Listening to The Science

Finding the truth, is sort of like counting to infinity. It will certainly take a long time, but the end result promises to be extraordinary. This is the problem of science. It searches for truth, but there are always more truths to pursue.

Every time I hear a governor, or some other elected official, say “we are following The Science,” I’m inclined to find a different governor or elected official whose advice I might consider. Why does an elected official proclaim such faith in The Science? This is obviously someone who wants to end the discussion, and worse, this is someone who wants to control our lives. This represents a basic misunderstanding of science.

In reality, most of us, including governors, rely on the advice of experts, but expert opinions are not the same as the truth. Most scientists spend their lives in a persistent pursuit of ever greater understanding. We call this study or even research. No scientist, that we should ever trust, would claim to know everything about anything. How many times have you seen scientists change their minds? It happens all the time. Even a consensus of scientists can remain consistently wrong until one clear voice exposes their once fallacious fixation.

Even in this present pandemic circumstance the many scientists and expert advisors to mayors, governors, presidents, prime ministers, emperors, as well as kings and queens continue to seek to understand the threats and the consequences of every conceivable mitigation strategy. There is often strong disagreements among scientists, economists, physicians and other public health professionals. They do not even agree on the goals. Which expert opinion should a leader consider, one in particular, a few, or all of them? That requires wisdom, the ability to discern the best options among many.  I’m listening to the scientists, experts, and leaders who demonstrate this wisdom and some measure of humility as well.

If you listen carefully to The Science, you are likely to be surprised by all the contrasting arguments you may hear. But do not despair. In time, all of our problems vanish, one way or another.

About DocStephens

Retired college professor of science and mathematics, academic administrator, and president (emeritus).
This entry was posted in Human Behavior, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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