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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

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Thanks to COVID-19, the public has gotten a lot more skeptical about claims that chemicals, food, and medicine are corporate conspiracies created to replace natural products that worked just fine. Even more ridiculous has been the belief that millions and millions of people are dying from these newer products even though there are no bodies to be found.

Science is back, and that may be why Business Insider published what can perhaps be described as an advertorial for environmental groups who have to be sweating now that their campaigns against the modern world are being laughed at.
The flu kills over 600,000 people each year and in 2020 another virus exploded in public health circles for the third time in 17 years; coronavirus.

SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 disease, has killed nearly 400,000, and given the risk factors it is hard to say how many would have been killed by any respiratory disease, but one question is not philosophical: is this the new normal? 
A year ago, and for this entire century, the nexus of anti-vaccine beliefs and other denial of science has been Democratic states. While places like Mississippi and Alabama had vaccine rates near 100 percent, an infectious disease crisis that began on the west coast forced politicians in California, where kids without vaccines totaled more than the other 49 states combined, to shuck off their wealthiest constituents and mandate them. (1)

Then COVID-19 took the world by storm and  all of that changed.
Why is Homo neanderthalensis gone while Homo sapiens have bent the world to our will? 

In recent years, there has been speculation that climate change wiped out Neanderthal people, or interbreeding with us, since many of us have DNA shared by Neanderthals (we also share 60 percent of our DNA with a banana) but a new paper affirms the earliest belief about survival of the fitter, commonly called survival of the fittest; competition between Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal. And Neanderthals lost.
Conservation groups have frequently sued the U.S Army Corps of Engineers claiming that government scientists do not "properly" evaluate the environmental impacts of its plans to mitigate flood risk.
During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, when disease epidemiologists want to be taken seriously by the public, they face an uphill battle. Blocking their progress are epidemiologists who casually link everything to diseases, often using food frequency questionnaires which have no scientific legitimacy.