COVID-19: the helplessness of science

COVID-19: the helplessness of science


Mieke Mosmuller

14-01-2021 3 comments Print!
The text below is a literal transcription of the spoken video text.

The scientist believes that the mind of the human being, or the algorithms and computer models created by humane, are able to fathom what measures should be taken and whether those measures are effective. But the measurements that science makes are merely a determination of a complex of variables that apply at that single point in time. Where statistics and technical intelligence are unable to fathom and predict the course of an unknown virus, we need human intelligence and intuition to fight the battle against the coronavirus. But that is not enough. There, too, we need the humility of knowing that life itself eludes our science. From that would come a very different battle that has a chance of victory.Watch video on YouTube

Mieke Mosmuller

Yes, there are a lot of videos about vaccination out there at the moment. If you want to find out about the different views on the different vaccines that are out there, there is a lot on youtube. So I wanted to leave that topic for the moment, and move on to another reflection. Last time I spoke about conspiracy thinking, starting from the idea that it is an extremely natural human tendency to look for the concepts behind incomprehensible phenomena, and that you should actually understand a conspiracy thinker in that way. Of course it can degenerate, to one side or the other, I have called it to one side the meek sheep, who can even be called stupid because they don't wonder at all, and to the other side the paranoid person, who searches too far. But of course there are more topics that can be looked at in this way, and like everyone else I have been following the news reports and the alternative channels over the past week, and what emerges is once again a kind of fundamental question.  And I know that many people have found or given an answer tot hat question, but I want to ask it again, the question: How do we have to interpret what the government leaders do?  Is it really the case that they base their policy on the serious concerns about the pandemic that they say they have, or should we attribute the incomprehensibility that we often observe to an underlying scenario? That is, of course, a very important question and one that cannot be answered just like that, but I want to make an attempt today to think about the idea of what if the government leaders really believe in what they are doing. So let's assume that we say goodbye to all conspiracy theories and we are left with only one conspiracy theory and that is that we see that the governments around the world are seriously concerned about this pandemic and that, on that basis, they are taking certain measures that are not always so obvious to the public and are, in any case, very annoying.

If we take that as our starting point, we have seen in recent weeks that governments are panicking about the fact that they have to roll out a vaccination programme in the first place, which is of course quite an undertaking in itself to carry it out, to get the vaccines in place and so on, but also to get citizens to be vaccinated. So there are big advertising campaigns and support programmes launched that should make you, as a citizen, want to get vaccinated. That is what we see, and then at the same time we see, more or less, a new variant appearing. We see that there is a mutation of the virus going around, and this mutation is said to be much more contagious, It will blow over to the whole world, and what are we to do now because our lockdowns have already been brought to their maximum, the maximum achievable, so you see a great deal of confusion, and that is what has caused me to want to talk today about the limitations of natural science. Because I think that is what we are seeing now anyway. In natural science, when it becomes medical, we actually see that we only have the ability to perform determination of certain symptoms, certain values, certain tests that give a picture of the situation at one moment. We are not able to record the whole course of a disease from milliseconds to milliseconds. And that is a very big problem, of course, because the virus has a certain course that has to do with the life of the virus and the life of the people, and we cannot follow that course at all, because we only have certain measurements at certain moments. And we see these in our graphs. We see them in numbers and we see them in descriptions of symptoms. And then you see the incapacity of science to deal with this phenomenon. It is almost ridiculous, if it were not so tragic. I was reminded of the introduction of the phenomenon of film. Where the illusion of moving life is created by taking an infinite number of pictures and playing them one after the other, thus creating the illusion. If you look at me now, you think you see my living appearance, but in my appearance here, I am first divided into I don't know how many small pictures which, because they are shown one after the other in a flowing movement, create the illusion of a living person. This is also how our medical science works. It can really only produce snapshots, but the life that makes you a living being, the difference you make with the corpse of a dead person, that makes you a living being, lives in between those different states. Those states are only snapshots. And not the reality, the reality lives in between those recordings. In this time, you can look with great joy at the rapid growth of an amaryllis. You get it in a bulb and it starts to grow high, and it grows so fast that you say you can almost see it grow. But you can't. You absolutely cannot. Today you see how far it has grown, or she has grown, and tomorrow you will see the next phase, or maybe an hour later, but what lies in between is actually the growth process. And our intellectual science cannot know that. And that is what we see when we look at the situation in the world with COVID-19 now. The scientist thinks that the human mind is able to fathom what measures need to be taken and to fathom whether these measures have any effect. But the human mind cannot do this. Well, then we switch on the computer, we ask it to calculate how things will go on the basis of developments we have already seen. But the computer cannot do it at all. Because where the human mind relates to life like a film to reality, the computer relates to the human mind like a film to reality, so that is one step further away from what reality is. And while in life you can experience an exponential growth of a phenomenon, which is followed by a sudden decrease, incomprehensible, in the mathematical picture of exponential growth this is of course not the case at all. If there is exponential growth then it goes up to infinity. But not in life, where it can suddenly turn and fall without anyone being able to understand why.

I remember the children's books of the past, which still described how a child got a serious illness and then developed a high fever until the crisis came. Father and mother and the doctor would sit by the child's bedside, trembling, waiting for the crisis to come. And when the crisis came, which was the peak of the exponential growth, it was make or break. The child would either make it or not. Those must have been disastrous times and of course we are very happy that our science has helped us out of them. But life works like that. When someone is dying, you can hope to save that person while he is dying, to bring him back to life, and a little while after death you may be able to resuscitate him, but then it is over. And then there may have been a chart, no matter what, but then life is gone. The doctor, the practising doctor, still bases his actions partly on experience and the intuition that comes from it. Statistics cannot do that at all. We need to know that very well. The doctor who is alive and in contact with the patient still has intuition. Based on experience. He asks the patient to please take off your mouth mask, otherwise I will not be able to assess your condition. Statistics has very different principles. And although statistics can be enlightening in certain cases, in medicine it is a nonsense to base therapy or measures on them.

I would say that it is time for science, first of all, and technical intelligence, secondly, to develop humility with regard to life that cannot be fathomed by reason and technology. There is no possibility of experiencing what happens in the transitions between states unless the scientist develops his mind, his thinking. That would be possible. But that is not part of a university education.

So now we see the powerlessness of the mind. If we assume that there is no malicious intent, but that the government leaders are really concerned and act from there, then you see the helplessness of science, of advice. Of that on which the measures are based. And there is often talk of a struggle. But if it is a battle, then the way we act is completely ridiculous. Then we would actually have to fight the battle and that would mean throwing everything open and being immunised by the reality of the virus. Because it will continue to find ways to infect mankind. If not by this route, then by another. There is no escape from this, but people do not seem to understand that. And if we were to engage in that battle, then we would really have a chance of victory. We should know that the real life that we are dealing with when we talk about sickness and health is beyond our perception and our understanding. And if we want to take measures, they should be medical, not social.

But when we talk about a battle, we must also know: No battle has ever been won by fleeing.

COVID-19: the helplessness of science by Mieke Mosmuller

Give your comment please

  • From @
    Thank you. And to compliment here is a quote from Jacob Bronowski from his series, The Ascent of Man:
    “It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.
    Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."
    I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”
  • From @
    Dag Mieke. Sneeuw vanmiddag. Mooi. Echt winter. Weer dank voor deze interessante beschouwing. Heb het geplaatst op LinkedIn. Uit je slotwoorden zullen een aantal mensen misschien opmaken dat je een antivaxxer bent, maar dat ben je niet als ik het goed begrijp. Hieronder een literatuurverwijzing en vraag.

    Inleiding: ‘Vaccinatie tegen Covid-19’ (Motief, 15 januari 2021)
    Artikel waarom het gaat: ‘Vaccinatiekwesties met betrekking tot COVID-19’
    Verschijningsdatum: 7 januari 2021
    Auteurs: Georg Soldner en David Martin
    Redactiewerk aan de Nederlandse vertaling: Edmond Schoorel en Arie Bos

    Zou je de opmerkingen geplaatst onder het steinercitaat:
    ‘Ik zou niet durven beweren dat alle antroposofen voor het leven geschikte mensen zijn’
    willen doornemen?
  • From wmh @

    Ik kreeg onlangs dit onderstaand artikel uit Time onder ogen , stamt uit 1999 en prachtig interview
    Als ik dan denk dat corona in China is ontstaan , maakt niet uit op welke manier , en zal de wetenschap ondanks onderzoek ook nooit ontdekken .
    De grote geest de Tao hebben de mensen verloren en zijn beland door Ahriman in een duistere wetenschap .Een ingewijde zoals Li kan dit moeilijk uitleggen aan de mensen , zegt hij ook in dit interview.
    Rudolf Steiner deed het al meer dan honderd jaar geleden op zijn manier via de geesteswetenschap en zijn boodschap daaruit , en spreekt ook over het verlies van het connect met de Grote Geest ,op diverse plaatsen te lezen in zijn voordrachten , de Tao .

    De mens heeft de wetenschap niet nodig om gezond te blijven .


    Ik kreeg ditonderstaand artikel onder ogen , prachtig intervieuw ,
    Als ik dan denk dat corona in China is ontstaan , maakt niet uit op welke manier , en zal de wetenschap ondanks onderzoek ook nooit ontdekken .
    De grote geest de Tao hebben de mensen verloren en zijn beland door Ahriman in een duistere wetenschap ,Een ingewijde zoals Li kan dit moeilijk uitleggen aan de mensen , zegt hij ook in dit interview. Rudolf Steiner deed het al meer dan honderd jaar geleden op zijn manier , en spreekt ook over het verlies van het connect met de Grote Geest ,op diverse plaatsen te lezen in zijn voordrachten , de Tao .