Monthly Archives: September 2020
It’s very tempting to treat the madness of COVID-19 policy as simply a matter of inexplicably bad science and typically hamfisted politics. For medics like me, focusing on the unaccountable abuse of statistics and research is the obvious thing to do. And many even in the mainstream media, as well as Parliament, are questioning the quality of decision making, when even the Prime Minister yesterday could not explain the new regulations he only that day brought in for the ordinary people to obey, or face huge fines. We’re well used to criticising politicians, and a sizeable minority of us are getting used to critiquing institutional science too.
Readers may be interested that I’m giving a presentation on my first book, God’s Good Earth Earth: the case for an unfallen creation at a Christian Scientific Society Webinar on 20th October, on natural evil. There’s a cast of thousands (or to be exact Stuart Burgess, Fuz Rana, Scott Minnich and David Snoke), and the general tone of the others’ abstracts seems to be on “design” good or bad. My own aim is to reiterate my book’s arguments from Scripture, historical theology and nature itself to argue that Christianity teaches a still-good natural creation, but to propose what that means for a theology of nature that affects the worldview we … Continue reading
There are two alternative scientific “metanarratives” for the course of COVID-19 in Britain (both of which also apply in other western countries). The first is that Prof Ferguson’s modelling, which predicted 500,000 deaths unless drastic lockdown was instituted, was correct, and that Britain’s following of that policy, though a little belatedly, saved the day and resulted in, to date, a little shy of 50,000 deaths. The other scenario is that, the decline in cases having started 10 days before lockdown, the virus was already rife, followed more or less its natural Gompertz curve, and therefore lockdown did nothing… except ruin the economy for generations and cause a currently estimated 75,000 … Continue reading
I’m finding the contrast between God’s bit of the world and man’s bit of the world essential contemplation in this time of lunacy. Fortunately, writing God’s Good Earth permanently opened my eyes to the goodness of nature in a new way, and I’ve been reminded of this by preparing to speak on the book’s subject online at the Christian Scientific Society next month. Yesterday I felt the contrast particularly keenly.
Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I won’t comment too much on the orchestrated, and of course unchallenged, fear-fest of the two government scientists’ explanation for the need for renewed lockdown yesterday. It was intended to prepare the way for Boris Johnson’s regretful announcement this morning, locking us all up again for another six months, without charge or benefit of clergy (needless to say unquestioned in Parliament in any effective way).
Epidemiology is a complex and often counter-intuitive science, as I discovered on a correspondence on prostate cancer screening with the head of the UK screening service some years ago. In the wrong hands, that can make it dangerous: as someone said, “epidemiology was invented to make economists look good.”
This title is really clickbait for “All you need to know about COVID false positives,” which is possibly the biggest un-publicised problem of this whole pandemic. I’m writing about the UK, but much the same applies across the world.
Boris Johnson says that any further COVID lockdown will be a disaster for Britain, and that he will go “to any lengths” to prevent it. So far that seems to entail greater degrees of restriction working up to the planned disaster gradually. But I have a useful suggestion for him: Boris, if you will go to any lengths to prevent a disastrous lockdown, then why not go to the length of not imposing a lockdown? Problem solved at a non-stroke, and in accordance with the science that increasingly shows lockdowns have done no good whatsoever, and a whole heap of harm.
It is important to understand that popular theologies, like popular sciences, are subject to fashion. A long life in Christ (mine is currently 55 years), like a long medical career, makes one very aware of this, and ought to lead to constant re-examination of one’s easy assumptions about health matters, as also the teaching and practice of one’s particular church or wider church “movement.”
Another round of draconian restrictions has been introduced in the UK, restricting all social gatherings to six people, with threats of dictatorship-style curfews in future. This causes mayhem to our newly re-introduced church services, if we have to gather in (socially distanced) groups of six. And it cancels the restart of my saxophone choir, my only musical activity to have survived lockdown. Christmas too, just as in Narnia under the wicked Queen, looks like being cancelled for the sake of … well, we’ll see.