Science is a system of knowledge that has been around since long before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. It’s widely believed that the first scientist was Ibn al-Haytham, an Iraqi mathematician and astronomer who died around 1040 AD in Cairo, Egypt. Since those days, science advanced at a relatively modest pace, picking up steam during the Renaissance, when the idea of heliocentrism (the fact that the Earth and other planets in the solar system revolve around the sun) became widely accepted.
But since its emergence onto the big stage, science has been subject to relentless onslaughts by its enemies, and there’s a reason for this. Domination of the masses relies on stories and falsehoods, which science has been known to shatter.
The Islamic Golden Age, which lasted from around 800 to 1100, came to an end when the influential Imam Hamid al-Ghazali of Iraq led his followers to believe mathematics was the work of the devil. Centuries later, in 1633, Galileo was convicted of heresy for spreading the word about heliocentrism, and Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was vehemently rejected as pure lunacy in the mid-19th century.
But that was a long time ago. People today are much smarter and more civilized, right?
Sadly, there is no legitimate evidence to show that the human brain has actually evolved much in the last few centuries. The barbarians of the middle ages basically had the same brain structure as those you see today in fancy cars. Among the few things that have changed about humans since then is the abundance of accumulated knowledge, and culture.
But what exactly does that mean?
First, let’s consider how even with 21st century luxuries, such as airplanes, smart phones and modern medicine, all brought to you by scientific discoveries, science continues to be under attack today. Climate science is relentlessly subject of suspicion by the masses and suppressed by fossil fuel interest and lobby groups, in the same way health experts who proved tobacco smoke is the leading cause of cardiorespiratory diseases were “debunked” by powerful and influential individuals with ties to the tobacco industry.
Among them was Mike Pence, the current vice-president of the most powerful and influential nation on Earth today, where the president himself has openly stated that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese government to undermine American productivity.
This brings us to our highly esteemed coronavirus, which has garnered even more media attention than Kim Kardashian’s worst day at the office, believe it or not. Of course, with good reason. As of the moment I write this article, the virus has spread faster and infected more people than the SARS and MERS outbreaks.
When the virus first broke out in Wuhan, China, local authorities tried to silence the doctors who warned of its deadly potential. From Wuhan it has spread all over the world, including the United States, where President Trump has spent the last two years slashing funds from the agencies responsible for handling these kinds of crises.
Sadly, our tribal instincts appear to be getting the best of us. Science is no longer a way to discover emergent truths. If you accept certain scientific facts, you may be regarded as “one of those liberals.” It’s a political thing now, as if the laws of physics were somehow the machinations of Hillary Clinton and company.
Of course, it’s not all one sided. Anti-vax conspiracy theories show no respect for the political divide, whose believers are all over the place, from conservative Christians to left wing hippies, and similar theories about the coronavirus have spread much faster than the virus itself, adopted and spread by people of all walks of life.
A potential remedy is to invest in educating people, from a young age, about the importance of science in low, middle- and high-income schools, ideally throughout the entire world. Because if we want to overcome crises like climate change and global pandemics, we have to figure out how to overcome ourselves first.
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