First of all, science was originally called natural philosophy. Although we have a shorter name for it now, we could just as well still call it by that name.
Secondly, philosophy itself is what defines science. To put it another way, what you and I call science is defined, either implicitly or explicitly, by a philosophy of science. Your philosophy of science is apparently somewhat different than mine, but it is a philosophy nonetheless.
The main difference between you and me on this matter is that I recognize that I have my own philosophy of science, whereas you dont even recognize that science is defined by philosophy. You think that science somehow stands above philosophy, which is profoundly wrong. And that is why so much of what you write on these threads in also profoundly wrong.
What I have said any number of times on these threads is that philosophy has been left in the dust by science.
Philosophy can..., well, philosophize, all it wants, but unless it can link its methods and results to something real, it is all just a mental experiment, with every practitioner having his/her own opinion, most of which disagree with one another. But philosophy does not and can not bring concrete evidence (e.g., the natural world) into the discussion because such evidence is no longer a part of philosophy.
You say, "philosophy itself is what defines 'science.' Sorry to have to break this to you, but most scientists pay no attention to the ramblings of philosophy. Philosophy has been saying this and that for millennia, to little effect, but the scientific revolution a couple of hundred years ago took place largely because folks started ignoring philosophy and a lot of the other fuzzy subjects and started relying on the rationality and scientific method. You might say that science defined itself as a vastly different field from philosophy, and that has made a world of difference.
But philosophy and philosophers always seem to be whining, "But, but... we were here first! Pay attention to us. Please. Pleeeeeeease! Just a little! (Sob!)"
You have a very mistaken notion of what “philosophy” is. The post you just wrote is philosophy, for example. Bad philosophy, but philosophy nonetheless.
If scientists don’t pay any attention to philosophy, then they cannot possibly be good scientists. What we call the “scientific method” is itself a philosophy. If scientists don’t understand that, they are lost.
To say that science has passed up philosophy is a bit like saying that your shadow has passed you.
And as I said earlier, until you understand this, you have no hope in the world of understanding that your naturalistic premise is bad philosophy *and* bad science. Naturalism as a hypothesis is fine, but as a premise it is nothing more than a dogma.
Sorry, but dogma does not belong in science — whether it makes you feel good or not.
But philosophy does influence the interpretation of the data.
Facts are facts, as far as we know them, until some other *fact* comes along to contradict it, but anything beyond that is going to be colored by one's world view. Scientists are not inherently objectively neutral simply because science is perceived to be. Science can perhaps be reduced to a purely mechanical system of observation but the subjective factor of the scientists observations and conclusions would render it incapable of being entirely neutral. The only way that can happen is if science can be divorced from human interference; scientists, if you will.
Russ P is right. You do have a philosophy of life. Everyone does.
1. It has no defintion of "something real"; and
2. It is a statement of faith.
1. If by "something real" you mean "those things that can be perceived by the senses", then that is fine, but please realize that sensory perceptions are entire subjective in nature. There is no way to demonstrate that the figures displayed upon a gauge, measuring rod, or scale you may be reading bear any relation to anything "real" at all. There is similarly no way to demonstrate without a doubt that anything you may see, hear, smell, touch, or taste has any existence outside of your own mind. For all you know there is no physical world "out there". For all you know this is all a dream.
2. Your criterion for "truth" seems to be "only those statements demonstrable via the scientific method are True". Unfortunately for you, however, the statement "only those statements demonstrable via the scientific method are True" is itself not demonstrable via the scientific method. Therefore, your own definition of Truth is self-refuting and meaningless. You may believe that only those statements demonstrable via the scientific method are True, but you cannot demonstrate the truth of that statement via the scientific method; therefore, the statement "only those statements demonstrable via the scientific method are True" is a statement of faith, not of objective truth.
All worldviews proceed from undemonstrated and undemonstrable axioms. The scientific worldview proceeds from the axiom that "a material reality external to the human mind exists and can be postively known through observation". This is a commonsense axiom, and one I share, but make no mistake: it is an axiom. I happen to believe that a material reality external to the human mind exists and can be postively known through observation, but the truth of that statement cannot be demontrated. I take the existence of the physical, knowable universe on faith as do you.
If one cannot rely on the evidence of the senses as the criteria for Truth, how then can we know Truth? We can know it through logic. We can know one thing for certain our own existence because we do not apprehend our existence via our senses. We do not "see" ourselves, "feel" ourselves, "taste" "touch" or "hear ourselves". We are ourselves. We experience our own existence directly, immediately, without recourse to the senses. Anesthetize a man, drop him in a sensory deprivation tank, and otherwise cut him off from all sensory input, and he may come to doubt the existence of the outside world but he continues to exist. We need no ear to hear ourselves think; we can see with our mind's eye even in a pitch-black room. Thus the basic truth of philosophy as formulated by Réne Descartes becomes obvious: cogito, ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am".
For the Christian, the fundamental axiom of thought might be stated as "God exists, and sent His Son, Jesus, to save mankind from destruction". We can demonstrate the existence of Jesus and His miracles using historical, eyewitness documentary evidence, but of course we have no way of "proving" the Christian faith via science. One cannot put God under a microscope, after all; He transcends space and time, matter and energy. The Christian worldview, however, does not depend entirely upon an unprovable axiom, for we can know the Truth behind it in an absolute way the same way we can absolutely know the Truth of our own existence. We can know God exists through direct experience not by means of our senses, but directly. We do not see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or otherwise sense the existence of God; we can join with Him and experience His presence directly. Not every believer has experienced God in this direct way, of course; for most, God is known via reason (i.e. via the evidences of His existence, intellectual faith, and logical necessity). A select few humans, however, are permiitted to contact the Divine Presence directly, intimtely, knowing Him in the same way they know themselves. We call such people "saints".
If quantum physics proves anything, it proves that the universe is not a blind clockwork, a deterministic machine made of dead matter. At their most fundamental level, space, time, matter, and energy are impossible to quantify precisely, and are thus "real" in a way that is more than merely the sum of their physical descriptors. Just as the universe is real at a level beyond our ability to observe, so too is the human mind. The brain may be the organ by which our consciousness contacts physical reality, but the brain is not the mind. The map is not the territory. Human consciousness has its foundation somewhere beyond all this somewhere outside of nature and, therefore, so does Truth.
Which is probably one of the silliest statements imaginable. As others have said, it leaves you with both feet planted firmly in the air. Every statement you make about science is rife with philosophical presuppositions. The problem is that "science" today operates in an overwhelming presupposition of naturalism, so that when you challenge those presuppositions, you get the same tired old cant about putting up the lab equipment and "praying about it" or other such rubbish.
Not at all. Science is a branch of philosophy descended from street-smart Aquinas. Thomists.