Every day there are stories about people who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID, indicating that they don’t trust science. Where does this distrust of science come from? Furthermore, what can we do about it?
Dr. Robert Jastrow explained a good indication of the source of the problem in his book God and the Astronomers. Jastrow said this about scientists: “Their reactions provide an interesting demonstration of the response of the scientific mind – supposedly a very objective mind – when evidence uncovered by science itself leads to a conflict with the articles of faith in our professions. It turns out that the scientist behaves the way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict with the evidence. We become irritated, we pretend the conflict does not exist, or we paper it over with meaningless phrases.”
The most famous example of this was Albert Einstein, whose work showed there had to be a beginning to the creation. Einstein was an agnostic at that time and didn’t want to believe the cosmos had a beginning. So despite the evidence, he introduced a constant into his equations to allow his work to support his religious belief that the universe was eternal. In 1919 cosmologist Arthur Eddington pointed out the error, thus indicating that there was a beginning to the cosmos. Later, Einstein called it the “greatest blunder of my life.”
The problem is that not all scientists have the integrity that Einstein demonstrated. Many Nobel prize winners have made false claims in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. The bottom line is that doctors and scientists are humans, and they make mistakes and run into things they can’t explain, just like the rest of us. Sometimes even good science causes bad reactions. I know a family whose child had a severe reaction to a measles vaccination that left her in a vegetative state. Most of us know someone who has had an adverse reaction to a medication. These things combine to cause a distrust of science.
Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:20 to “avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” Science is knowledge, and Paul isn’t telling Timothy to avoid knowledge. Instead, Paul is telling him to avoid “babblings.” The Greek word used there means “empty sounds.” Scientists may express their beliefs or feelings, but that is not science. Television has brought scientists into talk shows where they voice opinions on things outside of their field of training. Unfortunately, our news people are almost all biased in what they report and how they report it. For example, some channels are so aligned with a political party that 100% of their news reporting promotes that party.
We can read scientific reports and know, for example, the risks of a COVID vaccination. But, we can also consider the benefits are to us, our loved ones, and our community as well. If we are going to be good stewards of our lives and health, we must spend some time determining what is good and true and what is a dangerous scam. Distrust of science by rejecting a medical tool proven to preserve health and well-being because someone in the media makes a false claim is foolish. It only serves the agenda of those who oppose the Truth.
— John N. Clayton © 2021
Reference: Dr. Robert Jastrow God and the Astronomers, WW. Norton & Co., © 1992, page 16.