....Specific to your thesis, I'd be very careful in trying to defend the Dhamma or the Buddha against scientific viewpoints. Frankly, I think fighting science with Dhamma-science misses the whole point of the Dhamma (i.e. liberation), and many attempts to defend the Dhamma against claims rooted in science often come across as very desperate, and do the Dhamma no favours.
"Science as the measure of all things" has been argued for a long time. My Dad was a research biochemist and I was (over time) a musician, philosopher and counselor. Surprisingly we didn't clash very often. Part of that was realizing that our fields didn't speak to everything - they were limited.
Science could speak to sound production and the physics of harmony, but it couldn't compose - at least not well IMHO. I've heard some of the computer composition experiments and they were pretty lame.
I could compose and play, but I couldn't do the math or engineering to make an instrument. While there were related elements between the fields, neither was capable of completely handling both.
Re: philosophy and psychology, science could speak to the chemical and physical elements of existence. It could postulate the big bang theory. But it couldn't form a good attempt to explain religion or other metaphysics. Science could explain the mechanics of Serotonin reuptake and other chemical events that related to some mental distress. But it could not help the client deal with experiences in their life. Psychiatry might be seen as a hybrid of fields, though the psychiatrists I've met would be quick to correct you that their field is not a hybrid
If I extend my view to Buddhism, and I'm a fairly new Buddhist, I'd have to say that though there may be overlaps in the fields, neither one will speak to all of the other. At its most basic, the Buddha taught about suffering and the end of suffering. The modern social sciences and medicine can also address them, though their methods and goals will be different.
Finally (hold the applause please, he's almost done
) JMHO, but science deals best with data, poorly with performance. There have been lots of studies on baseball swing/stance/etc. There are still no scientists with hits and home run records. Has data improved performance for some, probably so. How about relieving stress and suffering? Has either science or Buddhism eliminated the problem? Not for everyone, but people have benefitted from both. Buddhism is a "learn and do" situation. Intellectual knowledge is not enough. The practice
of Buddhism is the heart of the matter. How shall science successfully address that the doing
is where the learning and "attainment" occur?
If the position taken by both sides is that they can inform each other successfully, I think it can work. But as soon as it turns into an argument on which side is right, both sides begin to lose. If a position is taken that "only this is true," I think the only Buddhist reply at that point is to leave. Arguing views is like herding cats - a waste of time if it is just arguing.
But this is just me sharing my experiences and views. Opinions and views are like noses, everybody has one. So feel free to ignore mine because I have nothing to teach, just things I'm willing to share.
Hoo - acknowledged master of faded glory in several fields