by Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD, Popular Rationalism, reposted with permission
(Mar. 18, 2023) — Science has been a pillar of human progress for centuries. From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, science has been at the forefront of the human experience, advancing our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Science has been our vehicle on our journey of exploration we dared to asymptotically approach the truth.
Recent events, however, have tarnished “the reputation of Science”, and we must brace ourselves for a hurricane torrent of anti-scientism that hopefully can, itself, be channeled, reformed, and redirected at the right targets: those who were never practicing Science in the first place.
Fauci has not tarnished the reputation of science; Fauci has tarnished the reputation of Fauci.
Some are saying that the reputation of science is forever tarnished. I would say that the reputations of those who were masquerading as scientists are now properly adjusted. Purveyors of science do not lie, cheat and steal. Scientists admit when they have made mistakes and errors. Scientists allow themselves to be challenged. Fauci has not tarnished the reputation of science; Fauci has tarnished the reputation of Fauci. As former CDC Director Robert Redfield summarized in this week’s House Select Committee hearings: what Fauci and his kind were doing was the antithesis of science. I call their actions “Science-Like Activities”.
Nevertheless, at a larger scale, the tarnish is broader than the specific issue of research on coronaviruses. The modern world is in a state of crisis. Science has become far more of an industry than an institution dedicated to truth and knowledge. The focus on profit-driven research and development has led to a decline in basic scientific inquiry and a rise in corporate influence over public policy decisions. With paternalism and gaslighting becoming the norm from regulatory and government agencies, regular doses of lies and disinformation are not obvious to most thinking Americans. We’ve seen overt gaslighting in public meetings in which EPA officials claimed to not be able to smell the stench of toxic chemicals in the air – right to the faces of the people of East Palestine. Both the CDC and FDA have clearly abandoned any pretext of the use of science upon which to base their policies, the former proclaiming that in the next pandemic, they will rely less on peer-reviewed literature and more on unreliable, unreviewed preprints. The latter agency just approved a 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six months based on scant data: certainly not large, transparent randomized control trials.
As a result, public trust in science and scientific institutions is at an all-time low.
The causes of the issue are now well-known. Science, once a beacon of hope and promise, has come under increasing pressure from corporate interests, political influence, and conflicts of interest. In many cases, these pressures have resulted in a dangerous misapplication or misuse of science to maximize profits at the expense of public health and safety. The most recent example? This week, Pfizer fought in court to keep the same data they promised to be transparent about sealed for 75 years.
But that example is, sadly, only typical. Science has been taken hostage by corporate greed and political influence, and the fallout of this enduring corruption on public health and safety has been calamitous. The most egregious example of this is seen in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies have long used their influence over regulatory agencies such as the FDA to push drugs onto the market before they are adequately tested or proven safe for use.
This practice has resulted in numerous harmful drugs being approved for use despite evidence that they can cause serious harm or even death. The opioid epidemic is one example of this kind of abuse, with powerful drug companies pushing for lax regulations on opioids despite evidence that they were highly addictive and potentially deadly.
The Vioxx controversy provides been a stark reminder of the dangers of inadequate oversight and transparency in the biopharmaceutical industry. Merck & Co. was found to have acted recklessly by failing to warn consumers of the risks associated with Vioxx and removing three data points (heart attacks) from their study data. The moment they removed the data points, the study fell outside of the realm of science.
Furthermore, the FDA’s role in approving the drug without fully understanding its risks, as well as its slow response to evidence of danger, has raised serious questions about its regulatory abilities. Ultimately, Vioxx serves as a warning that greater oversight and transparency are necessary for the safe production and distribution of drugs. The “benefit” to society? An estimated 140,000 heart attacks resulted in an estimated 60,000 deaths.
Read the rest here.
Where does that leave us with climate science?
Most green energy companies are receiving large government subsidies.
It likely isn’t sustainable.