Whitaker's World View Archive Articles

Social science is in a primitive state of development and social scientists freely admit it. When I took some graduate courses in political science in 1992, the introductory course addressed itself to the exact differences between the more advanced "hard sciences" and the present state of the social sciences.

But as so often happens, this recognition goes to the brink of real usefulness but no farther. Social scientists insist that, despite the primitive state of their studies, they have the right answers for human society. This collection of "the ideas of the intellectuals" is what we call "political leftism."

While they freely admit their studies are still in an early stage, social scientists insist that they, the "intellectuals," have the solutions that should be applied to human affairs.

But a look at the history of the sciences demonstrates one thing about every field of study when it was at the primitive level of today's social sciences. When it was at this crude, basic level, every prescription an academic discipline gave was not just wrong, it was a disaster.

Look at early chemistry. It said that the four elements were earth, air, fire and water. This primitive science was practiced by alchemists. Look at the absurdities of the alchemists.

Ancient geography had three continents of equal size, Europe, Africa and Asia, and no one could get anywhere using its maps. Primitive medicine bled people to balance four nonexistent humors, taking pints of blood from sick people.

So leftist prescriptions by the social sciences, from getting rid of phonics in teaching reading to treating criminals as innocent victims of society to socialism, where "intellectuals" plan the whole economy, has been a disaster.

To repeat, the social sciences admit they are primitive, but their historians pretend not to notice that every field of study at this early stage has been ridiculous when it tried to address reality.

Look at all the sciences in their early stages and you will see one invariable rule. That is that when each field of study was exactly where social scientists admit they are today every prescription they agreed on for human beings was wildly and disastrously absurd.

And every time a leftist policy is applied to human affairs, it is a disaster. And like every other primitive science, social science refuses to learn anything from this.

Today, social scientists are as absolutely confident of their agreed-upon prescriptions as every other early scientist was. But they have less excuse, because they claim to be experts on history.



Doctor Semmelweis was one of many martyrs to science who found that what sounds good is far more important to primitive "experts" than the truth is.

Puerperal Disease, or "childbed fever," killed hundreds of millions of women and children over the weary millennia. All the Medical Intellectuals said puerperal fever came from Imbalanced Humors or (Yes, it was popular centuries ago) from Deep Seated Psychosomatic Causes.

In 1848, a young doctor named Semmelweis found that childbed fever could be stopped if the Great Medical Experts would simply wash their hands before delivering babies. It was the least salable explanation imaginable. It was too simple, too obvious. So, for a generation, millions of women and babies died in agony because the Medical Authorities were unanimously against Semmelweis.

The same thing happened with vaccination.

The same thing happened with the bacterial theory of disease. Millions died while Medical Authority and Intellectuals fought for the Humor Theory of Disease, for which there was no evidence except the fact that Authority supported it.

Like political leftism, the Humor Theory of Disease never worked, but university "intellectuals" in primitive medicine unanimously supported it.

One after another, each one of these common sense Semmelweis Solutions had to be sold over the screams of the Authorities and Intellectuals while millions died.

Medicine only began to be a science when it discredited all the old Intellectuals. A field of study can only be a science when it decides that if you have a cure that WORKS on one side and all the Intellectuals and Authorities on the other, Authority means nothing.

Semmelweis saved a few thousands lives personally. He has saved hundreds of millions since, and he is saving them right now.

But, in his lifetime, this forgotten hero of humanity watched millions die while he wore himself out trying to point out the simple reality that would save them.

Because he loved humanity too much for his own good, Semmelweis died in a madhouse.




Current Issue
Issue: Jan. 19, 2002
Editor: Virgil H. Huston, Jr.
2001 WhitakerOnLine.org

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