Jul. 19, 2022
Science Denier - Sand In The Vaseline
“The duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and ... attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency”
Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), 965 C.E. -1040 C.E.
Weighing heavy on my heart and mind are the losses I have endured by my contrary stand on just about every topic that has been in the 'news' since the end of the 1990's. Certainly there are the material losses (loss of income, loss of opportunity) but the most troubling to me is the loss of a degree of intimacy that I once enjoyed with family, friends and industry at large; a loss that has intensified as time and world events move forward, and as I have become more vocal in my stance since the mid 2000's.
In trying to identify parallels to how I view the apparent divide, political and religious arguments are first to mind. Yet, and for the most part what I am most focused on here is 'science' and not a 'belief' or worse yet, dogma which are necessary to both politics and religion, but are the antitheses of science, or must be in order for it to work.
That politics and religion should even spring to mind when thinking of scientific differences is unfortunate but an indication that I've accepted that this often unholy menage-a-trois exists and has so since before the the time of Aristotle.
When speaking ill of 'religion' in science, I am referring only to that aspect of any religious belief system which refuses to accept all of God's creation when some of it pushes the boundaries of, or even contradicts certain philosophies and narratives. Without Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler and Claudius Amyand battling entrenched religious dogma of their time, a scientific method would not have removed the Earth from the centre of the universe and we would all be dying of appendicitis.
Rather, I believe that some moral codes must exist in science or it, like anything can be turned against its original intent which is to benefit mankind. Morality for the purposes of this discussion stems from the teachings of a belief or social system which promotes concepts most favourable to our existence, including those of 'Love', 'Trust', 'Charity', 'Reason' and 'Truth'.
A most relevant approach to the increasingly unpopular idea that there should be morality in science was taken by 20th century philosopher and educator Masao Abe when he wrote that;
“Science without religion is dangerous because it necessarily entails a mechanization of humanity and consequent loss of individual autonomy and spirituality. On the other hand, religion without science is powerless because it lacks an effective means through which to actualize the ultimate reality. Science and religion must work together harmoniously.”
One could argue that the dogmatic aspect (and historical wealth) of 'religion' was the original politics influencing scientific study because religious centres more often than not doubled as store houses of knowledge (Vatican) and a person had to be 'connected' in order to access some of that knowledge. That monopoly on knowledge, academia and early research was eventually transferred from religious hands to the hands of business when the results of research could be manifest as a marketable commodity. Further research and education could now be funded by the interested parties selling new inventions rather than just by the wealth of the 'church'.
Examples of early corporate/financial control of science are found in the histories of the Carnegie (Steel), Rockefeller (Oil) and later the Ford (Industry) families who gained control of multiple scientific disciplines involved in the development and sale of food, industrial production, fuel and medicine globally at the dawn of the 20th Century. James Corbett (How Big Oil Conquered The World) describes Rockefeller control succinctly when observes that,
“From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the petrochemical industry.”
Combine this influence over scientific and industrial development with their eventual control of government agencies, education and media in many nations and you have the birth of a new, far-reaching, all powerful, scientific 'church'; one which knows nothing of Masao Abe or God.
Today the rapid pace of scientific discovery and development combined with the rise of powerful financial interests provides more people and corporations access to specialized knowledge and the ability to control its dissemination, development and marketing. Publicly traded shares and the ability to patent 'nature' have made it possible for the Venters, Gates and Saklers of the world to both elevate and tightly control important areas of scientific study to suit their ideals, the ideals of their shareholders (Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, etc.) and to sell more shares.
Of course this much access to, and influence over scientific study has brought about many changes to how science is currently being carried out relative to the ideals set forth by Aristotle, Mills and others, with these deviations being summed-up in the term, 'post-normal' science. 'Post-normal' is a widely used phrase within the scientific, investment and government communities to describe the move away from a necessarily strict 'scientific method' and towards 'consensus based' science.
According to proponents of this shift away from established methodology towards that based on the consensus of all 'interested parties', “ Post-normal science (PNS) is a problem-solving framework developed by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz (1993) and introduced at the first gathering of the International Society for Ecological Economics in 1990. In ‘normal’ science, uncertainty, value loadings and plural legitimate perspectives tend to be neglected, whereas according to the ‘post-normal’ view, these are integral elements to science particularly in the cases where facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, the stakes are high and decisions are urgent. “
'Normal science' as noted above by Funtowicz and Ravets does not function well with unknowns, preconceptions, biases and competing interests; “...uncertainty, value loadings and plural legitimate perspectives tend to be neglected, “, nor has it ever.
Here in lies the root of all that I distrust about 'the science' today. Post-normal science has taken over every facet of our lives, from health to environment, finance, politics and beyond. It may very well be that scientists around the world still use the gold-standard, 'scientific method' when unravelling the mysteries of our existence but because of where their funding comes from, the results of their work, their discoveries and advances are not their own.
Post-normal science makes it permissible for the 'owners' of those discoveries to manipulate both the parameters of the experiments, their results and how the information is disseminated in order to suit whatever agenda they are pursuing at the time.
What then is considered 'normal' science and what is the 'scientific method'?
Julia Simkus and Mia Belle Frothingham offer a brief description of the scientific method, the backbone of 'normal science', in their article 'Steps of the Scientific Method:
“The scientific method is a step-by-step process used by researchers and scientists to determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables.
It involves careful observation, asking questions, formulating hypotheses, experimental testing, and refining hypotheses based on experimental findings.
In a typical application of this process, a researcher will develop a hypothesis, test this hypothesis, and then modify the hypothesis based on the outcomes of the experiment.
The process is then repeated with the modified hypothesis until the results align with the observed phenomena.”
Missing from the above description is the requirement that the researchers have no other agenda than to find the truth of something and are willing to throw preconceptions out the window when results of their experimentation and testing show something different. This honest search for truth is very much part of the 'morality' which is required in science because without it, the researches might as well just write a good story to suit their ends rather than waste time designing a biased experiment.
Perhaps the most egregious examples of how 'post-normal' science has removed the necessity for unbiased experimentation, critical observation of actual results and full, truthful reporting on the outcomes are Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and COVID, although there are many more.
AGW is the theory that emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) have warmed the planet and will continue to do so until we all die horribly in the next 10-months, or 18-months, or 5-years (you have heard them all and more over the past twenty-five years) or whatever the computer models happen to regurgitate that day.
It is true that CO2 has properties that make it desirable when exchanging radiant heat in high-temperature furnaces which means that an excess of it in our normal atmosphere will impact how much heat reaches and leaves the Earth. We have evidence that during the time of the dinosaur the Earth was warmer and the atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than they are now, more than 300% higher, but the world was green and tropical, not a dried up wasteland as we are told ours will be with only a 10% increase in CO2.
History also shows us that our world was as much as 5oC warmer during the peaks of the Minoan, Roman and Viking eras and the more welcoming climate lead to increases in food, population, exploration and the rise of those history-making civilizations. A very big problem for the 'consensus science' of today is that the atmospheric CO2 levels throughout those periods was less than 280 ppm or only about 68% of our current levels.
Sadly, post-normal science does not allow the inclusion of such historical data into the data-sets which drive the computer models that have replaced the need for accurate, real-time observation of cause and effect on the ground. Indeed computer modelling of possible futures without considering all of the available information (real time climate variables, historical climate cycles, Earths magnetic field weakening, all of the Solar energy hitting the Earth and not just irradiance, volcanoes, wild-fires, etc.) is like writing a story to suit presuppositions. Why have the same practitioners of this post-normal science not considered their errors and corrected their predictions?
Without post-normal science, we would not have had the COVID pandemic or the draconian government responses. One has only to read your local news to find that in 2020, computer models were (and still are) predicting deaths of epidemic proportions from a virus, but investigation into the actual death toll around the world during that year shows no great increase. In some instances death rates were down from average because people were locked up and couldn't do stupid things. Why have the same practitioners of this post-normal science not considered their errors and corrected their predictions?
I love science. Without using the 'scientific methods' as described above I could never have created all of the processes and equipment that this web site is actually devoted to. What I don't love are the post-normal scientists and experts (Fauci, Gates, W.H.O., W.E.F., Trudeau (?)) pissing on me with dishonest, consensus science while trying to tell me its only raining.
So, for as long as this keeps up and our science remains co-opted by interested parties, I will be fighting to reveal what post-normal science tries to hide. This is my status-quo.
“Truth is sought for its own sake. And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things. Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough. …”
Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), 965 C.E. -1040 C.E.