To the radical progressive socialist democrats, science is no longer a fundamental tool for exploring and understanding our universe, it has become a tool to justify the use of arbitrary power unmoored from the Constitution and the rule of law.
Worse, the mainstream media no longer critically examines and reports the contents of science-related stories, but twists the reporting to fit the fashionable progressive agenda.
Even worse, highly speculative preliminary reports filled with weasel-works like: can, might, may, and others, are reported with a degree of certitude and assurance that turns speculation into actionable facts that may be used to implement public policy. Including dangerous conflations between cause and effect, not to mention the unjustified use of numbers reported to two decimal places that give the impression of precision, but are nothing more than the mathematical artifacts of the division process.
Assumptions drive the narrative…
Consider that much of the fashionable environmental science is based on an untruth that sounds believable. Thomas Malthus (circa 1798) wrote a book, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which posited that a growing population would outstrip the planetary resources to sustain life sometime in the future. Basically that the population grows at a geometric ratio while the food supply grows at an arithmetic ratio – thus producing adverse consequences in the future. An assumption that has been used by politicians to implement public policies that purport to conserve planetary resources in the future.
The truth is far different. Malthus did not anticipate scientific advances in medicine and crop production, including disease-resistant and drought-resistant crops. Nor did he anticipate labor-saving devices that allowed limited labor to produce outsize crop yields. This is the basis for those who promote population control, de-growth policies, and use the Malthusian principle as a rubric for the global climate movement.
Unfortunately, demographers are noting that population is not the problem; it is actually the ratio of age differences that matters. It is now assumed that the population may peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion and then fall to 8.8 billion by 2100. It is exacerbated by falling birth rates in many countries and lower sperm counts. But the shocker is that, if you can believe the projections, by 2100, there will be one child under the age of five for every five people over the age of 80. Pretty much why the Malthusian crowd silently celebrates the pandemic, which seems to disproportionately target older people who consume a disproportionate amount of healthcare and result in massive unfunded pension costs.
Funding bias and peer pressure...
Much of today’s medical and environmental science tends to confirm the fashionable thoughts of the day. A function of funding new studies with agreeable hypotheses and less money for the replication, assurance-testing, and falsification of existing works – especially those published by well-credentialed individuals working at prestigious institutions. Unfortunately, as Albert Einstein said, “your work can come crashing down with one paper proving a different result.” Likewise, it may be politically and financially foolhardy for a younger scientist to challenge a more established one, lest they are ostracized, lose funding, and not be invited to conferences.
There is little or no doubt in my mind that certain scientists and the mainstream media have hidden studies and results that do not conform to the fashionable narrative. Other studies hyped by the media as headline news are based on sample sizes so small as to be negligible and should be reported as anecdotal stories.
Science by consensus, meta-studies that are worthless...
I am deeply concerned when scientists analyze the work of other studies and perform a meta-analysis, adding up the pros and cons of existing studies and then presenting the total as objective truth or as if they actually performed the underlying work themselves. The consensus is a political process, not a scientific one.
Peer review means little or nothing in an ideological age…
The media has also distorted the meaning of “peer-reviewed” papers in various scientific journals. In fact, the concept of peer-review is a publishing process, first to weed-out unacceptable papers, second to correct obvious errors, and third, to assist the author in clarifying meaning. Reviewers do not replicate, authenticate, or falsify the author’s work. The reviewers do not generally have access to the data, make no calculations of their own, nor do they question the methodology unless there are gross and obvious mistakes. A peer-reviewed paper means that the submitted work meets the respective journal’s standards and is of interest to its audience. Many scientists skirt this process by releasing their own “pre-prints” of non-reviewed papers that they are planning to submit to a journal or who have submitted the paper which remains unaccepted. Unfortunately, these pre-prints are given the same weight by the media as a peer-reviewed paper.
But no matter what the failings of science may be, they are dwarfed by the machinations of the progressive mainstream media which simply ignores the work of contrarians while over-hyping the work that advances the progressive narrative.
The Fauci effect…
Consider Dr. Anthony Fauci, a physician, and immunologist, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for 36 years. Well-credentialed, Dr. Fauci is little more than a mirror and a megaphone, repeating the latest fashionable science of the day while using weasel-words in case the information is incomplete or incorrect. First, the Chinese Flu was to be taken seriously, but no more dangerous than the seasonal Flu. Later becoming a significant threat to the population unless those in newly assumed positions of power applied stringent public policies. Or that masks were ineffective or unnecessary under certain conditions and now should be almost mandatory. And, then there are those dire projections that facilitated power grabs by local and state officials. Some wildly wrong and some deliberately false as the reporting of virus cases was incentivized by extra compensation for real or imagined cases. Even worse, there are times when Dr. Fauci affects the discussion of economic and governance realities with a narrow focus on only the medicine. Or opines on subjects outside of his expertise.
The public no longer knows who to trust. The progressive media has destroyed the apparent validity of science with its biased reporting. Moreover, destroying trust in governmental institutions by their continual demonization of the federal government and its leadership.
As for the local and state governments, we are observing incompetent and irresponsible politicians using science to explain and excuse their own and their party’s failures – many failures existing decades before the current pandemic.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell