This article bears a lot on many of the discussions here. I wish it weren’t paywalled.
“He(Matt Ridley) asks: “If you think biological complexity can come about through unplanned emergence and not need an intelligent designer, then why would you think human society needs an ‘intelligent government’?” Science as an institution has “a naive belief that if only scientists were in charge, they would run the world well.” Perhaps that’s what politicians mean when they declare that they “believe in science.” As we’ve seen during the pandemic, science can be a source of power.
But there’s a “tension between scientists wanting to present a unified and authoritative voice,” on the one hand, and science-as-philosophy, which is obligated to “remain open-minded and be prepared to change its mind.” Mr. Ridley fears “that the pandemic has, for the first time, seriously politicized epidemiology.” It’s partly “the fault of outside commentators” who hustle scientists in political directions. “I think it’s also the fault of epidemiologists themselves, deliberately publishing things that fit with their political prejudices or ignoring things that don’t.”
There are many things for which I fault Saint Fauci, but his changing position on a number of beliefs as our knowledge of COVID evolved is not one of them. Of course, if he would at times make the point that his previous position was in error, instead of just asserting the new position as though he had never said anything else, that would help a lot.
People need to understand that science is a process, not a sacred book.