Scientism is, roughly speaking, the belief that the only legitimate knowledge is scientific knowledge and all other sources of knowledge - like religion - should be rejected.

If it is still unlcear, here is the relevant Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

Now in my language (Polish) there are two distinct terms: "naukowiec" - which means a scientist (the person who conducts scientific research and who can win a Nobel prize for discovering a vaccine against AIDS) and "scjentysta" - which means a person whose worldview is in accordance to scientism (so "scjentysta" will reject all arguments that are not scientific in nature and will condemn religion).

But, how to say "scjentysta" in English? Since what I want is a believer of scientism, I would say "scientist" BUT - this will cause confusion since not every practicioner of science believes in scientism and not every person whose worldview is in accordance with scientism will have PhD.

So, is my only option still "scientist" or is there any better word?

"A ___ believes that science is the only legitimate source of knowledge."

As opposed to:

"A scientist has won the Nobel prize for discovering a vaccine against AIDS."

  • 3
    Wait... what is scientism exactly? It sounds like a very particular form of philosophy. Is scientism related to Christian Science or Theosophy?
    – Mitch
    Mar 16 '19 at 18:21
  • 2
    There is no single word for this concept. The term 'scientist' is a label for the procession or what the person does, not their philosophical belief system (as compared to religions). In English, believers in 'scientism', the quasi religious belief system, are referred to as 'believers in scientism', mostly because the term 'scientist' already exists and would be bizarre and confusing to use the one term for both concepts.
    – Mitch
    Mar 16 '19 at 23:27
  • If you need to distinguish religious scientists from irreligious ones, why look for a special single-word term? Just use a descriptive adjective: religious/agnostic/irreligious scientist.
    – Greg Lee
    Mar 16 '19 at 23:50
  • 1
    Take a look at this question and see if it answers your question or causes you to refine your question.
    – ab2
    Mar 17 '19 at 0:27
  • If I had to come up with something I'd probably use "scientismist" or "scientismite".
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 17 '19 at 2:07