Sunday, 17 February 2013

C.S. Lewis: Beware of Scientism

Joel Kontinen

When a well-known atheist (Michael Shermer) says that science is his saviour or when thousands celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin, we might suspect that science is more than what we would at first glance suspect.

C.S. Lewis realised that in spite of all the good things modern science has given us, it also has its dark side. In his days, the almost universal use of eugenics, the scientific socialism in the Soviet Union and a racial policy inspired by Social Darwinism were perhaps three of the most glaring examples of the misuse of science.

Lewis saw that science and magic were like twins. They shared three major characteristics: (1) Like magic, science could be a religion. (2) It could cause credulity, so that most people believed everything proclaimed in the name of science. (3) It could be used to control both nature and other people.

C.S. Lewis was very sceptical of scientism, which can be likened to a religion. He was especially sceptical of the power of blind, undirected causes to magically produce all living beings.

The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism is a just-released video exploring this aspect of C.S. Lewis’ thinking.