I want to say I have not lost faith yet because I know scientists who are honourable people. Their primary problem is they are not useful idiots for the media and the politicians. All of them will tell you without hesitation, “There is always more to know. Science is never settled.”
They get no attention.
Compare that to the “scientists” who concluded in early 2020 that Covid-19 could only have come about by natural steps. A vanishingly small chance it could have come from The Wuhan Virology Institution. I think to be generous, their opinions far exceeded the ability of the evidence to support those opinions.
Now it has come full circle. It seems that the natural development of Covid-19 is the vanishingly small probability.
It appears now that the Wuhan Virology Institution is now the favoured source. Despite the enormous media take-up on the nature argument and the outraged contradiction of those who disagreed, it is now the natural that is out of favour. The conspiracy theory of early 2020 is now gospel, or so it seems.
In 2020 Politifact, a purported fact-checker, strongly supported the idea of the natural development idea. “Conspiracy theory” came up in their discussion of the idea it might have been the lab.
The Politifact situation has changed. To their credit, new information came available, and they changed their mind. You do have to wonder what they did to check the facts the first time though.
A headline in the Washington Examiner 22 May 2021, “PolitiFact retracts Wuhan lab theory ‘fact-check.’ Fifteen months late.
A little more than a week ago, I published an article about the newer information. You can see it here.
In addition to what I raised there, add the argument flaw, “Appeal to Authority.” It is an assertion without evidentiary support and reasoning about the data. The intended support is merely the voice of the person asserting the fact. When you can trust people, that may be enough. When you cannot, or don’t know, it is worth nothing.
The same principle applies to anything that matters to you.
Perceived truth is not symmetrical. Someone who lies 10% of the time does not enjoy 90% credibility.
Scientists, the honest kind, are pushing back. Regarding the new information, eighteen of them signed a letter to the journal “Science” demanding an investigation. A beginning.
It is troubling how easy it was for these people to dominate the discussion for more than a year. Trustworthy people tell me finding case zero and the source of the virus would help decide how to proceed. In a fair world, hiding that information would be criminal. Ideology is not science no matter how much you want a thing to be true.
Be skeptical of anything presented by Appeal to Authority. It is only valid within the context of the position they are promoting. Oddly enough we usually know what that context is. Something to their advantage. Yet we still believe it.
You should be willing to be a little trusting if they 1) show the evidence, 2) their reasoning about what it means, 3) what they think might be missing, and 4) how the missing information could affect their opinion. Otherwise, dismiss them. Harshly.
In simple terms, they must “SHOW THEIR WORK” You can remember that idea from high school. It’s a good way to organize thinking. People who can’t or won’t do it, are lying.
If you want better information, you will need to learn how to dismiss the rogues and dig a little to find other thoughts.
You don’t have to be a scientist to use common sense.
Trust science, but be careful of the people who tell you what it means or how to think about it.
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