She Blinded Me With Science

What is “the science?”

As a physicist, I was taught it’s what the peer-reviewed literature reports – data, validated models, debates, contexts, constraints, maybes.

It’s always taken with skepticism knowing someone is likely to come through the door with a better rationale for a difference point of view.

“The science” is a never-ending debate. An opportunity for achievement. A competition for fame and glory. That lasts but a moment.

“The science” is never “settled” like a confirmed exchange trade of some commodity contract.

It’s certainly never a “popularity” contest – like the kind Galilei lost when the state and the Church took issue with those moons orbiting Jupiter – “Medician stars” – he saw in his telescope, or so the story goes.

Give the man credit – he knew who the oligarchs were and who was really in charge.

Galileo was a consulting mathematician to Cosimo de Medici who went on to become Grand Duke Cosimo II of Tuscany. So, Galilei wrote the Duke proposing the name, while including the option of “Medician Stars” to honor the 4 brothers of the Medici clan.

The secretary preferred the latter and Galilei complied. Who knows whether the Grand Duke even knew.

And so, Galilei would refer to his Medician Stars when Monsignor Francesco Ingoli dropped by, noted the Church’s stand regarding geocentrism, and may have dropped a dime on Galilei with the Roman Inquisition.

Today, “the science” reflects contemporary authoritarianism – a boot-heel ready to be applied to one and all for the sin of “getting out of line.”

In Galilei’s time, “the science” was far from clear – murky due to the limits of technology. Yet, you could prove “the science” simply by looking through the telescope. And face the Inquisition.

In our time, “the science” is far from clear – but deliberately murky. Today’s inquisition is not an organ of the Church. It’s an organ of the state and the oligarchs who run it.

Both then and not, it’s not about “the science” – it’s about obedience.

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