding the existence of dark matter, yet if you go to the bottom, there's a little snippet that points out that not all scientists believe in dark matter. Well, if that's the case, I think the mainstream scientists need to make it a little more clear that dark matter itself is just a theoretical concept, instead of 'speaking with authority' about something that is not yet known to be true. Their concept of dark matter may very well be accurate, but until they actually find something and can clearly define it, they need to drop the authoritative tone.
This also goes for the so-called Higgs-Boson particle. Few scientists are interested in studying ghosts or psychic phenomenon, yet they'll spend billions of dollars and devote years of time to trying to find some unknown particle that no one has ever seen and may not even exist. Go figure.
And what of these 'peer-reviewed' journals? Are we to assume that because a bunch of people who already think alike agree with what an article says, that the article must be true? Frankly, when it comes to interpreting scientific data, I'm not interested in a 'peer' review. I would rather have an analysis by people with different viewpoints. Preferably, the data collection would be done by people with different viewpoints too. I think by doing so, we could get a more thorough examination of the data, instead of just looking at it through a single lens. As a result, people could review the different intepretations of the data, and draw their own conclusions from those intepretations, instead of just being told what the data supposedly means. When doing research, it's good to investigate a subject or the data thoroughly. If you're only looking to find specific answer, there's a good chance you'll find it. You can probably find someone out there to tell you what you want to hear. But it's not always good to stop researching something because you found someone who will tell you what think (or hope) is true. Maybe it is true, but, you know, maybe it isn't. Get some different perspectives, and draw your own conclusions. Ultimately, you can still choose your own perspective, but at least you can say you listened to other perspective and tried to understand where those perspectives were formed.
So when it comes to science, I try to have an open mind. I don't lump all scientists together. When reading about science, I try to determine what lens the writer is looking through. The tool making scientists look through a lens toward the future. The history rewriting scientists look through a lens to the past. History is one of my favorite subjects, yet the lens of 19th century materialism is of little interest to me. But hey, I'll still consider their viewpoint...but I'd want to consider other viewpoints too.
I criticize the establishment because they have a tendency to speak with authority and try to tell people what to believe. Some may argue that religious leaders from the past and present do the same thing, but there are already plenty of criticisms of religious establishments out there. I don't think there is enough criticism of the scientific establishment, which is one reason why I have chosen to take a critical position regarding the scientific establishment. Another reason I criticize them instead of religious establishments is that devout religious people admit their beliefs are based in faith, but scientists claim to base their beliefs on rationalism and data. So when they start talking about evolution, big bangs, dark matter, and Higgs-Bosons, they darn well better have some clear evidence that it's true first. And the evidence better be as clear as the sky is blue before they start 'speaking with authority'. Claiming the evidence is clear doesn't mean it's clear. It's obvious that the sky is blue. It isn't obvious that the universe exploded itself into existence.
Our tool makers, as they have throughout history, continue to make great accomplishments. Our history rewriters on the other hand, eh, not so much. I think lumping our history rewriters into the same bunch as our tool makers is an insult to the tool makers...but that is just my opinion.