Separation of Science and State

Nothing could by more mistaken than the now fashionable attempt to apply the methods and concepts of the natural sciences to the solution of social problems. -Ludwig Von Mises(Planned Chaos P-30)

We all have heard numerous times Rosie O’Donnell screaming on the television about how Catholic judges must not be allowed in SCOTUS(Supreme Court Of The United States) as a measure for separation of Church and State, and I am sure you must have heard a lot and hold an opinion about a clear separation of Church and State. But this article is not about Religion and State, rather its about the undefined separation of Science and State.

What is the meaning of separation of Science and State?

A clear separation of science and state is a legal doctrine means that no government policies are made by keeping Science in mind, no government money must be spent for a specific scientific project. This separation is quite similar to separation of Church and State where government money cannot be used to promote a specific religion, no policies must be made following beliefs of a specific faith, and government and religious institutions are to be kept separate from each other.[1]

The idea of separation of Church and State was first given by Thomas Jefferson(founding father of America, and author of American Declaration of Independence) and championed by James Madison(another founding father of America and principle drafter of United States Bill of Rights).

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” -Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Danbury Baptists[2]

Following this phrase and the guidelines led by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison thus drafted the First Amendment as:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Unfortunately our founding fathers failed to clearly define the “wall of separation” between Science and State. Most of the laws made in United States of America or elsewhere, rely heavily on scientific basis. Massive amount of money is given to scientific funding, hard earned tax payer money is spent on “promoting science and arts”.

What is the problem with intermingling of Science and State?

Science has now become just another form of belief system – There was a time when whatever Royal Academy of Science in London proclaimed, it was considered to be a scientific truth. But with the advent of more and more scientific fronts, and decentralization of scientific research to various countries, there seems to be no clear leader in the field of scientific research, and this has resulted in creation of numerous hotly debated groups of scientists. Those who believe in Big Bang theory, those who don’t, those who believe in Global Warming, those who don’t, those who believe humans are causing global warming those who believe its a natural phenomenon.

Science is more about your faith in it than it is about the objective truth – Today scientific community is merely an agenda provider for the Atheious(as opposed to religious) people. There is a massive debate on Stem Cell research on whether government should fund it or not, the controversy is not whether government should use public money for these things or not, rather whether Stem Cell research kills human life or not. The Global Warming debate is the most famous of them all, there is no substantial evidence to show whether it is being caused by the man made pollution or its merely a natural act. Even if its known with 80% certainty that Global warming is caused by human action, the price to verify this theorem is really high. But here is the deal, if you are leftist, anti-corporationist, occidental apologist, the issue of Global warming is so much a truth to you as the Sun light. If you are a right wing conservative, then Global warming is a complete myth.

Science is merely a propaganda tool for politicians – Politicians like Al Gore use Science for their propaganda purposes, a political tool to rally the left-wing environmentalist, and to be significant again in the politics. In quasi-socialist countries like India, where the govt planners completely fail to provide utilities to people use the environmental propaganda to reduce the consumption. People in Socialist and quasi-socialist countries care more about Environment than people in Quasi-Capitalist and Capitalist countries. Socialist countries manage to completely separate church and state, but because of their failure of clear separation fo science and state, they end up mass murdering their own citizens. The best example in this regard is “Great Chinese Famine(1958-1961)” where the scientific methods of farming(the idea of planting seeds very closely as they will share the nutrition on the socialist model) , and the Great Leap Forward where the govt planners tried to scientifically induce a super fast Industrial revolution, and ended up in the death of millions of poor Chinese.

Are you saying that Science is bad, and you must not listen to Scientific advice?

No, I am not saying anything like that. I believe that there is objective truths. But I do not believe in throwing these truths, or forcing people to follow these truths against their will. I do not support the usage of science or statistics in making any public policy. For example, if scientific studies show that 80% of the black males who are once convicted, end up committing more crimes. Then I am strictly against formation of any policy which throws any black male once convicted of a crime forever in jail.

Drugs are outlawed in America because of lack of clear separation of Science and State. These people who logically harm nobody by using or selling drugs, are thrown in jail with criminals who have actually harmed other people.

Personally speaking you should sure listen to science and reason, if you feel that you are harming the environment, and must take measures to stop it, then yes, do whatever you feel like, but you do not have a right to take a gun, and enter the house of your neighbor and lock him up in your basement for 4 years because he uses more electricity then you think is the right amount for the health of the earth(which would be the case once you pass a law out which prohibits people from using too much electricity or contributing too much in “Global Warming”).
If a doctor says you will become unhealthy if you eat junk food, and if you want to listen to him, you may stop eating junk food, but you have no right to use a gun and prevent other people from buying or selling junk food.

Scientific state no different than or Theosophical state

I think at this point of the article I am losing my readers. Ok lets see it this way. Mixing Science and State is no different than mixing Church and State.
Eating pork is prohibited in Judaism and Islam, but even with a Judeo-Muslim majority pork cannot be banned in America because of clear separation of religion and state.
BUT, the same Judeo-Muslim majority can get Pork products BANNED from America if a Jewish scientist proves that eating pork is harmful for health.

Homosexuality was banned in America until 1970s for religious reasons, and LGBT celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell who go to great depths in criticizing religious Americans and their beliefs. Mainly because conservative America opposes Gay Marriage on the grounds of Culture, Tradition, and Religion. Just as much as I support Rosie O’Donnell on the issue of Gay Marriage, I totally am against on the issue of Environmentalism, where she supports the usage of Science to create oppressive laws against people.
She supports creation of environmental protection laws against Americans.

My question to her is, how is she any different than the religious fundamentalists of America who oppose Gay marriage on the grounds that it will destroy the world and throw it into sin and promiscuity? Lets say tomorrow if scientific opinion finds out that sin exists in physical form and contributes in global warming, would she support re criminalizing Homosexuality on scientific grounds?

In fact lets come on a more basic and realistic preposition. Gays and sexually promiscuous people get more AIDS than straight and sexually moral people. Should we ban homosexuality, adultery and other forms of sexual promiscuity?

Conclusion

There are many political systems who proclaim that the government’s only job is to uphold the objective truths. Sadly the problem with that is, it disastrously arms the government with tools of oppression. We may have been brainwashed into believing that Science is always more logical and reasonable than religion(Note: Merely by using the term, “brainwashed” I am not saying there is anything wrong in believing in Science, or dictating your life with Science), but we must make sure Science and State are clearly separate. Yes we may not get man on the Moon, we may not get the Internet, but if the cost of doing these things is human Liberty and Freedom, then we are running in net Loss. Voluntary human action through Free Market will eventually get us these things with most benefit to maximum number of people.
Therefore I suggest a 28th Amendment in US Constitution, the separation of Science and State.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a scientific opinion or prohibit the free exercise of private property rights on the grounds of scientific reasoning.

Science is competent to establish what is. It can never dictate what ought to be. -Ludwig Von Mises (Planned Chaos)

  1. http://www.historycentral.com/Civics/S.html
  2. http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

11 comments for “Separation of Science and State

  1. July 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    If you’re interested, there is a good article about how Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at this site: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/thomas-jefferson-declaration-of-independence.html and another good one about the Purpose of the Declaration of Independence here: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/purpose-of-declaration-of-independence.html.

  2. renegade_division
    July 21, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I always thought there was weed involved SOMEWHERE when the whole Constitution and Declaration of Independence was being written.

  3. July 27, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Well, I think I agree. Environmentalism becoming a propaganda is quite a reality, and so is vegetarianism. I mean, I have seen people defending individual freedom end up as oppressors when scientific half-truths are the deciding factor. I think we had one such discussion in your community.

  4. vivekanand3435
    March 24, 2009 at 1:05 am

    well ,i think there is no point in separation of science and state since basically science is “what has been proved or can be proved “.We are never forced to join any science factions. Refusal to accept something which has been proved or even if not proved but scientific facts support it is something similar to the cases when churches used to deny the great discoveries in olden days.No doubt that all of lampoon those incidents of past then why we want to support it now.
    The other point that “drug dealer is not harming anybody directly so why should he be imprisoned ?…..” Well a murderer kill one or two person but drug dealers is indirectly involved in mass murder and i would rather incriminate them of mass murder.
    Science has to supported by the states lest the growth of human race should stop only thing is that it should not be biased to any particular school of science.

  5. renegade_division
    March 24, 2009 at 2:22 am

    @vivekanand3435 said:

    well ,i think there is no point in separation of science and state since basically science is “what has been proved or can be proved “.We are never forced to join any science factions.

    Sorry buddy but my article failed to convey its point to you. Secondly your arguments are self-contradictory. You say “there is no point in separating science and state” and later you say “we are never forced to join any science faction”.

    Well the problem is if you are not forced to join any science faction then why shouldn’t there be a separation of science and state?
    The sheer fact that if State makes a law that nobody should eat transfat or use Cannabis(weed), it means that everybody is forced to abide to the science faction which believes that transfat is harmful for the people, and Cannabis should be banned because of its psychedelic effects.

    I mean why do we have separation of state and church?? Because we don’t want one religion to dictate people of other religions.

    If tomorrow Science comes and says that African American people are distorting our gene pool and creating an increase in heart disease risk to the general people of America, would you support a measure to “segregate” all the black people based on a scientific discovery??

    If you say “oh but science cannot be used to prove those things”, well why not? Are you relying on the fact that its never going to happen??

    We have a separation of state and religion, but that doesn’t mean that state follows a largest common denominator of all religions, because there are people who don’t wanna follow any religion.

    You cannot have a law asking all the schools to pray to whichever god they want(but they must pray)  because then what about the people who are atheists? This is why the state was separated from the religion.

    How is it that you are not allowed to ban pork and beef, but if scientifically its proven that pork is harmful to health then the govt doesn’t even wait to blink an eye and bans it?

    How is it govt gets to decide that people must not consume crack cocaine, what about the individual who does not believe that the negative effects of crack cocaine are negative.

    Killing an individual is illegal everywhere not because one of the ten commandments are “thou shalt not kill”, but because its immoral to have one individual devoid life out of another individual.

    Another issue is you are not getting the whole point of separation of science and state, nobody is saying Earth is flat and arguing against science with religion, instead what I am saying here is that creating a law that everybody must study “earth is flat” and punish individuals for believing otherwise is no different from what Church did.

    People are free to believe any religion they want, but state has no right to create a law abiding a specific religion. Similarly, people are free to follow whatever science they want, teach their kids in scientific schools teach them that earth is being warmed by human, and environment is being destroyed by cow farts, its just that the STATE must not be in a position to force its a scientific opinion on others.

  6. vivekanand3435
    March 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    first of all i apologize for misinterpreting your article……i agree with your point that science and state should be separated but only till a scientific fact is not substantiated , once it has been proved and can be demonstrated anywhere, at any point of time then debarring government from enforcing it as a law is as good as taking away the judicial system’s authority to  sentence a proven criminal.
    The main reason behind SEPARATION OF STATE AND RELIGION is that religious believes are mere faith based on mythology or some anecdotes for which we do not have any substantial proof .  These faiths are like UFOs(unidentified flying objects ),which are only heard of but cannot be produced when demanded. If God or Allah or Bhagwan (for hindus) start appearing in physical world whenever  & wherever they are required… no doubt the things would change as happens with proven facts of science.
    So if the ill effect of drug ,of pork has been proved and  if we can prove that African American people are distorting American gene pool and creating an increase in heart disease risk to the general people of America, then state will have to implement some stern laws to ensure safety of society ,like the head of family would do for better future of family members . After all we have a WELFARE STATE.
    So the bottom line is that state and science should be kept separate till a fact is yet to be proved.

  7. renegade_division
    March 26, 2009 at 1:18 am

    @Vivekanda3435 Said:

    i agree with your point that science and state should be separated but only till a scientific fact is not substantiated , once it has been proved and can be demonstrated anywhere, at any point of time then debarring government from enforcing it as a law is as good as taking away the judicial system’s authority to sentence a proven criminal.

    I am sorry dude but I still disagree with the above proposition.
    If a scientific demonstrable fact proves that rape is good for the health of women, no moral scale can justify a rape.
    I don’t care whether a scientific fact has been substantiated or not, no scientific fact can trump an individual’s choices, his beliefs and his decisions.
    If Alcohol is bad for your body and its a very widely substantiated fact it does not give any govt any right to ban it or prevent me from using it.
    Its different issue that they can prevent me from drinking AND driving on PUBLIC ROADS, but that’s not a matter of science, its just that by drinking and driving I might kill someone, and violate that individual’s rights.
    Drunk driving is immoral not because its scientifically proven that drinking is harmful to a person’s health or it causes a person to act irrationally and reduces his response time.

    The main reason behind SEPARATION OF STATE AND RELIGION is that religious believes are mere faith based on mythology or some anecdotes for which we do not have any substantial proof.

    I am sorry but you are wrong on this one too. The separation of state and religion was instilled not because of Mythological beliefs of religions but to install a secular state and all every individual to practice his religion.
    The first amendment says:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….
    The congress is expressly prohibited from making a law about an establishment of a religion.
    The congress is expressly prohibited from making a law about prohibiting the free exercise of a religion.

    That is the congress must not endorse or prohibit a religion. Not  because of what religions believe but because establishing or prohibiting any religion will result in a violation of an individual’s right to follow his religion.

    Similarly, by establishing a law about a scientific opinion, irrespective of its degree of provability, the state violates an individual’s property rights and right to have his own scientific opinion.

    There are numerous cancer patients(specially bone marrow cancer) who cannot bear the pain without smoking weed. There are numerous old people whose life become easy by smoking weed. But all these uses are banned in America because American govt considers Marijuana harmful.

    If a person wants to smoke weed, it should be his right to do that.

    So if the ill effect of drug ,of pork has been proved and  if we can prove that African American people are distorting American gene pool and creating an increase in heart disease risk to the general people of America, then state will have to implement some stern laws to ensure safety of society ,like the head of family would do for better future of family members . After all we have a WELFARE STATE.

    I am sorry dude, but I gotta let you know that if these are actually your beliefs then you are a FASCIST.
    Why did Hitler killed 6 million Jews?? Because he was simply believing that he was purifying his kingdom(taking care of his Fatherland). Go read Mein Kampf(if you haven’t already) and you will find yourself agreeing with his ideas a lot(the superiority of a race is a scientific concept, not a religion concept).
    You are on a very wrong website, our every single viewpoint is against such mentality(the welfare/nanny state, the societal/national notions etc).

  8. July 4, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    usually i don’t write comments in blogs but this time i had to. thank you for the usefull info you give!

  9. January 12, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    So, are you saying that we shouldn’t take science into account when making defense policy and choosing which defense technology to implement? If “no government policies are made by keeping Science in mind,” then we’re pretty much stuck with nothing more than fists and fingernails, because technology can’t be evaluated without evaluating the science behind it.

  10. January 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I cannot believe what I’m reading on this website. Pure absurdity is what I’m seeing here.

    “Science has now become just another form of belief system”

    “Science is more about your faith in it than it is about the objective truth”

    You need to think more critically.
    Science and religion are totally different. Science cannot replace religion and vice versa. They’re not opposites, so don’t feel threatened by it. Science explains the who, what, where, when, how VERY well. Religion explains the why rather well. Science not so well, in many cases. We don’t understand a lot of things, but science helps us.

  11. January 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    In response to this:
    “Science has now become just another form of belief system”

    Science is not a belief system AT ALL. Science is how we not only prove ideas, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, disprove them. Science is rigorous, methodical, and consistent. Science tests ideas and looks for patterns. Science is peer reviewed and open to critical analysis and debate.

    “Science is more about your faith in it than it is about the objective truth”

    I dare say this is your subjective opinion, which is very unscientific. Good science has no faith in test results and is unbiased. Good science will publish results and hope their peers can confirm or refute them. In the case of the faster than light particle (god particle) discovered at CERN recently, scientists published their results and are ASKING their peers to review it to look for flaws. They are not asking anyone to have faith in their results. This is good science. There is also bad science, or junk science and in general it is referred to as “conspiracy theories”. There is bad religion which we call “ultra-orthodox” or “extremism”.

    Please avoid comparing science with religion. They’re uncomparable.

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