Most people don’t even know what science is. People confuse “science” with the things science discovers. Science itself is not a thing or a conclusion about something; it is a method. It is the process of discovery. For example, the speed of light is not “science” it is something that the scientific method discovered. If you don’t believe the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second, it doesn’t mean you don’t believe in science, or are a science denier, you just don’t believe a particular decision that the scientific method of discovery has come to. A decision made by a scientist is typically obtained after robust experimentation, theorizing, and heated debate with other scientists. Those decisions are not by any means irrefutable. Just ask a scientist. Scientists are always contesting what science discovers, saying it is incomplete or what not.
Scientists do not want their work, their discoveries, and their methods to be considered dogmatic. The rank and file masses do; they are always trying to make science a religion, but instead they make it a superstition, or closer to superstition than to science. Remember when Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments? He left all the Israelites down in the valley un-chaperoned. They then had a big party and made a golden calf to worship. The masses always want some thing to worship. Nowadays, for many, the old Abrahamic God is out of vogue, so they transfer their faith to what they call “science.” They want something to worship that is static, unchanging, and dogmatic. They do not want something they can’t put their finger on. They want a dogmatic, unchangeable, reality. That ain’t the way it works though, at least not in the Bible, so Moses shattered the “guidelines” God offered the people (not God itself, like the calf was supposed to be) and wandered back up the mountain to try again.
When someone calls you a “science denier” they are trying to tell you that because you don’t agree with something that science has discovered you then don’t believe in science. So, if I don’t believe that the vaccines are “safe and effective” which supposedly is something that “science” has discovered, then I don’t believe in science itself. And if we follow the true definition of science, I then don’t believe in the attempt to discover the mysteries of nature. Remember, the definition of science is the process of discovering the natural world, not what is discovered.
How could that be? Maybe I don’t believe in the scientific method. Ok, that’s possible, but I don’t think that is what the person hurtling out “science denier” insults means. I think they are accusing me of not believing in reality, but instead I believe in superstition, or non-material reality, or are just incredibly stupid, or some other such nonsense. In fact, I don’t think they even know themselves what they mean, it is just a really powerful power play—“you nasty moronic science denier, you.” They certainly don’t understand science.
The things science has discovered over the years have always been open to further scrutiny and adjustment. There are dozens of extremely important scientific discoveries that have successfully gone through the scientific method gauntlet, and have been accepted as “settled science” (by the masses), that were challenged and eventually deemed “untrue.” It has been other scientists that led these challenges (actually not totally true, many non-scientists through the ages have challenged the scientific “truths” of the day). Good scientists are skeptics, and should never believe their discoveries without the willingness to rethink them if they are challenged. Of course this doesn’t always happen. Science (or what science discovers) has often become academically dogmatic. It is one of the shadow elements of science, and is a problem that is continually dealt with in the science/scientist world. I will not cloudy the thesis of this article with any of that though.
So why is this confusion happening now? Well, it always has been around to some degree. But when you have a powerful overseer dictating policy it is easier to manipulate the masses in some exceptional way in order for them to fall into behaviour that benefits the overseer. Take the current situation: God has been replaced with the worship of the golden calf called science, which is the first step toward creating the circus we see today. The death of God confuses people and causes them to search for a replacement and allows for the natural compulsions of human beings to find that calf. So science steps in and becomes the “end all” answer to the problem of instability. If science says so, you are in the clear and can relax. The next step is to get the corner on science—to become the only mouthpiece of science. “Someone” knows best, knows all and has the only direct line to science (see below). No one wants this confusing statement to hold power over their life: “well, we could be wrong”—a phrase spoken by any real scientist upon “proving” a theory, which, by the way, seldom happens. (Wonder why there are so many “theories” out there that have not been proven? The theory of the big bang, the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity? Think about it). God used to know best, and know all, now it is science that knows best, and knows all. But I just said that scientists know that science is never settled, and that they never individually claim to be the only voice of science. Right? Wait for it.
As they do what they need to do to get this “corner on science” they proceed to establish the mouthpiece for God, oops; I mean science…a “Science Pope” of sorts—the only one capable of speaking for science. If you deny this person, then you deny science itself. Hmmm. Sound familiar? Yes, His Eminence A. Fauci, as well as any priests he has appointed. He said so himself, so this is no conspiracy theory. Needless to say, it is not possible to create one entity that claims the entire natural world be interpreted through him or her. But people fell for this—hook, line and sinker. And they are still under this spell.
The next step is to start burning books, so to speak. Tell everyone who is not in alignment with the Science Czar Fauci that they are “science deniers” (we have already learned that is an oxymoron). Anyone can say you don’t believe a particular thing that a scientist has discovered, but you can’t say because of that you do not believe in EVERYTHING science has discovered. In fact, you may instead believe something some other scientist says about the same theory. If that other scientist has not been approved, however, by the Science Pope, Fauci, then consider yourself on shaky ground, and just a fool at best. And believe me, what we have seen happen to anyone with a contrary thought is enough to shut most scientist’s mouths.
As the powers that be are attacking the opinions, or critical thinking, of the common folk, they are also busy shutting down the actual scientists (and in this case, doctors) who are doing the science, research, and anecdotal experience (doctors treating patients) that come up with the contradicting ideas (to the mainstream narrative). These people are the ones the common folk are repeating, commenting on, and believing over the “approved” narrative. The powers that be discredit them directly (challenge their credentials, their moral values, and their sanity) and they censor what they have to say; they don’t publish their findings or they remove them, or pressure others to remove, their presence on social media, or publication in journals, magazines, and even mass news sources. Such is our world today.
What happened before science became a religion? Well, not too much attention was paid to it by the “run of the mill” average person just trying to live their lives. Industry paid attention, engineering did and does, medicine of course, a whole plethora of specialized professionals paid a lot of attention to science and the discoveries science was making. But most of us didn’t give much thought to it. We thought it was cool when some new fangled thingamabob came out for us to buy and enjoy or use, and certainly we have been impressed with the advances of medicine and medical procedures. But we generally were confident to leave all that up to the scientists and experts. Certainly if we were confronted with relying on science to keep us alive, we become concerned, but we never expected to really understand how it all worked, we tended to turn to experts, other scientists, other doctors, to verify, or contradict, the first view we were subjected to. If another scientist, or doctor, disagreed with the first scientist, or doctor, we approached, we didn’t scream “science denier!!” at them. Yes, we might become more confused, but we relied more on our intuition and common sense to choose between one or the other. Even though we were ignorant of the science behind a choice we faced, we knew enough about the dubious nature of science to seek out other viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives. Yep, we actually did do that.
Today, when we hear someone complaining how everyone thinks they are an expert, we must realize they are making a rather naïve claim. If someone is not an expert, and they claim to be, that could be a problem. But most people are simply repeating what they have heard another expert has said. And even if the title of “expert” doesn’t meet everyone’s personal criteria, it is still information we hear, information that should be respected and individually scrutinized for its worth. This idea of one bad piece of information seeping into the collective and destroying the very fabric of humanity is nonsense. We should all possess the ability to identify a conman, a charlatan, or a quack without having “Daddy Government” protect us from all the boogeymen out there. We have our own ways of doing that sort of vetting and unless we are caught up in a serious series of lies (which nowadays is certainly possible) our common sense should prevail in most important cases. And even if it doesn’t, we still have the right to make those decisions on our own, and if they don’t pan out, we will learn from the experience. The worst thing a person could do is put that decision making power into an authority that, if given the opportunity, could cause that person serious damage. Sometimes it is difficult to discern who indeed you should listen to, but you can be sure that someone who has a huge bias, or a potential for a huge monetary or power advantage, is not the one to put that much confidence in.
So what science discovers should always be taken with a reasonable chunk of salt. We should all understand that the discoveries of science still contain a mystery that we will never fully “know.” Some things will do no harm to “believe,” such as the boiling point of water, or that arsenic, in certain amounts, can kill a human body. But many others of these discoveries are not fully known and we must remain open that their explanations could be changed under more thorough scrutiny, or even over time alone. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying, or just plain stupid. If someone claims someone else is a “science denier” simply because they disagree with a scientist’s discovery, they are claiming an impossibility. Sure, you could say someone does not believe in the scientific method, that could be true, but that is not what someone means when they call someone a “science denier.”
The natural, and supernatural, world still remains a great mystery for the most part. We must be free to investigate those mysteries ourselves, and not allow some “Priest of Science” to determine what we are allowed or not allowed to see. We can consult others who have great knowledge and expertise, but if we do so, certainly about controversial issues, we are sure to find disagreement. We must use our common sense, our critical thinking, and maybe even a bit of intuition, gut and heart to make a decision. And let’s keep in mind that whatever science discovers will always retain a bit of mystery. That’s what makes life so incredible. If we knew everything there was to know about everything, it would certainly be a bore.
Wow….I love this article. It really rings true for me and helps me sort out in my head what has been deeply troubling me about Fauci representing Science. My first reaction to Fauci when early on he was making such statements was astonishment. But I could not go beyond that feeling…now Todd has clarified the situation for me so it makes sense. Thank you Todd. And I believe I can now articulate some of this to others…sadly not to “convince “anybody (an impossible dream?) but to express why I feel the way I do about Fauci taking a role he has no right to take.
Beautifully written, it is true that most people are not familiar with the concept of the scientific method since most have not had a science course since freshman biology in high school. It is a shame that Fauci and his ilk become "GOD" and everyone should worship him and his "sayings" little of which were based on science and its methods ...Prof Rod