David Nightingale: Antiscience | WAMC

David Nightingale: Antiscience

Aug 16, 2020

When I was a young man I knew I wanted to go into both art and science, and I realized that what they had in common was the aim for truth. In poetry, and art, including writing, one tries to describe things as they are; and for science I chose physics, which also tries to describe things as they are – exemplified by unshakeable laws. Those laws, revealed by Newton, and many others, in particular Maxwell and Einstein, were beautiful. So, truth and beauty became increasingly how I wanted to pursue things.

Today, Dr. Fauci, who cares (I judge) totally for truth and science, is a brave soul, working in an anti-science arena.

Peter Navarro, trade adviser in this Trump administration has said ‘everything Dr. Fauci says is wrong….’ [NYT 7/15/2020]

The anti-science tendencies in this administration are depressing. Looking up this Peter Navarro, I find he is a 70-year-old man with a doctorate from Harvard. How, I wonder, can this be? How can a man who has had to write and defend his work in front of critical Harvard faculty (in order to even receive a Ph.D.) claim that the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has a long list of successful research into – among others, control of HIV – claim that Fauci, in the years since graduating first in his class at Cornell’s Medical College, is “all wrong?”

Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, who ridiculed mask-wearing has now tested positive for COVID-19 (Miami Herald, 7/29/2020). Outside America, Jair Balsonaro, President of Brazil, who, in front of his 200 million citizens shunned the use of masks, caught the disease and is now wearing a mask in public. What does it take for so many people to see things as they really are?         

But back to the U.S.: in mid July, in Woodstock, NY, a councilman was told by another man in a confrontation about a swimming area “there is no virus.” [Kingston DF 7/14/2020].

A man not wearing the required mask in a south Florida Walmart pulls a gun on a masked man who asks him please to comply. [www.Fox23.com/news, 7/15/2020]

A friend, talking to a woman who was for some years a school principal, was astounded to hear the woman say “Trump is doing a wonderful job, isn’t he?”         

But we are talking about reality. If one looks at news and data from all countries, wearing masks in crowded situations clearly reduces the transmission and absorption of viruses. Yet, while crossing a narrow rail trail bridge I had to pass a group (11 people), only one of whom had a mask. Judging from clothing and dress, heavy dress on a hot day, they appeared to be from a religious sect. But there have always been clashes between faiths and science, have there not?  – One of the most egregious being between Galileo and the church in the early 1600s.

The Governor of the state of Georgia, Brian Kemp, sued Atlanta’s mayor after she mandated face masks in a responsible attempt to curb the climbing numbers of COVID deaths in her city. Defiantly, she replied [NBC news 7/2020] “if being sued by the state is what it takes to save lives in Atlanta then we will see them in court.”

Brigadier-General Anthony Tata, who has claimed repeatedly on radio and in writings that Obama is a “Muslim” and a “terrorist leader,” was nominated earlier this year by Trump to the 3rd highest-ranking position in our Defense Department, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Sometimes it seems there’s an inexhaustible supply of people who are blind to truth. It doesn’t take an awful lot to verify facts, yet still people such as our current president, try to deny them, often calling them fake.

David Nightingale has published in both the Astrophysical Journal and The American Journal of Physics, and is the author of the science-fiction novel The Centauri Settlement published by TheBookPatch.com .

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