It is high time for scientists to come forth with a theodicy of Science, the prophet of Reason.
God is omniscient, he can everything, and he is all-good too. That creates obligations; He is also expected to keep things in order and to grant meaning to human life. In the past, when believers doubted, the ways of the very high had to be explained and the ills of his kingdom excused. That is the meaning of Theodicy, (theos dike) the justification of God. The same is expected for any replacement to God.
Science did all it could to get rid of God, because the totalism of religion hindered its progress. It fought against the dark side of religion, for a luminous reign of reason. Human Reason proposed to enlighten Man and free us all. It taught us to dare to know. To replace the belief in God - revealed, with the knowledge of Science-controllable.
Science inspired us not to serve God any more but to work for humanity instead. Or... was it humanity? Perhaps something else, more abstract, more absolute, like Truth and Knowledge for their own sake?
With reason and proven merit, Science rose to disenchant the world  from unprovable dreams and hopes and man-made values granted by divinity. To vanquish a rule of darkness and Inquisition, it chose to replace the work of God with our own creations and judgement. It was very successful in this. The same way as the religions - particularly the monotheistic ones - instituted a deity-centred view of the world which gave to human life meaning coming from above, Science brought a new world view and new explanations to it. Nowadays the new vision reins; we believe in Science.
Today most people - including the persisting believers in divinity - have confidence in whatever reputed scientists affirm and accept as sound most of their advice; not so much because scientists justify belief with facts and reason (which they do). Not because science offers coherent theories and experimental, statistically valid proofs. Not because Science thinks properly from a logical point of view. The reasons and facts of science, its proofs, its theories of everything, became nowadays much too abundant, complicated and out of reach, opaque for the common mortal mind; almost as far away as the Heavens. Verification cannot be produced in the presence of each individual. Lay persons cannot test scientific knowledge with their senses, and certainly not with their commonsense mind and personal experiencing.
People trust science because its explanations make reason for so many other people they trust. They trust even more because the applications of science gave fabulous technological result. The power of knowledge changed the world, we have no doubt. We all believe the scientists, their witnessing and often mysterious explanations, because we have faith in them. We also believe the popular explanations disseminated ceaselessly by public education and media those long, simplified chains of witnessing about the witnessing of scientists. We believe the public explainers who have the wonderful power to make things simple.
We believe scientists because this is the ideal, the faith the paradigm we received with our school-baptism; by habit, imitation and trust, because science has now unquestionable authority; as we believed the priests before. And that is enough. Or is it? Is science mature enough to be entrusted with the future of humanity? Are the institutions of science still proven to be trustworthy?
Since its knowledge is the supreme authority and a creator of our age, it appears that we have a moral right to ask Science, the same questions we asked God about his creation. Why is the World we made as it is today?
Like God, Science is omniscient, omnipotent and beneficial.
Science is omniscient – potentially. We learn in school that knowing more and more of everything, without limit, is only a matter of time; the advance of knowledge is inexorable. Moreover, what we know already is sufficient to make the important decisions.
Science is also omnipotent – potentially. As the marvels and speed of technology show, yesterday’s impossible is possible today or will be tomorrow. Nowadays we are even promised immortality, life beyond life and the bygone attributes of the gods. Science actually started projects to re-design the human species, to change the climate of the planet, even to replace us with devices said to be superior to humanity.
Science is good too, as we are told; beneficial because it can fix anything, solve all problems, find the best solutions. Look at the lives saved, the illnesses cured, the plenty of food, shelter, well being, wherever technology prevailed.
Who would dare say that science can be bad too? Who could say that its quest must urgently be governed in the name of Humanity and its technological progeny controlled and censored to prevent the creation of monsters and of doom? And who is still able to rule it?
Definitely, Science is good, in its own impartial terms. It is good because it freed our mind from superstition which was exposed to be barbarian obscurantism. It is good because it emancipated us from being dominated by nature and it empowered us to change the world in our interest.
It proved to be so useful to us to achieve things with its power; curing, easing and lengthening life; Science is good because it increased our power by means of knowledge, explaining how things really are and how they work, to know what we do, to serve intelligent action and progress of civilisation.
At this point in Western History we have faith that the Universe, the species, our world, history advance one-way, in progress from worse, ignorant past to better, well-informed future. We still hope so.
Additionally, Science is also just because it serves impartial Truth impersonally, "objectively", reality as it is, the new ultimate value. When Science says "I am the one who tells you how things are", we can hardly oppose this incredibly arrogant statement; anybody else could not dare such haughtiness without being rejected for pure hubris.
Science is very promising, indeed for us the everyday people, as it is mandatory for entire nations:
it reassures us that there is order in the Universe and in our world, that the world is real, understandable and coherent,
that everything is foreseeable by reliable laws and statistics, we are not lost in chaos.
Moreover Science promised us - and proved in part - that we are powerful, superior, the strongest; we can change our world, even the planet... So strong that now we can even destroy it.
Science is our great, impersonal, disinterested, servant who knows better what is good for us "un ami qui vous veut du bien". If not our Father in heavens, at least our big brother here on Earth.
Beyond this (slightly ironic) homage of merit, a second thought haunts me: is Science not slipping now into serving something else, instead of us, say, an ideal of Truth and Data, Knowledge and Mechanisms for their own sake? Serving Ideas beyond its competence and not proven to be justified beliefs? Spreading intolerant domination of yet another utopian creed? Another totalitarian nowhere land instead of wisdom for the sake of human happiness?
In fact, science is declaring itself non-moral, beyond moral, value-free, beyond good and bad, because it is impersonal and grounded by necessary facts and causes not owned by people and for the people. It transcends the merely human, it is a new spirituality.
True, some things are discarded, their existence not being proven by science. Unfortunately, science did not discover yet the material particles and waves and causalities from which moral values and human conscience are made or could be inferred. It does not even feel a need for such hypotheses as it does not need the hypothesis of God.. . What? Does this sound a nietzschean ring?
I mind my words: Our dominant creed for the last century, Science the prophet of Reason deserves, needs, to be defended, urgently, better than it is advertised.
Science with its belief in data and algorithms and plain materiality must make better sense to people before the new century turns away from it, slips back towards less rational faith or... who knows where towards technological barbarianism. The human need to believe, to feel, to find meaning grows unsatisfied with the rampant idolatry of technology or the even equally rampant worship of "nature". Dystopia could replace reason or turn reason itself into an inhuman evolution.
To prevent this, the transgressions we experience now must be corrected and competent theologians of Science, not activists, not ivory-tower theorists, not the devout, not big profit, must face some grave suspicions, do their work and prove them false, in understandable terms:
If Science is omniscient, omnipotent and good - inevitable and omnipresent too - why is there so much evil, misery and injustice in the world where it rules? Why do we see the planet endangered, humanity growing useless and our civilisation in peril?
Since Science, like God, knows potentially everything, can potentially everything, and is certain to be good and as it leaves no space for alternative views of the world to share the burden, the high priests of science will have to explain us why is it that this world conquered by science did not become more understandable, better and happier?
Why is the human being still so wretched?
Why are we still such fools?
Why aren't people better as they acquire science?
Why is humanity so stupid after learning so much truth?
Why do we - all humans together - still behave like a species instead of acting like a Mind endowed with reason?
Why do we seem to head to destruction?
Why is our civilisation so weak and the new barbarianisms so vigorous?
In what exactly consists the wisdom science teaches to each of us in order to live a life worth living? Is our science so knowledgeable, humanely wise in her understanding of the world? Is Science wise in what it does with its huge knowledge? Is it able to keep in control of what it does?
Someone please stand up and defend Science, convincingly; not against the ignorant or the irrational, dark enslavers of freedom of thought, knowledge and speech but from the accusation of arrogance, narrow-mindedness, amorality, neglect of human interest, irresponsibility and wrongdoing.
Please, dispel in understandable words of common sense the impression contemporary science gives, of believing that as everything which can be known must be known, so everything invented can be made known and everything that can be done must be done.
Isn't this playing god? Isn't this the old recipe of Greek tragedy?
There are many more questions along this line:
Which exactly are the moral values binding for science, scientists and scientific work? Which moral values are binding for technology, for the engineers who keep saying that they only follow the indications and projects conceived by science?
Which moral values are observable in the real-life brought about by in the present day world, under the impact of science and technology? What became normal today? What to foresee?
What laws are opposable to the most menacing developments of science and of technology? What is done globally and locally? What is missing and urgent?
Why are scientists working so well for the worst causes?
Who keeps the priests of science free of corruption and vice?
Why does science serve so obviously greed, power and violence?
Why is science ruled by money and politics if it is so sacred?
Why does science serve ambition, dispute and pride?
Where should be placed the controls to prevent such corruption? If not us, who should do it? Will this be done by commercial interests, big business financing, peer pressure reviews and the paywalls of science publishing?
Why this permanent threat of unleashing something that cannot be stopped and which would result in the destruction of humanity and even of the planet?
Why is science in denial of the inevitable and omnipresent fact of human error and ignorance applicable to itself as it is to everything human? Why is it so incapable to coexist with religions which did their part in the growth of Civilisation and which proved to survive much longer that Science did? Why is Science - in the name of its own unique truth - exactly as intolerant as the religious bigots?
Our disobedient critical sense needs answers to such questions.
Religions promised us good news, with charisma but without proof, always undecidable, placed later and higher; that good actions are rewarded and bad ones punished, that we will live after death, forever, in a better world, happy. Hope. We need hope. We need to believe. That much is scientifically proven. We will follow anybody to gives us hope and understanding. We need good news.
What is the good news of science? That we are not souls but mere biological machines made of spare parts good to harvest and sell? That death is annihilation, and even the Planet, nay, the Universe is doomed with no big future ahead? That our whole history is a little spit compared to the Big History of Earth and of life on it? That in the Infinity, in this Cosmic Year 15,000,017,000 (as of 2015 CE)  we are insignificant specks of nothing, so that in good reason, nothing really counts whatever we achieve or do? That nature’s way is the law of the strongest and the selection of the fittest the more productive? That each form of life expands until it eats up its entire environment?
Where is the hope in all this?
Do we science-bred generations need to pray in equations and wait for a techno-future post-human “life” or a last judgement revolution after which all will be well in a better world protected from us? Do we need to fall back all the way into barbarianism for our survivors to start again, another civilisation of hope?
Maybe a theodicy of science will be, after all, much easier to do than God's: science does not really know all yet, cannot all, yet, it only hopes to do more and more, with humble, hard work, in an ever receding future, all being well before the implosion of the Universe. Maybe it cannot be all-good either because it is human, so human: or because it is not humane enough, yet.
Not science, but persons, certain scientists, half educated technologists, mad speculators and stupid followers of dogma do evil with science exactly as some bigots and fanatics do wrong in the name of God.
On reflection, it could be made clearer for the mortals, obnubilated by their AI phone and their “social network”, that Science is not God, perhaps that it is merely one major human endeavour among several others, a human-made tool limited to what it does well. The scientific establishment may be able to recognise it with modesty.
It takes courage and honesty for younger people but it is not impossible for mature scientists to learn to say "I do not know" from time to time.
Maybe science should confess and draw clearly, officially, its limits and borders, the many important things that are not its business without denying the existence and the importance of those non-scientific domains. Then it would not need a theodicy. The silly confusion of considering Science decisive for everything could be dispelled.
Some will brush my critique aside, saying that I did not understand, that my mind is clouded by superficial impressions, ignorance and vulgar irrationality, but I say that this is how I understand it**, and other people may think silently the same in a quietly growing spiral of silence . A dangerous spiral, I would say.
Like it or not, a theodicy of science spoken in simple words is timely. I hope a saviour Nobel prized genius will rise who will do it soon. With the risk of being shunned, snubbed and burnt.
Why do I write this?
To defend the ground under my feet! I grew up with Science, led and protected by its ideals of free thought. Now I see signs of its view of the world declining into another disenchanted ideology that brings another end of era. If Reason keeps being too proud publicly (I see that the best scientific and philosophical minds know better that that in private) then pride will be as usual the one before the fall; it will fall to the worst enemy of us all - the Beast.
There may be more truth than merit in criticising the un-wisdom of science in the XXth century, but I feel deeply that this work must be done, in the interest of Science and of Reason, for the dignity of Man. Science deserves to be defended. A time of changing idols seems to come again. A troubled century ahead for our children.
Good luck, my Son!
* Universum Heikenwaelder Hugo, Austria, www.heikenwaelder.at
 Weber, Max (1919), Le savant et le politique, Paris, Union Générale d’Éditions, 1963, p 14
 Corfield, Penelope J., Time and the shape of history, Yale University Press, New Haven.., 2007, XIX: "it would be possible to start a year-count from the scientifically calculated origin of the universe some 13 to 15 billion years ago (defining a billion as a thousand million), and then to scroll forwards from that. It would offer a daily reminder of the vast extent of past time. So 2000 CE would equate to Cosmic Year 15,000,002,000 plus or minus an error range of 1–2 billion.
 Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, The Spiral of Silence, University of Chicago, Chicago, 1984
**I would prefer not to be stoned or burned, according to time-honoured traditions, for my words against the divinity of the day. If needed, better drown me in silence. We are civilised people, aren't we?