In this essay the author takes the idea(l) of ‘scientific parenting’ as an example of ambiguities that are typical of our late-modern condition. On the one hand parenting seems like a natural thing to do, which makes ‘scientific parenting’ sound like an oxymoron, on the other hand a science-informed disengaged stance is uncritically demanded of parents. It is even conceived of as a panacea. Instead of taking sides in this discussion the author rather seeks a way to make sense of it, drawing upon the work of Charles Taylor, who offers a striking account of our contingent modern predicament as well as of our ontological human constitution. The focus is particularly on two examples Taylor gives where the contingent self-understanding does not coincide with our timeless human features. This opens up a space for what might be considered oxymoronic formulations or at least ambiguities in our late-modern Western culture.