Saturday, December 13, 2003
Coincidence or Satire ? You Decide!
Saturday's on-line edition of the Telegraph includes what is either an ironic coincidence or a brilliant side-swipe at the scientific establishment.
In one column there's this story: "TV drama on MMR 'could cost lives' " Yes, indeed. The Labocrats have turned the Rant-o-matic up to 11 because Five has dared to air a show putting forward views with which they disagree... like, y'know, they were an independent media organization instead of the Kool-Aid drinking drones who masquerade as science journos in most of the media. The guardians of truth and logic are in a fearful bate because their hysterical denunciations of anyone who suggests MMR may not be safer than a six week-old kitten have not entirely closed down the debate.
So far, so predictable. But, in the other column - virtually next door in fact - there's this story: "In the rush to protect children, 'experts' use junk science to accuse innocent parents "
Maybe we ought to think before letting Big Science take us to see any puppies, after all.
First there was Sally Clark, then Trupti Patel, and now Angela Cannings.
Three women wrongly accused of serial infanticide - one of the most horrendous crimes imaginable.
Each prosecution relied on evidence from Sir Roy Meadow, Britain's leading cot-death expert who decided that, on the balance of probability, these mothers had murdered their children.
Yet, according to a growing body of concerned lawyers, doctors and parents, these are not isolated cases but symptomatic of a legal and medical system so determined to protect children that it fails to protect the innocent.
And it ain't just cot death:
Three further diagnoses - shaken baby syndrome, Munchausen Syndrome by proxy and recovered memories - account for hundreds of other wrongful convictions of innocent parents over the last two decades.
Plus, the Telegraph hit's the spot with it's diagnosis of where it's all gone wrong:
What they all have in common is that they are based on flawed opinions rather than forensic evidence. Too many doctors still embrace pseudo explanations for things they do not really understand.
There is no obvious medical reason why Sally Clark and Angela Cannings should have lost more than one child: therefore they must have smothered them.
This boy's injuries seemed too serious to have resulted, as the parents insist, from a minor fall: therefore he must have been shaken violently.
There is no clear reason why this teenage girl is suffering from anorexia: she must have been sexually abused by her father.
Exactly. The scientific community - including, no doubt, the panjandrums quoted in the first article - normally need no prompting to rant about 'junk science'. Well, here's some real junk science. Let's see what the scientific establishment said about this:
[The wind whistles.... crickets chirp... far off in the distance a train's whistle can be heard]
Sure, there may have been lone dissenters, but the community as a whole - and the top brass certainly - never chained themselves to any railings to protest the destruction of families on bogus grounds. If you wanted to design an experiment to disprove the efficiency of self-regulation, this is the type of thing you'd do. These people claim to revere logic above all else, so here's a logical conclusion for them:
SELF-REGULATION DOES NOT WORK
That's why the debate about MMR is important - vital even. The scientific establishment is profoundly anti-democratic. To the average scientist, democracy is a chimp's tea party. Not for nothing are their propaganda efforts carried out under the banner of promoting 'Public Understanding of Science'. 'Implicit' is hardly a strong enough word for the suggestion that opposition to their aims can only be the result of ignorance. On the other hand, 'sleazy' does rather well for the suggestion that opposition to the doctrine and worldview of the scientific establishment is the same as opposition to science itself. The MMR debate is no longer about vaccination, disease or autism, it is about the nature of democracy.
The safety of MMR is a scientific matter, but much else in this debate is not. You don't need to understand X-ray crystallography to see that there's something suspicious about the way those opposed to the party line seem to lose their funding in mysterious circumstances. Likewise, you don't need to know anything about DNA to be appalled at the nobbling of clinics supplying the single vaccine. There may be nothing suspicious going on, but you have to ask: if there was a cover-up in progress how would things be different ?
The scientoids may claim to be innocent of any involvement in dirty tricks but, as with the examples of junk science above, none of them have felt obliged to speak out against them either.
The scientific establishment has made it views clear on MMR ('Shut Up!' they shouted) but the public is unconvinced. Scientists claim the public is acting irrationally - but what kind of science are they promoting ? What sort of science relies on suppressing debate, ranting about opponents and sneering at Joe Public ? Are we supposed to be impressed that British science's Politburo, people whose entire social position is dependent on keeping the gravy train on the rails, parrot the Party line as one ?
Well, actually no, we aren't supposed to be impressed. That's the point. The sheer obnoxiousness of the Cult of Science in dealing with this, after all relatively obscure, matter is the thing. It's an experiment. MMR has no intrinsic value, it's a pure test of our collective will. Can they get away with sticking two fingers up to the public, to the rule of law, to democracy itself ? Will we say 'Urrrrgh...it all sounds too hard', stick our head in the sand and let the Labocracy go about their business of bringing about the Brave New World free of any restraint ? Or will we meet them head to head with full force and cash a reality check for them ?
You think that's harsh ? Consider this: the whole MMR debate started when it was hypothesized that a vaccine caused young children to develop hideous mental problems. Who wouldn't be concerned about that ? Yet the scientific communities response has, from the first, been a sneering, contemptuous dismissal of the families concerns. This, is the true face of the British scientific collective. Sneering, arrogant, fanatics. They condemn themselves each time they open their mouths.