Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some things Science can't measure

Scientism is that really odd philosophy which maintains that, if Science can't measure or examine it, it's not real. Of course, this isn't a scientific statement; it's a philosophy, and not real by its own definition (in twenty-dollar words, it's "self-referentially incoherent"). But just to give a taste of how ridiculous the proposition is, let me ask a few questions:

  • How long in angstroms is sarcasm?
  • What is the specific gravity of justice?
  • What's the net present value of the US victory over the Soviet Union team in the 1980 Winter Olympics hockey playoffs?
  • What's the parallax of a Kodak moment?
I'm not a trained philosopher—my major was in sociology—but even I know such a position is dumb.