Richard Feynman is likely to appear on every list of all time top 10 physicists.
He spoke extensively about the scientific method. For example, his 1974 commencement address at CalTech is a classic: Cargo Cult Science.
“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.”
“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.”
-Richard P. Feynman
This would be news to Dr. Peter Hotez, whose television celebrity appears to have convinced him of his privilege: Professor suggests it should be a federal hate crime to criticize Fauci and other government-funded scientists
First, why don’t they all just identify as black and trans, and put themselves on the hate crime list? Isn’t critical race theory science? Isn’t biological sex just a patriarchal scientific myth?
Since Dr. Hotez’ suggestion requires federal guns, and more police, isn’t his speech an incitement to violence over someone else’s speech?
And if we’re going to do hate speech law by profession, how can politicians (including the ones with extensive private security who want police defunded, AND who threaten private citizens on Twitter) possibly be excluded? They’d certainly come before bureaucrats with a PhD following their name.
Dr. Hotez had this to say this to say on MSNBC:
“[Yo]u saw it play out at the CPAC Conference where they said this is nothing more than an effort for power and control and they’re going to use — first, they’re going to force vaccines on us and they’re going to take away our Bibles and our guns.”
Dr. Hotez would have a stronger case if the White House hadn’t already mandated vaccines for the military, and said, “A national vaccine requirement is not under consideration at this time.”
The very fact that they say they aren’t considering a mandate “at this time” means they ARE indeed considering it, whether they ever do it or not. Otherwise, they could have said, “No.”
It would also have been better for his contentions had the IRS not removed tax exemptions from Christian 501(c)3 groups because “The bible teachings are typically affiliated with Republican party and its candidates.”
His case would further have improved if there were not dozens of elected officials constantly telling us they want to cancel the Second Amendment.
These are not lies, I’m sure he believes what he said. What he said is elitist ignorance, however.
Dr. Hotez also could have built a more consistent, if not more convincing case, had he included a plea for hate crime law protection of scientists like Charles Murray, Brett Weinstein, and Judith Curry; journalists like Andy Ngo, Tucker Carlson, and Bari Weiss; and authors like Abigail Schier, Lionel Shriver, and J.K. Rowling.
The real attack on science and scientists is when “scientists” lie deliberately. Dr. Fauci has admitted to having done so about masks and herd immunity.
I close with another quote from Dr. Feynman:
“The only way to have real success in science, the field I’m familiar with, is to describe the evidence very carefully without regard to the way you feel it should be. If you have a theory , you must try to explain what’s good and what’s bad about it equally. In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.”
Lysenko? If you were looking for Dr. Feynman’s polar opposite, you could do worse than picking Trofim Lysenko. Dr. Peter Hotez would be a candidate for “not as extreme as Lysenko.” Hotez is not a complete fool in the scientific sense, and his ‘scientific’ authoritarianism is a milder form. But his arrogance is much the same, as is his lack of appreciation of the scientific method.