When someone says that to you, ask them What do you mean by “science”?

Chances are they will not have a definition.

That means they use the “science” word as a marketing slogan. They honestly do not know how feng shui could be a science.

A science works with what is observable and measurable.

A science uses diagnostic tools that measure things.

A science follows a line of reasoning, typically something like the following.

  1. All research yields claims of knowledge.
  2. Claims — that is, conclusions — from all research are often underdetermined by the data, which means that there will be more than one explanation that is compatible with the evidence.
  3. Claims are defended, not proved.
  4. To defend a claim you gather a lot of good reasons (evidence) on behalf of the claim.
  5. There is no absolute justification of knowledge by either experience or reason.

For feng shui to be a science then its practitioners should have the following:

  • Research that identifies claims to some knowledge. That means someone can’t make up something or invent something; they have to show a logical line of reasoning.
  • A stout defense of claims. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” as Carl Sagan said. If someone invents a feng shui concept, or claims something as ancient wisdom, they should be able to clearly explain where it came from and how it fits into the rest of the available evidence.
  • Testing and proof. People cannot rely on experience or reasoned arguments to defend claims. They cannot use testimonials to prove anything.

If feng shui is a science then …

  • Feng shui uses diagnostic tools — no one uses intuition or psychic abilities to analyze a building.
  • The effects of feng shui are observable and carefully documented. Others can read that documentation.
  • The evidence can be analyzed by someone else.
  • There are no claims to “sacred wisdom” or “sacred knowledge” or anything similar.
Posted in: MythsComments Off on Myth: Feng shui is a science.