Is science really as neutral and objective as scientists claim? Let me for arguments sake use the example of "ghosts". When a person lives in a country with wide-spread belief in the supernatural they are more likely to interpret a strange event as having a supernatural component. We can say that they are not analysing the event in an objective way, but are interpreting it from the biased mindset that "the supernatural exists". A scientist looking at the same event would not have such cultural assumptions; but he is interpreting the event on the basis of what he already knows about science (ex, That cognitive processes have a biological basis, that immaterial beings violate the laws of physics as they are currently understood, etc.) Now we know from history that many scientific theories which had the support of the entire scientific community turn out to inconsistent with empirical observation in some way and require modification or to be discarded entirely. Similarly, some theories which were once considered wacky (ex. string theory) go on to gain more support in the scientific community. So the scientist interprets the same event from a mindset which (according to sheer probability) has at least some erroneous assumptions. Can we really say his perspective is completely neutral and objective?

This is an excellent question. Science aims for both objectivity and truth. Sometimes science fails to be objective (for example, when scientists ignore important evidence, or lack evidence) and sometimes scientific theories fail to be true (for example, Newtonian mechanics turns out not to be true from an Einsteinian perspective) but lack of objectivity is different from falsity. Now let's turn to your case of reasoning about ghosts. If a person has an experience that seems to be due to the supernatural" then that experience is deserving of scientific explanation. In a society with less scientific knowledge than ours, the explanation might be that the cause of the experience is a ghost. That explanation would be incorrect, but not lacking in objectivity (the people in that society are reasoning objectively, given their beliefs and their evidence). The "supernatural" is not automatically "unscientific;" in fact what we count as supernatural changes as science changes. Newton, for example, used "occult forces" to explain gravitation, something that was regarded as appealing to the supernatural in the very mechanistic physics of his time. Our views about ghosts should depend on the evidence we get, interpreted against the background of our current scientific knowledge. I've never seen a ghost myself, and I think ghost sightings are likely to be illusions created by overactive imaginations. But I might be wrong. That does not mean that I'm lacking in objectivity.

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