Atlantic Beach, N.C.

Oct.19, 2021

TO THE EDITOR:

For some time now, we’ve been inundated with a daily dose of the over-simplistic phrase “follow the science.” Is anyone other than me tired of hearing these three words? The truth is, science, like everything else, is uncertain and political; always has been.

A universally accepted definition of science does not exist. Most scientists understand there is no permanent truth in science since scientific fact constantly changes. If you’ve got a 30-40-year-old high school science textbook, just take a quick peek, and you’ll probably find many wrong answers from science.

Remember, there is a difference in physical science as opposed to medical science.

Science is tentative, evolving change and now has become a political football. Determining what the science says is only part of the issue; figuring out precisely how to “follow” it poses another question. And keep in mind that politics is deeply ingrained in most scientists.

Science is a powerful tool, but it cannot answer crucial public policy questions, including who should be responsible for making policy decisions based on science. Is it Scientists? Public Officials? Bureaucrats at Government Agencies? Or Individuals themselves?

Science can estimate the health risks of reopening schools but cannot tell you whether those risks justify keeping the schools closed. That’s when we have to “follow the politics.” And depending on what side of the aisle you sit, you may or may not agree with the politics.

Covid has unleashed corruption on a grand scale. For example, Trump’s administration manipulated the FDA to approve unapproved drugs for Covid, such as hydroxychloroquine and pushed the CDC officials to act more quickly to support other vaccines.

And Biden’s administration conducted the FDA to push for booster shots before their science board was ready to recommend. Biden and his team put themselves ahead of the nation’s top public health scientists. The FDA and CDC initially said there is simply not enough evidence to suggest that boosters are necessary for the entire American population.

Science is a public good, but it doesn’t need to be followed blindly and should be considered a helpful guide. Politicians and the public want science to do more than it can. People in frightening situations where they lack expertise want the world to be nicely portrayed as safe or unsafe.

Suppressing data, like Trump, Fauci, Biden, and Cooper have done, whether by delaying information, cherry-picking, or just plain lying, is a danger to public health. But they all said we will “follow the science.”

Science has often been invoked as a deciding authority on many of the essential policies we’ve faced. Those who advocate for particular positions claim that science dictates it, which forces their opposition into an anti-science standpoint. To disagree with the suggestions of the CDC, for example, would be fundamentally anti-science. Hmm.

Even though scientists do not claim absolute answers to scientific questions, politics uses science as though it does. Yes, folks are urged to “follow the science.” Political take on today’s science is a “hammer it till it fits” situation. No matter how hard scientists work to provide facts, the information we hear always fits a particular political narrative.

When politicians say “follow the science,” what they mean is to follow my plan. Maybe what we should be saying is, “follow the money.”

MIKE PFAFF

(9) comments

David Collins

He gets it .

JusticeForAll

Again, we go there and it will continue and that is a good thing. Keep in mind...

"Science deniers — whether on vaccines, evolution or climate — all draw on the same flawed reasoning techniques: cherry-picking evidence, relying on conspiracy theories and fake experts, engaging in illogical reasoning and insisting that science must be perfect."

Please try going to credible sources and continue to learn.

enc34

When will you people get it, everything is politcal.

drewski

When biden said " booster shots" the fda said " not so fast". That suggests to me govt working as it should. The gist of this letter seems to be don't trust the science, don't trust the scientists, it's all about politics or money"

The luddoties were a group who were opposed to the industrial revolution, because it was killing traditional jobs via crude automation. They would throw their shoes ( sabo) into the machines to break the machines, thus the modern word sabotage.

Science is evolving, like anything it is not perfect. We have come a long way since thalidomide. In fact thalomide is now used against leprosy and as a cancer treatment.

Trust your Dr but get a second opinion. From another dr not a you tube video.

Trust and verify.

Don't be a luddite.

David Collins

Gosh , justice . A look in the mirror moment here and it is your turn ?

dc

"BeagleGate Strikes Fauci" by Ned Barnett. Follow the science and scientists on this one. This guy or these people are real winners experimenting with things that kill people and dogs. One would think they could try insects or something a little less infuriating.

drewski

Most folks just don't want to know what really goes on with animal testing. Every new product, new cosmetic, new drug is tested on animals. That new hairspray was likely sprayed in rabbits eyes thousands of times to determine just how much damage it may cause to eye tissue. I cant watch the pound commercials, never mind PETA videos of animal testing.

I suppose it is a necessary evil. Ppl who hurt animals for fun or profit are monsters as far as I am concerned.

Staff
webeditor

Topic closed.

noitall

I disaree strongly. Science developed with the Scientific Method is true science and as close to reality as possible. That said,this quote is dead wrong. "The truth is, science, like everything else, is uncertain and political; always has been." Amazing conclusion based on nothing but perceptions created by self serving media and politicians. Show me your data.

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