Nobody asked me but… (September 29, 2021)
By DR. LARRY MOSE
Nobody asked me but … I would ask you not to take the following as the talk of an anti-vaccine. I have my shots and wear my shot card on a thong around my neck. If the Moderna vaccine requires a booster, I will comply and go to my local grocery store and have them administered the vaccine. It makes me wonder if it’s like going to the barber shop to get bleeding when you had a cold in the 1800s.
In our battle against COVID, we have been told to “follow the science”. This led me to seek a definition of science and scientific fact. Being a major in history, I made the mistake of believing that there was a definitive basis for science, but the definition of science would belittle that assumption.
A dictionary definition of science is: Intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation.
Accepting this definition of science, I then began to question the validity of scientific facts. Again, turning to the dictionary, I found that a scientific fact is “an observation which has been confirmed time and time again and for all intents and purposes is accepted as true.” The truth in science, however, is never final, and what is accepted as fact today may be changed or even rejected tomorrow.
Apparently, a scientist makes a set of observations on nature and then comes up with a theory to fit those observations. Other scientists then test the theory, and if it stands up to scrutiny, it becomes widely accepted as fact. At any point in the future, if any offending evidence emerges, the original theory is rejected and that is how science works. It also explains the rapid development of theories dealing with COVID. We are watching science work in a compressed period of time. Needless to say, throughout history many theories presented as scientific facts have been rejected. In the past year of our nation’s fight against COVID, we have seen this scientific process unfold before our eyes. We watch “making sausage” and it’s never pretty.
When I was a kid in the Dark Days, we were told that chocolate caused acne. Then the scientist conducted a study. For a month, scientists fed dozens of young chocolate bars containing 10 times the usual amount of chocolate, and dozens of other fake chocolate bars. When they measured acne before and after each diet, there was “no difference” between the two groups. Chocolate apparently has no effect on acne.
A scientist once told us that our ability to love comes from our liver and it was accepted as a fact. Think how romantic it must have been to say “I love you with all my heart”. “Keep me in your liver. We all now know that it is a scientific fact that love comes from our hearts, scientists have told us. Yes! I know our emotions don’t come from our hearts. Today, scientists tell us it comes from our mind. At least that’s for the moment.
There is the joke about scientific experimentation. Scientists cut off a frog’s legs and yelled at it to blow it up. When he didn’t jump, they concluded he was deaf.
Let me suggest that it is difficult to keep up with science as science continues to change day by day. What has happened is that the scientific process is played out in the public and the public is shocked to find that the scientific fact is only a guess accepted by the majority of our “elite intellectual leaders” . What I find interesting is that the value of booster shots is not decided on facts, but on the vote of a panel of eighteen members of the Food and Drug Administration. The panel initially voted 16 to 2 not to approve the recall for those 16 and older, dealing a blow to Pfizer and complicating the approach to recalls backed by the Biden administration.
Yes! I am aware that in speaking of the issue of the FDA and the Biden administration, I brought the policy into the issue. However, I think that’s fair since it’s been a political issue from the start. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both said they would never get the vaccine because it was sponsored by the Trump administration. With the election of Joe Biden, they both became champions of the vaccine and this initial FDA vote was a setback to their plan to use the vaccine as a political tool even though it was developed in the operation. Warp Speed under the Trump presidency.
The Biden administration said in August it planned to make booster shots available during the week of September 20. The announcement was controversial because it came before the FDA weighed Pfizer’s claim and before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own expert panel on vaccination practices could consider the need for recalls.
After a brief intermission after the initial rejection, FDA officials were called back into session. The panel then voted 18-0 in favor of the agency allowing a Pfizer vaccine booster for people 65 years of age and older or at high risk of severe COVID-19. One has to wonder what great scientific breakthrough has taken place in this short hiatus.
If one were cynical, he might suspect that the FDA panel members appointed by the Biden administration were reminded of Biden’s commitment to the recall. Panel members also voted unanimously to support authorizing a Pfizer recall for healthcare workers or others at high risk of occupational exposure to the coronavirus.
Jonathan Sterne, a statistician from the University of Bristol who gave a presentation to the panel, said: “The difficulty for the committee is that you are making extremely important political decisions very quickly in a situation of uncertainty”. The real difficulty is the short duration of the study and the fact that only 300 lab rats (people) were involved. Just a thought! What would motivate a parent to allow their child aged 5 to 11 to become a laboratory rat to validate an untested vaccine whose future effect on the child has not been established? I simply ask without condemning.
Thought of the Week… There is something fascinating about science. You get such big returns from guesswork with such a trivial investment.
– Mark Twain