"I've done my research" pop quiz

I think they could have been clearer. But they’re also putting up a mirror to those who say, as my conspiracy theorist relative told me, "All science is not what it used to be.(her reasoning was that she had studied several semesters of history in her prep to be a middle school teacher, and felt that all those in power lie).

Of course not, but that isn’t the point being made. The point being made is that some people are qualified to interpret vaccine research and present its meaning and those people have advanced training in epidemiology and immunology. Googling stuff on the internet doesn’t make you an expert qualified to interpret vaccine research. When people say “I’ve done my research” they are referring to reading lay-level digests (some written by unqualified people who have no idea what they are talking about), not actual research. There are good reasons we should entrust interpretation of vaccine research to “scientists who actually research vaccines.”

If vaccine development is what people are assessing, that comment is relevant.

If people are more interested in whether the vaccine is safe and valuable, then the test is not relevant.

One does not need to know the details of the design of a watch to tell time.

I am reminded of the Gish Gallop.

Sure it is. Why do you make them mutually exclusive? The public experts can dumb things down for most with enough clarity to explain why the vaccines are safe and effective. Fauci, Collins and Walensky have made technical things very accessible. “The vaccine is safe and valuable.” You don’t agree, apparently.

You have completely misunderstood my post.

The vaccine is safe and valuable.

The pop quiz is not.

Ah, yes, the test. It is valuable to illustrate exactly why people do need to trust experts and “not do their own research” because they cannot “tell time” without qualified help.

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It helps to illustrate why someone whose sole qualification is access to email and the internet is not capable of ‘research’.

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@Christy I think you are reading into that sentence a rational idea that the sentence itself does not present. When I first read it, I did not assume what you did and I thought it was just a really dumb thing to say. All it says is that need to pass this factual quiz to know what research is.

It needs a few more words up front to qualify it, such as, “If [you think you are researching a vaccine and] you don’t know the answers to these questions…”. Not a big deal.

But perhaps more objectionable, it does not address the fundamental issues of the vax skeptics. Attempting to invoke elitist authority as this meme does is not going to make them lay down their suspicion.

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Did you notice what she said?

I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that it will change any committed antivaxxer’s mind, but it does illustrate the issue. There have been denialists who have died from COVID still insisting they didn’t have it.

We are open to suggestions for compelling arguments, if you have any! Children dying may not even be enough.

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Good point @Dale.

  1. Isn’t trusting most experts on an issue doing their own research?

  2. Do you trust all the experts when they tell you the Bible is filled with fiction, contradictions and interpret things vastly differently than what the modern Protestant party punch line does? It’s easy to criticize people for failing to accept expert testimony on an issue that we believe in while simultaneously disregarding other experts in many other places and essentially ignoring the planks in our own eyes.

I agree we should trust experts, but is that only when convenient to our particular belief system? Do you accept the consensus of Biblical critics? So yeah, we all accept expert testimony when convenient at least and there has never been anything wrong with a second or third opinion.

  1. I would never advocate blindly trusting all experts in any field. They were not correct when they cautiously advised us not to touch our mail or cardboard or that we shouldn’t wear masks early in the pandemic. When many criticized Trump for closing our borders early they were not right then either. Expert testimony is not infallible. Sometimes thought processes have momentum and agendas built in: it happens. Governments absolutely lie to people at times.

As an example of incompetence, look at how many credible sources get how lift is generated by an airplane wing completely wrong. You could sit here all day citing me “expert sources” about air faster above and Bernoulli and transit fallacies all day long. We have to distinguish between trusting experts in their field and a fallacious appeal to authority. Yet we all disregard expert consensus when convenient to us.


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Yes, the point of memes is only ever to preach to the choir.


Research also calls for wisdom and wise choices of what to pursue (something where antimaskers, antivaxxers and ‘antimandaters’ fail miserably), especially with respect to personal and community health.

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And another one:

Which of these features do Tiktaalik and Acanthostega share with modern salamanders?

A: Dental formula
B: Lateral lines
C: Digit count

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