It is becoming increasingly confusing: people do not know which camp to pitch a tent between the supernatural and natural, reality and myth, empiricism versus faith and science against religion.
You can feel, touch, smell, taste, and see with science, but religion is in the realm of ‘invisible reality. We have witnessed waves of COVID-19 pandemic, which has undergone different mutations, with the Omicron variant being the latest. Yet, the world is still in the dark about where and when all of this will end.
The COVID-19 pandemic also manifested itself in other areas like politics- as witnessed in the United States of America between the Donald Trump-led Republicans and the ruling Democrats.
The Daily Post of December 4, 2021, had this headline: “COVID-19 affected my fight against corruption, insecurity – Buhari”. The effect on the economy has caused a redirection of the world order, new ways of doing things, virtual transactions, and the Internet economy.
It also affected lifestyles; things have changed and can never be the same again. Why is there confusion about the source and authenticity of the pandemic? It is because of man’s insatiable desire to dominate and in the course of doing this, causing fresh problems for mankind.
Some see it as the conspiracy of a few oligarch capitalists to create confusion that will enable them to make super profits and establish world dominance, in line with the prophetic proclamations of the anti-Christ. People say that they want to control the activities of all humans on earth; in other words, playing the role of God.
In times past, the world moved in the direction of religion but things have truly evolved, from divine Kingship to the authority of the Church through the Pope and others; now to the democratization of knowledge with the help of science.
Everyone is in search of the truth, with each seeing it in his or her own way; and that is how things now stand with regards to the pandemic. But, this is not the first time that science will be in conflict with religion; in the past, people paid the supreme price for expressing contrary positions to that of the Church; they are the martyrs of science; people who risked their lives in pursuit of scientific investigations.
The Italian Philosopher Giordano Bruno was sentenced to be burned to death by the Roman Inquisition for his heretic ideas, which he refused to recant. His teachings were in the area of transmigration (reincarnation).
Galileo Galilei, the astronomer, and physicist was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Roman Inquisition and died, while under house arrest, on suspicious circumstances. Galileo’s findings of the solar system(rotation of the earth) and the Milkyway, have revolutionized the world’s understanding of our place in the universe.
There was also Nicolaus Copernicus, who was found guilty of suspected heresy for defending the earth’s motion. Copernicus was famous for these words: “To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge“.
There were others who were persecuted for their stance on science, against conventional and religious beliefs. People like Gregor Mendel, for his works on genetics; Igbaz Semmelweis, Hungarian physician(for his work – washing hands- for doctors); Ludwig Boltzmann, for his work on properties of atom; and George Zweig whose theory on quarks was discarded because he was still a student.
In fact, Boltzmann had to commit suicide because of the ridicule his work brought him, only for it to be accepted three years after his death. Such was the condition under which scientists and scholars operated in those days; proposing a theory that disputes other laws of physics( and scientists) thought to be correct at the time does not necessarily make you particularly appreciated or popular.
Today, it is deja vu all over; nothing is new, scientific findings are being torn apart by men of faith and skeptics. In fact, to be successful in science, you must be ready to face the sceptics or doubters; if you are afraid of the criticism that will come against your work, you will not go far.
This brings us back to COVID-19. While some people are having sleepless nights, looking out for solutions that will relieve mankind of the problems of the unexplained multiple deaths, others are also researching, burning candles to ensure that the other party’s findings are debunked.
So, as it concerns the pandemic, a large percentage of people are still undecided on what steps to take. The Australian Open tennis organizers have announced that only vaccinated athletes will be allowed to take part in the competition. But top athletes, like Novak Djokovic, are saying that they will not participate if the rule is not reversed.
The US Pentagon department mandated compulsory vaccinations for soldiers, but in a Washington Post report of October 29, 2021, 12,000 military personnel rejected the vaccination. According to the paper: “The religious objections have centered on the fetal cell lines used in some aspects of vaccine development, essentially reproductions of cells from abortions performed in the 1970s and 1980s”. It must also be noted that this process is not new, as “some required vaccines, including those against Rubella, Chicken Pox, and Hepatitis A also were developed using similar cells”.
If this is true, why is the resistance to the COVID-19 vaccines getting stronger? It is because people are beginning to lose confidence in science as a solution to world problems, especially with the consequences of climate change, wars everywhere, and diseases.
Scientific breakthroughs by powerful nations are seen as attempts to impose superiority on others, highlighted more by the growing rivalry between the United States and China. It must also be noted that, while all of these competitions are going on, the African and other underdeveloped nations are not configured in the scheme of things; any conclusion arrived at by the superpowers is forced on us to implement.
Today African nations depend mainly on fossil fuels for electricity, domestic and industrial consumption but the world powers want the elimination of fossils as soon as possible (the year 2025). Meanwhile, Africa accounts for only about 2.3percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industrial sources.
This is a negligible percentage contribution to world environmental degradation and they want Africa to go along with them, without a reciprocal action on their part, to help Africa come out of it, through alternative sources of energy.
They are still flaring gases in oil fields across Africa, something that they have stopped decades ago in their environment. The question then is; should we go along with the world? That is the same question facing us as we confront the covid-19 pandemic, should we go along with the conspiracy theories against Gates, Facing, Rockefeller, and the rest or we should follow the wisdom of science or, rather, we should use our own local knowledge and resources to tackle this challenge?
While the last option appears to be tempting, it is very clear that our authorities are not ready to toe that path with diligent prosecution. That will leave us with the options of science and faith. Between these two, it is better for reason to prevail as God, in His divine wisdom, has given man all that he requires to take care of worldly challenges.
While the developed worlds are using their God-given talents, we are going back to God, to come down and sort things out for us, this will not work. Statistics have shown that those dying from covid-19 are mostly unvaccinated, it is left for people to use their common sense.
It is also gladdening to note that Nigerian Doctors in the diaspora, are in the forefront of researches churning out these vaccines, which, at least, should give us confidence in the vaccines. It is common sense, therefore, to go for the vaccines, the government must step up efforts at local production of the vaccines.