Terry Boyles: We ignore science at our peril | TheUnion.com

Terry Boyles: We ignore science at our peril

When an entire (Other Voices) column is predicated on the notion of the fallibility (and implicit political nature) of science, and in particular, the level virulence of COVID-19 vs. flu, one should expect numbers, and evidence.

Instead, the writer tosses out the highly scientific term “a bit more.” While the estimates of the new virus ability to spread and kill does vary widely and has indeed been modified as data is compiled by real scientists, the lowest estimate I’ve seen anywhere in any journal, is five times more or (500% more) ranging all the way to 40 times (that’s 4000% more).

Certainly, it’s up to politicians consulting with the best numbers they have as to whether a lives-saving shutdown is worth the economic sacrifices. I have nowhere seen any scientist say the COVID-19 science is “settled.”

Promulgation of the notion that folks who believe scientists are somehow rubes, or the entire scientific community is prone to political influence is dangerous. The rubes are the ones willing to accept fringe research as proof of the fallibility of all science, to justify policy antithetical to reality.

Going forward into the unknown hazards of reopening, we ignore science at our peril.

Terry Boyles

Penn Valley

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