“..Don’t you believe in Science?” she asked. She was a devoted member of the Party of Science — the party that doesn’t recognize that men and women are different. “No,” I said. “I am a scientist. I
practice science, I don’t believe in it.” For more than half a century I have been a professional physicist. Professional — that means someone pays me to practice my craft.
Far too many people believe that science is some mysterious entity which speaks in oracles and delivers miraculous new toys for people to marvel at and play with. This form of Science is a Cargo Cult. This Science is a kind of benevolent deity to be worshiped without understanding and without questioning.
Others have correctly pointed out that science is not a thing. Science actually is a methodology. It employs a dialog among competing ideas about the nature of reality. Intellectual independence and controversy is an essential part of the process.
This dialog can only be resolved through experiment. Only with intellectual freedom can experiments be defined which will show which ideas are correct and which are not. As Richard Feynman famously said: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.”
Without freedom of thought and speech, without opposition and testing, science is a mere catalogue of previous discovery. Without full intellectual freedom Science is dead. It has become Science. It has become ritual.
Unfortunately, some misuse science. Some of their intentions, are far from benevolent. They see science as a mechanism for political power and control. There is great danger from those who would use science for political control over us.
How do they do this? They instil, and then continuously magnify, fear. Fear is the most effective instrument of totalitarian control…”