SOURCE: Vision Media

October 24, 2007 03:00 ET

Vision Media Examines the Ethics & Morality of Scientific Method

Philosophy & Ideas: Is Scientific Method Always Correct?

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - October 24, 2007) - Gene targeting has changed scientific medicine. By permitting experimental testing of hypotheses regarding the function of specific genes in mice, a field of research has been validated, which saw the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to Mario R. Capecchi, Martin J. Evans and Oliver Smithies. A new international consortium has now been established to link together the world's databases of mouse genetics. The research method, as was used in the genetic research, is a useful, if cautious means of building evidence for a scientific hypothesis. Can the scientific method become a moral and an ethical issue when it is used beyond the field of science?

"How we come to know what we know is at the center of an often fierce battle being waged against religious belief," says publisher Dr. David Hulme, in an article called "Sources of Knowledge" at "Several leading writers have recently authored books with the intent of showing that belief in God is irrational, one even describing anyone so disposed as 'stupid.' In this battle, the lines are drawn between knowledge that is based on scientific method and that which is not."

-- Where writers discredit all human knowledge not arrived at via the senses, or subjected to the proofs of scientific method, an error can creep into the equation. For example, scientific method cannot measure a mother's intuitive understanding of what her child feels when he outlives and buries his very first pet.

-- In Scientific Method there is selection of data. If the data is pre-selected to substantiate a favored theory or hidden agenda, like a weighted dice, the ethics and morality of its use can be called into question

-- Animals have developed acute senses different from the five senses scientists use to establish truth in scientific method. Dogs have more highly developed sense of smell than humans; hawks and eagles, more acute eyesight; bats a much wider range of hearing. Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." How much discovery still lies ahead?

"Revelation is a source of knowledge that falls outside the scientific method," says Hulme. "The debate over belief in God will never cease until there is recognition that spiritual knowledge and natural human knowledge differ in kind and origin."

The knowledge gained through our senses corresponds to what we see, hear, feel, taste and touch. When the light of Ethics and Morality is shone on scientific method as used to discredit religion the philosophical issue is -- do writers err and can they do harm when they see scientific method as an absolute?


Based in Pasadena, California, Vision's mission is to give its readers a deeper understanding of the causes of social and philosophical issues with a commitment to accuracy and an honest treatment of the facts of every issue. For more information visit the Vision Media website.

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