Philosophy Science

Why “Follow the science” is an empty slogan

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A lot of good points made here:

First, statistics don’t interpret themselves. There are often multiple, competing explanations for the same result, and we are left to choose among them. Sometimes, in fact, the same data can even be used to support opposing positions—especially when there is a dispute about cause and effect (or about whether there is no cause or effect at all, but rather just correlation). A 2019 study showed that about 38 million Americans were living below the poverty line, an alarmingly high number. But a different study, produced at around the same time, indicated that if the poorest fifth of America’s population made up their own nation, it would be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Is America an unconscionably cruel bastion of feudal inequality—or a beacon of prosperity where even the least fortunate live relatively comfortable lives? Both claims are supported by data.

Ilana Redstone, “Why ‘Just Follow the Science’ Won’t Solve All Our Problems” at Quillette

9 Replies to “Why “Follow the science” is an empty slogan

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    No. Redstone either doesn’t understand the problem or is part of the problem. When she advises “both sides” to cool down, she is ONLY advising the Deplorables to stop questioning the priesthood. The priests will not take the advice. They own all knowledge now, and will not let the peasants read the scriptures. The priests own all power now, so they have no reason to slow down the holocaust. Destruction gives them pleasure, and pleasure requires constant increase to maintain the addiction.

    If Redstone understands this difference, she’s a paid agent of the monsters. If she doesn’t understand, she’s hopelessly naive.

  2. 2
    JVL says:

    Ah, I think I understand what is happening: my comments are being excluded from various threads without a blanket ban from the site.

    I don’t know who is doing that but they are behaving in a very cowardly fashion. If your beliefs and notions can’t stand up to scrutiny then you ban those questioning them? Really.

    Obviously, Uncommon Descent is NOT about having a dialogue or even comparing and contrasting view points. It’s about promoting a group of views and suppressing dissent of those views. Pure and simple.

    Well done for being the kind of people you rail against.

  3. 3
    JVL says:

    Yes, pretty clearly someone is preventing me from commenting on some threads.

    So, whoever it is, supports censorship despite their claims to the contrary.

    At least it’s clearer now what some on this site actually support: the party line and nothing else.

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    News: do you approve of some commenters being restricted in which threads they can respond to on this site? What does that tell you about your fellow moderators?

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Scott Adams commented on this. It’s not trusting science vs not following the science. It’s which scientists do you trust are telling the truth? And just what is truth in certain situations?

    It’s not truth that apparently matters but the narrative that must be served and scientists are as political as anyone. The best examples are racism, poverty, climate, economics and of course the panic of the moment, the C19 virus.

    Probably the biggest fallacy of all is “absence of proof is not proof of absence.”

    Of course there is the issue of just what constitutes proof as opposed to strongly supportive vs refutation or just not supportive. Or then just irrelevant.

    A lot of what gets discussed is the latter.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    I think there is a glitch in the system. The comment box appears on some threads but not on others. My guess it has nothing to do with moderation.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    LoL! JVL you don’t want a dialog. Scrutiny? The pap you believe in can even stand up to first graders

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, there was an update, and WP is obviously having a bug-fest. The bad thing is, it may be hard to revert without data loss. BTW, why do you think I was putting up test comments a few days ago? My account was not only locking threads, it was inconsistently telling me to log in on some threads while I was logged in and able to post on others. There were other symptoms indicating hack attempts. Compare my reaction to yours in the chain of over the top comments and projections above; what should we think per the psychology of cognitive dissonance and confession by projection? KF

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    What I don’t understand is how one can “follow the science” when “the science is settled,” after which one is only permitted orthodoxy or heresy.

    -Q

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