Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Scientism in the Brave New World
Aldous Huxley wrote his description of a scientific totalitarian society in 1932. Brave New World could be seen as a criticism of some trends in science and politics that were very evident in Huxley’s time, such as eugenics, which was a mostly Darwinian episode in world history.
Writing in Nature, Philip Ball does mention dystopian science fiction but he does not make the connection between eugenics and Darwinian evolution, which, as such is no wonder in a journal that was set up in the late 19th century for the very purpose to spread the word about evolution.
Brave New World shows that scientism can have its very dark side. When science and politics go together, the result is a totalitarian society that entirely lacks personal freedom.
Freedom, as we all know, is a blessing that comes from Christianity, so Huxley’s dystopian society is understandable – no Christianity, no freedom.
Ball, Philip. 2013. In Retrospect: Brave New World. Nature 503 (7476): 338 -339.