Robert H. is an old friend of mine from high school. We had this exchange:
Robert H. to Donald Wharton
“Has anyone designed and implemented a double-blind experiment that is capable of falsifying whether or not double-blind experiments are valid? Or would that be an exercise in circular logic? Maybe such a question is just pure nonsense; but it does challenge one to ponder the notions of axioms and undefined terms. Also: Is Scientism a religion?”
Robert, it is not possible to prove anything about the universe based on logic alone. Our knowledge about the universe is totally contingent on the data we have. Logic is a useful tool in abstracting and verifying the knowledge we can derive from our evidence. One cannot using logic by itself
We know that double-blind experiments are better than those that are not double blind because of the overwhelming empirical evidence that biases can migrate into data if the researcher has knowledge of their subjects treatment(s). The proof of relative efficacity rests on our knowledge of how unreliable things become without this tool. Even with the use of double blind trials there are substantial problems due to selection bias. Pharmaceutical companies run double blind tests that show their experimental drugs do not work or are harmful. If they don't like the results they can just do another double-blind test and if the results are more to their liking they publish that one.
Scientism is usually a sneer word used by those who wish to undermine the confidence that people place in science. There are a number of words such as this one. The “-ism” as the end is pronounced with a hissing sound of disrespect. That disrespect is purely emotional. 'Scientism” in this usage should have no place in the vocabulary of educated people other than to respond to those who use it. That said, an educated person understands that there is no absolute mechanism that will work to totally distinguish science from literature in all cases. In philosophy this is called the boundary problem. We just need to continually evaluate the tools we use to find an increasingly more accurate understanding of the universe in which we live.