What Does It Mean to ‘Trust the Science’?

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If someone ever tells me to “trust the science” or the “science is settled,” I become instantly leery. This sounds a lot like what the great Murray Rothbard referred to as scientism, not science. Rothbard elaborates,

Scientism is the profoundly unscientific attempt to transfer uncritically the methodology of the physical sciences to the study of human action.

The Mantle of Science

These are pronouncements that you will never hear a real scientist utter; this is the antithesis of science. A real scientist knows that the mission of science is to attempt to explain and understand our world around us. Science is a mechanism for acquiring knowledge. Scientism is not.

This mission of science is a never-ending discovery process in pursuit of facts, truth, and hopefully a better understanding of the universe we inhabit. Science is always questioning. As such, the science is actually never settled. The converse would suggest that there is nothing left to learn and that knowledge is finite. Similarly, trusting the science begs the questions of whose science, which science, and why that science.

“Trust the science” and “the science is settled” are more commonly the exclamations of political demagogues and tyrants–purveyors of scientism–not truth seekers and certainly not scientists. They are the words of scientism and of those who are seeking to manipulate human action.

James Corbett does an excellent job breaking it down for us:

Additionally, Dr. Joseph Mercola reviews how the EPA, academia, and the media exploit the “trust the science” mantra to control institutional narratives in his article What Does It Mean to ‘Trust the Science’?. He offers the following highlights from his analysis:

  • We’re told to “trust the science” and “follow the science.” But what science are we supposed to follow? There’s plenty of scientific evidence refuting everything we’re told to accept as “fact,” including the claim that masks work, that lockdowns slow down the spread, that school closures protect children, that there are no effective early treatments for COVID-19, and that the fast-tracked COVID shots are safe, effective and necessary even if you have natural immunity
  • Four whistleblowers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently stepped forward to expose corruption within the EPA that is allowing dangerous chemicals to be approved
  • The EPA, according to these whistleblowers, is violating the Toxic Substances Control Act, and when staffers actually follow the science wherever it leads, they are punished
  • Scientists have sounded the alarm, saying our reproductive capability is so severely impacted by toxic environmental factors that by 2045, all couples will require fertility treatment. If true, this signals a true existential emergency, but the declining sperm count findings are now being reframed as a racist, “far right” ideological issue
  • Two philosophy professors are trying to debunk the work of reproductive health scientists who have spent their entire careers looking at this issue simply by interjecting their own ideology into the mix, all while accusing the actual scientists of ideology-based hype — and media are uncritically reporting it. This is why you cannot trust just any science

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola