There's always a particular category which is popular for its time, and which people put their faith in. Said category, whether philosophy, religion, or science becomes the arbiter of what's true and false within that time. After a few revolutions, and a new synthesis is produced, there is a new category which is named as the arbiter of truth. The category of our times is science.
In order to first understand what I mean when I say that science is a meme, we must first understand what a meme is.
The modern conception of the word “meme” comes from Richard Dawkins’ book, The selfish gene. There is also the Greek word mimesis which means to imitate. I’ll be using the latter definition, though both of them apply to this post in varying degrees.
Most opinions or claims of truth and facts which are held in the public square are nothing but memes; one person happened to say something, and others repeated it. This is true for all religions, philosophies, worldviews, and scientific paradigms.
This does not mean that the ideas which said memes point to are intrinsically wrong, but simply that the “noosphere” (for lack of a better word) doesn’t care about the truth, and rarely cares about the idea at all. This is because most people–which make up the majority of the noosphere–don’t care about ideas, abstractions, and such lofty and erudite things. In many circumstances they care even less about the truth.
Please understand that I’m not putting myself in a position above most people in this regard. Regardless, you can easily see that an overwhelming majority of people do not care or know what they are talking about. And as an aside, I would hold that it’s almost impossible for them to do so by their own will.
So why would science in this regard be any different? It isn’t. Most people do not read books on astrophysics, or even bother looking up and analyzing–correctly–the studies which they tout. Not even the Soyentists, aka the “I fkin love science” crowd, have enough understanding of the complex mathematics involved in statistical analysis or any of the specialized knowledge in the fields which they care about (Veritasium’s youtube videos do not count.) They simply don’t understand scientific topics in their entirety–yet they would vehemently defend the slightest skepticism toward their preciously held theories–which is codeword for beliefs. The Deathjab, or more formerly known as the covid vaxine is one example; skepticism of the Killshot is met with hostility. As an aside, these types of people would invariably be burning witches, or even be the witches themselves, had they lived during the dreaded “dark ages.”
So how did science become one of the memes of our time?
SEPARATING SCIENCE FROM SCIENCTISM
In order to understand how science has gone from a methodology practiced by a minority of intelligent men to a meme held by the general public, we must first delineate what real science is, and what its memetic counterpart is.
So what is science, and what is scientism?
Science is a methodology. A very basic description is that it is the creation of a hypothesis, the testing of said hypothesis by experiment, and the conclusion one arrives at after analysing the data produced by said experiment. Below is a more refined outline of the method.
A few keen observers have probably already noticed that a method such as this requires a philosophical foundation for what is true and false–how else does one even deign to arrive at conclusions at all? One such foundational pillar is logic. Without logic as a prerequisite–among other things–, one can not come to conclusions on what is true or false, or even begin to understand how to analyse data correctly.
Since logic is immaterial and requires a preceding belief, many materialist ~soyentists~ decided to dump logic and put all their faith in science, creating scientism, a new, and forcefully un-officiated religion.
This dumping of logic in favor of raw empiricism came about after a few enlightenment philosophers and their forebears, one being Nietczhe, decided that logic is rubbish. You don’t even have to go digging in to the past to find this sentiment; even Neil Degrasse Tyson believes that philosophy is useless–and though I happen to agree with him that a philosophy major can mess someone up, that only proves the point that modern academia will hamfist anti-truth and anti-logic memes down your throat until you go insane.
Perhaps this all befuddles you. It should. One can not have real science or empiricism without logic, but such a conclusion is only come to by a logical mind, something which was decidedly lacking during the enlightenment and onward into our post-reality age. Ironic, indeed.
With all of this in mind it becomes very clear that while modern scientists are capable of producing scientific facts, they do not always play by the rules of reason. And since the spirit of the times has been infused–not only in academia, but also in the public square–with a logic-less mindset, it becomes evident that perhaps what is called science is not science, but just a bunch of memes generated by the scientists, and then enforced by the general public as dogma.
Science is a meme.