I found it hilarious that an article seeking the reason why trust in Science is declining opened with this sentence:
As we are approaching the end of the fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed close to 7 million people worldwide and 1.2 million in just the US alone, both estimates being almost certainly significant undercounts of the true toll, I was depressed to see yet more evidence indicating significantly declining trust in science and science-based interventions to combat disease, such as vaccines.
Why are fewer people trusting Science? There’s your answer right there. Goofy hersterical overreaction to a faded, trivial threat, which the author still pines for in the name of utopianistic Science.
Perhaps if so many Experts and rulers hadn’t lied their keisters off, repeatedly, loudly, angrily, and, worst of all, obviously about Following the Science! trust would not have tanked so precipitously.
Thus, trust should fall.
And does. Pew’s survey on trust in science (which our author above discusses) asked the percent of adults who say science has had a positive or negative effect on society. Positive went from a high of 73% (always remembering there are large plus-or-minuses to all these numbers) in January of 2019, before the covid panic, to only 57% now, as the panic squeaks out its last gasps.
Science, good science, is always a positive. Bad science is always a negative. In an of themselves, and not necessarily for society. Here is where the distinction between Science and scientism arises. That “for society” bit. We don’t know if Pew’s respondents distinguished the difference. Most do not.
A True fact about how the world works is good in and of itself, as all Truth is. Good Science brings us Truth.
If good Science brings us Truth, bad Science brings us Error and Falsity. For all the many reasons we discuss, there is now much more bad Science than good. There is a lot more Falsity and Uncertainty taken as Truth.
As in the “solutions” during the covid panic. And the “solutions” for global cooling, a.k.a. global warming, a.k.a. “climate change.”
The uses to which Science are put are not Science. Thinking the uses of Science are Science is scientism.
It’s difficult to keep the two separate. Here’s an exaggerated example.
Suppose you learn a Truth that if you add this gene and slice that one out in some bug you can create a new virus that in unstoppable, and if created will with certainty kill everybody. The knowledge itself is good, because it is True. But the uses to which it can be put are evil. It is better not to know this Truth, because while it is good in and of itself, it is not good for society. Because scientists cannot be trusted with this much power.
From this we can argue that not every person should know every Truth, but that is a story for another day.
Here our focus is Science and its differences from scientism. Which I’m betting, but I of course do not know, that the Pew respondents did not keep straight. Because of that “for society”, which seems to imply the uses of science.
Many scientists, especially in the covid and “climate change” panics, misconducted themselves and mixed up Science and scientism. They assumed their opinions on what should be done was Science, because they knew some Science, though I use the word “knew” loosely. Scientists, who you would think must know the difference between Science and the uses of science, do not know. They are even more prone to scientism than people ignorant of Science.
This is why other result of the Pew survey makes sense. They asked the percent adults who were greatly confident scientists (and other groups of people) had the best interest of the public in mind.
Both medical scientists and general scientists beat all other groups, like politicians who came in at negligible levels of agreement (yet people still vote for them). Docs peaked at 43% at the beginning of the covid panic in April 2020, then dropped about half to 25% this past October. General scientists were almost the same: same timing, peaking at 39% down to 23% now.
There are too many scientists now, doing far, far too much in the name of Science. People, I say again, are right to distrust them, especially in medical science. You can know the Truth about how to slice off a young girl’s tits, but it is never anything but pure evil to do so in the name of gender “science” or “theory”.
We must all stop looking to Science to provide answers it cannot give.
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