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At The Scientist: “… who will believe us again?”

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Recently, we mentioned The Scientist’s take on the Surgisphere scandal. A reader writes to draws our attention to a quote from the article:

“Now people are so confused about what science can give you—whether hydroxychloroquine works, it doesn’t work, it’s fake, it’s not fake—that it’s going to be very difficult for us scientists then to use any type of article or publication,” says García. “Now that they know scientists can lie, who will believe us again?”

Catherine Offord, “The Surgisphere Scandal: What Went Wrong?” at The Scientist

Well, no one should believe them, the way people used to, particularly, especially now that Scientific American has endorsed a political candidate (who isn’t even a scientist.)

One gets the feeling that many science boffins don’t “get” what is happening. It won’t be easy to make “Trust the science” mean what it used to.

On the ground, it now means something between “Sign on to this superstition rather than that one.” and “Do what you’re told or else!”

When church services are cancelled but angry political gatherings are not, you have to know that science isn’t driving the process anyway. So our moral and intellectual superiors are not really looking to science for rescue.

If this continues, science will come to be seen as synonymous with the authority to force people to do things, irrelevant to outcome.

The change in the way science is regarded will probably be a slow morph away from the idea that every sensible person trusts science toward the question, “Why are they REALLY saying that?”

A more promising possibility: The Covid scare dies down but people start noticing the same pattern in other areas of science. “Natural selection did it” has the same explanatory value as “God did it.” But natural selection is somehow science and God is not. Why? How?

Some conversations may become possible that were not possible before.

See also: Another take on what went wrong with Surgisphere at The Lancet. We are told that the warning signs “were there all along.”

and

Scientific American breaks with 175-year tradition, endorses Joe Biden for US President.

5 Replies to “At The Scientist: “… who will believe us again?”

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Science boffins don’t get what’s happening… Exactly. That’s the puzzling part, or maybe it’s scary insead of puzzling.

    Why it’s not really puzzling: Big Science happens in Big Bubbles. College towns don’t have a lot of normal people, and researchers work superlong hours. Not much chance to interact with different opinions either in person or online, even if they wanted to.

    Why it might be scary: Big Science has been closely tied to Deepstate since 1946, when the structure of the Manhattan Project expanded to create federal grants in all subjects. Researchers who veer away from orthodoxy don’t get the postgrad and don’t even get close to tenure. They are accustomed to keeping secrets and operating in intel mode. So they probably know the endpoint of this mess.

    When criminals don’t care that witnesses can see and identify them, it means the criminals plan to kill all the witnesses. That’s the scary scenario.

  2. 2
    OldArmy94 says:

    I look at this as a silver lining on a dark cloud. REAL science is a process, not an inviolate sacred space. Cynicism among the general public has helped restore science to its proper place, an often messy, humbling process for discovering truth, and removed the idol from its altar at the same time.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    @2 is what I used to believe
    Until their quest became over turning common sense, killing long held beliefs for headlines, quest to bury god, become the sole authority on all that exists because science is the ONLY source of truth, and to assert dominion over want they study which is the true driving for behind science and they hide behind the Supposed benefit to man kind

    A recent example is an excuse to say we’re splicing animals with human DNA and creating better chimera creatures so we can figure out how to deal with COVID-19 This mouse’s brain is 4% human brain cells, our Righteous experiments will help figure out COVID-19 now

    This was the reasoning these people gave for making the chimera (my hint of sarcasm)

    They really want to do is find out what parts of the human consciousness is encoded in our DNA, And to be honest with you the only thing that really would serve is the attempt to try to show there is no soul and we aren’t special
    Covid was the current excuse, before it was cancer and Alzheimer’s

    It’s not about truth, it’s about control

  4. 4
    Truthfreedom says:

    3 AaronS1978

    They really want to do is find out what parts of the human consciousness is encoded in our DNA,

    What they are looking for (the soul) is not material. Keep trying guys, the harder you struggle, the deeper you sink. 🙂

    Materialism’s Failures: Hylemorphism’s Vindication. (Aristotle is back).

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    AaronS1978,

    It’s not about truth, it’s about control

    Well said!

    -Q

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