I always cringe, at least inwardly, when I hear somebody say, “I don’t believe in science.” I know that I’m not the only one who does. I say it as well, but not for the same reasons.
It’s been my experience when I hear that said, I take it to mean, “I find (insert scientific concept her) so far beyond my understanding that I reject it without pursuing it any farther.” It becomes a de facto argument from incredulity.
When I say, “I don’t believe in science.” I mean something totally different. What I am trying to convey is that Science, in all of its legitimate forms, isn’t a belief system. Science “works” by hypothesis formation, experimentation, observation, reforming hypothesis, rinse and repeat. There isn’t a place for belief because belief, and I’m talking religious belief in this context, is the assertion that one can call something true that one have never observed.
I was raised Roman Catholic. There is a tradition in the Church of Transubstantiation. The belief that during Mass that the wine is turned into the blood of Christ, and the bread is turned into the body of Christ. I remember growing up and Sister Rose Andre telling the class, as we prepared for our First Eucharist, that while these may still look like bread and wine, they are really the body and blood of Jesus. At that time, I did believe precisely that. There was no observable change. We just took it as truth. There is no harm in that belief. There is also no scientific basis for it.
That is the crux of what I’m saying. We believe as true what we can’t experience through our senses. We believe Transubstantiation is truth.
We know from our personal experience that the grass is green, water is wet and when I bounce my head off the sidewalk, it hurts like all get out. That’s empirical. That’s also Science, sort of.
My point is this: One is welcome to believe anything she, he, they want to. I have no problem with that. My problem lies where people substitute out belief for observation and that line blurs.