The pharmaceutics industry, too many science bloggers, “skeptics” - they all tell us that we should trust science and that all those who speak out for “natural” solutions are none other but religious idiots, or even monsters, criminals who do not refrain from harming your child for financial benefit. They try to bang it into our heads: Also nature is just chemistry; the often not applicable always-been-there-anyways-argument.
As I explained with help of the example of the vitamins E and D, the “tree huggers” often get it right plainly by staying “natural”. “Natural” basically means to, when in doubt, better stay with what we have evolved with during the Pleistocene (read here on why this makes sense). However, skeptics ridicule “natural” and equate it with climbing back on the trees. Many a science blog tells us to trust technology as the only way to answer any modern day problem. Not necessarily explicitly, but implicitly the message is almost pure: Science, although we do not even agree on what belongs to it, is the good guy and to be assumed well and well meaning before proven otherwise. Trust us.
Can somebody please explain with what kind of callous disregard for people pure alpha-tocopherol and ergo-calciferol were ever plainly sold as vitamins E and D? Or at least explain the arrogance of not admitting that mistakes have been made and similar may happen right now and in future? I am to trust?
Many lay folk busy working their menial jobs in the 1960s and 70s read that science and doctors agreed: smoking does no harm. Now we are told that “real” science never claimed such. Yes, maybe “real” science also never claimed alpha-E or D2 is what you should eat. Science is always right, like the Bible; we have again misinterpreted; our fault.
Many educated people clearly received the message “eat vitamins, it will help you, it is proven by studies, here is the chemical, it is the same as the natural stuff”. May it conceivably be that this was pretty much the message rather than our personal inability to distinguish “true” science from dangerous crap? If I cannot, who can? Vitamins, again, is just one example of too many.
Today, the same sources, namely medicine and the visible face of science (now blogs belong in there), tell us that we are irresponsible murderers of children, endangering holy herd immunity, if we do not bow down and pump almost any kind of vaccine into us that Glaxo Smith and similar are tossing at the market. If I do not enthusiastically support this, I am supposedly anti-science – no gray area allowed – good against evil.
Take in the ferocity with which this campaign is going on in some of the most prominent corners of the bloggosphere: Bill Maher, a comedian after all (maybe he may get the one or the other science wrong sometimes? Just asking ...), is according to some “science bloggers” not a true atheist or agnostic even and should not have gotten the Richard Dawkins Award because he has the guts to some, actually for a Hollywood figure surprisingly rational, critical thoughts around the issue of vaccinations! You cannot even be an atheist anymore (that’s all the award is about) if you do not use your show to promote flu vaccine?
Dear naïve science cheerleaders and technology evangelists! You do not scare me into sheepish submission, your kind of “herd immunity”! I am too experienced with living in the real world for just trusting whatever there is in the little bottles at the doctor’s office. So is Bill Maher, and some of his views about vaccines are spot on - recommended reading (I just love "Thanks, Doc, I thought there might be a little man inside the needle.").
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