“Follow the Science.” OK, Where is it Going?
“Follow the science” is a phrase I’ve heard over and over during the last 18-months. It’s three words every healthcare expert from those in government, the political arena and the media have repeated over and over. Ironically, they have no concept of just how literal they really are.
It takes a long time for a scientific theory to become proven and in the interim, that theory and all related information can shift all over the place. The difference is that while in the proving phase, most science isn’t thrust into full view of the public. Those theories are just quietly debated and can be modified over and over in private, which takes years. Yes, science can change, and it does.
However, the recent COVID-19 directives, justified by “according to science” - another parroted phrase, are always absolute - even though they later change. It’s all very confusing and causes many of us to ask questions. Here’s an example of such inconsistency. We were told on 2/17/20 that “there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.” (Dr. Fauci). Then within the next 10-months Dr. Fauci, as a virologist and representative of the scientific community, changed his mind twice more. After first dismissing masks as a preventive, we were then encouraged to mask-up in public and by the end of that period Fauci stated that “double-masking makes common sense and is likely more effective”. Dr. Fauci wasn’t the only one, but he publicly led the charge often quoting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH). The mask question continues.
By December 2020 and January 2021 when multiple companies began introducing what they called vaccines to the public, we were told this would be the answer to returning to a more normal life, but that story changed, too. After being mask-free for several months - even those who had received the shots were being encouraged to again wear masks because of a new COVID-19 variant. That’s not news and should not cause panic because viruses always mutate and develop new variants, that’s their nature! In an article in July 2021 from Tufts University one researcher explains that phenomenon and why it’s going to keep happening because it’s normal for viruses to mutate and morph into different forms which is why the seasonal flu vaccine changes from year to year.
All this is exhausting to me and further demonstrates that just because the name of science is invoked to frighten or intimidate – it doesn’t really mean much at all, until that scientific theory is proven. Even at that, science is not perfect, which continues to remind us why the practice of medicine is called “practice”. None of them get it right 100% of the time.
To demonstrate where proven science didn’t get it right, here are a couple of examples – big ones. We could start with the 19th century belief that Phrenology was totally valid and that one could determine if people had criminal tendencies, were highly intelligent or had an aptitude for a given job, simply by measuring the bumps on their head. That was later dismissed as pseudo-science, but at the time, it was an approved diagnostic tool. Then, besides Irreversible Cell Differentiation and Nerve Cell Stagnation, both of which were later discarded based on the cloning of Dolly the Sheep in the 1990’s and then the realization that nerve cells in the brain can be both reborn and healed. So, both these scientific conclusions were later debunked. One more may be the worst, yet. Science actually defined homosexuality as an illness with their belief that gay people were sick. Another scientific misstep from the American Psychiatric Association in 1952 and when the infamous World Health Organization (WHO) classified homosexuality as a mental illness in 1977. WHO didn’t change its stance until 1990 and even the Chinese Society of Psychiatry kept homosexuality in its catalog of mental disorders until 2001. All wrong, again.
It’s hard to believe science is God when science has been all over the place on the subject of Climate Change. For example, on November 1, 2018, a major academic paper warned that our oceans were warming at an alarming rate. The study was undertaken by some of the world’s most pre-eminent climate scientists but here was just one problem – it wasn’t true. There had been an error in the math. When this mistake was caught, the scientific community merely issued a climate correction – to explain the screwup. The man-made effects on climate variances are still in hot debate, regardless of the absolute position many politicians and the media take. All scientists do not agree on this subject as it relates to both the degree to which change might be occurring and what is really the cause. When we see back-peddling it contributes to us wanting to pause and rethink a little. First the subject was referred to as global warming and the world was ending in 2012, then it became climate change since the warming theory was discredited enough to make that climate correction I mentioned earlier.
Scientific debates continue on many topics which made me look up the definition of science. It said: science is a process based on observation, experimental investigation and theories (yes, plural – theories). The latter taking years of testing and debate before such science is proven. Scientific fact doesn’t ever occur within 90-days, 6-months or even 18-months - so, please don’t let yourself be intimidated by the words “science” or “scientific” and allow that to be used as a cudgel to browbeat you into one belief or another. Independent thought is especially vital when science-based mandates can affect your overall health, as some of the COVID-19 mandates can.
I refer you back to a blog I wrote in early June of 2021 titled: Are You a Thinker or a Repeater? Today most in the media are repeaters, most politicians are repeaters, and most bureaucrats are also repeaters. That’s a problem when they’re the ones we’re supposed to be listening to. Instead, individuals need to seek multiple opinions, do their own research, use their own cognitive abilities, and draw conclusions that also includes an element of common sense. In other words, we can’t let ourselves be bullied just because someone demands we obey using some edict emanating from “science”.
As someone who believes that people should be empowered to make their own decisions, I can’t help but jump on my soapbox about this whole subject. Consider my bias, consider other blogs I’ve written and then determine if the opinion offered here is at least worth considering.