Why Serious Scientific Debates Are Conducted In Writing, Not On-camera
Unless you're pandering to video junkies
(This article is Part-4 in a series. For Part-3, click here.)
Last week, I set the record straight on why a proposed debate about the existence of SARS-CoV-2 is not happening.
That was MY position and mine alone.
So is this.
Steve Kirsch insists the debate should be held on-camera.
True scientific debates would never take place in that fashion.
Video flows by. Speakers talk. Viewers build up IMPRESSIONS of what’s going on---there is no meticulous examination of facts and fantasies.
Yes, people are solidly addicted to video as a way of obtaining their news; but that doesn’t mean it’s a proper medium for vital debates about science.
WRITTEN WORD is how you conduct scientific debates, if truth is the objective. Then the reader can FORGET ABOUT tone of voice, charm of delivery, physical appearance of the debaters, and various tricks of that trade.
A reader can focus on every important detail on the page. He can spot gaps in logic, errors of fact, unwarranted assumptions. He can deploy the trait called REASON, which since the time of Aristotle, has been the hallmark of good science.
He isn’t WATCHING people talk. He’s poring over what they claim, every bit of it. “The devil is in the details” isn’t an off-the-cuff maxim. It’s core reality, once you get down to the serious business of deciding what science is and isn’t.
This is why such debates should be carried out on the page.
Of course, people addicted to video are going to argue for video, just as the junkie will argue in every possible way for his next fix. He has a need. He has to satisfy it. When confronted by someone who tells him he’s heading down the wrong path, he’ll lash out. He’ll accuse. He’ll lie.
And if he’s pandering to junkies, he’ll describe the virtues of the drug. In this case, video:
“You see, you sit there and watch, and you can TELL who’s speaking the truth and who isn’t. You can look at their eyes. You can see the way they make gestures. You can hear the hills and valleys in their way of talking…”
Yes, and so perhaps Walter Cronkite would be the ideal man to have on board arguing that SARS-CoV-2 exists. He was everybody’s wise old uncle. Whatever Walter uttered was an automatic slam-dunk.
The lovers of video also tend to favor science as democracy. “Let the people watch and decide who’s right…”
“Well, the debate was very interesting. Dr. Conglomerate really knew his stuff. He was rattling off facts like a pro. And the woman who backed him up, Dr. Pants Suit, looked straight at the camera the whole time. Wow. I was extremely impressed when she said over four hundred virologists were on record agreeing with her. If I recall, she cited Professor Moishe Meshugge, the Bulgarian, whose great grandfather discovered one of the first viruses…”
Whereas, IN WRITING, Dr. Pants Suit penned this: “…We used 50 μL of viral lysate for total nucleic acid extraction for confirmatory testing and sequencing. We also used 50 μL of virus lysate to inoculate a well of a 90% confluent 24-well plate.”
To which Dr. Andrew Kaufman replied, in writing: “How do you confirm something that was never previously shown to exist? What did you compare the genetic sequences to? How do you know the origin of the genetic material since it came from a cell culture containing material from humans and all their microflora, fetal cows, and monkeys?”
Oops. Wait. What? Now, we’re getting technical. Now we’re digging down into the actual lab procedure by which virologists claim they’re discovering viruses never seen before.
There is where the devil is, in the details. And as you can see, we have a problem. The language of the lab is very dense. It’s going take quite an effort to translate it into terms non-virologists can understand.
The effort is vital. It’s absolutely necessary, because THERE is where the debate actually takes place. Are these lab virologists on the money, or are they leaping from one unwarranted assumption to another?
You decide that on the page, in writing, not on a screen with moving mouths.
“But wait…I don’t want that technical debate. I want to watch people talking on video. I want to see who seems to be right. I want to figure out who the heroes and villains are. I want to sip my coffee and find out how the plot turns out. How the story ends. I want to be watching an episode of Law & Order. Otherwise IT’S NOT FAIR. Keep it simple. When you drop the apple, does it fall to the ground, or does it hover in the air?”
Yes, well, no one said this debate would be easy---except for the people who want video and talking heads and a poll when it’s over.
As I just mentioned, one of the big challenges of a true debate is taking that lab language and making it comprehensible for non-virologists. And if doing that seems somehow distracting or troublesome or irritating or annoying or “an intentional diversion” from an easy walk in the park that winds up, in a few hours, with THE FINAL ANSWER, well, you can’t always ingest the truth like a candy bar or a fast-food cardboard burger.
If you think you can, you’re a misguided child of the culture, and one of the prime convincers of this modern instant culture is VIDEO.
It’s the absolute wrong way to go in this case. It gives you a corn dog on a stick in a mall.
It gives you somebody in your ear telling you the corn dog is all you need to munch, to reach the bottom line.
But hey, if you want to see men and women on a screen talking and arguing in generalities and claiming they have the upper hand, go for it.
You won’t find me there. I’ve got other big game to hunt.
Mr. Steve Kirsch has turned himself into a rank carnival barker, peddling a distorted and deformed product sitting behind a cheap curtain. He knows many people want to see what’s behind the curtain, because whatever it is, it’s video, and that’s what they need.
Does he know what he’s doing, or is he another junkie with the same need?
You’d have to ask him. But I believe in his more sober moments, he understands an on-camera debate on the virus issue solves nothing.
It’s just show business. It’s a crap low-rent carnival in a dried-up field on a slow Saturday afternoon.
-- Jon Rappoport