Settled State Science

Science is belief in the ignorance of experts, said Richard Feynman in 1969. Does that describe science today, or is science a state and/or academic institution that dispenses truth?

State science and science herded by well-funded and tenured academics has led to some mammoth missteps, muddles and misdeeds in the application of that science to policy.

It may be inaccurate to say, as Edwin Black did in War Against the Weak, that Hitlers racial hygienics ideology was imported directly and solely from American eugenics. But that Hitler’s race policy was heavily inspired by American eugenics is very well documented, as is the overwhelming support given eugenics by our reigning politicians and educators. For example, Hitler absolutely did borrow much of the 1933 Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Defective Offspring from the draft sterilization law drawn up for US states by Harry Laughlin, then Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office in affiliation with the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Academic progressives and the educated elite fawned over the brilliance of eugenics too. Race Science was deemed settled, and that science had to be embodied in policy to change the world for the better. John Maynard Keynes and Woodrow Wilson loved it. Harvard was all over it too. Stanford’s first president, David S Jordan and the Yale’s famed economist and social reformer Irving Fisher were leaders of the Eugenics movement. All the trappings of science were there; impressive titles like “Some Racial Peculiarities of the Negro Brain” (American Journal of Anatomy, 1906) appeared in sciencey journals. In fact, the prestigious journal Science, covered eugenics in it lead story of Oct. 7, 1921.

But 1906 was oh so very long ago. right? Was eugenics a one-off? The lobotomy/leucotomy craze of the 1950s saw similar endorsement from the political and academic elite. More recent, less grotesque, but equally bad and unjustified state science was the low-fat craze of the 1980s and the war on cholesterol.

Last month the California Assembly has passed AB 2098, designating “the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or COVID-19 as unprofessional conduct,” for which MDs could be subjected to loss of license. The bill defines misinformation as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus.”

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) now states, “If your child is 6 months or older, you can now help protect them from severe COVID illness by getting them a COVID vaccine.” That may be consensus alright. I cannot find one shred of evidence to support the claim. Can you?

___

“The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.” – Paul Feyerabend, Against Method, 1975

  1. #1 by Stephen Christie on August 15, 2022 - 2:44 pm

    Nice article, as always. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I agree that the search for, and reliance on, consensus among scientists is a mistake, and a common one. The final example – COVID vaccine for young children – is the one part that I’m not sure about. I tend to go with the view that we need good explanations, not evidence. So even if there isn’t evidence, there might still be good reasons to think that the vaccine will help. Until I got vaccinated, there was no direct evidence that it would work in me; there was a good explanation, though. So in deciding whether to vaccinate young children, it’s best to argue out the pros and cons, and critique those, seeking to reject one of the options, even if there is little evidence to go on.

    • #2 by Bill Storage on September 27, 2022 - 7:25 pm

      Re pros and cons – indeed. For young kids, from the 11 Aug 22 WHO report, “Interim statement on COVID-19 vaccination for children”:

      Pro:

      “In October 2021, the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) concluded that in all age groups the benefits of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in reducing hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 outweigh the risks.”

      Con:

      “During the Phase 3 trials in young children aged 6 months to 5 years no safety signal was identified, but the sample size was too small to identify rare events.”

      “The risk of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) following adenoviral-vector vaccines, although overall low, was higher in younger adults compared to older adults, but no data are available on the risk below the age of 18 years(28)”

      The WHO Pro statements seem to merely report on conclusions of of the GACVS. The cons refer to evidence.

  2. #3 by rick brakeman on August 16, 2022 - 10:19 am

    Science as ordained by establishment fronts such as HHS, WHO…. is merely but magnificently a tool of control and popular subordination as predicted by Eric Blair aka George Orwell around 1950:

    “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself-that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis that you had just performed.”

  3. #4 by John Hall on August 23, 2022 - 11:06 am

    test

  4. #5 by John Hall on August 23, 2022 - 11:12 am

    Data suggest many more kids have had virus than thought

    The evidence comes from the blood samples of children who had their blood
    drawn at commercial labsfor non-COVID reasons, such as measuring levels of
    cholesterol or lead. Among 26,725 blood samples collected in May and June,
    nearly 80% contained a type of antibody that the immune system produces only
    in response to infection — not in response to the vaccines.

    Much transmission sans vaccine. Perhaps a parent would judge, that a healthy child could forgo, since risk of severe COVID is minimal, and already demonstrated to be widespread (more than previously thought) without massive hospitalizations of children.

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