Science is About Evidence, not Authority
There are two vastly different ways of presenting a critical subject. Valid criticism explains evidence, so people can decide for themselves. The other way is to proclaim with authority in place of evidence. The authoritarian way absolutizes, which means promoting only two extremes—the unquestionably right, and the unquestionably wrong. Nothing is allowed between the extremes.
Explaining evidence moves a subject out of the dark and into the open. Authoritarians assume that all that is good springs from a dark hole which no one can see into. After the failures, they blame enemies for the problems. The dark holes must be replaced with openness and accountability, which simply means explaining the evidence.
Debunking is an example of absolutism. It presents only two alternatives. Explanations with debunking are infantile, particularly in science, where complexities are extreme and, at the boundaries of knowledge, beyond conclusions. Anyone who uses the word debunk has nothing worthwhile to say. All complexities require more analysis than debunking produces.
Science cannot be correct without demanding procedures which account for all complexities. Authoritarians cannot meet the demands. But errors in the abstract knowledge of science are not as noticeable as in the concreteness of technology and engineering. When the engineers get something wrong, products fail. When science is wrong, the errors are called facts and forced onto society.
Quite often, medical issues are presented as authority, which is never valid. Authority is never a proper way of presenting a complex subject, but medicine is unusual in absolutizing authority. A doctor can prescribe for someone who he has evaluated only. To prescribe for the public is not valid in medicine. Yet, we constantly hear on TV that "doctors recommend."
Not the least reason why public recommendations by doctors are not valid is because doctors are not scientists, and they don't know it. They have not studied broad enough subjects nor the methods of deriving science to have proper understanding of scientific subjects. Real scientists do not impose authority, they explain evidence.
Authoritarians view such criticism as an over-imposition of technicalities. Authoritarians, which conservatives are, have been fighting a war against the impositions of rationality since Reagan initiated the process. So we can look at the evolution of conservative concerns to see the nature of the problem.
Deregulation is inseparable from the freedom fighting that conservatives/authoritarians do. Such persons feel strangled by imposing demands, and they want the freedom to do as they please. If regulations take away their freedom, so does all rationality. Properly derived regulations are the product of five thousand years of human analysis of the nature of problems and the answers. Deregulation is not about improvement of regulations. An auto repair shop is not a demechanization shop. (Should a mechanic say, for every car that is repaired, two have to be junked out?) It's not about too much red tape or poor quality regulations, as there must be an analysis to determine quality. There is no analysis or explanation with deregulation.
Authoritarianism is flushing the rationality of human existence down the drain, so incompetents have more freedom to do as they please. What this means is that authoritarianism replacing explanation of evidence is not simply an overly-abbreviated analysis; it is a war against the rationality needed for solving problems.
There is a Rationality Problem
Science is supposed to be a verification process. When scientists express opinions, they are moving out of the science domain and into the public domain. In the public domain, their opinions are not a substitute for or representation of verifiable science. Which means, claiming that a consensus of 97% of the scientists proves something is total fraud. It's a misuse of science.
Science creates demands upon standards of producing truth and knowledge. Everyone is supposed to be producing standards which promote truth and knowledge. Science therefore has a leadership role in developing standards of rationality. But the standards of rationality are disappearing in science as well as the rest of society.
What are standards of rationality? First and foremost is the requirement of keeping subjectivity out of the public domain. Objective reality defines the constructivity and functionality of the complex realities which humans derive and rely upon. Yet society is drifting into a subjective world which is more and more devoid of objective reality. Examples are the absurd fantasies of renewable energy, carbon free electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles and travel to other planets. It's like floating in a balloon above the world and expecting to create a life up there.
One of the requirements of rationality is to base claims upon evidence. Claiming 97% of the scientists agree upon something is not evidence.
Similarly, rationality requires explanations with claims. Without explanations, people acquire a wide variety of assumptions.
Explanations increase truth, because truth is strengthened by its relationship to surrounding realities. It is for this reason that persons who do not have truth on their side will not explain. The more people know about something, the stronger the truth gets.
Rationality is applying reason to concerns. Reason is relating one reality to another, which causes consistent relationships to be strengthened, and inconsistent relationships to be weakened. Truth is defined by its consistent relationships to surrounding realities, not someone's opinion. Explanations are needed to determine if relationships are consistent.
There is a driving force with corruption to evade such accountability. Corrupters are trying to say, "only a jerk would put us to a test of accuracy, because everyone must round off corners to get anything done. Just trust us." What if they aren't trust worthy? People need to decide for themselves how round the corners should be, which requires openness and accountability.