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Science or “The Science”?

“‘The Science’ and science are opposites.”

Richard Lindzen

So you believeThe Science”? That is odd.
Science cannot be about compliance.
Scientists are skeptics. They’re not yes men.
Belief’s more often used to just oppress men.

Reserve belief for the Almighty God.
Skepticism doesn’t mean defiance.
Science doesn’t punish a transgression.
The Science” always punishes a question.

The Science” is no more than a façade.
Science is a strict anti-alliance
With any entities that push oppression.
All fresh expression lessens prepossession.

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Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.


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26 Responses

  1. Norma Pain

    This succinct, clever poem should be taught in schools to educate our children to really think, because it seems as if a lot of adults don’t understand the concept of science always evolving. Great poem Mike.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      You’re so right, Norma. It seems that children are taught what to think instead of how to think.

      Reply
  2. fred schueler

    While science is “faith in doubt” and constant vigilance in one’s own field, it’s equally trusting that colleagues in other fields have been equally vigilant, and accepting their conclusions as the best interpretations available for what they’re studying.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Fred, I’ve never heard the phrase, “faith in doubt” but it sounds like nothing in science is ever “settled.” Science advances one experiment at a time. No one believed Einstein’s theory until he proposed an experiment. He predicted that as a certain star passed behind the sun, it’s position would appear to shift as the light of that star was affected by the sun’s gravity. When that light was bent by gravity, it was evident that Einstein was right.
      When modern science gets predictions right, then you don’t have to be a scientist to understand. They’ve been missing every single climate science prediction for over forty years.

      Reply
  3. Brian Yapko

    Mike, this is a terrific statement of an important distinction between true scientific objectivity (no matter where it leads) and ego (or fear)-driven scientific bias, which is practiced by those who are so invested in their narrative that they cannot or will not see anything that undermines that narrative. Ironically, these “science purists” are the ones who are most close-minded.

    I’m reminded of Dr. Charbonnet in The Story of Louis Pasteur who represents the French Medical Academy in the 1870s. On behalf of all of those noble scientists and physicians he mocked and did whatever he could to discredit Pasteur’s discoveries regarding germ theory.

    And you mentioned Albert Einstein. Up until the theory of special relativity was proposed by him in 1903 (based in part on an experiment which negated what scientists thought they knew about light), common knowledge among scientists was that the universe was filled with a substance called the luminiferous aether. This “luminiferous aether” was believed to exist because there simply had to be something tangible that light waves could react to in order to move through space. It was inconceivable to them that light could otherwise propagate through a vacuum of space without something to react against. No one ever found even the remotest evidence that the luminiferous aether existed and yet the science establishment held on to that theory with claw marks until Einstein and other scientists who studied the nature of light waves showed that the luminiferous aether was completely superfluous and, indeed, nonsensical. The point of this story is just to show how deeply invested scientists can become in a status quo which actually makes no sense. And don’t even get me started on “birthing persons.”

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks Brian, I think it was Newton that said that he could only see so far ahead because he stood on the shoulders of giants. He was a giant of science and faith. I’m praying for more such giants. I’m tired of the Lilliputians feeding at the taxpayer funded troughs. Peer review has become pal review.

      Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    What Brian says about “luminiferous aether” is also instanced in the theory of “phlogiston,” to which many chemical scientists clung with desperation even after Lavoisier and others demonstrated that it made no sense at all. Scientists as human beings are no different from the rest of us — they can be driven by pride, arrogance, an unwillingness to admit mistakes, and sometimes sheer venality.

    The most dangerous development in medicine today (and scientific inquiry in general) is the way in which a disinterested search for truth is slowly but surely being replaced by “adherence to policy guidelines.” This means that the individual scientist or doctor or researcher is no longer free to go wherever his experimentation leads him. He must instead follow directives from some higher agency (his employers, his professional association, insurance companies, or governmental bureaucrats).

    Some things in science are definitely settled. Nobody is going to change the periodic table of elements, or deny the existence of genetics. What we really have to worry about is the growing presence of certain political elites and their functionaries who have no scruple at all about deciding which scientific truths have to be covered up or ignored to suit some ideological agenda.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Joe, I agree that many things in science are settled. However much of science that was thought to have been settled was not. I’m thinking of the mid oceanic ridges and plate tectonics as well as the H. Pylori and ulcers connection. Both findings were held up to ridicule for years and were really only mainstreamed when their major detractors died!
      DNA was discovered coincident with the rise of computers. Only because of our understanding of computer technology have we begun to understand that our own computer programming is insignificant compared to the programming evident in DNA. No one would pretend that the programming on our computers is random.
      I think it’s notable that the greatest scientific mind of all time, Sir Isaac Newton, spent as much time studying the scriptures as he did any scientific question.

      Reply
      • C.B. Anderson

        You are correct, Mike. Newton thought that his theological writings were much more important than his discoveries in physics (but he was probably wrong about that). I see that you still cleave to the advice of Karl Popper, which is decidedly a good thing. Forget opinion, verificationism and government policy — they are all dead ends. Sometimes things can become very complicated, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to what is right in front of your nose. When politics obscure true science, then, I would say, we have come to the end of the road.

      • Mike Bryant

        C.B. I think you have everything just about right. Science has become scientism, exactly as democracy has become democratism (another discussion). There’s a great essay published yesterday by Carlo Lancellotti, a professor of math at the College of Staten Island… maybe you know him, Joe… here:

        https://americanmind.org/features/technocracy-and-totalitarianism/scientism-a-dying-faith/

        The takeaway from the above essay is this line:

        “In fact, at this point more than by technocrats we are ruled by what I like to call idiocrats: people who do not know much about anything, but exercise power by exploiting the cultural and ideal void created by scientism and technocracy.”

    • Mike Bryant

      Sally, I think dreams may guide you straighter than what passes for science these days. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. Joshua C. Frank

    Great poem, Mike! You’re absolutely right that “science cannot be about compliance,” and yet, here we are.

    I’ve found science disappointing for a long time for the reasons you describe… plus, it changes on a whim, and scientists fight over whose theory is right, so science is therefore naturally subject to the opinion of whoever’s in power. Basically, it turned into a religion somewhere along the line from Archimedes to “The Science.” I used to be an avid student (more like a devout disciple) of science when I was a lot younger… and got more and more frustrated with it for these reasons.

    Now I just go with what Christians have believed throughout most of the last two thousand years. So far, that hasn’t steered me wrong!

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thanks Josh, two of my aunts and their mother and my grandmother were Christian Scientists. They all lived well into their nineties without so much as an aspirin. I spoke to my Aunt Lula when she was 90. She informed me that she never drank any alcoholic or soft drink or even had a cup of coffee. When I last saw her she was composing a Spanish/English crossword puzzle for the Laredo newspaper. She had created them weekly for many years. She was also promoting a musical composed by one her grandsons. She said that her nightly corn tortilla and avocado with a bit of salt contributed to her health and longevity. Susan and I and our nightly tacos are heading for a hundred… now just gotta quit the damned aspirin!

      Reply
  6. Lannie David Brockstein

    Why is it that the Dr. Fauci cultists, I mean the followers of “The Science”, have no problem with looking down on those who wear tin foil hats to protect themselves from 5G radiation, whilst they themselves are wearing Big Pharma’s face masks that do not have any studies to show they protect anyone from the airborne Covid-19 virus?

    At least their face masks are protecting the planet from the noble lie of climate change! If only Big Pharma would also produce face masks for the big butts of cows—surely that would reduce GHGEs therefore ending the racist war in Ukraine!

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Lannie, everything makes perfect sense as long as you sincerely believe The Science.

      Reply
  7. Allegra Silberstein

    Your poem was amazing and I think that all the great comments after were a tribute to your writing. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Reply
  8. Margaret Coats

    Mike, thanks for putting this topic into short, memorable verse. “Compliance” is used so often these days that we need to remember it’s the opposite of true science. True scientific thinking is love of learning in every field. In college, I double-majored in physics and English. Studying science gave me the intellectual discipline to deplore and resist many idiotic trends in literary studies.

    I heard a discussion of “scientism” just a few days ago. Many scientists other than Lindzen are taking up the outcry against it. “The Science” is not just a false position; it has harmed millions irreparably, and it continues to use government to make us dumber, weaker, and sicker. In the process it attacks truth. Did you know that using xylitol nasal spray protects against covid as well as against other airborne diseases? The makers of brand-name XLEAR nasal spray are now being sued by the Federal Trade Commission for publicizing scientific studies that show this. I heard the maker of XLEAR (the original xylitol nasal spray) explain that he and his competitors had all received letters telling them not to spread the information. Most of them responded with compliance. But if you go to xlear.com and look for their ftc-response, they are maintaining both science and freedom of information. We can all support science by buying some low-cost, over-the-counter XLEAR that may be useful during winter months. Kill those germs–don’t collect them on a mask.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Margaret, this is utterly outrageous. The idea that bureaucratic creeps at the FTC can try to prevent publicity for something that helps fight Covid is more than insane — it’s demonic. But I suppose we all should have realized that the vaccine-mongers are serious totalitarians when they did all in their power to prevent people from buying Ivermectin.

      Reply

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