Evidence, miracles, and science: An argument against the existence of Jesus considered

In a recentish post, Arkhenaten advances two theses, one concerning the philosophy of science, the other history:

A) Sometimes science can test for and falsify supernatural phenomena (philosophy of science).

B) Jesus of Nazareth never existed (history)*.

More specifically, he writes:

If the theist wants the atheist to change – and aren’t they compelled to spread the Word? (sic) – then simply provide evidence that demonstrates the sincerity of their objective and the veracity of their claims.

At least provide the evidence that convinced them to become Christian.

Ah … but then we are back to things supernatural which cannot be tested by scientific means as they fall outside the natural world. Right?

Well, yes … and no.

Yes, he[Jesus] was a regular bloke. Except for miracles. The miracles he did. Not least of which was raising Lazarus from the dead.

And this is where we should expect to find evidence. Some independent attestation of the wondrous deeds he did. After all:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

John 21:25

It’s in the bible, and the bible is the inspired Word of God, right?

And, yet, what do we have?

Not a word, not a whisper.

A god who lived among humans as a human and as a god for over thirty years and left no trace outside of a story?

There is absolutely nothing that can be checked. Nothing to back a single claim.

In this case absence of evidence is most definitely evidence of absence.

Evidence of miracles? Hmm …. I don’t think so.

And under such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to draw the only logical conclusion.

The biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is simply a work of fiction.

There are several things to be noted here:

1) Why must the Christian provide evidence to prove the “sincerity of their[sic] objective”? Why assume that when a Christian is evangelizing to the non-Christian he is doing so with nefarious intent? Perhaps this Christian knows nothing of apologetics and the rational case for the Christian worldview. Yet, when he recites John 3:16 to someone he’s proselytizing, what is there to suggest he’s doing so disingenuously and not with the belief that it’s for non-Christian’s best interest?

This Freudian slip suggests there is no “evidence” that will give Arkenaten cognitive pause because he is already convicted not to mull it due to prejudice he has about its source. Whether this prejudice is rationally justified, I’ll let the reader decide. For those who have met him online, I think the answer is readily apparent.

2) Arkenaten doesn’t flesh out the “scientific means” he has in mind to test the supernatural—also undefined. The supernatural, being super-, must be beyond the natural, which itself refers to what I’m interpreting as what the spacio-temporal exhausts. So, miracles from Jesus, Moses, or whoever are supposedly of the supernatural and workings not of this spacio-temporal realm. Indeed, according to Hume, miracles are by essence violations of observable natural laws. If science only operates within these observable natural laws of the spacio-temporal, then any miracle is beyond the reach of science to corroborate. To wit: Any miracle X that seems in violation of some natural law Y doesn’t provide prima facie evidence for the existence of X, but throws into question the veracity of Y as being a bonafide natural law.

So, it’s not clear what’s applicable for the natural can verify the supernatural. Though Arkenaten admits the difficulty here, he also thinks there is a way to get around this problem, vaguely appealing to “evidence.” However, it’s not obvious how science—understood as the empirical method that seeks knowledge of the physical spacio-temporal universe via continuous stages of observation, hypothesis, and experimentation—can provide evidence about whether a proposed historical figure existed (How do you test that?). The past isn’t empirical; why assume the “evidence” strictly is too?

Perhaps what Arkenaten means by “evidence” are archaeologically gathered artifacts, like contemporaneous manuscripts from the first century Roman Palestine. Well, deriving conclusions about the past from writings of a bygone era is not science but something closer to the discipline of history, which can be informed by science but not actually be of science as defined above.

So, Arkenaten seems to be stretching the bounds of empirical science in order to make a historical argument about whether Jesus existed. This either stems from a commitment to scientism, the incoherent view that the only genuine knowledge is scientific knowledge, or confusion about what science does and what constitutes its evidence. Regardless, both undermine his claim A) that science can test for and falsify supernatural phenomena. It also is unrelated to the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. These are separate issues.

3) As for Arkenaten’s historical argument for the non-existence of Jesus, it seems to be the following:

  1. If Jesus did exist, then there is independent attestation of his miracles.
  2. There is no independent attestation of Jesus’ miracles (indeed, nothing at all “outside of a story”).
  3. Ergo, Jesus did not exist.

As a modus tollens, the argument is formally valid, but that itself is not a guarantee of soundness. Indeed, I think both 1 and 2 can be rejected as false.

For premise 1, there isn’t a strong reason to think independent attestation, meaning contemporaneous references to Jesus’ miracles not from his disciples or their followers, would have much bearing on the question of Jesus’ existence. Either Jesus, as a mere man or the incarnated Son of God, did or didn’t exist; whether Roman historians or others of the time cited miracles attributed to him is logically irrelevant to the matter at hand. For it’s possible, even likely, that Jesus’ miracles wouldn’t be widely written down in the oral tradition-driven society of first century Judea. As for the occupying Romans, it’s probable they wouldn’t even be aware of Jesus until he would be leveraged as a symbolic figurehead for Jewish insurrection. The antecedent of 1 does not imply its consequent.

Moreover, Arkenaten provides no argument for this criterion of independent attestation found in the consequent. He just posits it as plausible and definitive. But why assume this? I mean, most of what we know about Socrates, a man who was amazing in his own right, comes from his followers. They’re not independent either, yet, while some might doubt some parts of Socrates’ life, no one doubts that Socrates even existed. That’s because there are other means historians use to establish the historicity of an event or person that this dogged insistence on independent attestation of miracles as what determines Jesus’ historicity precludes by seemingly capricious fiat. So, what is gratuitously asserted—if there was a historical Jesus, his miracles would be confirmed by contemporary independent sources—can be gratuitously denied.

Likewise, premise 2 can be regarded as false. Let’s grant Arkenaten’s call for “independent attestation,” albeit modified. While there isn’t a contemporary non-Christian reference to Jesus or his miracles (Tacitus and Josephus are later), it’s simply not the case that there is “Not a word, not a whisper … absolutely nothing that can be checked. Nothing to back a single claim” about Jesus. It’s not “In this case, absence of evidence is evidence of absence.” The Christian faith did not emerge from a vacuum. There are particular facts established by historian-developed methodologies in need of explanation which apologists use to make an abductive case for the Resurrection, the miracle upon which Christianity is erected, and, ipso facto, the historical Jesus.

For example, at least a few of Jesus’ apostles died espousing Jesus as Lord and Savior. Martyrs make terrible liars. It seems the likes Peter and Paul really believed what they were preaching. Well, it’s possible they hallucinated Jesus or were just plain crazy. But isn’t it much more likely they knew a person (or in Paul’s case, knew people who did) upon whom to base their radical new religion? As it so happens, the same sort of argument, mutatis mutandis, is used to claim the Resurrection as history.

So, it’s not enough for Arkenaten to declare victory here. These kinds of arguments from apologists have to be refuted, the historical facts explained better in terms New Atheists would accept, before justifiably dismissing Jesus’ existence, and thereby Christianity, not to mention the many secular accounts of the Gospels’ narratives in which Jesus is a historical figure.

4) Now, I’m sure this reasoning has little pull on Jesus mythicists, who occupy quite the redoubt on the internet when it comes to this area of New Testament scholarship. They’ll find this answer too speculative. After all, they’re demanding a “smoking gun” in a discipline where practitioners, more often than not, don’t possess one and must piece together what they do have to draw conclusions about the past. History is not a hands-on science.

Nevertheless, I suspect Arkenaten and company will treat it as such if it suits their ideological fancy. In my experience, “evidence” can be whatever they need it to be, hence the adamant Jesus mythicism in spite of the evidence that convinces the vast majority of academic historians, many of whom have no theological axe to grind, that Jesus, at least as a mortal, walked the earth two millennia ago.

Why do New Atheists cling to this benighted view about Jesus? My estimation: It’s not enough for Christians to be wrong—they must be hopelessly irrational too. Christianity, in their minds, is not merely false, but ridiculous. And those who believe in and live by the ridiculous in an increasingly secular society deserve ridicule from their more enlightened peers.

These anti-Christian beliefs form a cock-sure attitude. Neither falsifiable nor open for negotiation, they are dogma founded more in vitriolic politics than dispassionate reason.

For potential further evidence of it, read the comments.

*I’m not being uncharitable about Arkenaten’s position either. He’s maintaining it’s not merely the Christian conception of Jesus Christ that is the myth, which allows the possibility of a historical person known as Jesus who’s merely a man, not divine. It’s Jesus wholesale. Note that Arkenaten expresses skepticism about even the seemingly most mundane details of his life, writing, “Jesus was born, lived – and one can presume he slept, ate and used the toilet just like regular people – and of course he died. Or at least this is the claim [emphasis mine]. He’s also said as much in previous comments on another entry of this blog.

The dark side of same-sex marriage media doesn’t tell you about

Over at the Public Discourse, the site recently featured Janna Darnelle’s testimony about how her husband came out as gay, divorced her and the subsequent fallout. It stands in direct contradiction to the rosy narrative same-sex marriage advocates pander, a story journalists have gobbled up without properly vetting. It’s a lie of omission they’ve been all too happy to tell.


Our divorce was not settled in mediation or with lawyers. No, it went all the way to trial. My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: ‘I am gay, and I deserve my rights.’ It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, ‘If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.’

I truly believe that judge was legislating from the bench, disregarding the facts of our particular case and simply using us — using our children — to help influence future cases. In our society, LGBT citizens are seen as marginalized victims who must be protected at all costs, even if it means stripping rights from others. By ignoring the injustice committed against me and my children, the judge seemed to think that he was correcting a larger injustice.

My husband had left us for his gay lover. They make more money than I do. There are two of them and only one of me. Even so, the judge believed that they were the victims. No matter what I said or did, I didn’t have a chance of saving our children from being bounced around like so many pieces of luggage.

The fact Darnelle, the children’s biological mother, lost custody of her own children when she did nothing to warrant losing them is chilling. This anecdote shows the oft-peddled claim, “How does allowing gay couples to marry affect your (heterosexual) marriage?” as vacuous. By redefining marriage, it alters who the law recognizes as legal parents. If a type of union between individuals is infertile, by its nature, is elevated in status to be on par in legal jurisprudence to the type of union that is, the vast majority of time, fertile, then blood ties, the biological connection between parent and child that is recognized by law as the adhesive that formulates families, becomes irrelevant. The implication of legalizing same-sex marriage is that the state does not have to recognize that genetic bond. In the sight of the law, mothers and fathers become optional. Familial bonds become strictly social constructions with no basis in objectivity, which makes it much easier for the state to meddle in domestic affairs. In other words, by advocating for same-sex marriage, you are advocating for the dissolution of a buffer zone that keeps the government out of your home, the means of taking away your children from you. Yep, saying “yes” to the illusory right to marriage is saying “no” to children having the real right to be raised by their biological parents. Darnelle is an example that this alleged slippery slope is quickly becoming legal precedent in reality.

A second and equally pivotal excerpt:

USA Today did a photo journal shoot on my ex and his partner, my children, and even the grandparents. I was not notified that this was taking place, nor was I given a voice to object to our children being used as props to promote same-sex marriage in the media…

…After our children’s pictures were publicized, a flood of comments and posts appeared. Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they “created.” But there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That “gay family” could not exist without me.

There is not one gay family that exists in this world that was created naturally.

Every same-sex family can only exist by manipulating nature. Behind the happy façade of many families headed by same-sex couples, we see relationships that are built from brokenness. They represent covenants broken, love abandoned, and responsibilities crushed. They are built on betrayal, lies, and deep wounds.

This is also true of same-sex couples who use assisted reproductive technologies such as surrogacy or sperm donation to have children. Such processes exploit men and women for their reproductive potential, treat children as products to be bought and sold, and purposely deny children a relationship with one or both of their biological parents. Wholeness and balance cannot be found in such families, because something is always missing. I am missing. But I am real, and I represent hundreds upon thousands of spouses who have been betrayed and rejected.

Yes, people, this issue is a matter of social justice, but not in the way it’s portrayed by journalists. Same-sex marriage advocates are waging war against women and children. Unless there’s a divorce and adoption — both of which are messy affairs — third-party reproduction is always involved in the establishment of a same-sex household, but to coax this family into existence, wombs must be rented out, sperm must be collected like milk and children are commoditized. I hope such methods are seen for what they actually are, obviously and unequivocally depraved.

Please, take Darnelle’s words, experience and tragedy into your consideration on this matter.

My thoughts and prayers are with her,

Modus Pownens

Where the Battle Should Be Fought

In recent years, the media has been giving substantial play to the Intelligent-Design-Should-Be-Taught-in-Science-Classrooms-Alongside-Evolution debate.  I don’t know all the details, and currently I’m too lazy to research the specifics of what has happened.  What I do understand, however, the strongest objection against the ID movement is the argument it’s not science and therefore has no place in the science room.  Funny, I agree.

*Gasp!*  A theist who isn’t a proponent of ID.  I’m somewhat ambivalent towards teleological arguments for God’s existence.  They might have some merit, but after reading David Hume’s critique of them, I feel that there are stronger lines of reasoning for God’s existence.  Whether or not God exists is a metaphysical question, and those sort of inquiries are better investigated deductively rather than inductively.  I do hope modern theistic philosophers have effectively responded to Hume and revved up design arguments, but as of now, I have not been exposed to anything too provocative.  Alas, I digress…

Anywhoozle, I’m not the only theist who believes ID should not be taught in the classroom.  Philosopher Keith Ward gave a lecture on this issue.  It’s a bit long, but if you have the time, watch it.  He’s definitely of a caliber worth consideration and way beyond anything Ray ‘the Banana Man’ Comfort or Ken Hovind can muster.

If you didn’t watch it, I’ll spoon-feed you the point I want you to take away from this video, so open wide.  ID is both a part of theology and on a larger scale, philosophy.  It’s not science as science is descriptive and not a worldview like ID.  This, however, does not mean ID and other teleological arguments shouldn’t be discussed in school — quite the contrary actually.  I’ve felt for a while now philosophy should be introduced earlier than it is to students, and this would be a solid topic for the curriculum of a basic high school philosophy class.  And the opposing view, materialism, should also be explored, but only in the philosophy classrooms.  Laboratories are off-limits to both.

You see, although science is ultimately rooted in philosophical thinking, it’s an enterprise, not an ideology.  Sure, it can support worldviews, but it isn’t one itself.  Neither ID nor materialism belong in there.  Materialists are correct in crying foul with the ID movement attempting to smuggle its worldview into science, but are they not guilty of the same crime?  It seems to me Darwin’s theory of evolution is often taught with a materialist/naturalist bias.  That, the unscientific is being taught in the science classroom.  Hmmm…something’s rotten in Denmark.

The battle for God’s existence is fought in philosophy, and the two sides pertinent to the conflict need to be exclusively there.  I’m just trying to ensure that’s the case and the fight is fair.

Modus Pownens

Aliens, Apologetics and an Allegory About Metaphorical Razors…

Hey folks!

While I was perusing YouTube, I came across this video.

Firstly, I think KnownNoMore is an intelligent person, and his videos are thought provoking and done respectfully.  I also like his Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian/Danish accent.  I can’t tell which it is.  However, despite these endearing qualities, I find his supposed knockdown argument against Christian apologetics not compelling and unwisely pretentious.

In summary, KnownNoMore’s argument is even if all the alleged problems within Christianity are resolved — Biblical accuracy, Jesus’ resurrection, Biblical contradictions, etc. — aliens are a better explanation than God to the truth behind Christianity.

The first problem I see comes at 5:20.  Here, KnownNoMore says, “There is a way to explain anything the religious apologist can put forth in a completely naturalistic way.”  If we are to be objective and maintain a healthy skepticism, we must ask why we should automatically assume a naturalistic explanation.  KnownNoMore just asserts this and gives no reason as to why this is superior to a supernatural one.  He needs to because this just looks like circular reasoning known as begging the question.  Remember, KnownNoMore is arguing for naturalism via naturalism by assuming his alien hypothesis to be true.  That’s not going to cut it.

To be fair, in a later video he goes where he should have gone in the first place and attempts to use Occam’s Razor to defend his argument, though unsuccessfully.  Occam’s Razor states when considering two or more competing hypotheses with equal explanatory power, the hypothesis that makes the fewest unnecessary assumptions is the best.  When atheists apply Occam’s Razor to Christianity and religion, they argue the natural world with its laws is a simpler explanation in how the universe came to be to positing “God just did it.”  In regards to KnownNoMore’s video, his thrust with Occam’s razor is focused on the Bible’s miracles.  Namely, aliens and their advanced technology is a better hypothesis for miracles such as Moses parting the Red Sea or Jesus’ resurrection than being acts of divine power.  To KnownNoMore’s credit, this does get around the circularity in his first video, but there are other flaws and they point to uncomfortable implications for atheists.

By only applying his extraterrestrial hypothesis to a couple of miracles and concluding this adequately explains the rest of Christianity’s miracles, KnownNoMore commits a composition fallacy.  He takes the parts and makes a general statement about the whole.  This faulty inference gets him into more trouble than he realizes, and his alleged “simpler” explanation begins to be shown to be quite fat and can do with some shaving.

When his alien hypothesis is applied to all of the miracles of Biblical Christianity, it faces its death at what I will call Occam’s Guillotine.  It becomes lucidly clear the inadequacy of his explanation.  The Bible and its miracles require an extraordinary entity behind it.  It’s plausible to think the cause of theses miracles must be extremely powerful, vastly intelligent and possessing tremendous longevity, all of which seem near divine in degree.  It may be just me, but aliens, finite and contingent beings that they are, don’t make a probable candidate.

KnownNoMore inserts them as responsible for everything: Noah’s Ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, Samson’s super human strength, Jonah and the Whale and Jesus and his resurrection, etc.?  That, these aliens interfered at all these moments.  What good reason is there to think this is true?  They picked this planet and its population out of the entire universe, decided to fabricate a religion based on their meddling and executed this scheme.  Really?  This conspiracy is absurd and demands an explanation in order to be taken seriously.  Sure, KnownNoMore can respond hypothetically in that they are performing some type of experiment, but it seems unlikely finite imperfect beings would devote hundreds of years to pull off some ruse.  Maybe KnownNoMore would say these aliens have a very long lifespan.  But again, what good reason is there to think this is likely?  This is starting to get complicated and Occam’s Razor is starting to look pretty shiny, don’t you think?  You see, KnownNoMore’s explanation raises more questions than it answers.  Attempts to explain away these questions start to not only be ad hoc in nature, but are completely contrary to the conclusion he is trying to make.  Remember, he believes invoking aliens is simpler than God, but this is clearly not the case.  I hope the irony is not lost on you.

Perhaps KnownNoMore’s most damning error is his lack of understanding of Christian theology.  There is cohesiveness to Biblical Christianity, a coherent intelligence behind it.  Many atheists haven’t the smallest inkling to what the purpose the Old Testament is.  It serves as a prelude to the New Testament.  Without it, the Gospels have no force behind them.  Every event, story or miracle in the Old Testament plays a part in the greater part in the whole and eventually culminates in the revelation unveiled in Jesus Christ.  For example, Genesis 3:15 is believed to be the earliest reference of Jesus’ triumph of over sin and the Devil.  KnownNoMore, in his argument, assumes these miracles are arbitrary, and therefore can be easily explained with extraterrestrial intervention here or there or by means of some hoax.  This is simply not true.

Maybe KnownNoMore and others will say there is no underlying thread running through the Bible.  That, it only appears coherent because it was revised and edited as propaganda.  Well, in that case, go ahead, but may I remind you, KnownNoMore, out of the kindness of his own gracious heart, granted Christian apologetics to be true in every instance.  That means he allowed for Biblical inerrancy to make room for your decisive blow against Christianity.  His video is entitled “Why Religious Apologists Cannot Possibly Win” and the description reads “slitting the jugular vein of religious apologetics.”  If KnownNoMore does rescind his previous statement, out of intellectual honesty, he has to forfeit the alien hypothesis argument as moot.

And personally to KnownNoMore himself, may I suggest debunking an entire worldview with a little more humility.  Your confidence is admirable, but a teeny bit misplaced as has been shown.  Both theists and atheists, especially on YouTube are guilty of this pompousness.  Neither side is as intellectually vacuous as the other attempts to smear them as.  I’ll remind you Christianity has endured the harsh criticisms of brilliant men such as David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx and will continue to do so.  You are an intelligent individual, but you must understand: I have to be skeptical of someone who touts his own victory against an opponent some of the greatest human minds were not able to topple.


Modus Pownens

Breaking Beakers and Graduated Cylinders! It’s Time to Pick On Science Nerds!

Did I get your attention?  I’d imagine the title would at least do that if not ruffle a few feathers.  In this following post, I’m going to address and refute an ideology that infests many people’s way of thinking.  It’s quite evident on YouTube, and I’m sure it’s prevalent on blogs throughout the internet.  This monster goes by the name of scientism.

Now let me elucidate a few things.  First, no, I’m not arbitrarily making up words.  You have social scientist Friedrich Hayek and philosopher Karl Popper to take the credit there.  Secondly, scientism and science are not the same thing.  Scientism is the view that natural science is the most authoritative worldview or aspect of human education, and that it is superior to all other interpretations of life[1].  Hopefully, I have made it abundantly clear from earlier post that I’m not one of those theists that demand the burning of science text books.  I’m all for scientific and empirical inquiry.  It’s definitely useful, but it is not the sole harbinger for discovering truth as some people champion it as.

Scientism mirrors a once popular epistemic view in philosophy during the first half of the last century known as logical positivism.  This view claims propositions not open to the senses are meaningless and hold no epistemic worth.  Currently, logical positivism has been long abandoned by philosophers.  Why?  The view had just too many problems within it.  Namely, it’s self-defeating.  The claim “propositions not open to the sense are meaningless…” would be meaningless according to logical positivism.  The truth value of that claim is undetectable by the senses.  But that claim has to be meaningful and true if logical positivism would be viable.  There were other multiple issues that I can’t name, but am aware of existing.  Philosophy of science is not my forte, and critiques of logical positivism such as Willard Van Orman Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” are as of now above me.  Therefore, I won’t do you guys or myself a disservice by ignorantly reaching above my station.  As I understand it, and granted, that’s fairly limited, logical positivism died a very long and slow death.  Like the Roman Empire, it fell into decline and gradually got chipped away at by attacks upon it.

The scientism subscribed to by today’s countless laypeople is just a remnant to an extinct philosophy.  The same self-refuting grounding problem still holds.  Scientism can’t justify itself by its own tenants.  Science can’t prove itself.  The conclusion science is the end-all-be-all of truth was not derived, although erroneous, was not derived in a lab with beakers and test tubes.  It’s an epistemic claim and therefore, also a philosophical one.  Yeah, that’s right.  As much scientists like to pound their chests at how science has practical utility while philosophy doesn’t, it ultimately is grounded in philosophy.  Without philosophy, there would be no science.  I didn’t want to do this, but I’m going to go off on a tangential rant here, so bear with me.

I guess what grinds my gears like Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” is the intellectual and pompous arrogance proponents of scientism have.  They say they are advocates of “reason” and “open-mindedness.”  The ironic thing is scientism is such a narrow, close-minded, unreasonable, and damning view.  It’s almost laughable at how they ignorantly spew their sophistry.

You see, if we just limit our knowledge to what science can tell us, we would not only have to rule out science itself, but also ethics, logic, math, metaphysics, epistemology and aesthetics.  Science presupposes logic and math to be true.  It also assumes there is a physical and external world to investigate.  I know that seems obvious because you would appeal to your senses.  But you would be begging the question because you would be using your senses, which is an empirical/scientific methodology.  As Bertrand Russell said something along the lines, it would be no contradiction to think that world was just created ten minutes ago with the appearance of age.  Metaphysically, claims like everything has a cause is assumed to be true by science.  With ethics, if you grant me morality exists, I would argue it is prescriptive in nature.  It prescribes how things ought to be. This is fundamentally disconnected from scientific inquiry.  Science describes how things are.  Although some try, you can’t get a prescriptive fact from a descriptive one or vice-versa.  It’s the equivalent of trying to weigh something with a yardstick.  Honestly, this could be the subject of an entirely different post in its own right, and it will be in the future.

So, I hope I’ve belabored my point, and it’s blatantly obvious that scientism is false and should be discarded.  Don’t get me wrong.  Science is wonderful and useful when kept in context.  It’s one of the many tools in the toolbox.  It should be used, but not for everything.  So kids, remember, science is cool; scientism is not.

[1] Sorell, Tom. Scientism: Philosophy and the Infatuation with Science. Routledge, 1994, p. 1ff.