Science is not objective

Omkaradatta's picture

Average: 4 (2 votes)

I'm posting this article after reading another recent posting about spirituality and the brain, as I think something might need clarified.

Not sure how widely known it really is, but science is actually NOT objective. Like religion, it's based on consensus subjectivity. A number of different scientists perform experiments, and if some arbitrary number agree on the conclusions, it's written up in a journal and considered a 'scientific fact' or hypothesis. Such 'facts' are revised all the time, as new discoveries are made.

Scientists may "strive to be objective", but there is actually no such thing as true objectivity. We cannot get out of ourselves, period. On the level of the mind, we do not even know for sure if there's anything outside of ourselves -- solipsism ("my mind is the only thing I know exists") continues as a working skeptical hypothesis in the realm of philosophy.

Science is OK in its own place, but I don't think it's done much of anything for human happiness. At worst, we have the atomic bomb and chemical/biological weapons. At best it's prolonged human lifespan, thus increasing the length a particular person suffers. Can science get rid of the fear of death?

Given that there's no objectivity... what the heck are we doing? Let's turn to the only "thing" we can perceive directly and immediately, right now -- ourselves. The sages have been telling us to turn within for the past two thousand years. Are we still ignoring them? Let's not any more.

It's up to each of us to find the truth out for ourselves, by looking within. Or we can go second-hand, based on ever-changing scientific 'facts', opinions and other mediocre hear-say evidence. Which one makes more sense?

Phroggy's picture


Yes, and on an even more fundamental level, there is no 'object' about which to be objective even if we were capable of absolute objectivity. The sages have also talked about our experience being an illusion or dream or an expression or reflection of the creator. This is because experience is being imagined or invented and has no foundational Reality that involves forms and concepts and scientific principles and laws. The source out of which and within which all of this forms, is empty.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/23/2008 - 11:06
Omkaradatta's picture

Only problem...

The problem I see with what you said above is that it seems to require a subject ("expression or reflection of the creator"). If there's a subject... there's an object. The two go together like heads and tails on a quarter.

I say there's neither subjectivity nor objectivity, and that's where the dream theory falls apart. There cannot be a creator apart from creation. To say the source is "empty" still asserts a separate source (subject/object).

The dream is as real as you, because it *is* you. The issue is simply projecting it as being 'out there' (in relation to the body) and taking it to be foreign, which results in 'me' being separate from 'you'.

Omkaradatta | Tue, 12/23/2008 - 14:29
Lee's picture

the elephant

here there is a rose. one is seeing the color, the other is smelling the bouquet. both true- different focus.

"Elephant in the Dark" (trans. Coleman Barks)
Some Hindus have an elephant to show.
No one here has ever seen an elephant.
They bring it at night to a dark room.
One by one, we go in the dark and come out
saying how we experience the animal.
One of us happens to touch the trunk.
"A water-pipe kind of creature."
Another, the ear. "A very strong, always moving
back and forth, fan-animal."
Another, the leg. "I find it still,
like a column on a temple."
Another touches the curved back.
"A leathery throne."
Another, the cleverest, feels the tusk.
"A rounded sword made of porcelain."
He's proud of his description.
Each of us touches one place
and understands the whole in that way.
The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark are
how the senses explore the reality of the elephant.
If each of us held a candle there,
and if we went in together,
we could see it.

Lee | Tue, 12/23/2008 - 15:48
Phroggy's picture


As I say, no object.

Phroggy | Tue, 12/23/2008 - 19:37