The War between Experience and Credentials

Healthcare workers administer a rapid point-of-care pinprick coronavirus IgM and IgG antibodies test at a myCovidMD free testing center for under and uninsured people, founded by three black women doctors, in Los Angeles, Calif., April 24, 2020. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Science without humility is a parlor game that can turn lethal.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D uring this entire epidemic, and the response to it, there is a growing tension between front-line doctors and scientific researchers, between people who must use and master numbers in their jobs and university statisticians and modelers, and between the public in general and its credentialed experts.

 

Fact and Theory

In a nutshell, the divide reflects the ancient opposition between empiricism and abstraction — or more charitably common sense and practical application versus scientific knowledge.

When the two are combined and balanced, then knowledge advances. When they are not, both are deprived of the wisdom of the other.

Unfortunately, in the present crisis, we have

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