Opinion

Science Has Become a Progressive Platform During Covid

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Posted: Oct 18, 2021 12:01 AM
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Science Has Become a Progressive Platform During Covid

Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A neighbor down the street has a front yard sign extolling “Black Lives Matter” and “Follow the Science.” I suspect that like most progressives, she couldn’t follow the science if she had a leash on it. America’s progressive state as Victor Davis Hanson has warned, “often expects Americans to give up their ancient freedoms to a vast, unelected, and unaudited permanent administrative state, to be run by credentialed functionaries and sanctioned ‘experts’.“

I cover below two progressive scientific sanctities. The first is how we free Americans must behave during the Covid-19 epidemic; the second is how we must follow what climate scientists prescribe. I intend to convey this gaggle of scientists as educated Idiots, borrowing a term from BruceThornton.

Following the science, at least as it is presented by our “leaders” has become de regur, particularly since the Biden-Behemoth has taken control of our country, our armed forces, the CDC and HHS, and the DER. Their reach descends all way down to local school boards across America.

Science, by its very nature, is supposed to be politically agnostic. As Gary Saul Morson states, “If science is treated as a solid block, each part of which is as indubitable as all the others, than science has been misunderstood…Scientists corrode public trust when they pretend to have authority on social and political matters.”

I earned my doctorate in Communication and quantitative research methodology at the University of Michigan from 1975-1977. Mine was a social science course of study during which I was honored to be taught quantitative scientific methods by some of the finest social scientists in the world.

During this time America had two Presidents—Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Never once did any of my quantitative research professors descend into the scientific implications of the political policies of either of those figureheads, although I am confident there was plenty to talk about. It was all about following carefully the scientific method wherever it may lead you. You, based on your careful review of the scientific literature, developed a hypothesis/research question, formulated a research design, followed it rigorously, and then carefully analyzed your data. Even if it discredited or countered your hypothesis, you reported it unswervingly because that too was an important contribution to science and your field of study. One of the scholars I was educated to emulate was Michael Polanyi.

Michael Polanyi, a Hungarian polymath (learned about any things) was noted for his far-reaching research in the physical sciences, including chemical kinetics, x-ray diffraction, and adsorption of gases. He began his career as a medical doctor and moved into the physical sciences, pioneering the theory of fiber diffraction analysis and the dislocation theory of plastic deformation of ductile metals and other materials. He once said: “We must somehow learn to understand and so to tolerate- not destroy- the free society.” I am positive that Messrs. Biden and Dr. Fauci were never exposed to the brilliant Michael Polanyi.

Health Science

Dr. Anthony Fauci has and continues to lead America’s response to Covid-19 and its variants. Progressives continue to promote him as the all-knowing arbitrator of medical science. He is hardly that as Michael Howard, M.D. explained earlier. Senator Rand Paul, a real, formerly practicing physician before entering politics said that Fauci has been “spreading mistruths across our country” like the ridiculous mask mandates for children. Dr. Paul argues that there are people in America at the behest of Anthony Fauci and his minions on high, acting like a Polit bureau, advancing politicized science rather than relying on the personal knowledge of practicing physicians who have first-hand experience seeing what treatments work and what don’t. Many Americans are struggling, dying every day because they have never heard from our government about monoclonal antibodies or can’t receive them because they are hospitalized, Fauci says you don’t get that treatment.

Real science, not Faucian politicized science, also tells us that for real protection the N95 mask is far and away the best defense (eliminating 95% percent or more of tiny 0.3-micrometer Covid-19 droplets) while cloth masks block only 10-30% of Covid aerosol-sized particles. Yet, feeling his bureaucratic oats, the very governmental tyranny the U.S. Constitution protects us from, Fauci requires Americans to mask up in lockstep despite its problematic value in preventing the acquisition or spread of Covid. And when a governor with common sense like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, does follow the real, not bureaucratic science, he is condemned by the Fed’s Dr. Fauci as well as the mainstream media enablers, and becomes a progressive pariah. 

Polanyi warns us that there exists ineffable and unarticulated knowledge among scientists and doctors that must be susceptible neither to politics, language or whim. I feel confident that neither Messrs. Biden, Fauci, nor the media “experts” have never bothered to consult Michael Polanyi’s writings.

Climate Science

John Stossel wrote recently about Facebook censoring his video, suggesting that government mismanagement of California’s forests was probably a bigger culprit in their recent forest fires than climate change. Facebook’s fact-checker, used to censor Stossel is Climate Feedback; they are abjectly leftist. The intention of the global warming/climate change movement purportedly is to save the world from climate catastrophe. Also pimping for this worldwide movement is media darling Greta Thunberg who never saw a television camera for which she wasn’t ready to preen.

Make no mistake about it, climate change and science are a huge, aggregate industry. There are 49 academic journals related to climate science and 44 worldwide conferences devoted to the subject. There are also 10 climate change research centers and societies.

Unsurprisingly, researchers follow the money and with climate change, there is more than enough money to make scientists beholding to the subject and superstars at their universities and the media--a self-fulfilling business model. This is also the overwhelming credibility rub. At universities worldwide, scientists receive a promotion, tenure and pay raises based on how much grant money they bring in and academic articles they publish.

This is an academic closed loop of which we must be war. If you want to get your research funded and later, published in climate change journals, your research had better confirm the received view that the world is in grave peril. A climate science faculty member who was neutral on the subject and wanted to rigorously test the validity of carbon causing the ongoing rise in temperatures around the world would simply be ignored or treated as a pariah. What scientist in his/her right mind would volunteer for that? Bjorn Lomborg is the exception, taking the wind out of climate science hysteria.

An apt ending quotes Polanyi’s book, Personal Knowledge: Toward a Post-Critical Philosophy, that informed my science training at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research: “‘Belief is a treacherous word when applied to scientific knowledge. There are all kinds of beliefs that scientists and other people regard as unscientific, false, or immoral. So how can we distinguish valid scientific belief from other forms of belief?... Through the scientific method, devised precisely for the purpose of elucidating the nature of things under more carefully controlled conditions and by more rigorous criteria than are present in the situations created by practical problems.”

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