Friday, November 20, 2020

Mask mandates and shutdowns are not science

I just can't believe that people who claim to be "listening to the science" or "trusting science" are still supporting shutdowns and mask mandates. That's the opposite of trusting or doing science. It shows a lack of understanding of what science is and how it works.

Sure, some people who really do use science are then advising shutdowns and masks based on what their observations are telling them. Observations which are never the complete picture, and which are always biased. Science is always provisional, waiting to be changed by better information. There is no "the science"; it's part of the scientific method. 

If someone says "the science is settled", they aren't talking about actual science, but about rigid groupthink-- a religious belief based, at best, on partial information.

People who trust science-- as a method and not as a religion-- understand this limitation. It's why they don't demand political action based on their observations. They might give you advice they believe to be important, but they won't suggest using the violence of the state against you if you don't take that advice.

Real science is a method of finding information. It looks at both the pros and cons-- and every action will have both. It doesn't dictate or mandate. It gives information-- provisional information-- and then people decide for themselves how to act based on that. It doesn't involve politics.

"The science" doesn't ignore the social costs. It weighs them against the benefits.

Science understands that new data can change the conclusions.

Dr. Fauci isn't doing science. He's doing politics. He can be safely ignored-- and despised-- by people who understand science.

And no matter what science says, it doesn't give anyone the right to violate your liberty for the good of society. Nothing can do that.

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  1. Science is both a systematic method of inquiring about the natural world and also a body or knowledge. Science is about using the knowledge you already have to improve your understanding of today and for tomorrow.

    You are making a straw man characterization or science in order to delegitimize people who are actually scientists when their expertise doesn’t align with your views. You are making it political. Science doesn’t consider social costs at all. That’s not the job of scientists, that’s the job of politicians. Scientists advocate for science and make recommendations based on science.

    Science is imperfect. Scientists know this. The problem is that others treat science as being infallible, and then when science does what is reasonable and rational and correct course it gets accused of being wrong in the first place and having an agenda. Self is self correcting.

    Epidemiology is mostly math, actually. Not very much science in it at all. Speaking as someone who has a background in epidemiology and science.

    You are wrong, lockdowns does work. They aren’t perfect, they are not a panacea, but they work. Saying they don’t is like arguing there seatbelts don’t work because people who wear seatbelts still die in car crashes.

    1. Brad, lockdowns do not "work" - not even if we assume that government-issued data is reliable. My "Did Lockdowns Help?" shows that countries imposing them had four times more deaths per million than the rest.

      The link is

    2. Arguing that "You are wrong, lockdowns does work." when I never said they didn't is the very definition of a strawman. Congrats!
      But you know what? It doesn't even matter whether or not they "work"; no one has the right to impose them, and that "right" can't be manufactured.

      Also, you need to tell your colleagues in "the social sciences" that you just admitted their field is not science. Your words: "Science doesn’t consider social costs at all. " I actually agree with you here.

      I am not the one making it political, because I am not using the threat of government violence on anyone. That is what those who demand and support lockdowns and mandates are doing. I am pointing out what they are doing; I am responding to them making it political.

      But, go ahead. You've exposed yourself for what you are.