“The fundamental choice is not whether humans will have faith, but rather what the objects of their faith will be, and how far and into what dimensions this faith will extend.” -Matt Emerson
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Matt Emerson asserts that science is faith-based, since scientists believe that the predictions of their theories will be borne out. It’s true that faith, by definition, is the belief in an outcome for which we cannot be certain. Indeed, we could not have been certain that LIGO would have found gravitational waves, nor that Einstein’s predictions for their properties would have been correct.
But the claim that science is faith-based not only misunderstands the nature of science and the scientific process, but ignores the facts that scientific “beliefs” are based in the full suite of evidence available, and that as more and better evidence becomes available, those beliefs change accordingly. The true separator of science from faith is how far you’re willing to test your most deeply held beliefs, and whether you’ll change your conclusions when the evidence compels you to do so.