Is Science a faith?

Dear Weird Sly Kip:
I am 8 years old.
Some of my christian friends say that Science is a faith.
Papa says, “If you see it in what-i-beieve, it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth, is Science a faith?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street

No Virginia Science is not a faith!

~Ah, VIRGINIA, your little christian friends are wrong. They have been affected by faith in a scientific age. They do not believe despite all the benefits of science. Vaccines, Air travel, the microprocessor, the engine, telephones, longer lives, surgeons who wash their hands, food that is not filled with bacteria and the Internet. Why Virginia even the fact that we know about bacteria and can share that data globally is from scientific inquiry, not an outmoded belief system like Roman Catholicism. Your Christian friends thinks scientists are as narrow minded as they are, they cannot see beyond the end of their cute little noses. Nothing will shatter belief in magical thinking other than education.

~All minds, VIRGINIA, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of man our job is to discover the true nature of God, not believe silly superstitions. The true nature of God does not come from faith but from honest inquiry. Individually our intellect is tiny and its only through building on the shoulders of scientific giants, men like Spinoza, Galileo, Copernicus that we build a better world. You can judge the truth of religious people by their accomplishments. Theocracies are always cruel and drab, less developed than secular democracies as measured by the standard of living that comes from the grasping of the whole of truth and searching for knowledge.

~Yes, VIRGINIA, Science is the key and no it is not a faith. The love of science leads to generosity and devotion to truth, and you know that the benefits of science abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Science, if the Roman Catholic church still burned heretics, if they insisted the sun revolves around the earth. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIA’S, and with a questioning mind like yours you probably would have been burned at the stake, not be allowed to dance or be joyous. We would have no enjoyment just submission, the eternal light inside of us snuffed out by rigid dogma and servitude.

~No, you do not have faith in Science. If you believe in science you might as well believe in fairies! Its not through belief that science succeeds but through the organizing and building of knowledge in the form of testable explanations. Its the testing that matters. You might get your papa to hire men to watch out for the second coming, or count the number of times someone predicts it, then you will have a testable proof of the lies of most religions. But those with faith would still not believe you.

~ And that’s okay, that’s what faith is all about, its not about testing its about comfort for people who cannot think for themselves. Nobody will ever see the second coming, but that is not proof that there is no Second coming, the most real things to those filled with faith are those things that neither children nor men can see.

~Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen but with science we can categorize what we know and test hypothesis to prove our ideas, building on the work of others and building for others in the future. Tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, experiment, think, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot make a contribution to the betterment of mankind; push aside that curtain of ignorance and view the supernal beauty and glory of truth and reason. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

~Science built on faith, only a child who does not know what science is would make such a claim Virginia. Science is not built on faith and you should not have faith in it, you should question it, constantly, make it better, for truth lives forever. A thousand years from now, VIRGINIA, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, science will continue to make glad the heart of children everywhere when one day it cures all cancer.

~Originally from The Sun, September 21, 1897 with some edits and updates. A certain amount to literary license must be allowed to enjoy.

Weird Sly Kip April 2022

a particular discipline or branch of learning, especially one dealing with measurable or systematic principlesintuition; A conviction, or belief that something is true, not contingent upon reason or justification.
~The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
~Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
~A systematic method or body of knowledge in a given area.
~Belief in a proposition or for which there is no evidence;
~Belief based upon the authority of another, rather than reason.
~Earnest confidence.
~perception of invisible objects
Physics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Chemistry, Anatomy, Biology, Zoology, Neurobiology, Embryology, Paleontology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Ethology,Meteorology, Geology, Atmospheric Sciences, Glaciology, Climatology
Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, Zoroastrianism, Unitarian Universalism, Jainism, Shinto, Satanism, Scientology, Taoism, Yoruba, paganism, Juche, Cao Dai, Confucianism, Spiritism,

The Scientific Method

1: An hypothesis is put forward
2: The hypothesis fit well with other accepted facts related to the phenomena.
3: Predictions that are testable by experiment or observation are made.
4: Predictions are subject to experimentation as proof under controlled conditions as appropriate to prove or disprove.
5: Once the hypothesis is proven it becomes a theory. Theories are subject to correction and revision if new information is available.

This is the error correcting nature of science.

The Faith Method

1: Someone claims God told them how to live; a religious order is created that records the revelation.
2: Disbelievers are shunned, burned alive, disemboweled or enslaved.
3: Those left agree to the new terms, give 10% to the religious order, maybe more to a King and Queen who fully enslave all.
4: Children are raised, taught to have faith, to never question the divine words and to hate non believers. Repeat.

If enforced mercilessly it never corrects itself.