Opinion

Fantasy science and intellectual dishonesty

Not hard science, but assumptions from modeling and simulations are being used to justify the legitimacy of the corona measures.  That violates the principle of legislative rationality in Canada. 

By Dr. Max Thompson, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Albert Hospital.

The legal-philosophical foundations of the modern Canadian state – that is, of democracy – include the principle of legislative rationality, with the recognition of the citizen as a responsible subject. The rights of Canadians include his duty to use his reason on the objective facts himself, so legislation is not a matter of taste or subjective arbitrariness. In relation to the Corona crisis, the principle of rationality says that it is all about the the level of scientific knowledge regarding Covid-19 as the basis for the legitimacy of the legislative measures taken to protect the population. These must correspond to the rational principle of proportionality and be equally understandable to all Canadians.

Only under this condition can the Canadian Government exercise its function of protecting the lives of Canadians through legislative action that extends to the abolition of their fundamental rights.

Now the scientific level of knowledge in the matter of Corona, which is used politically and in the Canadian media to legitimize the measures, is at the best of times ambiguous. This ambiguity, for example whether a person who tested positive for the virus is also an “infected” or “sick person”, then leads to misleading explanations that do not do what they are supposed to – legitimize the measures. In addition to this rationality deficit, the measures themselves massively endanger the common good and threaten to cause more damage than the virus could at all. They are experienced by Canadians as disproportionate (irrational) – an experience that increasingly claims their legitimate right to resist in mass demonstrations, but politicians and the media try to delegitimize this through allegations and defamation. Trust in the truthfulness of the principle of rationality is undermined by the illegitimate encroachment on basic civil rights into a crisis of confidence in the democratic institutions themselves.

Numerous blurring of meanings of the state of scientific knowledge, widespread by politicians and the media, are now well known. Above all, this includes operating with absolute values instead of ratios, and the deficiency of the PCR tests for assessing the risk of the virus for the general population (infection fatality rate). In view of an increase in the number of non-validated (!) PCR tests of different quality and an officially confirmed isolation of the virus that has not yet been carried out, the scientific knowledge is often unstable.  But precisely because of this the PCR detection of RNA molecules (regardless of cross-reactions and false positives) is equated with “infected” (in absolute numbers, not proportionally related to the number of those tested), although the test has no diagnostic validity. There can therefore be no talk of “infected” as “sick”, especially since far more than 80 percent of them show no symptoms of illness and only about 5 percent show serious courses in need of hospitalization, mostly in a narrowly defined risk group (> 60 years), who often suffer from previous illnesses and age-related weakness of the immune system. The mortality rate determined by autopsies, which is usually in the range of the average life expectancy, is correspondingly low.  On the whole, mortality information remains extremely vague. All these equivocations are consciously and knowingly carried out in the Canadian media, who assume that all of those who tested positive are “sick” or “doomed”.  They are intellectually dishonest and deserve more than just a reprimand from their press colleagues because the result of scientific knowledge is that Covid-19 is not a “killer virus” that triggers mass death. However, this means that the measures taken by Trudeau have no legitimacy.

The reason for legitimacy presented by the media – not the motive – also lies in a scientific community which no longer differentiates between what belongs to an empirically proven, solid theoretical state of knowledge and what is included in model calculations and computer simulations based on statistical surveys; the selection of their parameters always prejudices expected values. They are therefore particularly susceptible to psychologically desirable or ideologically and politically wanted modeling in order to trigger certain options for action.

The problem is also known from the climate debate. Beyond a core of hard scientific knowledge, there is a wide field of digitally modeled conjectures that, as draft expectations of future scenarios, preferably “worst case” scenarios, speak to the alarmism of a media culture of excitement. But even algorithmically generated conjectures remain conjectures: They are not “scientific findings”, but imaginations, conceits and models of future possibilities, the real-historical plausibility of which depends entirely on the selected starting values ​​and the biases that determine them.

By designating both the hard state of knowledge and the virtual world of digital modeling – as “science”, the term science itself becomes equivocal and describes two completely incommensurable quantities: knowledge and conjecture. 

Legitimation of the corona measures: 

It is this softening of the concept of science, which has been going on for decades, that is responsible for the legitimation of the measures in the Corona crisis. Not the hard world of knowledge of science, but the soft world of conjecture based on digital modeling and computer simulations are being used to justify the legitimacy of the measures. The legitimation is based on an equivocal, factually ambiguous concept of science and refers to an extra-scientific speculation; to a fantasy and pseudoscience, which in a modern, rationality-based democracy can no longer establish legitimacy, but can only trigger mass hysteria. It is the media-political collapse of democratic rationality – the existential, economic and political consequences of which remain to be seen.

More at DrowsySphinx.wordpress.com

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