When it comes to discussion of human health it would seem that the dominance of medical standards bodies has been replaced by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Google as if they somehow have assumed knowledge beyond their remit. By making these online, profiteering empires responsible for what they carry and apparently endorse, we have coincidentally and unfortunately made them, to a significant extent, the overlords of shared knowledge.
If they had been functioning in 1615 they would adequately have taken the place of the Roman Inquisition, after Galileo had so foolishly declared that the Earth went around the Sun – against the consensus philosophy of the time. So if their search engines now find mention of a certain infectious agent they will essentially hide the contribution from our view if it does not comply with ‘consensus medical science‘. Science was never guided by consensus, the key principle has always been to check and challenge. In other quarters we hear the phrase ‘The Science is settled’, which can logically mean only that that whatever is settled is not based in science at all. The BBC particularly sticks with this ‘consensus science’ and has invested funds in a variety of supposedly green enterprises.
Along with other controls such as political correctness and ‘green environmentalism’, we are now becoming steadily more confined and deprived of free exchange of ideas. We have greater capacity to share ideas than civilisations have ever seen and yet we are more and more confined to expressing and repeating consensus opinions. All of this impedes the process of science as a discipline, not to mention the social development that might lead to better harmony between peoples. To my mind, virtue signalling has become the new racism. Political bias within the BBC has stopped the corporation from meeting one of its primary objectives – to provide information to it’s audience impartially. The Health Service controls messaging and restricts our ability to consider other paths to good health, and does this with the full support of the mainstream medical organisations. This control leaves those expressing alternative possibilities to be categorised as cranks in the same way that alternative thinkers on climate are categorised as ‘deniers’. Over time, as things unfold, it is very possible that many alternative views may be seen as truth and many will bemoan the fact that such original thinking was thrown aside for so long.
In medicine, as in so many fields of science, it is flexibility of approach that will bring the highest achievements and greatest yield of knowledge and truth.