As a manager in two life science companies, I am the first to admit that I did not receive a scientific education during my schooling. In fact, much of what I’ve learned has come from on-the-job experience: my interactions with medical, research and quality professionals who have dedicated their lives to the science of healing and self-education whenever the need arose in relation to challenges or opportunities we have faced over the years.
As a political science major, the hard sciences always intrigued me. Their constants, laws and conclusions always seemed so much more rigorous than the general principles we used while examining political systems, political behavior and culture. The more I learn about the hard sciences, however, the less sure I am of my initial assessment.
It’s not the their methods are flawed from what I can tell; their logic is brilliant. The scientific method is a beautiful thing, really, and the process of scientific enquiry is one of the most rigorous of any human intellectual activity. The problem, I think, is more one of attitude and underlying assumptions than of technique.
Modern science, for instance, assumes the world is primarily mechanistic. Men of science have strived since the Renaissance to determine the underlying mechanisms of all things, animate and inanimate, while dismissing the notion that there could be more to creation than meets the eye (or the electron microscope).
Traditional botanical medicine, as example, has long provided useful remedies to a wide variety of imbalances in the human body and mind. Modern science is in the process of trying to identify the individual components which are the “active” ingredients which produce an obvious effect on the biochemistry of he body, as is done in pharmaceutical preparations. My fear is that the mechanistic thinking will likely cause the scientists who discover part of the answer to assume that that is all there is to it. Much is lost on this basis.