At Phys.org: This September, Pääbo and colleague Hugo Zeberg announced that the major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals.
Just stop people from talking
Virologist Luis Villarreal: All of these RNA viruses exist as quasispecies, which is a population of variants that hover around the average.
Researcher: “Missing overlapping genes puts us in peril of overlooking important aspects of viral biology,” said Nelson. “In terms of genome size, SARS-CoV-2 and its relatives are among the longest RNA viruses that exist. They are thus perhaps more prone to ‘genomic trickery’ than other RNA viruses.”
It’s hard to understand why these people imagine that the Big Science response to COVID-19 would be viewed by many people as a success. Many people around the world have experienced it as one panicfest after another, featuring contradictory opinions on all sorts of things shouted at us from “the science.”
PNAS’s Darwin rubbish is neither knowledge nor wisdom. It’s just Politically Correct Darwin rubbish. All it demonstrates is that science is in a rut.
Science has been running and screaming in so many different directions re COVID-19 and now, here’s a fun example.
Hey, that’s good news. But what about all the people whose lives were turned upside down by the herd of stampeding buffalo otherwise known as our moral and intellectual superiors?
In fact, during the COVID crisis, a great deal of the blather for science made no sense at all, a fact that is becoming more and more evident. People won’t immediately give up believing in science as a result. Rather, they will begin to treat it as the superstition of the social elite. It doesn’t make sense and doesn’t need to. It is wisely got around wherever possible.That’s not what science used to be but that;s what many policy decisions have made it.
Because what our betters really want is that their nonsense, whatever it stems from and wherever it leads, always be dressed up as “science.”
Rob Sheldon: We have the data to improve our models and the much-attacked Greater Barrington declaration suggests that we should, since the DATA from Sweden show that lockdowns are neither necessary nor even helpful. But this author suggests that the models are perfect, and therefore the data must be rejected in the name of science, of course. He is displaying, even in his own scientific subfield, the same TRUST in science, that we disparaged in Nature. The disease of deification begun by Darwin is far more pervasive than anyone wants to admit. You might say that herd immunity hasn’t yet been reached.
Mahlberg: In the latest major backflip, the WHO has condemned lockdowns as a primary strategy for combating the spread of the virus, after originally recommending them.
No one says Nature can’t be active in politics and publish screeds of this type. What its staff can’t do—because nobody can—is be both a participant and a referee. They’ve chosen to be participants, fine. Then, “Listen to science” has as much clout as “Listen to the union boss” and “Listen to the corporate head office.” Which is to say, the next time they bellyache that people don’t listen to science, all one can respond is, “Take a number and wait. Meanwhile, suck it up.”
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!”
Alternatively, it may become possible to have a discussion about what, exactly, science is. For example, in the case of the ATP turbine, “Natural selection did it” has the same explicit explanatory value as “God did it.” But natural selection is somehow science and God is not. Why? How?