What, exactly, constitutes a “scientist”? It’s a constant theme on _Bones_ that Dr. Temperance Brennan is very elite in her mentality regarding what constitutes a “scientist”–indeed, she thinks anthropology is a science but psychology isn’t, and she was recently knocked down a peg by a physicist (IIRC) who told her that anthropology wasn’t a “real science”.
Is a physicist a “scientist”?
Certainly, for most of Christian history, theology has been regarded as a “science”–it is, with philosophy and canon law–one of the three “Divine Sciences.”
Why is it that one gains some special authority by being a “Scientist”? Why is that, say, a biologist like P.Z. Myers think that his degree in biology entitles him to pontificate about theology or philosophy?
Yet if you mention Albert Einstein’s statements about theology-which were derived from his work in advanced physics, and, by extension, metaphysics, the typical atheist will reply, “Albert Einstein was a brilliant physicist, but he had no credentials to discuss theology.”
So, what constitutes a “scientist”, and why does a “scientist” have any more authority than anyone else, except in that precise area where his discipline applies?