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“Follow the science” is becoming a jibe in the age of COVID panic

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We’d feared this and warned about it. Telling people to “follow the science” when it isn’t making any sense is just asking for pushback:

Mainstream news outlets have gone after COVID-19 conspiracy theorists with a passion. But when it comes to equally important science topics, they have no problem ignoring evidence and promoting conspiratorial nonsense. This blatant hypocrisy causes confusion and fuels the public’s skepticism of science more broadly…

It’s not surprising that journalists make mistakes when covering complex science topics. Given the many pressures they face, simple oversights were forgivable. But the media regularly complain about the so-called “infodemic” plaguing the internet in our post-COVID era. They criticize social media companies for promoting anti-vaccine content and psychoanalyze people prone to accepting coronavirus conspiracies. Rather shamelessly, the Washington Post has also offered tips to stop yourself from spreading “misinformation.” And the Guardian has even recommended “10 ideas to rebuild our broken internet.” Let’s add an eleventh: take your own advice and stop running sloppy stories because they attract eyeballs.

Cameron English, “Cameron English” at American Council on Science and Health

Great links there, illustrating English’s points.

Consider the science in yer trusty news hack’s environment:

In Ontario, the schools were shut but in BC they were open. In Ontario the churches were open but the schools were shut. In both provinces, the bars were open. In Quebec, there was a curfew, seriously enforced with many arrests.

From all this, the trusty Follower of Science can glean: All variants of coronavirus are teetotallers so they never go to bars. The Ontario version is Woke so it has joined the war on literacy and numeracy. The BC virus is cool with literacy and numeracy but hates religion. The Quebec virus has tiny viral wristwatches that tell it the time so it can attack people at night.

Pretty dense information packing for a virus featuring 900 bytes.

But Following the Science gives us the Strength we need to Go On Believing and stifle doubt. Doubt is the Enemy of Science. Right?

Eventually, science becomes indistinguishable from elite-approved superstition.

See also: What your news feed will look like if Big Tech runs it. Reading Elkus’s essay, one wants to ask, “Who is the collective ‘we’ who are supposed to be out of control?” The pundits demanding crackdowns on social media seldom accuse themselves of bad social behavior; those who dispute their views are always the guilty ones.

14 Replies to ““Follow the science” is becoming a jibe in the age of COVID panic

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Rather shamelessly, the Washington Post has also offered tips to stop yourself from spreading “misinformation.” And the Guardian has even recommended “10 ideas to rebuild our broken internet.” Let’s add an eleventh: take your own advice and stop running sloppy stories because they attract eyeballs.

    I agree with this. The problem is that newspapers are locked in a vicious circulation war with each other and have been for some time. The temptation to go with whatever will “attract eyeballs” is usually too great when your survival could be at stake and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    In Ontario, the schools were shut but in BC they were open. In Ontario the churches were open but the schools were shut. In both provinces, the bars were open. In Quebec, there was a curfew, seriously enforced with many arrests.

    From all this, the trusty Follower of Science can glean: All variants of coronavirus are teetotallers so they never go to bars. The Ontario version is Woke so it has joined the war on literacy and numeracy. The BC virus is cool with literacy and numeracy but hates religion. The Quebec virus has tiny viral wristwatches that tell it the time so it can attack people at night.

    And is all that inconsistency due to the science itself or to our political masters manipulating it for their own ends?

    But Following the Science gives us the Strength we need to Go On Believing and stifle doubt. Doubt is the Enemy of Science. Right?

    Wrong, at least in principle, as doubt should be an essential part of the scientific method. It’s religion that trades in certainties.

  2. 2

    .
    #1 … says the guy that only requires a logical impossibility occur before he will acknowledge documented science and history.

  3. 3

    .
    Sev, did you have any follow-up you wanted to add:

    .Sev: Once more, in my view, we are able to infer design on two grounds.

    UB: I bet you won’t stand by the words you write next.

    Sev The phenomenon or entity has not been observed to result from natural processes

    UB: For this criterium to be meaningful (to not assume its conclusion) it would require the observation of the phenomena arising from natural processes. An encoded memory system (as that predicted by von Neumann) has never been observed as a result of natural processes. You’ll notice that this statement does not assume any conclusion, it is merely a statement of documented fact.

    Sev: … and (the phenomenon) resembles what human beings design to a degree sufficient to at least raise the possibility of intelligent design.

    UB: The phenomenon in question is a measurable (exclusively identifiable) physical organization. It has never been observed arising from anything but human intelligence. This fact satisfies your “sufficiency” criterium to the highest degree that is logically possible; it is a matter of universal record.

    That is two for two, Seversky. You will now backtrack and obfuscate, if you choose to respond at all.

  4. 4
    Karen McMannus says:

    Washington Post.

    Hehe.

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    Yup. The most basic rule in science is distinguishing constants from variables. This year has been the largest experiment in history, with every possible variable claimed (for a while) to be effective against “the virus”.

    In fact the real virus (if any) has been running the same way respiratory viruses always run, and absolutely none of these “treatments” correlate in the slightest.

    The “treatments” correlate perfectly with total destruction of the human species. That’s their purpose.

    A real clinical trial on ANY of these tyrannical murder weapons would have been halted before it began, and the proposers would have been jailed for life. No real ethics committee would have approved destroying the world to cure the common cold.

  6. 6

    .
    Sort of OT…

    A few weeks ago I looked, but could not find. The Moderna messenger RNA vaccine (mRNA-1273, for the COVID spike protein) … has anyone read somewhere or otherwise know how big it is?

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    If more people cared about science over fear of COVID-19, they would be asking a lot of questions about the RNA vaccine that are not being asked. In 2019, there was no human testing being allowed in the United States at all for RNA. Very few countries were allowing human testing, with Venezuela being one of them.

    In 2019, no company was looking at RNA as a vaccine for any coronavirus. It takes, on average 10 years to produce a market worthy drug or vaccine, with most failing from the human trials part. In less than a year, RNA was introduced as a means to vaccinate people, which skipped a great deal of steps.

    Pfizer has a questionably ethical past and put a billion dollars bet on their vaccine. In less than a year of trials, the short and long-term side effects are not known.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    Mass Media Follow The Science is for those who

    1. Need someone to tell them what to believe because they…
    A. Can’t Tell What Science Is
    B. Couldn’t Actually Follow The Science If They Knew
    C. Not Interested In Following Science because It’s Not Satisfying Emotionally (my lovely wife)

    This goes for a LOT of people.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    So lemme do a quick poll:

    How many think a flood of state government paid-for TV ads every commercial break with crying nurses begging you to wear masks is Science?

    Andrew

  10. 10
  11. 11
    AaronS1978 says:

    “ They criticize social media companies for promoting anti-vaccine content and psychoanalyze people prone to accepting coronavirus conspiracies”

    What planet is this writer writing from? is he not even paying attention to social media because they are not promoting anti-vaccine anything

    Go on Facebook for about one minute and this is proven wrong

    Is this guy completely out of touch?

    Social media pushes vaccines constantly to the point of absurdity

    I have to get a vaccine just in case even though I had the disease and beat the disease I should get it because I can still kill somebody

    This goes against every drop of science I have ever learned in the history of my life when it comes to immunity

    Vaccines are literally a safe way to infect yourself with the disease So you can become immune to it without experiencing the deadly effects of the disease

    It’s like asking somebody who had chickenpox to get the chickenpox vaccine because you’ll spread chickenpox and kill somebody

    If you really can’t become immune to the disease in the first place it doesn’t matter how many vaccines you get

    This is like microbiology 101 but that’s been thrown out the window by social media

    This is a nonsense article and doesn’t understand what social media is actually pushing

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    Vaccines are literally a safe way to infect yourself with the disease So you can become immune to it without experiencing the deadly effects of the disease

    I don’t believe this is true. Maybe with some vaccines but not even for small pox.

    The current vaccines are injecting mRNA or essentially seeds for the spike protein. The J&J and Astrozenica vaccines are doing something similar.

    The spike proteins then appear outside cells and are attacked by the immune system. So when the viron for the C19 virus appears it will attack the spiked protein on this virus.

    Now the vaccines can trigger other things of which we are just finding out. But they are not infecting with the actual virus.

    When one says you are immune to something; it does not mean one cannot get the infection. It just means that one’s immune system attacks it quickly when infected and gets rid of it almost immediately.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    From Scott Adams

    The great thing about science is that it tells you whatever you want to hear.

    In other words science supports anything you want it to.

  14. 14
    Belfast says:

    @Seversky @1.
    You end a rambling but largely uncontroversial comment with…
    “It’s religion that trades in certainties.”
    Can’t help yourself, can you?

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