Album: Toxicity (2001)
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  • In this song, System Of A Down lead singer Serj Tankian takes the voice of a mad preacher ranting about the failures of science. It's a commentary on the evolution vs. creationism debate - science backs evolution (as does SOAD), but for many, their faith dictates that Earth and the creatures that inhabit it were created by God.
  • Arto Tumboyacian, a friend of Serj Tankian who plays traditional Armenian instruments, guests on this track. He is also the namesake of a hidden track (hidden on the CD, at least) called "Arto," which he plays on as well.
  • "Science" is a track from System Of A Down's second album, Toxicity. The songs on the album were all co-written by Serj Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian. Rick Rubin, who signed the band to his label in 1997, produced the album with them.

Comments: 49

  • Ben Clark from Great BritainThe song facts literally state that the song embodies a "mad preacher" and no one has addressed it so far. Interesting.
  • Bryce Clarkson from United States Of AmericaAnyone else hear the “watermelon man” (by Herbie Hancock) sample in the bridge (1:38)?
    Am I hearing things?
    I’ve never noticed it until just now.
  • Ryan from PennsylvaniaLol. Someone below referenced the "Cambodian Explosion" in a reference to an anomaly in evolutionary theory. Its CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION haha haha. Cambodian Explosion is what happens after you eat at a bad Thai restaurant. ROFL.

    The point was valid, just got the name wrong. Which was comical. I think the song is stating that while science has indeed led us away from some of the more dogmatic and medieval religious beliefs that persisted for a long time (the diseased programming of centuries) it still cannot answer questions of meaning and beauty. The intangibles and the "why" questions in life are left void by science since science is amoral and completely impotent to answer questions on meaning, morals, love and aesthetics. These are questions we answer with Faith and spirituality and the song is warning that while Science will advance our knowledge and understanding of the world, it fails by leaving us without meaning, love, beauty, morals and other important things. It may help us build a better bomb but not give us the reasons why we shouldn't use it that regard it has failed our mother earth. God and Science are not only both necessary but actually complimentary (making two possibilities a reality)
  • Zachary from North CarolinaYou have it all wrong. "Science denies the single most potent element of human existence." That potent element is simply spirituality. To be one with the earth and with all who inhabit it. It is more than religion, it is more than race or any other ideology. Practice meditation and reach Nirvana. At that point you will realize that life's best qualities are intangible. Science cannot even begin to explain that. It is beyond words. After that it'll completely dissolve other debates because they are simply irrelevant to why we are here. You will embrace the earth, colors will change, and you will realize that we are deluded.
  • Vincent from Long Island, NyHayden from Lake Jackson, both of your methods of showing 2+2=5 are incorrect. First, your first method uses rounding, so you don't prove 2+2=5, you prove that a number that rounds to 2 plus another number that rounds to 2 equals a number that rounds to 2 (~2+~2=~5). Your algebra method, near the end, divides both sides by (x-y). You mention earlier x=2 and y=2, so x-y=0. Therefore, you are dividing by 0, which you cannot do in an algebraic proof.
  • Joe from El Paso, TxMany people see religion in 5 different categories; Christian, atheist, satan-worshiper, believing in other gods, and evolution. But there's acctually a sixth one; believing that creation and evolution worked together (God made monkeys and the monkeys evolved into us). Thousands of people's religon is this category, including me.
  • Jed from Ringgold, LaGeorge... So many people listen to so many bands no matter what but if someone believes in something that you don't, no matter how much they've entertained you, you suddenly hate them...? That's the definition of 'shallow empty-headed fool.'
  • Justin from San Diego, CaI don't want to sound like a jerk but I think the actual facts here might be missing the point of the song, or a perceivable point.

    Yeah you can say that this is about Evolution v.s. Creationism, but I see the point of this song is saying just let go and experience the world for what it is. In other words, science analyzes and studies the world, and maybe what SOAD is saying that instead of analyzing the world and trying to fully understand it, just live in it and don't worry about understanding everything.

    When the lyrics go:
    "Science fails to recognize the single most
    Potent element of human existence
    Letting the reins go to the unfolding
    Is faith"

    This can easily be pointed at a religious argument, but I think that this means that science fails to understand that the single-most potent thing about humans is our ability to go with the flow of the world. Science by its nature wants to separate itself and study the world, but humans by nature cannot completely separate themselves from the world.

    Another way to look at it is a quote I heard before: "when you are faced with beauty, stand aside." This basically means that you don't need to try to make something beautiful but instead just get out of its way and appreciate its beauty, because it will make itself beautiful. If you apply this logic, then SOAD may be saying that science should stand aside and appreciate the world for its inherent beauty instead of constantly trying to study it. Science should instead, take a step back, and let go, and appreciate the world for what the world is.

    In everyday life you can apply this in a much more understandable way. When you go on a good vacation, essentially you are letting go of your everyday life, for a time, so you can enjoy life in general and appreciate the beauty of life much more completely than you would if you were not on vacation.

    I can see how you can argue that this is a creationist song, but I'd like to think the message is more spiritually uplifting than evolution v.s. creation. Those are just my thoughts.
  • Zeke from Chicago, IlIf you don't believe in science you are an idiot. Plain, simple, and blunt. However, taking science with a grain of salt is a whole other subject altogether. The fact is there is a lot of science in schools that has been called into question and even proven downright false. The Big Bang Theory is an excellent example of this. Look it up in reference to blue/red shifts in light and the universe's change in velocity. It completely blows a hole in the theory. Darwin's "slow and steady" course of evolution is also called into question in the scientific community due to the Cambodian Explosion (fossils)(also a giraffe's neck in relation to blood flow and muscular contraction). Again look it up. There are also anomalies which evolution will probably never have a plausible and decent explaination for (ex: humming bird's) And the simple fact is that science DOES NOT disprove religion and for all the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox, religion DOES NOT disprove science. I could get into all of that to but this is already rather long so I won't.
  • Ian from Chilli, Ohjust another thought on the song, it may not specifically be about creationism, so much as that science has failed to even acknowledge the existence of a higher as a posibility. science is known for its open mindedness, but has remained decidedly close minded on the issue of creationism, and has failed in that it is denying its own creed (open to any possibility) by refusing to see religion even as a possibility.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, Canada"is creationist sort of like Christianity? Or like Musilim?"

    It's not particularly part of any religion. But the more extreme sects of most religions ban science and logical thinking because it makes it difficult to explain and justify their beliefs. Eventually, religions will admit evolution is real when it becomes too much work to deny. But it's a slow process. There are still societies of people that believe the world is flat, to this day!
  • Colton from Ellsworth, IlCreationism, Carrie, is the belief that one all-mighty, all-powerful being (e.g. God), created all life and everything that you see from nothing. This is a common belief between most organized religions (e.g. Christianity or Islam)
  • Carrie from Pittsburgh, Pais creationist sort of like Christianity? Or like Musilim?
  • Matt from Houston, Txz, you realize it is very hard to believe in karma and luck at the same time. What have you been smoking on the other side of the rainbow?
  • Matt from Houston, TxFavorite soad song with toxicity and arials.
  • Hayden from Lake Jackson, Tx"thats like saying 2+2=5 your flat out wrong because its a fact that 2+2=4"

    2+2 does in fact equal 5. Allow me to show you:

    Method 1 - Rounding:
    2.3 rounds to two.
    4.6 rounds to five.
    2.3 + 2.3 = 4.6 soooo...
    2 + 2 = 5

    Method 2 - Algebra:
    Suppose two constants, x and y both equal 2.
    Multiply both sides by x.
    [x² = xy]
    Subtract y² from both sides.
    [x² -y² = xy - y²]
    Factor these equations out, using basic Algebra.
    [(x+y)(x-y) = y(x-y)]
    Divide each side by (x-y).
    [x+y = y]
    Subtract y.
    So if x=2, and x=0, then you get this.
    Multiply each side of that by (5/2).
    And since the equation 0+0=0 is true, and 2=0 is true, and 5=0 is true, you can plug 2 into the first two zeros and five into the last zero and you come up with your final equation of.......

    Math, for the win.

    And they don't believe in Evolution, as clearly demonstrated by this song.
  • Nicky P from Youngstown, OhThis song is not about how science is "stupid" its about how science is used in soo many wrong ways, we could have cured cancer by now but instead we spend the money on bombs and war, just like the song "Boom!" states.

    p.s.- im sorry but the theory of creation (beleiving in some all knowing super being) is just stupid.

    its obvious that religions are merely the ancients trying to explain natural phenomena not to mention the fact that it was used as a set of rules for societies to follow by instilling fear (i.e.-youl go to hell for stealing, etc. )
  • Z from Somewhere Over The Rainbow, WaPlease note: this statement is an opinion, do not throw knives at me. George, you do know why some people are stil religious right? No, it's not because they are just a bunch of blind, fact-less dumbasses, it's because faith (I like to also consider opinion as a form of some kind of faith, so I do respect your faith as well) is one of the guiding forces of human life. I really don't give a damn if you think I'm wrong. Science is my favorite subject in school becuase I understand it and I enjoy it. But I don't go freakishly all-out and start trashing other people's faith with science. I think that you, George, are a perfect example of what SOAD meant when they said 'Science has failed our mother Earth' (I need to say that I'm a Christian, I believe in evolution, luck, karma, souls, and reincarnation.) ~~Ta~~
  • Jimmy from Lancaster, CaAnd also, Mr.Gorge from Jackson, if prayer doesnt help at all in diseases and stuff like that, explain how my grandma's cancer just went away, explain how my friend is still alive, when a pop-top from a soda can was lodged in his throat and he couldnt breath, and guess what? we prayed for him, and the doctor found out from X-rays that the pop-top had just, dissapeared. You need to open your eyes and see the truth my friend. and also, we have found physical evidence that the bible is NOT false. we've found the dead sea scrolls, the tomb where Jesus rose from 3 days after his crucifiction. i would like to see you deny him when we find the Arc of the Covonent. even judgement day. i'll be praying for you my friend.
  • Jimmy from Lancaster, CaGeorge from Jackson....sorry to burst ur bubble but they don't believe in Evolution
  • Cardio Toxin from El Paso, TxI once again had to come up and look this song up. Blake, you are a moron! If you think otherwise, then that just proves me right. Anyways, refer to my first comment to understand what this songs' main objective is.
  • Stan from Chicago, IlThis is not a science vs. religion song.
    It simply points out that Science has failed to save the human race and mother earth, which is true. We have gathered so much knowledge, but how good is it if it doesn't help us survive?
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaI'm sorry, I shouldn't judge all christians by what this cursing moron has written.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaBlake, your worst subject in school is science because you have low intelligence and are not interested in learning, not because science facts are so wrong.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaJimmy, you are an excellent example of what a christian truly is. Thanks for showing the world.

    And what is with this toleration of ignorance that is so fashionable in America? True, it doesn't hurt me if you believe diseases are caused by evil spirits. But if you influence and convince people and create a voting block that gets rid of our sanitation and sewers, it DOES hurt me.
  • Mck from Charlotte, NcThis song has nothing to do with creationism nor religion. Him saying, "Civilization has only existed ten thousand years among millions of years of man being on this planet," and, "all modern religions to me are false."

    Taken from here
  • Erik from Somewhere, Pai don't know where you get ur facts, but more scientists than 7% believe in God. evaluation and creationism can co-exist. i believe in natural selection because it is a proven fact that animals that adapt to their surroundings are the one's that survive. we, however, did not come from monkeys. until they find the missing link, which does not exist, i will believe in a God who created us.
  • George from Jackson, Njanother intresting fact 93% of american scientist dont beleive in god, and 100% dont beleive in any particular religion because they have all been proven to be false. that whopping 7% beleives their is a god who created eveything, but don't beleive in souls and hell and all that other stuff. Of 120 Nobell prize winning scientists only 1 of them beleive in god. If you were to chart religion and education religion drops as education gets higher. I found all this out trying to argue the existence of god with scientic reasoning and found myself with only faith in myself when i was done.
  • George from Jackson, Njok, i just read all your comments, seriously how dumb and uneducated do you have to be if you dont beleive in evolution, thats like saying 2+2=5 your flat out wrong because its a fact that 2+2=4 just like evolution and dna are a fact.just because evolution is a fact doesnt mean their is no only means that the bible is wrong on soooo many levels, actually just about every scientific fact in the bible is wrong, including the age of the earth witch the bible states when it was written that the earth was 10,862 years old when infact its 4.6 billion years old, all of you who bash science have never studied it. even after one college physics class you can understand why we know soooo much about the earth and the origin of the univers witch did start with the big bang, hello people the only question we havent answered is what caused the big bang. saying it was god is just a little to easy and their is absolutly no evidence of god existing ever. nor is their any physical evidence of spirits or luck or carma or anything else we have made up. studies have shown prayer doesnt work at all to change any sort of medical condition. even if their was a god why would he care about us, their are TRILLIONS YES TRILIONS of stars in our galaxy(the milkyway)and their are billions of galaxys each star is a sun just like ours oh yeah and if the only theory you respect is Albert Einstein's, first off einstein did not beleive in god. he absolutly and emphatically did not beleive in god or souls and was almost thrown out of the country for it.People have often confused one of his quotes about science and religon. how about this one"I don't beleive in god, i never said that I did, anyone who tells you different is a lyer."oh and im pritty sure scientist know we're a planet, not an asteroid, planets and asteroids are completley different idiot, the fact that someone made a comment so stupid makes me sick.THE MOST POTENT ELEMENT IN HUMAN EXISTANCE IS HYDROGEN! hydrogen is the element of life, science is great and wonderful and the more you study it, the more you realize how great the universe is. you dont have to go to college, maybe watch some science channel or look up stuff on you tube for visual explanations. ALSO READ "THE GOD DELUSION' by Dr.Richard Dawkins
  • George from Jackson, Njif i find out system of a down doesnt beleive in evolution i will probably never listen to them again. im going to do some research and find out. i will let u all know
  • Brittany from Rainy River, Canadathe hidden track at the end of the Toxicity album is called 'Arto' even says that on the back of the CD case.
  • Blake from Hamilton, OhI gotta say something to Toni. Science, out of all subjects, has got to be the most FALSE out of any of them. Why? Well not just evolution, but everything seems to be facts whatsoever. Scientists SUCK at life......They never can come up with an answer, and never will. Final.....Biochemistry....yeah it ain't all facts either. So f*ck all scientists and their stupid theorys"The only one I give respect to is Albert Einstein.)
  • Yoseph from Cupertino, CaSOAD is creationist? AWESOME!
  • Toni from Vienna, AustriaDear Blake: read Lubert Stryer's Biochemistry and hopefully it will open your blindfolded eyers!
  • Dylan from Royalston, Mai believe the song states that science and evolution are not necessarily wrong, but trying to explain everything with numbers and equations will only tear apart society, so it is better to just believe in something than dissect it into something that is not that special
  • Cardio Toxin from El Paso, Txi had to check back on this to see what else anyone was gonna put on this, so here i go. science is not wrong. in the words to the effect of Socrates, we know nothing. science has only touched a small and minute portion of knowledge of what the universe has to offer. no one can know everything, but in faith, everyone knows everything.
  • Liam from London, EnglandNo, science is wrong... They can't do simple things, but they hide secrets from us!!! How is that good?
  • Adam from Worcester, Mass, Cti think pretty much everything Science teaches us is true. I mean not everyything is going to be ever known such as religon and such but science to me seems right.
  • Cardio Toxin from El Paso, TxI think you all of you below me are incorrect in this interpretation of this song. It can be shown that science has failed only because of the limits. As many good things as science has created, like medicines, and the internet, it cant make a peson live forever, unlife a persons faith. And that is what is meant by science fails to recognize the most potent element of human existnace, faith.
  • Blake from Hamilton, OhI agree. My worst subject in school is Science simply because it is often false information. It's very true. Evolution is fake, Big bang theory is fake, all the other crap is fake. In fact, Are we living on a planet, or a asteroid; science can't figure out the answer. "Science always fails." YEAhhhhhh
  • Dennis from Toledo, OhEncrypted_Error, "the most potent element of human existance" is faith. Meaning, every culture throughout human history has had a belief system involving God(s) and other forms of faith, i.e. realising there are some things you can never know, coming to accept that fact, and having faith that your personal beliefs as to how things are, are correct. Science is something unique to our current culture (last few hundred years) because it aims to ultimately explain everything there is to know. Opponents of science argue that it goes against faith, something that has allowed humans to make it this far.
  • Encrypted_error from The Internet, CanadaAnyone know what "the most potent element of human existence" is???
  • Natasha from Aurora, CoI think they are very spiritual (especially Serj), but I don't associate that with any particular religion. I think it just about spirituallity being the most important thing in life. Your own personal faith, whatever that may be.
  • Miltos from Nicosia, GreeceDer Voghormia translates into something like "Dear God" or in the litteral translation "God forgive us"
  • Miltos from Nicosia, GreeceThis song is definately one of my favourites and really fun and easy to play on the guitar..
    If anyone here knows guitar and is interested go to or (yeah they are spelled correctly:P)
  • Miltos from Nicosia, GreeceDer Voghormia is supposed to be a song for incarnating the dead!
  • Mike from Garden Grove, CaYour right, on the CD its called Arto, but the armenian song that its made from is called "Der Voghormia" check it out:
    scroll down to Der Voghormia.
  • Yuya from Kyoto, JapanActually, the bonus track that Arto appears on is "Arto". THey renamed it Arto because he plays the duduk on that song.
  • Mike from Garden Grove, CaArto Tumboyacian, a friend of Serj Tankian, guests on this track. Arto also guests later in the hidden track at the end of the album, which is an Armenian song called "Der Voghormia"
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