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A surgeon protests scientific “gatekeeping”

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Sometimes the facts suppressed are not crucial but then sometimes they are:

Most people prefer experts, of course, especially when it comes to health care. As a surgeon myself, I can hardly object to that tendency. But a problem arises when some of those experts exert outsized influence over the opinions of other experts and thereby establish an orthodoxy enforced by a priesthood. If anyone, expert or otherwise, questions the orthodoxy, they commit heresy. The result is groupthink, which undermines the scientific process.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided many examples. Most medical scientists, for instance, uncritically accepted the epidemiological pronouncements of government-affiliated physicians who were not epidemiologists. At the same time, they dismissed epidemiologists as “fringe” when those specialists dared to question the conventional wisdom.

Or consider the criticism that rained down on Emily Oster, a Brown University economist with extensive experience in data analysis and statistics. Many dismissed her findings—that children had a low risk of catching or spreading the virus, an even lower risk of getting seriously ill, and should be allowed to normally socialize during the pandemic—because she wasn’t an epidemiologist. Ironically, one of her most vocal critics was Sarah Bowen, a sociologist, not an epidemiologist.

The deference to government-endorsed positions is probably related to funding. While “the free university” is “historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery,” President Dwight Eisenhower observed in his farewell address, “a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” He also warned that “we should be alert to the…danger that public policy could itself become captive of a scientific technological elite.” Today we face both problems.

Jeffrey Singer, “Against Scientific Gatekeeping” at Reason (from the May 22 issue)

Much harm was done to children and teens by the COVID Crazy, for example. Let’s see how easy and honest any discussion of “Trust the Science!” will be now that the facts are beginning to trickle in.

See, for example, CDC report details mental health crisis among teens during pandemic Teens were ne3ver at serious risk and anyone could have predicted the crisis from locking them down.

11 Replies to “A surgeon protests scientific “gatekeeping”

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Stop the “clueless” shit. Stop the “unintended consequences” shit.

    The rulers did predict the crisis. That’s exactly why they’re doing it. Crisis and ruination and war and mass mayhem and mass murder are sexual thrills for rulers.

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    Reluctantly, I’ve been forced to believe that anything coming out of the CDC is a complete lie.

    Two weeks to flatten the curve? Existing anti-virals are miraculously ineffective against this particular corona virus? There was absolutely no involvement by the U.S. in the Wuhan lab experimental research despite well-publicized testimony and papers to the contrary? Masks are essential or do not actually work? The mRNA vaccine prevents Covid-19 and is completely safe except for vanishingly small exceptions (including about a third of my friends, relatives, and neighbors, one of whom died from the vaccine and another almost died)? But don’t worry, after 70% vaccination, we will achieve “herd immunity.” Even people who have recovered from a Covid-19 vaccine will need to be vaccinated? Now we’ll need to get a fourth booster? Babies now need to be vaccinated? Everyone who dares question the CDC bureaucrats is “a quack” despite their credentials (as judged by self-appointed, often anonymous, uncredentialed, unpublished, and liability-immune “fact checkers”) or is part of a vast Russian disinformation conspiracy? Doctors can no longer decide what’s best for their patients–one single treatment fits all and is mandatory? Follow the science (except when trumped by immutable policy that’s protected by good intentions)? Vaccination papers are most certainly not an internal passport? Get your hands off my body (except for vaccines)?

    Oh please.

    -Q

  3. 3
    JHolo says:

    Do any of us really feel pain? Or do we suffer the illusion (delusion) of pain.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    DonaldM says:

    In “science” we trust! But WHICH science…ah, there’s the rub. When 2, or even 3 groups of scientists of roughly equal credentials make statements that conflict, who does the non-scientific public trust? Only those given a government issued stamp of approval? How is that even doing science? Conduct your experiments, submit to the proper government authority, and once they decide which is right, they will issue the government seal of good science approval. Yeah, let’s stake our very lives on THAT! But that is PRECISELY what happened with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Trust the science” turns out to mean, “trust only the science that we very smart government puppets tell you to trust…or else!”

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    DonaldM @4,
    Exactly and well articulated! “Follow the science” is a powerful aphorism but is only selectively applied.

    For example, a currently popular narrative is to be a gender agnostic, not being able to define what a man or woman is. Nevertheless, “following the science” on the chromosomal evidence for male versus female is never invoked.

    But the principle doesn’t stop with “follow the science.” Similarly, the offense triggered at “white cultural/ethnic appropriation” or “white cultural/ethnic colonization” is never carried over into gender appropriation or colonization. Thus, a biological male swimmer can compete against biological females contrary to “the science” without being accused of being a “male colonizer.” Apparently, it’s a completely different issue (the words gender and ethnic aren’t even spelled the same).

    On college campuses, I’m applauded for asserting a non-binary gender by claiming feminine as well as masculine identities, but just imagine the outrage if I tried to identify myself as “ethno-fluid” or “race-fluid,” sometimes identifying with a different “ethno-racial orientation” with clothing, hairstyle, accent, and other ethic identification.

    These and other logical contradictions clearly expose the hypocritical roots of all such controversy and outrage, namely political ideology.

    And this is why I despise the deceptions and lies of all power-driven politics and greed-driven business, including big pharma/big medical and its CDC mouthpiece, big food and its FTC mouthpiece, and big anything else, including big religion. They have all betrayed our trust and actively continue to polarize and pollute our society with unrelenting accusations and hatred.

    -Q

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Correction. Not the FTC, I meant to write the FDA and USDA. See chapter 24 of Robert H. Lustig’s book, Metabolical (2021). Dr. Lustig is a pediatric neuroendocrinologist.

    -Q

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    polistra

    The rulers did predict the crisis. That’s exactly why they’re doing it. Crisis and ruination and war and mass mayhem and mass murder are sexual thrills for rulers.

    I read a lot of essays, opinion pages, blogs and (too many) comment sections on these kinds of issues … and have never seen that said before. And that’s amazing because it’s a golden-truth. People don’t like to think or talk about it.

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    Everyone should bookmark Sebastian Rushworth’s blog. He’s a Swedish doctor who has interviewed several doctors about medical research that is contrary to the truth.

    https://sebastianrushworth.com/

    Robert Lustig who is mentioned above is one of them. I especially like Malcolm McKendrick, a Scottish doctor, who has demolished the whole cholesterol/fat ideology as the cause of heart disease. Another pair of researchers explains why we overeat. Essentially we keep eating till we get enough protein and most of the foods we eat have little protein so we are constantly hungry. Another was an expert on low carb diets. Another was an expert on Vitamin D.

    I’m currently watching a video with McKendrick on the doctoring of research data. His son came up with the title.

  10. 10
    Fasteddious says:

    Almost twenty months ago I posted an analysis of COVID-19 risk of death vs. age:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2020/08/some-covid-19-analyses.html
    Plotting the fatality risk on a semi-log graph revealed a straight line over five orders of magnitude, something rarely (if ever) seen in a medical situation! This variation held more or less steady for a year, after which I lost interest.
    When I first found this straight line and its close exponential fit (R = 0.998), I was amazed and tried to report it to some news people, as well as some local and provincial health care groups. No one took any notice! Perhaps they did not understand logarithms or exponential equations?
    I also concluded, as reported in this OP, that the risk to children was sufficiently low to allow schools to stay open, and children/students to be unaffected (with some exceptions). But here too, the powers that be and their fearmongering decided otherwise, leading to a year or more of lockdowns, masking, social distancing, closed schools, etc.
    A little informed investigative journalism, allowed to publish alternative views and findings, would perhaps have gone a long way to minimizing the impacts of the lock-step pandemic responses we have endured.

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    Fasteddious @9,
    Nicely done!

    It’s frustrating that none of this is acceptable to the “follow the science” crowd since they only follow their science and only as long as it fits their narrative. I guess “science” is now changed to a position statement and political talking points in a sort of Frankenstein unified narrative.

    I guess we’ll soon see an announcement out of the CDC to the effect that Covid-19 mRNA injections also cures cancer! And no one will object.

    -Q

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