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And now… New Scientist tells us herd immunity is “bad science”… Rob Sheldon responds

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. Read More ›

The journal Nature defends its right to cover politics

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.” Read More ›

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

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!" Read More ›

Will respect for science survive the polarization of our era?

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? Read More ›

At Retraction Watch: “Transparently absurd” paper at Elsevier

Retraction Watch: Erm, about that concerning peer review process. Elsevier also was the publisher of the equally risible book chapter claiming that COVID-19 came to earth on a meteorite. Read More ›

John West: Science and scientism in the Age of COVID

David Klinghoffer: As Dr. West explains, for all the blessings of science, there are problems with saying, as some literally have done, “In Fauci we trust.” Read More ›

CS Lewis, COVID-19, and scientism

"Seventy-five years ago, C.S. Lewis published his novel ”That Hideous Strength,” which explored the dangers of government in the name of science. What relevance does Lewis's advice on the promise and perils of science-based public policy have in the age of COVID-19 and beyond? " Read More ›

Tales of the Woke: #MeTooSTEM leader faked up COVID-19 victim

At The Scientist:But after McLaughlin announced @Sciencing_Bi’s death from COVID-19 several days ago, people began trying to identify her, and her story began to fall apart. Scientists who had considered @Sciencing_Bi an online friend turned from mourning her death to accusing McLaughlin of inventing her outright … Read More ›

Could COVID-19 help us understand the current buzz in science media about space aliens?

It’s worth noting that we haven’t established that there are even fossil bacteria on Mars. But we are starting to hear more than ever that there are intelligent aliens out there, most recently from Ars Technica and Scientific American. Fundamentally, we have found nothing since the Sixties that truly suggests extraterrestrial civilizations. Nothing. If they want to keep looking, fine. Nobody’s stopping them. But spare us the dramatics. Read More ›

The high costs of scam science

Wright: What was also not-so-novel about the COVID crisis was its origin in scam or junk science. John Ionnnidis, one of the leading critics of weak scientific work, jumped right in to alert people and policymakers about the many problems with various predictive models but he was largely ignored despite being one of the most highly-cited scientists alive. That is actually not unusual. Read More ›

COVID-19 and the need for skeptics in science

St. Onge: For COVID-19, Ferguson predicted 3 million deaths in America unless we basically shut down the economy. Panicked policymakers took his prediction as gospel, dressed as it was in the cloak of science. Read More ›

At ACSH: Understanding the loss of credibility of expert opinion, post-COVID-19

Berezow: A loss of credibility, therefore, happens for other reasons. In the case of coronavirus, we believe there are five reasons: Incompetence, waffling, moving the goalposts, disregarding unintended consequences, and being political. Read More ›