Does science know? – 3 rational reasons why natural sciences are irrational

The iconic figure of science per se: Einstein in Madame Tussauds Berlin

The iconic figure of science per se: Einstein in Madame Tussauds Berlin

I am convinced that all natural sciences are irrational. How I can even make this strong assertion you will get to know here.

„Now he is totally pushed over the edge! How can he say that all scientific research is irrational? Isn’t that extremely arrogant? Don’t we have airplanes, satellites and nuclear power plants? Didn’t he write this article on a computer which is itself the best evidence for the success of science?”

Hypotheses

If it rains, then the street will be wet. The street is wet therefore it must have being raining? Eh? Something is wrong with that reasoning. Maybe my neighbor just washed his car and therefore the street became wet. Correct! We see that the hypothesis of the rain might not necessarily be true. Another example: If gravity exists then the apple will fall down from the tree. The apple fell down from the tree therefore gravity exists. Mhh… sounds somewhat more logical than the previous example. But moment… both arguments had the same logical structure: If X then Y. Y is true therefore X is also true. Why then is the hypothesis of gravity more logical than the hypothesis of rain? The truth is: It is not more logical! But hypotheses are arbitrary explanations for our observations. There could be theoretically an unlimited number of explanatory hypotheses. To just arbitrarily infer to any hypothesis like done in our examples is a variant of the logical fallacy “non sequitur“.

Irrationality: 1 – Rationality: 0

 Experiments

„Good, granted! Of course, we cannot accept just any wild speculations. But for this reason, one has experiments in natural sciences to control whether our hypotheses are right or not. Everybody can repeat the experiments and therefore note that he will get the same results as everyone else.”

Okay… let’s check the hypothesis “all swans are white”. Let’s create the following experiment to test it: Every time we see a swan we write down his color (observation / measurement). It might happen that we consecutively observe 10 white swans. Now I call my fellow scientist in America. He also only counts white swans. And even if we repeat the experiment 1000 times – always only white swans! Therefore, we conclude scientifically: Swans are white! But what is this? The 1001st observation notes a black swan. Or let’s do a different experiment: Let’s ask always when we see a wet street the local residents why those streets became wet. Then we note down their answers. Our result: 10,000 wet streets because of rain. Thus, we conclude experimentally and ultra-scientifically: Wet streets are caused by rain. But what is this? After a million observed wet streets we find one which was actually caused by a resident cleaning his car. Let’s do another experiment: What happens to an apple in my hand if I open my palms? The apple falls down to the ground. Also, the second time we get this results. Same for the third time and so forth. I think it’s clear what I want to communicate. And yes, I confess: I have never experiences that the apple didn’t fall down. But what distinguish the apple experiment from the previous one except the high number of tests? Basically nothing. And if we are honest we cannot know if the apple will fly upwards or just float next time we try. All that experimenting is only based on the so-called induction. One reasons from the particular to the general. But the inductive method can itself only be arbitrarily claimed or attested by induction again while (inductively) testing with an experiment whether induction always works. But this is vicious circular reasoning. Or just to use geek-speak (actually Latin-speak) again: To do so is to commit the logical fallacy of “petitio principii“.

Irrationality: 2 – Rationality: 0

Empiricism

Let’s just assume that we could – despite the shown irrationality of the scientific method – really gain knowledge by scientific experiments. We still have to face the empirical problem. Because to conduct observations I need my sensory organs – and if it’s just to read the results from my measuring devices. And since the well-working of our senses and the right interpretation of our perceptions is just unproven and assumed we don’t have any logical foundation therefor. To test the functionality and correctness of our senses scientifically I would have to commit the two logical fallacies mention above again. Thus, not only the scientific method has logical problems in itself but also its accomplishment cannot be done without using this illogical method for it. The scientific method is therefore not just illogical in itself but also needs itself just to start with. In another article I have mentioned many reasons why empiricism itself is questionable.

Irrationality: 3 – Rationality: 0

We see that natural sciences are inferior to philosophy! But how do we get to real knowledge without the empirical scientific method and what is knowledge? I will deal with that in a later article.

Did I shake your trust in natural sciences? Or is that not commonly known even though not commonly mentioned? Or do you want to argue for natural science? However, you are welcome to write me in the comments below!

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