Science doesn’t lie—some scientists do. Up till the 1970s, California was building, cleaning, and maintaining fire breaks around residential communities in forested areas. Fire roads were bulldozed and kept usable for large firefighting equipment. This provided rapid access allowing fires to be fought while they were still small. Going back to Spanish times, controlled burning, backfires and removal of dead undergrowth in the forests all kept fires controllable. Up until the 1970s, any fire that burned 10,000 acres was considered a huge conflagration because fires were fought effectively and they were quickly extinguished.
Then came the radical environmental movement declaring with a religious zeal that nature is sacred. Mother Earth must not be alienated nor angered by bulldozing access roads through forests or by clearing underbrush. Today, fires regularly consume a quarter of a million acres.
However, the New York Times has a different explanation for the increase in both the number and the size of California fires: “…Scientists say climate change — specifically warmer temperatures that dry out vegetation — is a major factor in the region’s worsening fires…” But no mention whatsoever of destructive public policy enacted by politicians who worship at the altar of secular fundamentalism and who serve the sacred sacrament of radical environmentalism.
You will remember that after every Soviet “Five Year Plan” inflicted devastating starvation on Russia, Stalin always explained away the catastrophes of doomed socialist policies with weather caused famine. He killed off millions of Kulaks who transported food from farmers into the towns leaving fruit and vegetables to rot in the fields, but no, the misery was never due to his decisions, it was always the climate.
Science doesn’t lie but scientists are also human beings subject to normal human temptations like fame and favor, academic advancement, and tremendous sums of money at stake for research in areas anointed by the gods of political correctness. Not to mention that science can only work with the tools available at the present time.
On March 21st, 2020, President Trump tweeted that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin might be a real “game-changer” in treating COVID-19. Immediately, the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN, began featuring articles claiming that HCQ is not only ineffective but potentially dangerous, and ignored all evidence to the contrary, in order to suggest that the president is a dangerous maniac.
In May 2020, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific and medical journals, The Lancet, did something quite unprecedented. It strode into the heart of the country’s political rift and demanded that President Trump be defeated in November. A week later, The Lancet published an article explaining that HCQ is not only unhelpful but is actually dangerous.
Many scientists wrote to The Lancet demanding to see the underlying data on which that startling study totally denouncing a medicine that was not entirely without promise, was based. It turned out that there was no reliable underlying data proving HCQ as completely ineffective. The editor of The Lancet, Richard Horton, did the only thing he could. He withdrew the article denouncing it to have been a “monumental fraud.”
Yes, science doesn’t lie but scientists often do. That is part of the important task of learning how the world really works. There have always been scientists. Most of the time, they have been improving our lives with technology and medicine. The people who tamed fire and learned how to work iron were scientists as were those who gave us the telephone, the automobile, and the airplane. We just didn’t always call them scientists. In fact, in earlier times they were often thought of as magicians.
How many times do you think magicians are mentioned in the Five Books of Moses? If I didn’t know better, my first guess would have been none! What business does magic have in God’s message to mankind? Actually, they are mentioned nine times in the Torah but only in the context of one story—the redemption of Israel from Egypt via the Exodus.
Magicians make their first appearance when Pharaoh dreams his strange dreams. (Genesis 41:8 & 24)
They appear again when Aaron turns his rod into a snake in order to persuade Pharaoh that he and Moses were God’s representatives. However, the magicians also transformed rods into snakes. (Exodus 7:10-12)
Then God sent the plagues of Blood and Frogs but the magicians easily emulated them thus convincing Pharaoh that the plagues were natural phenomena. (Exodus 7:22 & 8:3)
After that, we encounter the first failure of the magicians. They try to emulate the third plague—Lice— but fail. Amazingly, instead of making excuses, they honestly inform their boss, Pharaoh, that this must be the finger of God. (Exodus 8:14-15)
The magicians play no role in the next two plagues and they appear for the final time during the sixth plague. They no longer stand before Pharaoh. They have now switched their allegiance to Moses. They are human and want to be on the winning side.
And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the pox,
for the pox was on the magicians, and on all Mitzrayim (Egypt).
And right there, as the eventual outcome of God’s triumph over Egypt is becoming evident, is the last we ever hear of magicians.
So who were these magicians and what are we supposed to learn from their inclusion in the account of Israel’s redemption from Egypt?
Ancient Jewish wisdom recorded by Rabbi Nissim, the great Torah transmitter who lived in 14th century Barcelona, explains that the magicians were the cutting-edge scientists of Pharaoh’s day.
The Hebrew word for magicians has the root CH-R-T.*
ח ר ט
Revealing meaning by reading both forward and backward as the Lord’s language does, we can read ‘magicians’ backward and we have T-R-CH, the Hebrew word for trouble or burden.
He burdens the thick cloud with an overflow…
This verse uses the word T-R-CH**.
ט ר ח
Thus, scientists are those who reverse or do away with the troubles and burdens of living. They find ways to help us more easily feed ourselves; they discover medical treatments, and they make machines to help us accomplish our work.
These magicians/scientists only appear in the context of helping Pharaoh retain Egypt’s Hebrew slaves. This comes to teach us that scientists will and do serve many masters.
On the eve of the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940 when a few young Royal Airforce pilots held off the might of the Nazi Luftwaffe and on which the future of civilization depended; prime minister Winston Churchill addressed parliament.
As he drew to the end of his speech that stiffened the spine of a frightened land, he spoke these words:
“…But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties…”
They could hardly be more true today. The “lights of perverted science” indeed. Yes, science doesn’t lie but some scientists do. It is also true that the Bible doesn’t lie—but some clergymen do. We must and do rely on those who know more than we do on certain subjects. However, we each need to cultivate our own relationship with Truth through the lens of God so that we can make our own judgments as to who is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God.
*Find these words in the Recommended Hebrew/English Bible (read more about this Bible here)
Remember, Hebrew reads from right to left
*Genesis 41:8 – Page 124, 7 lines from the bottom, 7th word (from the right): (magicians of) חרטמי
**Job 37:11 Page 2084, bottom line, 1st word: (He burdens) יטריח
Extra credit: Now that you know what letters to look for, find all the other references mentioned in the Thought Tool!