Clayton Fox in Tablet:
Last year I spoke to a long list of leading scientists and doctors for a piece I was reporting. Of all the things they shared with me, one quote stood out:
There is no scientific truth, only replicable science. Then it becomes theory, but not law. And not truth. There are fundamental laws of physics that have been overturned. Law is not truth, law is law, and in science, law can be overturned.
Somehow, in the madness, fear, confusion, and paranoia of our two-year sojourn through COVID-19, that basic definition of scientific truth—that it is ever-evolving, and inimical to dogmatism—has been largely mocked, denigrated, and ignored, if not met with slogans like “believe science.”
This anti-scientific attitude has become common among scientists, too—ones who, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, assume that “attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science.” There are the medical doctors, who are convinced that results from a single clinical trial, conducted by Pfizer, of Pfizer’s own new antiviral pill are more legitimate than hundreds of clinical trials and observational studies of existing medications not produced by Pfizer. There are scientific and medical journal editors who refuse to publish papers that they believe might undermine existing consensus, preferring instead to publish papers that must later be retracted as fraudulent. Then there are the politicians who have been curiously uninterested in the origins of a novel, mysterious, and paradigm-shifting virus, and the journalists and “fact-checkers” whose work has invariably supported ever-shifting public health wisdom, often by simply quoting press releases from the pharmaceutical companies and government agencies whose claims they’re supposed to be evaluating in the first place.