Climate skeptics are routinely pilloried and shunned for daring to question the perceived scientific consensus on climate change, or even the cooked up 97% consensus. There are tactics of fear and intimidation that are used to try to silence many who choose to try publishing scientific works that question the consensus, as well as those who speak out politically. To hear climate proponents talk, any comparison made about treatment of climate skeptics paralleling the plight of Galileo is nothing but ridiculous. Cook’s “Skeptical Science” says:
The comparison is exactly backwards. Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered. Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church.
With that in mind, read how science and medicine seems to want to hang on to a perceived consensus while excommunicating those who dare to question it. From The Guardian, of all places. Bold mine, highlighting what I consider being the QOTW.
This shaken baby syndrome case is a dark day for science – and for justice
A leading doctor faces being struck off for challenging the theory about the infant condition. It’s like Galileo all over again
On Friday, I witnessed something akin to a reenactment of the trial of Galileo, precisely four centuries after the original. Dr Waney Squier faces being struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for having the temerity to challenge the mainstream theory on shaken baby syndrome (SBS).
For years, the medical profession has boldly asserted that a particular “triad” of neurological observations is essentially diagnostic of SBS. Since the Nuremberg Code properly prevents human experimentation, this is an unproved hypothesis, and there has been rising doubt as to its validity.
I am convinced that Squier is correct, but one does not have to agree with me to see the ugly side to the GMC prosecution: the moment that we are denied the right to question a scientific theory that is held by the majority, we are not far away from Galileo’s predicament in 1615, as he appeared before the papal inquisition. He dared to suggest that the Bible was an authority on faith and morals, rather than on science, and that 1 Chronicles 16:30 – “the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved” – did not mean that the Earth was rigidly lodged at the epicentre of the universe. It was not until 1982 that Pope John Paul II issued a formal admission that the church had got it wrong.
Shaken baby syndrome is almost unique among medical diagnoses in that it is not focused on treating the child. If an infant has bleeding on the brain (a subdural hematoma), the doctor wants to relieve the pressure – it is of little relevance how the infant came about the injury. SBS is, then, a “diagnosis” of a crime rather than an illness, and when a brain surgeon comes into the courtroom and “diagnoses” guilt, the defendant, mostly a parent, is likely to go to prison – or worse.
While we cannot drop a series of infants on their heads to test this, it would appear to be plain folly. The velocity of a five-foot fall means a child’s head can hit the ground at roughly 15mph, which is faster than most people – short of Usain Bolt – can sprint. I invited a series of neurosurgeons to run headlong into a hardwood wall in one courtroom, so we could see what happened to them. They politely declined, and stuck to their silly theory.
Those deemed to be blasphemers often suffer a gruesome fate. Although Squier may be struck off, at least she will not be burned at the stake. But the impact on medical science will be immense, because what other doctor will be prepared to question the prosecution theory if it means the end of a career? This is a very dark day for science, as it is for justice.