From the very start I must clarify the inevitable misconception some will interpret from the title of this post. This is not by any means a critique of science itself or of the epistemological reliability of the scientific method. Science is the most reliable method of ascertaining the truth of the nature, behavior, structure, and causal relationships of the physical world. So any response that accuses me of anti-scientific rhetoric is a product of the narrowest of attention spans. What, then, am I critiquing? I am critiquing the philosophy of scient-ism, or the view that the discovery of all objective truth is confined within the boundaries of scientific, empirical observational methodologies.

To understand my critique, it is first necessary to establish an agreeable definition of science itself. Science is the process by which discoveries are made about the natural world by means of empirical observation followed by testable experimentation that yield an inductively ascertained conclusion as to the nature, behavior, structure, and causal relationship of natural phenomenon within that natural world. Compare, now, this definition with the thesis of scientism. Scientism again upholds that all truth can be ascertained by means of the scientific method. But surely, this in itself is not an empirically testable hypothesis. On the contrary, it is philosophical in nature, for it assumes a certain theory of truth itself. Most of us who have not consumed the kool-aid of relativism would agree that truth is a proposition that corresponds to, or reflects, reality. But how can scientism use its only justifiable method, namely, empirical testable observation, to deem the "physical world" synonymous with the entirety of reality? Surely it is conceivable to imagine beings that transcend the physical world. How can mere observation of the physical world rule out realities that lie beyond the realm of the physical world? It cannot, necessarily and by definition. That is not to suggest that the epistemological limitations of science serve as a positive argument for the existence of supernatural phenomenon, but the fact that there are epistemological limitations of science that can be recognized as a truth in and of itself disproves science's exclusive right to the discovery of truth. There are, therefore, truths of the world that can be arrived at through the application of our rational processes as demonstrated by the previous few sentences. This is even contradictorily assumed in the very declaration of scientism itself because science by itself cannot verify its exclusive right to the truth. Its right to epistemological exclusivity, therefore, is a product of a mental, purely rational systematic process which is not by its nature scientific, but philosophical. It is hence self-referentially incoherent and tautologically self-defeating to hold to this view. Ironically, it is not only unscientific but anti-scientific to propose this philosophy because this philosophy is fundamentally and essentially irrational as I just demonstrated, and logic is the connective tissue that binds the cohesive coherency of scientific discovery.

I would hope that this clarification can penetrate the dogmatic barriers of the New Atheist lay and scientific community. They would not necessarily be committed to sacrificing their atheism or even materialism for such a concession. It would only mean that they must have a willingness to at least engage philosophical arguments on their own grounds and not discredit them by virtue of their rational origin. Philosophy is certainly not dead, and the scientific community must realize and embrace this for the sake of its own survival.