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Arkansas Society of Freethinkers Message Board General Discussion › What is the purpose of science?

What is the purpose of science?

A former member
Post #: 5
From some old dang emails...

Thanks for your email. Your advice to "keep an open mind" certainly sounds thoughtful and wise. And because you continue to repeat that advice, one might assume that you are doing that very thing. If that is the case, then I am curious to know what other origin myths are under your consideration for your next world view?
Thank you for your email, but I would prefer to read your thoughts and speculations on the matter at hand rather than some lengthy quote, the gist of which seems to be that if science is as nonsensical as religion, then science must be a religion. Perhaps is some ways it is (some persons pursue science with "religious" devotion, for example). But rather than delve into an approach likely to result in semantic burn-out, let us consider two questions: "What makes science unique?" and "How is science useful?"

What makes science unique?

Or, more in the flavor of your email, "What makes science unique as a religious endeavor?" In my opinion the most important distinction is that the scientific approach to questions is the independence from supernatural fantasy.

How is science useful?

Or, "why bother at all with science when superstitious imaginings work just as well" - or do they? Are all those high-dollar microscopes and fancy laboratory gizmos merely props in some sort of elaborate ritual? Perhaps they are, or perhaps they serve some useful purposes. For example, in addition to the awe-inspiring relevations about the workings of our universe, one application of science is the verification of claims made by drug sellers about the safety and efficacy of their wares. That sounds like a useful idea to me. What might one label this use of science that moves snake oil salesmen to cry foul and faith-healers to deride science as the work of charlatons? How about "bullshit detection".
Lisa B
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 2
George S
user 13502116
Little Rock, AR
Post #: 160
Thanks for the link Lisa.
It reminded me how indebted I am to medical science.
I have a rare blood disease that was not identified until the late 1950s.
I was diagnosed in the mid 70s.
Through research, which came very slowly because the disease is so rare, medical researchers found a compound that alleviated most of the symptoms and many lives were saved, because the disease had been fatal up until the 1960s.
Since that time more effective drugs have been found and many people are now living more comfortably and without fear of dying.
It just made me realize how many people, that will remain unknown to me, it took to get this far with the research and the thanks I and many people like me owe them.

The purpose of science is to make our lives better, help us live longer and will less pain and to try and answer some of our most profound questions.

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