can you tell science from religion?

because it appears that the CDC and the US president cannot

science is, at its heart, a simple thing. you gather data, test hypotheses, and reach conclusions based on what that data told you.

religion too is a simple thing. you establish doctrine, define sin, punish and shun the sinner, and encourage salvation and contrition. (well, at least the nicer religions often do)

so what are we to make of this?

is this science or is it religion?

i propose a test. if we could, scientifically, show that some other mitigation was just as effective as vaccines in stopping covid, then a scientist would say “sure, you should be treated just like the vaccinated. the data is the same.”

well, as it just so happens, we DO have such a thing and it’s called “prior infection.” sure, it’s a little old fashioned and does not come in a shiny bottle but it’s a tried and true solution that goes back to the dawn of time.

but, one might protest, this time might be different! how do we know that prior exposure works as well as vaccinations in this specific instance?

it’s a fair if somewhat naïve question. vaccines are not magic. they are just a low risk (hopefully) way to teach your body to do what your immune system would have learned fighting off the disease. it’s basic training instead of going straight off to war.

while this gives us strong reason to suspect that RI (recovered immunity) will be as good or better than VI (vaccinated immunity) some empirical data would be helpful. here’s the latest study from israel that is very much in line with other studies on this.

presuming one accepts the government should have any such role or say (itself a highly fraught and almost certainly poor presumption) if government were to act the scientist, it would add “recovered covid” as an entrance criteria for any set of privileges those with vaccines are afforded. clearly the two are nearly identical and there is no reason to suspect that they would not be or would later diverge.

there is also no evidence of any kind that vaccinating recovered covid patients offers them any additional protection and it certainly adds costs and probably risk, so it’s a fail on any reasonable risk/reward spectrum.

but what if these agencies refuse to do so? there would seem to be no basis in science for such an exclusion. this is how you know you’re dealing with dogmatism, religion, and social policy.

in science, two identical protective effects are treated identically. the source of the effect is not germane.

in a religion, the source matters greatly.

  • vaccination is submission to “the science,™” contrition, and even perhaps absolution. (one might even argue that it’s a bought indulgence) it comes with the official stamp of obedience to the sect and thus approval and privilege.

  • prior infection is a sign of sin. it is unclean, polluted. it is a sign that you were impure and that the taint of that impurity lay upon you. you have recovered, but you have not repented or recanted. you are still fallen.

this is why you’re seeing people demand that those who already had covid still be vaxxed. it’s not science, it’s not even ethical: it’s a rite of purification.

it’s a sign that you have abandoned your wicked ways and joined the side of goodness and light.

that, mis amigos, is the very definition of religion and the antithesis of science.

do not let these purveyors of panic and prostration tell you otherwise.