I am not sure if dogmatic or doctrinaire covers it, but I am looking for a word to describe someone (like a politician) who is willfully unknowing of how the scientific method works and what science can and cannot accomplish.

I am looking for a descriptive word, and not a derogatory term like "ignoramus". And somehow it has to convey the idea that their ignorance applies to scientific domain only.

3 Answers 3


Since you are "looking for a world" where this happens, I would suggest Earth.

If you are looking for a word, I can't help you but I can offer:

  • scientifically illiterate
  • unscientific
  • non-analytic
  • non-evidence based

Of a more anti-technology (rather than anti-science) turn, we have: - Luddite - technophobe


If we go from antiscience ideology, we can call them antiscientist. (or anti-scientist). "Antiscience proponent" is another phrase that is used in some of the sources.

The term "anti-science" refers to persons or organizations that promote their ideology over scientifically-verified evidence, either by denying said evidence and/or inventing their own.

This modern usage of the term should not be confused with the anti-science movement in the 1960s and 1970s, which was largely concerned with the possible dehumanizing aspects of uncontrolled scientific and technological advancement.

While this skepticism of unchecked change meets the classic dictionary definition of conservatism, it falls far short of the anti-intellectual thrust of modern political conservatism.

The term can also describe policy decisions which, for political reasons, ignore the advice of scientists asked to inform said policy.

If you are looking for an adjective that conveys ignorance, that would be unscientific:

adj 2. ignorant of science

If that any wight ween a thing to be otherwise than it is, it is not only unscience, but it is deceivable opinion. --Chaucer.

  • I don't think anti- describes ignorance. To the layman it sounds like hostile towars science, whereas ignorance should just represent lack of understanding. Feb 27, 2014 at 13:38
  • @ja72: The question is talking about an intentional ignorance and political behavior also. So it is beyond ignorance or illiteracy.
    – ermanen
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:48

Depending on exactly what you are trying to convey, empiricist may fit. However, the term can mean somewhat contradictory things.

On one hand, empiricism means

experimental method; search for knowledge by observation and experiment

This is a critical aspect of the scientific method. While other factors also come into play in a scientific approach, many respected scientists would happily define themselves as empiricists.

However, empiricism also means

a disregarding of scientific methods and relying solely on experience

When the experiences that form the basis of an empiricist's viewpoint are limited to those that come his way by chance, the conclusions are most unscientific.

Finally, empiricism can also mean

(philosophy) the theory that sense experience is the only source of knowledge

This truly flies in the face of modern science and the scientific method.

[Note that all three definitions are from the same dictionary, Collins.]

[And, yes, I know that I counted on three hands.]

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