“Seventy-five years ago, C.S. Lewis published his novel ”That Hideous Strength,” which explored the dangers of government in the name of science. What relevance does Lewis’s advice on the promise and perils of science-based public policy have in the age of COVID-19 and beyond? “
Crawford: I conclude that, since teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological. It is the teleological character of life which makes it a unique phenomenon requiring a unique discipline of study distinct from physics or chemistry.
As played by astrophysicist and Forbes columnist Ethan Siegel here and dissected at The Stream.
When the real expert doesn’t really know. Here’s an interesting approach to the question from a political scientist and a business prof.
At The Scientist:But after McLaughlin announced @Sciencing_Bi’s death from COVID-19 several days ago, people began trying to identify her, and her story began to fall apart. Scientists who had considered @Sciencing_Bi an online friend turned from mourning her death to accusing McLaughlin of inventing her outright …
You might think the new pundits are wrong but they can’t be more wrong than the science pundits of the recent past. The day is coming when, if someone accuses you of being “anti-science” because you are skeptical of trendy claims, you’ll be thinking, “Thank goodness! I was afraid that the lumpen certainty of the representatives of Science was catching. It appears not to be.”
New curriculum: “The curriculum puts an emphasis on the variability of the English language instead of accuracy.”
It’s worth noting that we haven’t established that there are even fossil bacteria on Mars. But we are starting to hear more than ever that there are intelligent aliens out there, most recently from Ars Technica and Scientific American. Fundamentally, we have found nothing since the Sixties that truly suggests extraterrestrial civilizations. Nothing. If they want to keep looking, fine. Nobody’s stopping them. But spare us the dramatics.
Wright: What was also not-so-novel about the COVID crisis was its origin in scam or junk science. John Ionnnidis, one of the leading critics of weak scientific work, jumped right in to alert people and policymakers about the many problems with various predictive models but he was largely ignored despite being one of the most highly-cited scientists alive. That is actually not unusual.
By another atheist, who actually knows a bit of history. The decline of new atheism has resulted in, among other things, atheists having to pick up their game in history.
Lennox: “naturalism, and therefore atheism, undermines the foundations of the very rationality that is needed to construct or understand or believe in any kind of argument whatsoever, let alone a scientific one. “
St. Onge: For COVID-19, Ferguson predicted 3 million deaths in America unless we basically shut down the economy. Panicked policymakers took his prediction as gospel, dressed as it was in the cloak of science.
Berezow: A loss of credibility, therefore, happens for other reasons. In the case of coronavirus, we believe there are five reasons: Incompetence, waffling, moving the goalposts, disregarding unintended consequences, and being political.
The situation poses a threat to science itself. For example, politicians act as though COVID-19 restrictions only matter for some people, not others.
It’s not the uncertainty that is the problem. It’s the demand for belief and obedience to a variety of conflicting claims in the face of such uncertainty. Sooner or later people begin to doubt whatever they hear, even in matters about which there is considerable certainty. And Big Science is bringing that on itself. It isn’t the “enemies of science” who are doing it.