[...] When science lost its moral foundation through hostility to religion, it became preyed upon by another corrupting influence: politics. And once infected thus, science slowly transmogrified into scientism, or the religious advocacy (by elites within the scientific, academic, journalistic, and government communities) of consensus-based theories whereby a majority-rule mentality takes the place of the traditional scientific method. Under this system theories need not be proven, only agreed upon, and once agreed upon, these dogmatic beliefs become the stuff of enforced orthodoxy and woe to anyone who dissents from the majority.
This new scientism is then used as a means to justify extreme and dangerous political orthodoxies. It is how the dubious and scientifically unsupported claims (namely that the use of pesticides to control mosquito populations have a catastrophic ripple effect across the food chain) of an obscure writer named Rachel Carson led to the ban on the use of DDT as an insecticide, which in turn resulted in the loss of tens of millions of lives to a disease (malaria) which had been all but eradicated by Western science. The human cost, particularly in Africa, was disregarded by a preening elite of self-satisfied Western secularists who abused science to institute a new and infinitely more insidious form of imperialism affecting mostly poor, third world people. One wonders how long the ban would have lasted had it been Europeans dropping dead by the thousands daily.
Similarly dubious scientific claims are made to oppose such things as over-population, man-made climate change, the use of bio-engineered foods, and nuclear power. These are clearly political movements dressed up as science and have had some truly bizarre results. For example, some proponents of secular scientism are in the weird position of rejecting the consumption by humans of bio-engineered foods while supporting efforts (through cloning, selective abortion, euthanasia, DNA manipulation, embryonic stem-cell cultivation, etc.) to bio-engineer human beings themselves! They then propose to mitigate the unproven harmful effects of the consumption of bio-engineered foods by increasing the malnutrition and starvation which inevitably result from its ban. [...]
They then seek, in spite of the potential cost of millions of lives through the likely increase in poverty caused by the implementation of such radical eco-political policies as the Kyoto Protocols, to limit the potential for global economic growth through their opposition to the use of such technologies as nuclear power and the burning of fossil fuels needed by modern economies by overstating their harmful effects. These restrictions will impact worst those in the developing world least able to withstand the economic repercussions. This is not a magnanimous or moral application of science for the betterment of mankind, this is raw power politics. The cosmopolitan proponents of centralized, global power here seek to use science not to serve, but to control. Coincidence or not, Earth Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of Communist pioneer Vladimir Lenin. It appears green is the new red. [...]
Francis Schaeffer called this paradigm shift of science to scientism, modern science to modern modern science, science within a closed material system.