It is my contention that Science and Scientific Method, which has been developed in the secular west, and nowhere else on Earth, can be considered a form of Authentic or Reliable Knowledge.
It is very important not to then make the mistake of assuming that because scientific method and scientific facts are reliable, therefore scientism, reductionism, or even materialism as a whole must also be. Science itself has nothing to say either for or against the existence of metaphysical realities. What individual scientists may think are simply there own opinions, which are no better or worse than those of any person in the street.
So by reliable knowledge, I am talking purely about (a) scientific method; the means of enquiry first developed by Galileo, Bacon, Newton, and other great founders of empirical science, and developed further by others like Popper etc; and about that vast body of facts that has been acquired by scientific method (and which is usually termed under the rubric of "science")
So, if science says that birds evolved from dinosaurs by means of physical factors of preadaptation, macroevolution, and Darwinian selection, but Creationists deny this because the Bible says the Earth is only about ten thousand years old, Traditionalism denies it because it is not part of the Perennial Philosophy and an academic or progressive thinker who is for example re well up on postmodernism and psychology but has no grounding in science denies it because it doesnt fit in with their own model of evolution; well, I would without hesitation side with Science. Science has the weight of hard evidence on its side; its oponents are speaking only from emotion and because they would rather change the facts to suit the theories, than change the theories to suit the facts.
Science (like metaphysics) is always in a state of flux and revision. One should not then make the mistake of assuming that this does not invalidate the findings of science. It is science's strenght, not its weakness, that it is able to grow and develop, and learn from its mistakes. This is where science is infinitely superior to literalism or fundamentalism of any kind.
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