There has been an obvious need in this pandemic to urge the findings of science in a public sphere bemused, befuddled by disinformation from all sides, not least the ministration of super-idiot Trump. This link (below) was accidental but shows that even in a field where hard science is in play there are fuzzy corners. Not as such my point. Science is our guide through a pandemic.
But that isn’t my point: in general when scientists get impatient, as here, and urge science, they are right.
But resistance arises, and not solely due to crank anti-science in the complex field of multiple discourses and the history of science as such: the suspicion of science arises because science as it moves beyond the fundamentals often ceases to be a guide. After all there was once a Romantic movement, there was Kant who critiqued determinism, etc…
And then came Darwinism and the almost endless conflict here with the parade of dogmatic error promoted as science. This legacy, quite apart from a religious right in revolt, has puzzled those who would normally support science but can’t do so here because selectionist evolution is not science at all.
And the point resists clarification even after a half century of confusion. To guard the reputation of science, the issue of darwinism should long since have been shelved. But now a whole generation of people obviously more intelligent than the professionals have had to stand back from ‘science’ to caution against a fraudulent pseudo-science in motion.
More generally one needs even in affirming science to be wary of the higher scale of subjects that do not show scientific foundations. As ‘science’ rises on a slope it loses its rigorous application: multiple subjects emerge in this ambiguity, from sociology, to history, what to say of psychology, ….
The science in biochemistry is sound indeed, but as the subject of biochemistry successfully applies to fields of biology it fails in the case of a theory of evolution, which has proven a tough nut to crack. That is because it is almost a cosmological, if not metaphysical subject and doesn’t yield to the reductionist methods of physics. Part of the problem is the simple fact that we don’t really observe evolution. To look at the mutation in some biochemical context and talk about evolution is misleading and mostly false.
And in any case noone has observed whatsoever the evolution of organisms in deep time.
That should be the end of the matter. But in the progression of science idiots the theory of natural selection is projected backwards to explain what has never been observed and then marshaled as a triumph of science. The reputation of science has ended up being sacrificed in the name of this stupidity where a simple confession of ignorance would have done better.
A good example of the hare-brained confusions here, consider that the science of the evolution of man must explain first who man is and the nature of his psychology. Millennia of buddhists would claim that man has the natural capacity to real enlightenment. But pace science what is that, what is the state of that as psychology and then how could it have evolved?
Alternately science dismisses this as superstition and allows on the most oversimplified definition of man to enter the question of evolution.
That is one of many examples of the way ‘evolutionary’ thinking can derail and produce only noise instead of science. The issue of evolution is super-complex beyond the resolvable question (more or less) of the physical substrate sciences.
In general the question of evolution has defied simple theories, and unlike physics shows no real progress toward a general theory, despite the protestations of those who flourish in the institutional field, mostly because they toe the line.
Science in general is doomed to the fate of never explicting the issue of values in the realm of facts and that is a huge limitation, but no real argument against science, only the pretense of universal scientism to explain things it can’t explain.