Why Scientists Lie

I became interested in science when I was a kid in the 1960s. Inspired by NASA’s Apollo moon program, Star Trek and the U.S.S. Enterprise, Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins, and a cool teacher named Mr. Czarnecki, I especially liked outer space and wild animals. I dreamed of becoming either an astronaut or a zoologist. (I also thought the “mad scientists” in movies, like Frankenstein, were lots of fun.)

I went to college to study science and earned a degree in biology, but my career ended up taking different paths than my boyhood dreams. I have worked—sequentially—as a naturalist and wildlife keeper for DuPage County and Will County in Illinois; as a laboratory microbiologist for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) toxicology project, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes project, and a medical device sterilization company; and as a science and medical writer and editor (for various publishing companies before freelancing for myself).

All along the way, I have developed my own insights into how science works in the real world and how science and medical professionals communicate. I believe that some of these insights can partly explain why scientists lie so much. Yes, scientists lie. They lie to the public, to government officials, and even to their colleagues and themselves. The higher the position of the scientist, the more he or she lies. The result of these lies can be mass public confusion. A perfect example of this is the current coronavirus/COVID-19 mass hysteria and fear, which has been fueled by lies told by scientific and medical authorities and parroted by the mass media. Before this virus pandemic, the most prominent example of science lies causing mass public confusion was the hysteria surrounding climate change. I previously explained that in an essay I wrote a few years ago titled “The corruption of climate science by leftist politics,” which was published in the book Science and Political Controversy, by ABC-CLIO in 2014.

 

Science ideal versus science reality

When I was a kid, and even when I was in college, I had an idealistic concept of science, with an image in my head of the pure scientific method—the search for high truth, untainted by such lowly worldly influences as money, politics, and corruption. The scientific method consists of the following steps: (1) you make an observation and ask a question, (2) you form a testable hypothesis and make a prediction, (3) you test the prediction in an experiment, (4) you make a conclusion and publish your results, (5) your peers review your results and make their own conclusions and hypotheses, (6) new experiments are performed and new conclusions are reached (either supporting or refuting your conclusion), (7) this process is repeated many times by different researchers, (8) a scientific consensus may eventually be reached on the issue, but that consensus may change over time as research continues, (9) ultimately something accepted as “truth” emerges.

That is the way that real science works over the long-term. The scientific method is the greatest tool ever developed for investigating natural and man-made phenomena and for discovering the facts about what is going on in those phenomena. The scientific method relies on good science to eventually weed out the inevitable bad science and to ultimately reveal the real facts.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad science to weed through. The bad science results from incompetence, laziness, bias and prejudice, corruption, ego, jealousy, money, peer pressure, politics, and a multitude of other human failings. These are the same failings that are found in any other human endeavor. Faulty science is published all the time, and it muddles the search for the truth and perpetuates confusion and misunderstanding.

Fortunately, continued scientific investigation—if it is honest and ethical, evidence-based, and subject to critical peer review and follow-up research over an extended period of time—will cause the truth to ultimately emerge from the murkiness. The problem is that the human failings and shortcomings may block the emergence of the truth for a very long time. One has to be patient, and one may not see the truth in one’s lifetime.

Some science shortcomings are relatively easy to detect as the scientific method is applied. For example, faulty methodology (such as inadequate sample size, lack of controls, various surface limitations and biases related to methods or data interpretation), as well as blatant lies, are the types of things that are usually detected in journal manuscript reviews or peer reviews. These faults can cause a manuscript to be rejected for publication, or they can be addressed in post-publication commentary or follow-up research.

More difficult to detect are the deeper flaws—such as the corruption and conflicts of interest that are firmly ingrained into the overall establishment system, and the questionable “facts” (i.e., lies) that are accepted by the powerful national scientific associations and the government agencies that fund research. Certain assumptions related to these ingrained issues run so deep that all the insiders involved in the process accept them, so nobody will notice any problems. Nobody recognizes a lie when everybody in the social circle accepts the lie as their truth. The same problem can be seen in the mass media, the mouthpiece of Big Science. This is the ubiquitous corruption of group-think and peer pressure that is found in all large human enterprises.

 

Government power, career success, pop stardom

There is a basic, universal conflict of interest that stems from the way in which scientific research is funded, especially large science projects deemed to be of great public value. Many scientists and academic institutions in the United States rely on financial grants and other support from government agencies, such as the NIH, EPA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or from international organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN). These ties to power either consciously or unconsciously influence scientists’ research objectives, hypotheses, methods, and conclusions. There is substantial pressure—officially unacknowledged, of course—to make one’s research conclusions coincide with the perceived agendas of these important agencies and organizations. And we all know that big “deep-state” groups have their own agendas, and those agendas are typically of a leftist/progressive/socialist/globalist/utopian nature.

In climate change research, there is pressure to publish results that support anthropogenic climate change that is so severe that disastrous environmental consequences are inevitable unless strong government action is taken.

In public health research, there is pressure to exaggerate the dangers of various contagious diseases and other medical menaces so that they seem so dire that only strong government action will stop them.

You see, Big Science always comes down to the necessity of strong government action, preferably on an international scale. Scary conclusions justify the continued existence of the granting government agencies, as well as the globalist agenda. Working scientists may or may not be consciously aware of this seemingly obvious association of interests, as scientists are often oblivious to the obvious. But nevertheless, the pressure is real, and it results in everyone adapting the same world view—if they want to keep working in the industry and have successful careers. Whenever I have worked with prominent, highly successful scientists and doctors, even individuals in different fields, I have been struck at how they all seem like perfect clones of each other. This cloning is professionally enforced. (By the way, I will admit that I have liked one Big Science operation in my life—NASA. However, I believe that NASA sadly lost its way after the end of Apollo in the early 70s.)

Successful research careers in science and medicine mean publishing studies on, and speaking out on, issues perceived to have unselfish benefits for the world—all the while using this perception to selfishly advance one’s career, build one’s reputation, and grow one’s income. In addition, today we have the modern pop-culture phenomenon of the scientist celebrity. Such individuals, typically physically attractive or with endearingly quirky natures, are commonly featured on cable TV science channels. Back in the 80s, I used to like Carl Sagan. He was probably the first science pop star, but he actually had some unique, valuable, interesting, and profound insights to share. By contrast, many of his cultural heirs (think of “Bill Nye the Science Guy”) have used their pop stardom to advocate little but shallow leftist preachiness while relishing their media praise as “popularizers of science.”

So, with their ties to big government and big professional associations, perhaps mixed with a lust for wealth and pop stardom, many modern-day scientists, together with their academic institutions, are terribly tainted with corruption. For me, this makes it difficult to believe the proclamations that they assert with so much authority and gravity. But when the rest of the public hears the authoritative and occasionally entertaining voices of these “experts,” they believe without question. They have been taught that scientists are the closest things to living gods.

 

Local science good, Big Science bad

The problems of greed, ego, politics, and motivation to please government masters are not usually present at the local laboratory levels, where regular scientists and lab technicians go about their daily tasks of measuring solutions into test tubes, analyzing chemical content, identifying pathogens under microscopes, and monitoring tumor growth in rodents. That is all just basic science work, and it is done either competently or incompetently. Nor are such problems usual at the level of the local doctor. Rather, the problems exist at the grander, Big Science/Big Medicine levels of the professional associations (such as the American Medical Association [AMA]) and the research-funding agencies (such as the CDC), where broad, important public policy priorities and agendas are advocated, established, and turned into regulations and laws that everyone else has to obey. These organizations establish their accepted visions, and they suppress or eject any dissent. This amounts to the rule of the mob.

Always remember, it is not the rogue individualist scientist and his creation, like Dr. Frankenstein and his “monster,” that you have to fear. Instead, the real danger lies with the group, or mob, consensus, especially in the form of prominent, well-spoken, suit-wearing scientific authorities and policy makers. Those polished people are far more dangerous than any group of grungy torch-carrying citizenry.

What the Big Science organizations do has nothing to do with science. Instead, they are all about policies and power—power for their elite selves. Yet, these are the organizations regularly cited by the media as the scientific authorities that we are all supposed to trust and respect without question. And we are supposed to let them twist our individual lives around in any ways they want, and maybe even subvert our constitutional rights, for the greater public good— the greater public good as they define it in their utopian vision of ever-expanding government control.

Because of these major structural problems with the scientific establishment, we can understand how and why we must arrive at the inevitable conclusion: Scientists lie. Or at the very least, to be charitable, scientists greatly exaggerate and purposefully mislead. However, “lie” is a more honest, precise, and scientific way of stating it.

Scientists—that is, the most powerful and influential scientists—lie about many things. They lie about the causes and dangers of climate change. They lie about the weather. They lie about the dangers of fossil fuels, second-hand smoke, and various consumer chemicals and products. They lie about the safety of vaccines and certain drugs. They lie about the benefits and risks of certain foods. They lie about UFOs, intelligent design, and evolution. They lie about disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. Those are only a few of the things that big-shot establishment scientists lie about.

 

Case study of science lies: COVID-19

The main motive behind the lies, as previously noted, is power. In 2020, the greatest opportunity in modern history arose to increase the power of the government-science complex: the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The key aspect of this opportunity—if it is to be taken full advantage of—is the way in which information about this pandemic is conveyed to the public. Communication is the key. The information has to cause such intense fear, as well as feelings of confusion and helplessness, that the public willingly grants the government-science complex all the power it has long craved. And, needless to say, the media has to promote the message to the public. (So, you might accurately call it the government-science-media complex.) This is exactly what we are witnessing today.

I used to see this type of communication years ago when I worked for publishing companies during previous public health or environmental scares (such as other epidemics, cigarette smoking, global warming, the ozone hole, threats from meteorite impacts, estrogen-like chemicals in water, concussion risks from football, cancer risks from plastic packaging, to name a few). Journalists, writers, and editors—most of whom have no personal experience in science—are always too eager to carry the doomsday message of the latest science gods. It later turns out that much of the message was inaccurate. But it doesn’t matter by then, because the gods and their scribes have turned their attention to newer public emergencies. No one is held accountable for the lies. And besides, writers care more about color than truth. Writers naturally love colorful, alarmist language—regardless of the facts—because they think that it enhances reader interest in their articles. I used to fight this tendency all the time when I worked for publishing companies. But I was always shot down. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I started freelancing and working for myself in my own way. I don’t have to play the silly game anymore.

The alarmist communication strategy today is most obvious in the ever-changing estimates of deaths reportedly caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The science authorities originally told us that more than 2 million Americans were expected to die from the virus this year. That’s what their best computer models at the time told them. Then, when more data started coming in, they revised their best model to about 200,000 deaths. Next, additional data led them to cite the number of 60,000—which, interestingly, is about the same number of Americans who die annually from regular influenza. After that projected number was widely chatted about, and puzzled over, by the media talking heads for a few days, suddenly the reported number of current deaths started to rise dramatically. Forgive the suspicions of this experienced cynic, but it was exactly as if somebody said, that flu-like number will never do, we have to get that number back up!

Soon the official CDC number of current U.S. deaths was well over 60,000 (about 81,000 as of May 12, 2020), and the computer-model projected deaths were back to 200,000 or more. The American public, which had been starting to protest the harsh government restrictions on their freedoms, was put back into full panic mode, while the media alarmists adapted their smug “See, I told you so” attitudes. Moreover, polls show that much of the frightened public believes that the government is purposefully undercounting the COVID-19 deaths!

How much do we really know about how many people are dying of COVID-19? We have the official CDC number. But now even the “scarf queen” herself, Dr. Birx, has reportedly said that the CDC cannot be trusted about anything. (Interesting woman… every now and then, something like the truth seems to emerge from her scarf-wrapped throat, unlike the always buttoned-down Fauci, who never wavers from the official establishment line.) Regardless of what Birx says or thinks, many doctors working the front lines in hospitals have gone on the record as saying that their superiors (the big shots who have to answer to the government watchdogs) are forcing them to classify many deaths as caused by SARS-CoV-2, when the deaths are actually not significantly related to that virus. The higher the death toll from COVID-19, the better it could be for the hospital in terms of government money and government help.

The bottom line is that we have no idea how many people—in the United States or in any other country—have already died, or will eventually die, from this virus. All of the reported numbers are lies. But—unlike much of the public—I believe it is a sure bet that whatever numbers we are handed by the government medical authorities and their media mouthpieces are greatly exaggerated. They are lies on the high side. This is a matter of common sense. Inflated death numbers can be used to justify more severe government crackdowns on our individual freedoms and liberties and more controls over private businesses. Destroy the will of the people and crack the economy, so that the government can expand its powers. That has always been the primary goal of the government in all of this—greater power over the public. And the government is using science lies and useful minions like Fauci to accomplish this.

How can the public not see this reality, which is obvious to me? Probably because most people do not understand how science works in the real world. I do.

 

Truth will eventually come out, if…

The public will likely not learn the truth about COVID-19 for many years, probably many decades. In the meantime, we are forced to live through this BS Twilight-Zone nightmare. But I have been conducting my own semi-scientific experiments—disobeying every government command I can think of, from mask wearing to hand washing to social distancing. And neither I nor anyone I know has gotten sick. Further research will be needed to confirm this finding. Now, please don’t call me irresponsible. I’m a person with a background in science who knows BS when I see it, and I value my freedom enough that I’m not going to let the government dictate the way I live. I accept the small amount of risk, and I live like a free man, as much as possible in this newly Nazi-like society. I urge you to educate yourself and do the same, if you want to live in any place that could at least still loosely be called America.

Over time—only God knows how long—the application of an honest and ethical scientific method will reveal the truth about this damn virus, including the government’s overreaction to it and the public’s irrationally fearful response. But that will happen only if this society demands to get its intellectual freedom back from the criminals in the government, science establishment, and media who stole it.

I hope this essay has helped you understand why scientists lie. This situation gets me angry, because I still believe, as I did when I was a kid, that science is fascinating and interesting, and that it is the best way for discovering truth in this amazing world and wonderful universe. It’s too damn bad that real science has become so hard to find in today’s hyperpoliticized cultural climate, where it’s increasingly difficult to believe anything you read about science or medicine.

Despite this unfortunate situation, I will cling to my hope that real science will ultimately win, and real truth will eventually emerge.

 

About the author:

A.J. Smuskiewicz is a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine, history, and cultural issues. He can be contacted at: [email protected] His website is at: https://www.ajsmuskiewicz.com.

 

 

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