An explanation of why the public doesn’t trust science anymore underlines the importance of distinguishing between scientody and scientistry:
From climate to Covid, politics and hubris have disconnected scientific institutions from the philosophy and method that ought to guide them.
The Covid pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the disconnect between science as a philosophy and science as an institution.
If you think biological complexity can come about through unplanned emergence and not need an intelligent designer, then why would you think human society needs an ‘intelligent government”?
Science as an institution has a naive belief that if only scientists were in charge, they would run the world well.
Perhaps that’s what politicians mean when they declare that they “believe in science”.
As we’ve seen during the pandemic, science can be a source of power, but conformity is the enemy of scientific progress, which depends on disagreement and challenge.
There’s a tension between scientists wanting to present a unified and authoritative voice, on the one hand, and science-as-philosophy, which is obligated to remain open-minded and be prepared to change its mind.
The pandemic has, for the first time, seriously politicized epidemiology.
It’s partly the fault of outside commentators who hustle scientists in political directions, but it’s also the fault of epidemiologists themselves deliberately publishing things that fit with their political prejudices or ignoring things that don’t.
Scientists, by and large, are relatively stupid. Even worse, they’re accustomed to being more or less unaccountable. They’re high-level midwits, for the most part, which is why so many epidemiologists failed to note the obvious: if you make an incorrect prediction that costs people a considerable amount of time, money, or freedom, you will not get a second chance to tell them what to do.
For example, no one in the UK cared about SAGE’s third wave doomsday predictions or paid any attention to its demands for a lockdown because its predictions for the first two waves were off by a factor of more than 10.
Furthermore, everyone with an IQ over 115 understands that science is corrupt now, so they correctly view any “study” or recommendation with extreme skepticism.