When Science started calling Science a liar.
Continuing our inquiries on how Science has been hobbling down in both its genuine understanding of Fact and Truth, and its current political insistence on incorporating most other academic pursuits under its wing in matters of fact, by behaving as a de facto arbiter and signatory to whatever the other disciplines say is, in fact, correct. It’s behaving as a self-appointed seal of approval, and the portrait on an increasingly-medieval Anthony Fauci is becoming the postage stamp portrait of the whole affair. From where the sun now stands Fauci is more likely to be viewed by American society as the original Faust, the 16th Century term “Faustian” still meaning one who sacrificed “spiritual values for power, knowledge, and material gain”, and is thus irrevocably damned.
The only question is; will American society prevail, more specifically which of the two American societies, the 70% model or the elite 30% model, prevail?
I wrote awhile back about the chase by the legal profession to be seen on a cultural par with medicine—doctors especially, but the entire profession—and described how doctors, once gods in Germany, lowered themselves without any help by kowtowing to the Nazis in the 1930, largely to eradicate an entire population. They fell several tiers in public esteem and today, like all the world except the United States, are simply arms of their national governments’ policies.
I’ll say more about that subject later. But first, I want to make a few comments on the general war about “facts”, and how ordinary people can know what are and what are not facts.
You’ve probably heard all the dire warnings about climate change and what portends for mankind if we don’t listen to the “Science” about how we must change the way we live or we will die.
Well, no, this not only won’t happen, but can’t happen. The “Mad Max” series was a Mel Gibson series of a dystopian future from over 40 years ago, of an Australia split up into gangs following a futuristic script that has actually defined real history in Afghanistan since the 7th Century.
That’s 1300-plus years folks, gangs of bullies first with long knives, now with guns and vehicles thanks to the Russians and Americans, herding up tribes into manageable groups for its own purposes. “If God had not intended them to be sheared, He would not have made them sheep.” (I’ll let you guess who said that.)
So Man can drive other men, and maybe even themselves (accidentally, of course) back into the Stone Age. That possibility has existed for over 75 years now. And it existed because Science developed the technology, at the behest of government, but also because Science had always been looking into it theoretically, since that is what Science does.
But for 74 1/2 of those 75 years Science has also been warning us about what “we” have done, and in the world of Science Fiction, had provided the answer to handling the world’s first new dangerous toy, atomic energy, assuming the management of the world over to itself to keep Mankind on the straight and narrow.
I know I go on about “knowing a thing or two because I seen a thing or two”, but in the 1950s and 60 every third sci-fi film (and novel) was about a council of white-coat scientists communicating to the world’s leaders that they can’t allow Man to keep going in the direction “we” haven taken the world. This would have been when Anthony Fauci was a college student.
And in every one of those films the white-coats wore black hats, so at least pulp-fiction publishers and Hollywood knew that the buying public would not put up with a “Science management model” as the script ended with a happy ending. At least in America.
Today, the average under-60 end-of-the-world climate change advocates, little Greta Thunberg their postage stamp spokes-girl, have no idea how much the fools they look like, and certainly no idea how much worse the world would be if ever they were allowed to be in charge of anything larger than their own house and garage.
When Science becomes a culture instead of an intellectual pursuit, it loses all sense of humility, which once was its principal leg up over other professions, especially Law. Humility is key. When a doctor testified in court that a the cause of death to a victim was a gunshot wound to the heart, then adds, “within a medical certainty”, he/she is testify to the basic humility of his profession, and that is there are things they cannot know. (The victim could have had a massive heart attack upon seeing the pistol, and been dead before the trigger was even pulled. A couple of seconds.)
Societies held doctors above all other profession simply because one does call ask a nuclear physicist to come over and check their child’s skin rash. (We’ll talk at later times about how impersonal “bureaucratic and internet” medicine has diminished that aura, as I’ve always felt the penis-envy lawyers were behind it. Since you can’t walk into a board room or public meeting and swing a dead cat without hitting at least three lawyers, it was only natural that doctors’ higher standing in the public’s eye would come under public assault. And now, with the injection of “Organization Man” bureaucratic management practices in modern medicine, lawyers no longer have to lift a finger.
There have always been the “hard sciences” and the “soft sciences” going back to days of Pascal, who was both a genius mathematician (hard) and Christian philosopher (soft). I’ve had fun poking at Egyptologists (anthropologists…part soft science, part evidence-gathering hard science) who went ballistic when a Harvard geologist opined that the Sphinx was 2000+ years older than the known Egyptians cultures, because the stone wear at the statue’s base was caused by heavy rain, and not wind.) Rather than “Eureka, that means entire civilizations may be buried underneath the Sahara sands”, launching all sorts of new explorations using new technology to get soundings, the “science” community circled their wagons to protect a multi-billion “tourist” industry.
Obviously, this is much bigger than Egypt, for artifacts of former civilizations have been appearing from the equatorial jungles of South America, India and Africa since the 1930s. (Look up Percy Fawcett.) Maybe King Solomon actually was mining gold in Central Africa. We knew the Hebrews had outposts as far up the Nile as Elephantine Island, near the first cataract at Aswan, so why not?
Worse, making hard science become only “99 and 44/100% pure”, which is how Ivory Soap was advertised in the 1950s (and very effectively, I might add), just an iota less than 100%, made the softer sciences appear even more soft. By rank, I’d place archeology at the highest, because they actually dig up things, real things, and have a pretty good idea of what their purpose was, at least in weaponry and garden tools. But household stuff is more difficult. So anthropology is more iffy, especially when mixed with Western European history. A great example is the death of Captain Cook in Polynesia. In his book, The Killing of History by Australian historian Keith Windschuttle (also worth having on your bookshelf) he mentions the theories that Polynesians believed the Europeans to be gods (plausible) but that they thought they were the wrong gods. Mistaken identity. Bottom line, there are 2-3 plausible reasons Cook was killed, only you can’t get serious attention to a theory unless you select only one and spent 250 pages making your case. (We regularly see “Shazzam!” essays, from political to historical to philosophical, by millennial writers trying to turn hypothesis into 99 and 44/100% fact, which suggests there is an underlying purpose, political or perhaps only career-enhancing. Windschuttle, in his book, above, outlines much of the changes in the philosophy of history, post-1970s, such as the impact French philosopher, Michel-Foucault, a father of postmodern thinking, had on the philosophy of history, (largely negative, to my thinking) at the same time he advocated paedophilia, was gay, and died of rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub AIDS in 1984. In other words, totally self-indulgent.
Winning young people’s minds to this sort of 100% self-indulgence is not unlike the Divine Rights of Kings-thinking that consumed Europe from the 9th Century to the early 20th (a thousand years, dammit!), that it didn’t really matter whether an individual king or dynasty was good, evil, or just somewhere in between, but the overall top-down structure of government (kings, princes) and society (an elite hereditary noble class…withe very strict rules of admission) (see French First Estate, Second Estate, Third Estate) remained intact. Clod-hoppers such as ourselves comprised the Third Estate, whether in jail, or not.
That system remained intact for over a thousand years, first easing itself out with the Enlightenment in the 17th Century, but holding onto political power and class prerogatives until the 20th.
Those class prerogatives never really died except in America, and the yearn for them, as we know now, have been slowly rekindled again.
Keep that in mind.