Maher: Hey, Free Speech Is a Good Idea

Richard Feynman was among the greatest scientists of the 20th century and, more importantly, one of the best teachers of science ever. 

As a theoretical physicist, he helped revolutionize the field, especially with his work on quantum mechanics. I don’t pretend to understand his work, and while I admire him for what he did, he stands out particularly in my mind for his contributions to the philosophy of science. 


He boiled science down to its essence: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” 

This doesn’t mean that “experts” are always wrong; rather, it means that in a real sense, in science there are no “experts” in the sense that laymen are expected to believe. “Trust us, we’re the experts” is among the worst advice you can take, not because experts are always wrong, but because “experts” are always the establishment. Establishments are more concerned with self-preservation than truth. 

Max Planck captured this reality in an aphorism as pithy as Feynman’s: “Science moves forward one funeral at a time,” which has proven to be correct

‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ 

The establishment’s obsession with “misinformation” and suppression of speech is entirely based on the assertion that “experts” are the only people we should listen to, and that anybody who challenges them is a danger to society. This assertion is far more damaging to society than people saying provably wrong things. 


“Experts” using power to push narratives and suppress dissent is damaging for many reasons, even if they are generally right. Worse, of course, is when experts are wrong and simply preserving their power or abusing it. 

During the pandemic, the experts were not only wrong but aggressively so. They abused their power daily, spreading misinformation and disinformation at a pace that would make a Soviet apparat blush, and abused the power of government with the collusion of major corporations to attack any challenge to the narrative. 

Bill Maher went off on this fact over the weekend, lashing out at both the experts and their arrogance. The damage that has been done to society, to children, to science itself is literally incalculable. The mental health crisis exploded during the pandemic, as did alphabet ideology. TikTok became a dominant social force, and non-COVID deaths skyrocketed and have yet to come down. 

Deaths from substance abuse shot through the roof, with hundreds of thousands of premature deaths from alcoholism and substance abuse directly tied to pandemic restrictions. 

Critics of pandemic policies were screaming from the rooftops, predicting precisely this. And they were censored, insulted, and punished for telling the truth. 


That “experts” got it wrong was as predictable as the sun rising because human beings are fallible. The scary thing is that nobody was allowed to challenge the experts. The discussion itself was close to outlawed, with the FBI and other government agencies using their power to suppress all debate. 

The existence of establishments themselves is inevitable and within limits necessary to the functioning of society. But establishments that cannot be challenged are tyrannies, and will cause far more damage than any chaos caused by disagreements. 

Conspiracy theories–even whacky ones–are given power when they are suppressed. Real conspiracies exist and are empowered by making it impossible to challenge them. 

That a few people will insist that the earth is flat or the moon landing didn’t happen is no threat to society; silencing them out of a misguided determination to promote “truth” is. 


Our MSM is now in lockstep with the “experts” in government, chanting the narrative and working hard to suppress debate. Every other word they say is an adjective, praising Democrats and attacking Republicans. It never occurs to them that Democrats may be wrong and Republicans right, even on the most obvious points. 

This is the “party of science.” This version of science is the opposite of Feynman’s vision: it is the belief in the infallibility of experts. 



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