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This last year was one of the most challenging for me that I can remember in my lifetime.  I know when one thinks of world events like the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and many other terrible events, this year, while bad, hasn’t been the worst humans have seen since the creation of this world.

Now that this year is ending, it is good to know that next year will only be better.  By any measure 2021 will be the year that we can look at the pandemic in the rear-view mirror and recover from the mandated business closures and financial difficulties the pandemic has caused.

From my family to you and your family, I wish you a very happy and merry New Year!

“May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.” — Irish Proverb

Scientists Do not Blindly Follow the Science. Why Should Everyone Else?

If you are like me, you have probably heard many times this last election cycle the phrase, or something like it: Republicans don’t follow science.  As a scientist, I am qualified to give an appropriate response to that statement.  You see, science is never settled.  There are steps in the modern era of the scientific method and I won’t bore you with those steps, but if you are interested in them, just do a search on the steps for the Scientific Method and it is readily accessible.

The Scientific Method starts with an observation and while the last step is conclusion, there is never truly a conclusion with the Scientific Method because you are always questioning and developing that observation.  Even when an observation becomes a Law of Nature, such as the Law of Gravity, one does not stop observing and updating the law based on newly learned information.

Laws of Nature are the goal that the Scientific Method is attempting to reach and when people talk about a scientific law often, they feel it can’t be changed over time but.  However, a scientific law can and will change over time or will even have exceptions.

When folks make the statement that “Republicans don’t follow the Science”, they aren’t saying anything about a law of nature but instead they are talking about a scientific consensus.  By their nature, a Consensus is overturned and changed frequently.  Scientific Consensus is simply when many scientists agree on a theory.

Some Scientific Consensus that has been proven wrong over time include the Earth being the center of the Universe, oil as a resource would be gone by 2000, continents as fixed planetary fixtures, and I could go on.  The point is, Scientific Consensus is often ripe with inaccuracies and falsehoods that don’t stand the test of time, simply because we are constantly learning new information and must adapt.

The end goal of people who say that Republicans don’t follow Science is to make it seem like Republicans are going against the norm or to scare some to come along with their thought process.  Think about if Columbus had followed Scientific Consensus, he never would have discovered the new world because the consensus was that the Earth was flat and he was going to sail right off the edge of the world.  I guess he proved that wrong.

The bottom line is that we can’t let people scare others to stop questioning things and practicing serious thought when the Science is not settled.  That is counter to Science if one were to be honest.  A true Scientist would never encourage people to stop questioning Science, even if it is a Law of Nature.  The minute we stop questioning is the moment we fail and stop growing as a people.

I want to wish you a Very Happy New year and I am very honored that you have chosen me to Represent you in Des Moines. I will work hard each day to do my best to bring our NW Iowa values to the concrete of Des Moines.

Author: John Wills