As one tries to understand and respond to the current COVID19 crisis one’s understanding of the power of science plays an important role. In my previous post, Get Vaccinated or Lose Your Job, a reader who asked questions to which I responded, thanked me and added the comment, “I know this post was not really about the science.” This lead me to ask myself to what extent was my post about science. In my return comment I said
“Your response leads me to contemplate what is science? Is this post about science? Consulting a number of internet definitions of science comes up with the following:
Science is a systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the natural world to gain knowledge and in turn apply the use of the knowledge gained.
Implied in this definition is an essential need for truth and honesty. If one is dishonest then the term systematic cannot properly be applied. I suppose one can be systematically dishonest but this would have more to do with trying to manipulate an outcome, rather than study it. And not all honest study leads to true knowledge but the truth inherently must be the goal. If we build on an observations or hypotheses which are not true, the resulting conclusions are not likely to be true.
According to the Bible, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Jesus is truth. God is the foundation of all truth. He created the natural world and all of the laws which govern it. As I mentioned in the post, the truth will set us free. Many seem to look to science to set them free. The case of these vaccines is science at work. Many hope these vaccines will set us free from this COVID crisis. If vaccine science is founded on the truth and it seeks discover and uphold truth (is willing to discover the whole truth), then it is reasonable to expect them to play a role in setting us free. BUT if the way we recommend and use these vaccines is based on only half of the truth, we should not be surprised if they fail to free us and possibly even make things worse. If we say. Get vaccinated they are safe, when we cannot know if it is true that they are safe in the long term then…
After contemplating these things, I think my post is about the very foundation of science. I hope it is an encouragement for people to carefully seek out the truth and to make decisions going forward based on truth. If we do less than this, we do not have any reason to expect to find freedom. For God’s promise is that the truth will set us free.“
I again asked myself the question, what is the previous post about? The sub-title speaks of distress over the seeming reality that few people think the way I think. Part of my reason for writing was that I wanted people to understand something about why I am not being vaccinated at this time and that it is based on reasonable logic. I want people to understand I am not crazy. I shared my desire to to know and understand, and to be molded and shaped by, the truth, believing “the truth will set us free.” The importance of truth is a major theme of the post. After contemplating the readers comment, I think the post is also about science at its most foundational level. Science itself is just a tool. A tool itself will not save or set free. The one who directs the tool and how it is used plays a significant role in whether the use of the tool leads a good or bad outcome. That is where truth comes in. According to the Bible the source of truth is the Lord God. Science founded on this truth will willingly share the good, the bad and the unknown. I believe many of the numbers used to convince us to be vaccinate are real numbers and that COVID19 is a real problem. When the numbers are compared to the size of the population involved or compared to other cause of morbidity and death in society, or applied to some large relatively healthy portions of the population, the numbers, although significant, are not as impressive. Science founded on truth will not be satisfied to include only only part of the picture. It will not claim to know the whole story when a significant part of the story is yet to be revealed. The truth will set us free.