You have so called "social sciences", but they are pretty much useless otherwise there would be someone paying them a lots of money to figure out what will happen next for example in the Middle East.
Sciences are very limited once you get a human being with free will into the equation. And then you multiple that by culture than by genes then by experiences and then by 6 billion.
I love history. And the main reason for my love of history is love of science fiction. If Nazi Germany never happened, don't you think that the whole story would make amazing science-fiction? How you apply scientific method to history? You can analyze, but as soon as you do your results/opinions will be different than anybody else's at least at some level. It's not like we all know 2+2=4. Now try Why people voted for Hitler? Good luck with your fixed narrow-minded analytical mindset to figure this one out. You can have debates for years about it and still you won't know for sure anything. Science is for people who want the right answer right away. Life is more complex than that simplistic view.
A simplistic view is assuming that scientists (and for that matter geeks/math guys/programmers) see things in 0-s and 1-s, strictly defined terms, etc. Math and science are much better equipped to handle fuzziness and lack of precision than any kind of "common sense" or soft whatever. It's just the other way around - handwaving at things because they are fuzzy and complex is a simplistic thing. Approaching them with combined might of all the advances in understanding and technology is what scientists do (or at least should do).
Hence why, for example, Economics is also not a science.
Much of what we think about "big data" and applied statistics were pioneered in Sociology departments.
Anthropolology informed how businesses do intercultural communication. I know a professor who did a side project for a multinational about connotations based on color and imagery in their products and how a particular culture would relate.
And I know for a fact that the CIA hires out of regional studies departments. So yes, the government is paying people trained in the social sciences a lot of money to figure out what will "happen next" in the Middle East..
It doesn't follow from "nobody pays social scientists" that "social science is useless", if it were true there could be many reasons why nobody paid for research in the social sciences.
But in fact someone is paying them a lot of money for them to figure out what will happen next for example in the middle east, e.g.
> Sciences are very limited once you get a human being with free will into the equation. And then you multiple that by culture than by genes then by experiences and then by 6 billion.
Free will, if it exists, isn't the problem that the scientific method has when dealing with people. Any system as complex as a person has too many variables to be able to control in an experiment.
I'd consider widespread adoption of that worldview to be the sign of a culturally advanced civilisation, and it's opposite to be the sign of a backwards one.
Science is just the study of the natural world as we observe it. Naturalism precludes anything beyond the natural world, but does so on the basis of speculation, for we have no tools of reason with which to make such an assertion.
The tools of science and philosophy cannot be used to reach beyond the natural world. They were never intended for it. They are not suited for it. By definition, science would not presume to be interested in it, and philosophy would fail to grasp it.
From our side, we can't rationally say that the supernatural exists, and we can't rationally say that it doesn't.
Hence Carl Sagan:
"An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence."
So we can be agnostics, but we can't be atheists, not rationally at least.
But while from our side, we can't reach out, that's not to say the supernatural, should it exist, can't reach out and reveal itself in a way that would make sense to us and give us a rational basis for belief, for instance if the supernatural were to collide with our natural world in an extraordinary event.
The tool to tackle this then would be history. As a Christian, I believe that the right place to start digging is the historical accounts of those who saw the life, death and resurrection of Christ, in history. Did it happen? What does it mean?
There are several definitions for scientism in the article, they are all different, some are conflicting. My comment was about the definition in the quote, I know that science and naturalism are not the same thing.
I hope not to be opposed by anyone if I suggest defining science as the investigation of empirical structures, with the purpose of formulating structurally-similar semantic representations using words and other symbols (laws, theories, generalizations, formulae, etc). We readily see how science is nothing else than the mature, appropriate behaviour of a healthy human nervous system. Fundamentally, scientists are preoccupied with sanity, really: day in, and day out, they spend their time co-ordinating ideas with facts. Their job, their contribution to society is adjustment to facts.
Now, if, for example, we would repeatedly find ourselves stumbling, we would turn to professional athletes for inspiration; it follows similarly that, for the sake of sanity and adjustment, the methods, conduct and results of scientists are of interest to us all.
The Wikipedia article doesn't really provide any clear, explicit, concise argument against the so-called "scientism". In my opinion, the article reflects the struggle of a curious group of people: people with an inflated sense of self-worth, fuelled by a gratuitous use of words ("logolatry" is the name for it, and it's always nice, btw, to discover that an ancestor summarised personal observations of mine with a single word!).
In any case, I trust that one can only retard the natural functioning of his, and others' nervous systems – never abolish it.
Econometrics and psycho-economics have just overturned the rational actor model that was the mainframe of classical economics. Maybe they'll add more empirical methods as well.