Are You Following the Science or the Scientist?

By Michael J. Talmo 11-01-2023

We often hear people say: “I follow the science.” Politicians say it. Bureaucrats say it. Doctors and nurses say it. Celebrities say it. Newscasters and media personalities say it. Our family and friends say it. But are they really following the science?

The word science is derived from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge. The Cambridge Dictionary defines science as “the careful study of the structure and behavior of the physical world, especially by watching, measuring, and doing experiments, and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities:”

In other words, science isn’t a person with an MD or a PhD after their name. Science is not a building, an institute, or an institution. Science is not decrees, directives, and executive orders made by politicians, corporate executives, or public health authorities. Science is a tool, a step-by-step means to learn about ourselves, the planet we live on, and the vast universe that surrounds it. This learning tool is known as the scientific method.

The scientific method was invented to counteract the cognitive biases inherent in our flawed thinking processes. Philosophy and the basic concepts of logic were invented for the same reason. Think of them as symbolic “software patches” that we can attach to our mind, to quote historian Dr. Richard Carrier, PhD. Without the scientific method, the highly advanced technological society we live in wouldn’t exist. As stated here, “technology is the practical application of science.”

In this YouTube video that demonstrates why the Earth isn’t flat, Larkin Rose eloquently pointed out that most of us don’t know about most things, which includes me. And since I have studied a number of subjects in depth, I have come to realize how stupid I really am. But most people don’t realize how stupid they are. In fact, I have found that the less people know, the smarter they think they are. This arrogant way of thinking is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s a cognitive bias that causes people to “wrongly overestimate their knowledge and ability in a specific area.” However, my use of the word stupid is to emphasize how important it is to avoid doing this. Being ignorant about something doesn’t really make you stupid. Not wanting to know, closing your mind, and refusing to know is what can make you stupid.

Rose further explained that most people don’t know what they think they know. Instead, they go about their lives relying on faith-based assumptions. They believe something because some authority figure told them to believe it, or because that’s what their family and friends believe and they want to fit in, or they think believing in certain things, even outlandish things like the Earth being flat, evolution being false, dinosaurs not existing, means they have discovered a secret truth, which makes them feel special while ignoring and even denying the fact that the evidence for all of these things is conclusive and overwhelming, or they believe stuff because it feels good, or because it validates their world view, or because the person asserting a position sounds convincing.

A lot of atheists dislike the word faith. They prefer the word confidence, such as, “I’m confident my car will start and get me to where I want to go” or “I’m confident that my marriage will last.” Some atheists call themselves apistevists, Meaning, they don’t use faith to make decisions or reach conclusions, which is a cop-out. Confidence is another word for faith. We all have to rely on faith because we can’t possibly know everything and because, let’s face it, life is a crapshoot. There are no guarantees. Of course, if you’re just applying apistevism to religious faith, blindly believing in supernatural claims without evidence, that’s fine. But applying it to other areas of life is not being honest with yourself.

But never lose sight of the fact that no matter how strongly you feel about something, no matter how deeply you believe it, doesn’t make it true. If you don’t know the facts, if you haven’t looked at the evidence, if there is no evidence at all, then you really don’t know what you think you know. Your position is weak, superficial, and could very well be blatantly wrong, because faith has never been a reliable path to truth. This is why there are around 4,300 different religions along with widely divergent views on morality, economics, child rearing, etc.

The main purpose of Larkin Rose’s video is not debunking the flat Earth belief, but to teach you how to figure stuff out for yourself using science and logic rather than just relying on belief. Whether it’s the fact that COVID-19 is a lie, controlled demolition brought down the Twin Towers on 911, or that the Earth is indeed an oblate spheroid, most people don’t know if these things are true or false—they just believe what feels right to them. And since this is what they do, they assume it’s what everyone else does. But just because you don’t know something, doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t know. Just because something offends you doesn’t mean it offends everyone. Just because you form superficial opinions on something doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Don’t project you onto everyone else.

But what about doctors, scientists, and other experts? Surely they carefully research various topics before drawing any conclusions. Nope! Turns out a lot of their views are also faith-based assumptions. This was blatantly evident when scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD was interviewed by television and film producer Del Bigtree on his news show, The Highwire. Bigtree had Tyson on because, while he isn’t a medical professional and has no expertise on vaccines (Dr. Tyson is an astrophysicist), he is a famous and charismatic speaker who has been pushing the COVID shots on social media as shown here and supports vaccine mandates.

Bigtree presented Dr. Tyson with documented facts showing that the COVID shots don’t work as claimed. For example, they don’t prevent infection or transmission of the virus even though politicians and media pundits asserted that they did as documented here and here. He showed Tyson a list of top medical professionals who questioned the efficacy of the COVID shots from the beginning and who turned out to be right. None of this mattered to Dr. Tyson. He only cared about the consensus of medical professionals who make the decisions, those who run the corporate/bureaucratic system we have in place. To quote Dr. Tyson:

“That list of highly pedigreed medical professionals that you are citing, I’m not interested in medical pedigree, I’m interested in medical consensus, in scientific consensus… the individual scientist does not matter…titles don’t matter here. What matters is the consensus…I’m a consensus scientist.”

In other words, Dr. Tyson is doing what most people do: accepting what he is being told on faith. He clearly didn’t know about a lot of the data Del Bigtree cited. It’s a good thing he didn’t encounter the scientific argument that COVID-19 is a made-up disease and that the virus and its variants don’t exist, which, if correct, would mean that the underlying premise of his argument, that everyone should get vaccinated, is flat out wrong. His head probably would have exploded.

On his website, Dr. Richard Carrier explained that it’s okay to trust a consensus of experts in a given field provided that it’s an informed consensus. If it’s an ignorant, uninformed, or biased consensus, there is no reason to listen to it. Carrier experienced this first-hand in his field: history.

In this lecture, Dr, Carrier explained that after earning his PhD and graduating from Columbia University in 2008, he was unable to get an academic position due to a hiring freeze that occurred under the George W. Bush Administration, so he was stuck with a huge student loan debt. Since Dr, Carrier was active in the atheist community before he got his PhD, he debated Christian apologists and was a published author, he had a sizable base of fans. He told them he would research any topic they wanted if they raised the money to pay off his debt.

Unanimously, Dr. Carrier’s fans asked him to research whether or not Jesus was a real historical person. Carrier agreed and his student loan was paid off even though he considered this a waste of time, because he agreed with the consensus of secular historians that Jesus was a real historical person. But not as he is depicted in the gospels. Secular historians consider those stories myths. Instead, they view Jesus as an ordinary man who either founded the Christian religion or at the very least inspired it. But when Dr. Carrier researched the topic and looked at the evidence, which took six years, he was shocked to discover that all of the arguments for Jesus being a real person were illogical and had no strong evidence to support them.

Books for and against Jesus being a myth written over the past two centuries use terrible and fallacious arguments, though there are notable exceptions. But Dr. Carrier wrote the first peer reviewed book on the subject entitled: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, published in 2014, which made it a legitimate academic position and has already changed the views of some prominent historians. Time will tell if the secular consensus adopts this position.

Nevertheless, even Dr. Carrier believes the COVID-19 narrative. In my opinion, from what I can tell, I think he is doing what Dr. Tyson is doing: accepts what the scientific and medical consensus says on faith even though he knows that a consensus can be ignorant and uninformed. But a consensus can also be corrupt. And in the area of medical science, this corruption is blatant and extensive, which has been reported in the scientific literature for years. Here are some examples:

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 2013, Abstract:

“The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs…Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients.”

The Lancet, 2015, editor-in-chief Richard Horton reported:

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) 2008 article:

“The proliferating connections between doctors and the drug industry have brought the credibility of clinical medicine to an unprecedented crisis. Corporate actions that have placed profit over public health have become regular news…The game is clear: to get as close as possible to universal prescribing of a drug by manipulating evidence and withholding data.”

Kamran Abbassi MD, Executive Editor of the British Medical Journal 2020:

“Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health…The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency…Globally, people policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas… Politicization of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and is now commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandize and enrich those in power…When good science is suppressed, people die.”

Finally, consider the words of Dr. Paul Offit MD in this interview reported on The Hightwire (see The Jaxen Report). Offit is a member of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and a co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine. You can’t get more establishment than this guy. Here is what Dr. Offit had to say about the scientific consensus creating the illusion of unity in order to look good on TV and convince the public to take vaccines and other pharmaceutical products:

“You have to have this unified front, because when you show that you’re in any sense questioning it, that it looks bad, but it’s the only way science works…to get the best data you constantly question the quality and validity and robustness and internal consistency of data… Our training as scientists is the opposite of the training for being a science communicator. I mean to be a good scientist, you never go beyond the data in front of you, never. That’s the worst mistake you could make…”

And despite being one of the most vocal opponents of attempts to link vaccines to autism, Dr. Offit also admitted:

“You can’t really say MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism. You can only say that with all the studies that have been done, it’s extremely unlikely. You can’t prove never.”

Since science is never conclusive and the mantra that vaccines are safe and effective is political posturing like Dr. Offit admits, governments along with private entities have no business imposing vaccine mandates on anyone.

So, how do we properly evaluate information on something without being experts? When it comes to medical science, it’s really pretty straightforward. There are three kinds of scientific research, but only two kinds, observational and experimental, count as evidence. The third kind, computer modeling, is inaccurate and doesn’t count as evidence. But the only studies that matter when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs (vaccines included), medical devices, and nutritional supplements, are randomized controlled trials (RCT) with verified outcomes. When testing nutritional supplements and drugs, RCTs are referred to as double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. When combined with meta analysis and systematic reviews, RCTs are the gold standard in medical research because they eliminate bias and speculation. All other studies are inferior and worthless by comparison.

Take medical devices like face masks, for example. Observational studies, which in this case are statistical, can only show a correlation between mask wearing and COVID-19 case numbers and deaths. But as explained in this Harvard University article, “observational studies can’t prove causation.” You need RCTs to prove causation because they test the masks directly to determine if they actually work. And every RCT done on masks over the past 80 years, doesn’t matter what kind, shows that they don’t work. So, if the government or the media tout a study that proves masks work and it’s observational or a computer model disregard it.

Nevertheless, a 2023 article in Scientific American, a highly respected, Pro-Science publication, claimed that “Masks Work” and made the following illogical and amazingly ridiculous statement:

“Placing randomized trials above other types of research such as observational, lab and modeling studies, has interfered with the COVID response. A randomized trial approach that allows a few studies to cancel out a huge body of research from other disciplines has no basis in science.”

If the aforementioned idiotic statement doesn’t show how corrupt medical science has become, nothing does. In contrast, JAMA (Journal of the American Medial Medial Association),the world’s most widely circulated journal, in this 2020 article, correctly stated that “if leaders, commentators, academics, and clinicians cannot restrain the rush to judgment in the absence of reliable evidence, the proliferation of observational treatment comparisons will hinder the goal of finding effective treatments for COVID-19—and a great many other diseases.”

As for computer modeling, it doesn’t represent reality. Programmers can create a computer model to determine how long it would take Godzilla to melt Manhattan with his atomic breath if he came ashore in New York City or who would win if Batman fought Captain America. The computer is stupid. It doesn’t know that Godzilla, Batman, and Captain America are fictitious characters. It’s fine to use computer models for stuff like predicting weather patterns and fleshing out dinosaurs, but not for determining public health policies. Lest we forget, it was the dire predictions of epidemiologist Neil Ferguson’s totally inaccurate COVID-19 computer model that locked down the world. Need I say more?

Also, don’t rely on common sense and trusting your gut instinct. It’s absolutely true that these things can save your life and steer you in the right direction in some situations, like deciding not to walk down a dark street because you sense danger or not dating someone because you get a bad vibe. But when it comes to seeking truth and understanding objective reality, they can hopelessly mislead you because, if you think about it, common sense isn’t very common. Millions of people continue to smoke, eat junk food, do drugs, marry the wrong people, and engage in all sorts of self-destructive and irrational behavior.

There is a method of inquiry used by flat Earth proponents called zeteticism, which bases its conclusions on observations, or one’s senses. Thus, they conclude that the Earth must be flat because it looks flat without understanding how limited their perspective is. The Earth looks flat because we humans are so infinitesimally tiny compared to the size of our planet. And our senses are limited in what they can detect. Blow into a dog whistle and you won’t hear anything, but dogs will. Bees and hawks can see ultraviolet light, but we humans can’t, nor can we see microorganisms without a microscope. So, relying on our senses alone to determine what is true makes no sense at all.

Whatever you do, support body autonomy. This applies to abortion and forced vaccination. Both are equally important because no one has the right to use your body to keep themselves alive, so it doesn’t matter whether or not you think a fetus is a person. It doesn’t have the right to use a woman’s body to stay alive because it’s her body and only she has the right to decide what goes inside it. In the same way, no one has the right to put a mask on your face or a needle in your arm to keep themselves alive. If you don’t have the right to control your own body, then you are a slave. Don’t let politicians, doctors, scientists or religious leaders con you out of your freedom by appealing to your fears and emotions.

And don’t get stuck in your own echo chamber, only listening to people who think like you and shutting others out by calling them woke, libtard, groomer, right-wing nutjob, or conspiracy theorist. Instead, listen to other sides of an argument. Take the time to study science, logic, and history. A basic knowledge of them will help you to know when you’re being given bad information and when you aren’t thinking logically. Try to vigorously disprove every belief you hold dear and see where it leads. Most of all, realize that if you feel angry or threatened when someone challenges your beliefs, maybe it’s because you know deep down inside that they are telling you the truth. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay not to be sure. It’s okay to be wrong and to admit it.

Be forever vigilant of the fact that when government officials and talking heads in the media are telling you to follow the science and preaching about what science says, what they are really doing is selling a story in order to please their advertisers and political donors. Be especially wary if part of that story is telling you how to live and demanding that you give up your freedom and put your faith in them, which has nothing to do with science and everything to do with control. History has long taught us that it’s far too dangerous to trust those who hold positions of authority in government, business, or religion with too much power.

7 thoughts on “Are You Following the Science or the Scientist?

  1. very informative. But when it comes to abortion, I do not agree with you. I think we should only have children when we grow up (lol) and are responsible adults. Abortions are an insult to humanity and an excuse to not lay in the bed you made. I was always told that a child was a gift from god. I do not even know what I believe now that I am old. But my heart could not handle the fact I killed my gift. Woman need to keep their legs closed or fuck responsibly. Thanks for sharing to me and sharing your work.

    1. Hi, Linda, I agree that we should only have children when we grow up and are responsible adults. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and people don’t always do the right thing. In being pro-choice, I’m not telling you to condone abortion only to not try to force your views on others via law. As I said in my article, don’t project you onto everyone else. Everyone doesn’t share your views on abortion nor does the Bible, which nowhere says abortion is wrong. You may think children are a gift from God, but so are famines, plagues, pestilences, eternal damnation, and the apocalypse. Those are gifts we can all do without. And lots of people don’t consider unwanted children a gift from God. How many of these unwanted children have you adopted? Do you support a strong social safety net to care for these unwanted children? If not, then you might see the hypocrisy in your position. The tone of your email sounds more like you want to use unwanted children to punish people for having sex. The Bible teaches that you are supposed to treat others with gentleness and compassion and leave the punishing up to God. In other words, just because you believe in God, doesn’t give you the right to play God. Respectfully,consider what I have said. Thank you for the feedback.

  2. Great piece, particularly interesting idea on how body autonomy relates to abortion. I would query your idea that RCT’s are the gold standard of research. YWhile they are still the best thing we have, even they have been corrupted. Today placebo’s are regularly not inert, in fact they’re often poisons. Not only that, there make up is often withheld from the published results. On a deeper level, the scientific method itself has a set of foundational assumptions that are, at best, questionable. One of those is that consciousness springs from inert matter. I would argue that the exact reverse is true, thereby, at a stroke, removing the ‘hard problem’. Do I have any way of scientifically proving that? No, but that is not a problem with the concept, rather it is a problem with the scientific method itself. Science has no way to test for the primacy of consciousness because it is a world view, determinedly locked into materialism.

    1. Hi, Dominick, thank you for the thoughtful comments. I’m not going to get into a discussion on consciousness, but it sounds like an argument for the existence of God. But your observations about Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are correct. They aren’t perfect and corruption in science, which I addressed, makes the situation even worse. But as you admit, they are the best we have. RCTs are far superior to observational studies because they eliminate bias to a much greater extent. But they can be poorly conducted, which is why we have systematic reviews, which weed out the poor RCTs and use only the best quality ones, which goes a lot further to eliminate bias. Nothing in this imperfect world is ever perfect, but RCTs come the closest we can get in medical science.

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