One of the reasons I don’t believe in the global warming narrative is because its most strident and belligerent advocates appeal to “science,” and demand that we submit to “science,” even though they themselves know nothing about science. At bottom, then, it is an appeal to authority, and a specific class of men is put forth as having that authority. But the class of men that are deemed scientists is actually a small subset of those with master’s degrees or above in the sciences. The vast majority of these go on to careers in engineering, programming, or management, and are not heard from again so far as their scientific training. The ones that get positions in universities or laboratories are (1) carefully vetted before getting their positions, since it is entry into a guild that guards its prerogatives and does not want too much dissent; (2) once in, they are involved in a life-long struggle for funding; and most funding comes from the government. So the appeal to the authority of science actually comes down to an appeal to the pronouncements of a small subset of science majors that have been vetted by the guild and who are largely beholden to the government for their funding. Even many that appear to be privately funded, such as in the pharm industry, are still tied to the government indirectly, since the government grants their product license. In short, the appeal to the authority of science is at bottom a circular reference back to the authority of the government, masked as an appeal to science.
I don’t mean the guild scientists are liars — though some are, provably. But I mean that what is going on with “science” is quite different from the mythos created by popular images such as Madame Curie sacrificing her health and her life in pursuit of truth. The majority of actual men practitioning science are subject to all the motives of fashion and conformity and self-interest that motivate men in any field, except perhaps even more so, because of the funding problem. Some can rise above it; some can’t. This is why we need wisdom more than “science.”
Instead of “scientists” delivering judgments that everyone receives obediently, they should be the ones doing the tedious work of dredging up and presenting the relevant facts. We have, probably, over a million men in our nation that can understand scientific arguments based on data. Let the data and the argument be presented, and let us decide if the conclusions are valid. We don’t want, we don’t need a new priestly class.
It must be said that the publicly-disclosed facts do not support the Coronavirus (hereafter: the Big C) Panic. The numbers coming out of Italy started the panic, with terrifying talk of 3.4% mortality rate. Here are the facts, however.
- The average age of one dying from the Big C in Italy is 80.
- 99.2% of the deaths were people that had at least one other illness. Almost half had three or more other illnesses.
- Many of these 80 year olds with 1 or more life-threatening diseases would have entered the hospital and never come back out anyhow, but in the meantime would have been exposed to the Big C; but anyone dying in a hospital with the Big C was counted as dying on account of the Big C.
- The denominator in the mortality rate is greatly understated, since random testing has not taken place, and the people that are tested are already more likely to have it. To illustrate using an extreme example: if one person (say, not knowing he has it) infects a nursing home and all 100 inmates die as a result, but no one else is even tested for it, this would look like a 100% mortality rate. If 10 or 100 times more people actually have it than are known, the mortality rate goes down by a factor of 10 or 100.
See this excellent summary, done with Germanic thoroughness. (If there are subtitles other than English, turning off all subtitles will leave only the english.
Next, we compare the Big C to regular flu in the USA this season:
- Flu: 39 million illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths (CDC)
- Big C: 300 thousand illnesses and 8,000 deaths (Johns Hopkins)
Ordinary flu still has a 3x lead on the Big-C as of the date of my posting this. The number of illnesses is astonishingly different: a factor of 100 more illnesses from the flu. Note that the number of flu illnesses is not measured directly, but extrapolated from certain previously determined infection proportions. But in the case of the Big-C, only the “confirmed” cases are listed, with all the problems highlighted above. If the same extrapolation method was instead used, the mortality rate would come way down.
Fear of death
If I had a condition that made me more susceptible to dying from the Big-C, and someone asked, “Tim, would you like us to stop all the production of automobiles, shut down all the restaurants and coffee shops in the nation, as well as many other businesses, causing 15% unemployment, add 2 Trillion dollars to the national debt, shut down the churches, eliminate social intercourse, and destroy the ability of young people to buy houses for a generation, if by doing so you could live another couple years?” I would say “of course not.” “But would you give the go ahead if this applied to a thousand, or even ten thousand?” “No of course not: go away.”
There is something unseemly about this “we’ve got to do whatever it takes to save lives.” The wicked fear death above everything else. But the reaction is not rational even on their terms. You could save tens of thousands of lives by shutting down all the roads to driving cars. Assuming all this social distancing really works, you could save tens of thousands of lives already from the ordinary flu by doing it. You could save hundreds of thousands of lives by ceasing these meaningless wars in the Middle East.
For the damned, you can understand the fear, even if it is irrational. Such is their fear of death and judgement, they seem to be willing to saw off the branch they are sitting on! and take everyone else with them. Such is their hatred of Donald Trump, or the church, or America, or all of the above, that the agitators in press and politics are willing to bring the whole thing down.
Thus, I don’t think it is only fear that motivates them. Elsewhere
Augustine Updated: The Origin, Progress, and Destiny of the City of Corona
I have written about the memes and new realities they are creating, in service to their master Satan. There is a demonic triumphalism in their visage. Nevertheless, both the fear and the demonic smell of victory lead them to their own destruction. If the trucks stop rolling, most of us will die — including the men that are bringing it to pass. But apart from that, several of their idols are falling. The government schools are closed. Men are forced to break their addiction to ESPN, because there are no games to watch. There is less public blaspheming of our Savior’s name in the pubs and taverns.
I have often wondered how it came about that the Ammonites and Moabites, while attacking Jehosophat, rose up one morning and instead killed each other.
For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. II Chr. 20:23-24.
Of course it was the hand of Jehovah. But that is only (admittedly most important) half of the story. With the Panic of the Big-C, we can finally get a glimpse as to how it might have come about. Doubtless, every soldier had a very good reason, he thought, for why he was justified to slay his neighbor. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times to stop that loud snoring: but you did it again. Take that!” and off flew his head.
What should have been done
Pretend that the official account of the Big-C were accurate, contrary to the facts.
Then, what should have been done was an absolute quarantine of the elderly and other categories at risk. The youth could have been organized into teams to do shopping and chores for the quarantined, getting a small amount of pay and perhaps some college credit for social service. This is how a real nation behaves. (In Dresden, this was done to serve the refugees pouring in, before the Allies rained down fire from the sky.) With near zero exposure to those actually in danger from the virus, everyone else would continue his work, letting the normal herd effect slowly take over.
Israel Defense Minister Bennett explains.
But the Church
This is the time for strong men to see the signs of the times and lead in the church. It is the time to speak, and perhaps take a confrontational stand against the unlawful diktats and furthering of irrationality by our rulers. But at least speak, even if you can’t act.
But what do we see? Just the opposite. They speak, but in terms of a school-girlish acceptance of the priestly class’s propaganda, even in the teeth of what they can see with their own two eyes. It is utterly unseemly to see Christians capitulating. In a subsequent post, I will analyze the published positions of OPC pastors as well as of supposedly rock-ribbed orthodox Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
They appeal to the will of God, but it seems to me that what we can say about the will of God in this connection is that such men be replaced.