Do not be deceived

There’s a rather nice little piece in Watts Up With That today. It contrasts real science, based on accumulating evidence, with”Woke Science”:

In woke “science” there is no falsifiable hypothesis. In place of that, we have the official orthodox consensus view. The official orthodox consensus view has been arrived at by all the smartest people, because it just seems like it must be right. The official orthodox consensus view must not be contradicted, particularly by the little people like you. Based on the official orthodox consensus view, those in power can take away all your freedom (Covid) and/or transform the entire economy (climate). After all, it’s the “science.”

A good example of the real/woke science contrast in the recent news is the cautioning statement by Boris Johnson that the current good situation regarding COVID in Britain is not due to the vaccine, but to the lockdown. Thus he prepares us to see all the good work fall apart as soon as we wickedly go to church, or the pub, as the case may be, even if everybody gets vaccinated.

Let’s pass over, for the moment, the fact that when we went into this last lockdown, Boris said our road to freedom was to be in our all getting vaccinated as soon as possible. But it’s a sad fact that if you constantly contradict yourself, you will neither be believed nor respected any more. Let’s instead just look at small parts of the science, in the old-fashioned way.

It is true, despite what Johnson and his advisers say, that cases had begun to drop before the initiation of lockdown in all three of our impositions of that policy; and in the second, the only one fully in a winter infection season, cases had begun to rise again before it was relaxed. An article I read yesterday confirmed my own observations that the downturn actually began over the Christmas break, when everybody got together indoors even more than the briefly relaxed rules allowed. Conversely, the predicted “spike” after Christmas was yet another false prophecy of “Woke Science.” Government scientists’ predictions have been as wide of the mark as those of the Charismatic prophets who failed to predict COVID and wrongly, almost to a man, foretold a Trump second term. I don’t see why I should believe either set of charlatans, though I suppose Johnson has the power to issue laws that somebody enforces, unlike Kenneth Copeland, whose decrees God studiously ignores.

But it’s also true that well over thirty studies have shown nil to minimal effects from lockdowns across the world now, and nobody (I think) can point to an instance where abandonment of lockdown led clearly, in the right time-frame, to an increase in disease. On the contrary, non-locked down countries have mostly done rather better than us. Germany has just implemented a new lockdown, and a journalist asked the relevant minister what evidence he had that they work, quoting an article pointing to the studies that say they don’t. He avoided answering the question. The orthodox are everywhere, it appears.

On the other hand, studies have shown good protection from serious disease and transmission from vaccination, and even the more cautious official antibody studies show well over 60% of Brits now have antibodies. That figure is over 90% in the more at-risk age groups. It would be wrong to attribute the drop in cases here to vaccination rather than the seasonal decline seen throughout the Northern hemisphere, but the fact that our figures are dropping both for cases and vaccinations/antibody responses suggests that it has has made a significant contribution.

Accordingly, we have a large body of good evidence that lockdowns don’t do anything useful, and that ours didn’t. And we have a large body of evidence that vaccination programmes, whatever their risks, do work and that ours has, to the extent that COVID has almost disappeared as a disease, and is not far short of that as a Casedemic. That means that Boris Johnson’s recent official data-following messaging to the nation on the matter is just one thing: superstitious mumbo-jumbo.

Given his track-record both of self-contradiction and deliberate dissembling on, for example, the planned introduction of vaccine passports, it is not clear to what extent he is guided by ideologically biased scientific advisers, is ideologically biased himself, or is simply a habitual liar. But it makes no difference to the bottom line – that there is no justification for taking a single word he says about facts on the ground seriously.

Incidentally, snippets gained from other news include that Prince Philip was a closet climate change skeptic, whose attempt to invite a skeptic to speak at his annual lecture was stymied by anti-politics protocols that don’t however, seem to apply to prince Charles or Prince William when they pontificate on climate change and green energy. A second such snippet is that Mick Jagger is a lockdown skeptic, joining Van Morrison, the Fairbrass brothers and probably other musicians, and citing many of the examples of nonsense we’ve discussed here in a recent song. I was always an admirer of Prince Philip, but suddenly I’ve become a bigger Stones fan.

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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1 Response to Do not be deceived

  1. Jon Garvey says:

    Footnote on the new normal: I went to pick up repeat prescriptions at the GP surgery today. I steered past the chairs placed outside for people to wait, peered past the wall of warning and advisory posters on the windows to see if the coast was clear (for a change I didn’t have to queue outside), put my mask on, sterilised my hands in the entrance lobby, negotiated the barrier of tape between the pharmacy window and the empty waiting room and the deserted reception desk (also covered in COVID posters), and waited a few minutes for the assistant to appear.

    As I collected my scrips (recollecting that our annual medication check was cancelled back in the autumn), I conversationally asked the pharmacy assistant, “When do you guys get back to normal working, then?”

    “What do you mean?” She asked testily, “We’ve been operating normally all the time.”

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