Science can threaten secular humanist ideas. For example, humans have been viewed as autonomous, free, rational individuals. However science has shown that human beings are far less autonomous, rational and free than some secular humanists might suppose, says Baggini.
Atheists are naturalists (the universe contains only natural entities and forces). H4S take a naturalistic view, believing that science is a fundamental part of humanism and that science provides the best way to understand the universe.
Can science be applied to problems of human welfare (2002 Amsterdam Declaration), asks Baggini? In Sam Harris's book The Moral Landscape (subtitled "How science can determine human values") Harris talks of science as though it is the source of all the knowledge and wisdom we need to live by. But, says Baggini, science can never tell us what we should value, because when it tells us how things are, we are always left with the question, what ought we to do about it? This is David Humes' famous is-ought argument. So can or should science be directed to humane and ethical ends, as some H4S suggest?
Baggini says science can tell us that X produces more happiness than Y, but it cannot tell us that we ought to do whatever produces the greatest happiness (Jeremy Bentham & John Stuart Mills' Utilitarianism).
Humanists4Science (H4S) Mission is "To promote, within the humanist community, the application of the scientific method to issues of concern to broader society"
H4S Vision is "A world in which important decisions are made by applying the scientific method to evidence rather than according to superstition."