What is the connection between the conspiracy theory about COVID-XNUMX and vaccines, chemtrails and the conspiracy theory about evolution and science in general? What does this connection say about the generic, stereotypical and one-dimensional way of thinking of the conspirators?
Recently I had the opportunity to correspond with a young man who was terrified. He called My column on evolutionon the "Hidan" site and began to correspond with me with the usual fervor of a young man who discovered the light and is trying to prove that evolution is a lie. I recognize that our correspondence is ridiculous and petty. I repeat and tell him that our little argument will not change anything, not in the theory of evolution, not in the study of evolution and not in the fact of evolution. But his way of argument is another fascinating evidence of the conspiratorial way of thinking that has exploded on the Internet in these two years of COVID-19.
What do the COVID deniers and vaccine opponents think? That all the governments of the world, which these days are unable to agree on anything among themselves and squabble in a tariff and trade war, in mutual defense contracts, in a cyber war and in an actual war (the current war in Ukraine is just one example), suddenly secretly agree to poison the entire population of the world and manage to keep the agreement in secret, Without any of the officials, the elected representatives, the economists, the scientists and the media and science communication - without any of them revealing the "secret". Even the President of the United States, Sfails to causeFor an official in the state of Georgia to cooperate with the lie of stealing his election, should - according to the conspiratorial world view - be part of a successful and hermetic global connection to hide the fact that COVID is a disease that over half a billion people all over the world have suffered from it- It is actually fake, false and invented.
COVID deniers and vaccine opponents believe that all the governments of the world, whose democracies barely manage to maintain their rule, and even the totalitarian ones (Russia, China, North Korea) are experiencing monetary and economic crises and energy, food and production crises - all of them succeed, precisely on the issue of COVID-19, in coordinating a secret operation that no one knows succeeds in uncovering, an operation for mass, global poisoning, in vaccines (and the vaccines' brethren, The chemtrails). The deniers of science believe that all the hospitals in Israel hid the truth for two years - that there is no COVIS - and this when in real time we witnessed bitter disputes between the directors of COVID departments in many hospitals, who claimed that the situation was much better than the Ministry of Health claimed, and that it was enough for the director of one department, one scientist or In one official - one! - at one pharmaceutical company, who will reveal that the king is naked, that there is no COVID and that this is a conspiracy between scientists, capitalists like Bill Gates and the World Health Organization, a plot to develop a vaccine that poisons the world's population and dilutes it. Science deniers continue and maintain these claimsDespite the complete lack of evidence.
Universal legal, constitutional, and medical restrictions face anyone seeking to disclose medical protocols, government committee protocols, and commercial company protocols. Lawyers and government scholars give legal, constitutional and judicial explanations for these restrictions: for example, a legal obligation to maintain decades of confidentiality on the minutes of government meetings. For example, an obligation to maintain medical and contractual confidentiality. Science deniers and conspiracy theorists claim that these restrictions prove a conspiracy, even though these restrictions have been in place for decades, legally and standardly, for every government and commercial contract, for medical data and for government meetings. The conspiratorial way of thinking interprets data according to the narrow context of the specific worldview of the conspirators, and these veto any systemic or alternative explanation of any phenomenon.
How does all this relate to evolution? This is exactly the process that has been happening with science deniers for decades: they take known facts and frame them in the framework of one and only explanation, in the framework of their narrow worldview, like a horse with blindfolds. They argue that the fossil record does not prove the existence of animal lineages. They claim that the fact of microevolution does not prove macroevolution and species change, even though it is exactly the same process - a change in the frequency of alleles over a given population over a given time. They see the scientific research, which is full of contradictions, hesitations, claims and counter-claims, as well as new theories that emerge and are disproved day and night, and instead of understanding that this is how science works and that this is the secret of its strength, they claim that this reality proves that science is wrong, lying or even disproved.
Is the theory of evolution a conspiracy?
Despite the fierce controversies in the study of bacteria and viruses, the study of embryonic stem cells, the study of the immune system, the speciation of species, the methods of cladistics and more - despite all this, there is no disagreement in the world of science regarding evolution. To explain this overwhelming agreement, science deniers claim that evolution is a conspiracy. Why do they cling to this claim? Because this is the easiest explanation they find for why the world of biology, with all its disputes and disagreements, is united in one thing: in agreement that the theory of evolution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. They are not ready to accept another simple explanation: that so far no refutation of this theory has been found; that the theory of evolution has been proven beyond reasonable doubt; That the theory of evolution is in the same position as the cell theory, the heliocentric theory, the theory of gravity, the big bang theory, the quantum theory and the dark matter theory - if not even stronger than some of them. Why are they not ready to accept this explanation? Because when you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail to you. When you are a conspirator, your default explanation for any phenomenon is a conspiracy.
And this is proof in itself of their error: no conspiracy can last without being discovered in the end. Nixon's connection was revealed by sources in his administration and two determined journalists. McCarthy's lies were exposed by journalists who asked him for evidence of the communist connection. The falsity of false scientific theories, like The Fielddown Man Theory, was revealed by scientists searching for the truth. Ironically, if there are any real conspiracies, they are scientists, and if there is a conspiracy, it is on the other side - on the side of the science deniers.
And so, the conspiracy of COVID deniers and the fact that the denial of COVID and vaccinations is not based on facts was revealed by the data of the COVID departments and the ministries of health in all hospitals throughout the country and throughout the world, data that proved excess morbidity and mortality. The conspiracy of the opponents of vaccines was revealed by the consistent comparison data between seriously ill patients who were vaccinated, and seriously ill patients who were not vaccinated. The success data of COVID vaccines are the latest in a series of data that consistently determine, over a hundred years, the success of vaccines. Recent history is full of many diseases that disappeared in close proximity and direct connection to the beginning of the vaccination campaigns to eradicate them, such as polio, smallpox, whooping cough, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella and more. Not this one either: there is a direct correlation between the cessation of immune coverage in certain places and the outbreak of epidemics of the same pathogens in the very same places. This is evidenced Measles outbreak Recently among the unvaccinated, and Pertussis outbreak In waves, in 2012 and recently among the unvaccinated.
A flood of information before there is time to disprove the previous one
How does this relate to the claim that the theory of evolution is a conspiracy? To the same extent that the denial of COVID pandemic, and vaccines ignores the evidence for the existence of COVID and the success of the vaccines, it is much easier and simpler to claim that evolution is a conspiracy than to look at the fossil evidence, the evidence of phylogenetics and morphology and the DNA evidence, and see how they all prove evolution independently of each other. This is the last card of the science deniers: when they cannot contradict the facts, they cling to the claim that there is an atheistic conspiracy to claim that evolution makes God redundant and is therefore a conspiracy against religion. When I point to a line of religious scientists who are also evolution researchers, the young ultra-Orthodox ignores and moves on to the next claim, in a combination of Brandolini's law וDehrat Gish: Flood your opponent with unfounded facts, and move quickly to the next claim, before he has time to refute the previous one. One of the characteristics of conspirators is that they cling to a claim even when there is evidence to disprove it. why?
Because when there is a conspiracy, suddenly life is simpler: suddenly you can attack the entire scientific establishment on the claim that it is all lying. Why do all scientists lie? Do the scientists gain anything from this lie? Research budgets, for example? Research budgets are given for experiments and developments that work. How can it be argued that there is no discovery of new drugs thanks to their evolution and that of the pathogens, when this is what is happening? The answer of the science deniers and conspiracy theorists is - it doesn't really happen. Scientists all over the world fabricate data and cooperate in hiding the truth.
The truth is the opposite: scientists all over the world fight bitter battles with each other, both battles of ego, both battles for research budgets and battles for the correctness or incorrectness of this or that theory. What is the probability that all the scientists in the world, who sometimes do not even agree on standards in science or academia, who sometimes argue furiously and are mired in budget, prestige, ego and credit battles, decided to band together and hide one big secret, and none of them reveal it? Does everyone always argue, but on the subject of evolution everyone lines up? This is reasonable if you are a conspirator who sees the world in a one-dimensional way, ignores all complexity, and ignores any evidence that contradicts your worldview.
Stephen J. Gould said that scientists never stop arguing about the principles of gravity and its components, but apples never stop falling from trees because of it. Evolution works the same way. It is enough for one scientist to invent a drug or a biological process that does not work according to the principles of evolution, to burst the balloon and expose the lie. It is enough for one scientist to expose the protocols of the elders of science to prove that evolution is a lie from hell, as determined by a member of the Congressional Science Committee In the United States and as the ultra-Orthodox members of the Knesset's science committee believe. Such exposure has not yet happened. Evolution deniers have no answer for that. Therefore they invent a connection of science and evolution against religion.
Even when evolution deniers are forced to admit it There is microevolution, as we are forced to admit in our debate, they deny that this is evolution and claim that the impassable barriers between the species, between the gene pools, disprove macroevolution. Indeed, reproductive barriers exist, but as we know, the existence and branching of the phylogenetic trees do not depend on reproductive barriers but on the change of species. Branching and change do not happen horizontally, in pairings between different species in contemporary space, but vertically, in genetic change across populations over time. And when it comes to time, it's millions of years and tens of millions of years.
This is one of the great perceptual obstacles of evolution deniers: they are unwilling to acknowledge the possibility of significant genetic change, even over 3.5 billion years. Their argument is - we do not see this change, therefore it does not exist.
I explained to the young ultra-Orthodox that science works through induction: from the particular to the general. Science draws general conclusions from private findings. This is how the exact sciences work such as mathematics, chemistry and physics, the humanities such as history, the social sciences such as social psychology and economics, and the natural sciences. For example, historians try to find trends in history. For example, physicists are trying to decipher the meaning of the spread of the cosmic background radiation. Science hypothesizes, selects the strongest ones, and maintains them in light of the available evidence, until they are disproved and replaced by stronger hypotheses. Currently, evolution is the strongest theory regarding the origin of species. "Neither you nor I can change that," I wrote to him. But he clings to his worldview, according to which evolution is not only a distorted worldview, but also a deliberate lie designed against religion. Nothing will help here: not the claim that many evolutionary biologists, such as Haim Seder or Ken Miller, are religious, not the claim that the first scientists in the fields of geology and biology began their research with the aim of revealing the truth of God's handiwork and creation - that is, for the glory of God - and not the fact that Darwin himself He considered becoming a priest before turning to biological research.
Zero scientific education in Israel
One can lament that scientific education in Israel is zero; that out of a hundred thousand who finish the twelfth grade every year, only a few hundred take the matriculation exams in evolution; And one can take solace in the knowledge that any society that decides of its own accord to deny itself the blessing of science - heat, light, medicine, transportation, communication and engineering - will deteriorate to such an extent that it will find itself at a disadvantage compared to its neighbors and the international community. Science is like water around a mountain or a plant in concrete: water always finds a way. A plant will always open a crack in the concrete. And once a free and scientific society began, it is impossible to look back. The young religious, the fanatic and the blind may not understand anything; His children and grandchildren still have a chance.