“Science,” it has been said, “advances one funeral at a time.”
In other words, what was once heterodox only became accepted as orthodox truth when the defenders of the old paradigm died off, or could no longer maintain their position of authority in the face of clear new evidence.
And yet many still consider science to be less of an evolving discovery process and more of a governing body that passes judgment on whether an idea is true or not. We saw this phenomenon throughout the pandemic, during which public health officials postured as economists – making decisions without regard for the underlying trade-offs – while castigating anyone who dared to offer their own interpretation of “The Science”™..
Dr. Jeffrey Singer – senior fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor to Reason Magazine – has been my go-to guest on topics of medical science since well before the pandemic. His latest article in the May 2022 edition of Reason takes on a set of philosophical questions about the nature of scientific truth, and how we arrive at it. In it, Singer contrasts what he calls the “Priesthood” acting as gatekeepers of information, with the sole authority to decide which experts can be heard. Using examples from the pandemic, such as the silencing and smearing of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, Singer points out how often the “official” narrative has been proven wrong by subsequent studies, such as those confirming that in fact lockdowns did little to slow the spread.
Against Scientific Gatekeeping
(Illustration: Joanna Andreasson; Photo: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci; Bloomberg/Getty) In March 2020, the iconoclastic French microbiologist Didier Raoult announced that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine had cured all 36 COVID-19 patients enrolled in his clinical trial.
Now, the California Assembly is debating a bill that would threaten doctors with the loss of their license for offering any medical advice that is considered contrary to official CDC guidelines regarding vaccination. As epidemiologist and noted COVID expert Jay Bhattacharya notes, the law would essentially take away a physician's ability to offer individualized care to their patients, who may have valid reasons (like prior immunity or other conditions) for not getting the vaccine.
A Warning From Shanghai
Remember when we were told that China was a model for the world in controlling Covid? Sure, as a totalitarian state, it was able to weld people inside their homes and monitor its citizens via drone. But many in the West believed that such measures were necessary.
It appears that politics has infected our public discourse around science. Someone call the doctor! The Doctor for Liberty, that is. Singer joined me separate the real experts from the phony high priests of the public health establishment.