Title: Scientism and secularism
Author: JP Moreland
Publishing Date: September 30, 2018
About the Book:
Rigid adherence to scientism–as opposed to a healthy respect for science–is all too prevalent in our world today. Rather than leading to a deeper understanding of our universe, this worldview actually undermines real science and marginalizes morality and religion.
In this book, celebrated philosopher J. P. Moreland exposes the selfdefeating nature of scientism and equips us to recognize scientism’s harmful presence in different aspects of culture, emboldening our witness to biblical Christianity and arming us with strategies for the integration of faith and science–the only feasible path to genuine knowledge.
Originally I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher in hopes of an honest review, however I found myself highlighting so much of it that I decided to go out and buy a physical copy. The first several chapters of the book I was highly engaged in and wanted to fist-pump the air and shout “yeah! You tell em!” but then unfortunately the author went quite over my head for a while. Not that it was bad in content, but it kind of made my head spin. I tried my best to keep up though.
Unfortunately scientism has infiltrated multiple places in the world including the school system. One of the quotes that really got under my skin was shared on page 28:
“At times some students may insist that certain conclusions of science cannot be true because of certain religious or philosophical beliefs they hold… It is appropriate for the teacher to express in this regard, ‘I understand that you may have personal reservations about accepting this scientific evidence, but it is scientific knowledge about which there is no reasonable doubt among scientists in their field, and it is my responsibility to teach it because it is part of our common intellectual heritage.'”
The quote was taken from a piece called Invitation to Conflict: A retrospective Look at the California Sciences Framework. Can I just be honest that reading that statement absolutely infuriates me?! I recall several of my teachers parroting similar statements like that in the past, and even as a teenager those statements rubbed me the wrong way. I’m not sure of their full reasoning, but my parents were big advocates of just telling the teachers what they wanted to hear to get the good grades. I know they didn’t know the real answers, but they also thought good grades were more important. I felt too convicted to spit it all back the way they wanted it to be worded though. At least the good thing that came out of it was that it awakened an interest in studying creation and disproving evolution. I would word answers like “some scientists believe…” or “evolutionists believe…” but I couldn’t bring myself to state the answers they wanted as facts. It saddens me to see that these arguments have been made even fiercer for the next generation. If kids aren’t taught the truth and how to defend it, we are crippling them already in a world that is all to quick to suck them into the lies.
My biggest argument against this book is that the author appears to be an old-earth creationist which I cannot get behind. Once he started to explain some of his scientific arguments, I started to lose some of my enthusiasm for the book. I fully supported his frustrations towards scientism’s reach in the world, but he lost some of my respect as well when he tried to defend Christianity from an old-earth perspective. In my opinion that’s part of the argument! I much more strongly stand in support of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis when it comes to creation theories.
I recommend this book to people who love the science vs religion debate and have a functional knowledge of more complex scientific terms. It can be read by those with a beginning interest in the topic however they may need the internet nearby to lookup some of the terms and theories. I would have preferred reading this from a young-earth creationist’s perspective, however the dangers of scientism were very clear and obvious regardless of your other perspective.
*While I received a free e-book copy of this book, I also went out and purchased a physical copy after just a few chapters in. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.