It's amusing when anti-scientific true believers get on their fundamentalist soapboxes. I've had a good time reading the nonsensical comments on my spiritual pseudo-science post.
I'll try to avoid sounding too condescending here, though I agree with biologist PZ Myers when he responded to a creationist with "I'll be condescending when condescension is deserved."
First -- and probably most importantly -- everybody uses the scientific method in their everyday lives. Otherwise it would be impossible to live any sort of normal life. So those who criticize how science works are hypocrites, unless they also are criticizing themselves.
Here's a simple depiction of the scientific method. It's a looping, circular process of Theory - Prediction - Experiment - Observation.
I try to turn on my TV. I'm met with a blank screen. What to do? I come up with some theories. Set got unplugged. I'm pressing the wrong button on the remote control. I'm holding the wrong remote. TV is broken. Power is off.
If any of these theories is correct, my prediction is that dealing with the problem will cause the TV to turn on. So I start experimenting. And observe what happens.
What I don't do is sit on the couch and say to myself, "It's God's will. Nothing I can do about it. Except pray."
I don't expect that a miracle will cause the TV to start working again. I assume that I can learn some facts and use that knowledge to, hopefully, start watching a favorite show.
Scientists simply use the same common-sense approach in a more rigorous and organized fashion, applying the scientific method to considerably more complicated subjects.
Second, note that the description above the diagram says:
The scientific method uses objective experimentation to predict, verify, or refute, an assertion made by a theory.
"Objective" means that the experiment isn't dependent on a particular subject, or person, which would make it subjective rather than objective.
It doesn't matter whether I, my wife, or a TV repairman checks the plug, remote control, circuit breakers, and such. Each of us is observing the same things, and should come up with the same results if we do the same experiment.
Which can be demonstrated to other people, another meaning of "objective." If I can't figure out what the problem is with the TV, I can call in an expert and show him what I've tried already.
"See, the plug is in. The surge protector power light is on. This is the right remote control, and other functions are working." And so on.
But obviously not everything in life has an objective quality that makes it amenable to investigation through the scientific method. This gets us to...
Third, there are subjective and objective domains of reality. So there is subjective truth, and there also is objective truth. It's ridiculous when people say, "Science can't know everything."
Science doesn't know how the coffee I just took a sip of tastes to me. Science doesn't know how I'm feeling emotionally right now. In fact, science doesn't have a clue about anything I'm aware of, because consciousness is a subjective phenomenon.
Scientists have inner lives, just as we all do. I've read lots of science books and regularly peruse several science magazines. I spend two years working on a Ph.D. in Systems Science. I've never come across a scientist who denies the reality of subjective conscious experience.
So this is a non-issue, the claim by science skeptics that science can't know everything. It doesn't attempt to.
Scientific knowledge concerns the shared realm of objective truth where demonstrable evidence can be displayed and communicated to other people, leading to a public assessment of whether observed facts fit the prediction of some theory.
Science isn't out to deny the reality of subjective sensual impressions -- sounds, sights, tastes, feelings, odors, and such. Nor is it out to deny other private experiences that comprise the conscious reality of every person's existence.
The scientific method merely says, "If you can't show me the demonstrable evidence that supports a theory, I won't accept it as being objective truth."
Liking strawberries more than bananas still can be your subjective truth. As can your belief in God, angels, heaven, astral travel, divination, the Eight Holy Veils of Her Most Illustrious Visage, or whatever else resides within the private confines of your psyche.
Including experiences of any or all of the above, plus any other possible subjective experience. Science just wants you to bring back some convincing evidence if you want other people to accept that your subjective experience reflects the nature of an objective reality.
Hey, that's not too much to ask, is it?
Yet for many religious true believers, it is. They want others to accept their metaphysical pronouncements -- Jesus saves, God is good, karma crushes carnivores, the soul survives bodily death -- without any evidence.
Subjective truth doesn't need evidence. If I say to you, "I like strawberries more than bananas," you're going to accept my personal like.
But if I claim, "Strawberries are tastier than bananas, so you should eat more of them," then likely I've got an argument on my hands. You'd be entirely justified in replying, "Well, maybe to you; I feel differently."
As I often say on this churchless blog, I've got no problem with "I like..." when it comes to religiosity. It's saying "I'm right..." that gets me irritated. (See my post on this subject.)
I get this image of a pick-up basketball game. A guy stands by the court, talking trash to the players.
You guys got nothing! No game at all. Shit, I could play circles around you. You'll be standing in my dust, wondering how that dunk just slammed over your candy-ass'es.
The players who are actually showing their stuff say, "Dude, come on. Show us what you've got." In this metaphor they're the scientists, the ones who want to put the guy's I'm-better-than-you theory to the test.
But he's a religious true believer.
He talks a good game, and maybe inside his head he is playing a great subjective game of basketball. However, he isn't able to show his stuff in the outside physical world where people have shared experiences.
So there's no reason to believe that he can do what he claims. The players go back to their scientific method game. If the guy ever wants to join in, great. Standing on the sideline and talking trash, though, doesn't earn any respect from those who are actually in the game.