Everyone’s an Expert

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Everyone’s an Expert

26 August 2020 Hits:1083

Thanks to Doctor Google, everyone can know everything about everything. Everyone can be an expert! It’s really quite simple:

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Do a Google search
  3. Choose one or two of the 442 million results that pop up in a few seconds
  4. Ignore the others, especially the ones that disagree with you
  5. Share expert advice on your social media platforms so others can share your research without checking the facts.

This happens millions of times every day. Some of these things end up in my Messenger Inbox.

For example, a friend recently sent me a clip from Sky News commentator, Rowan Dean. There was no message. No context. Just a clip. So, I watched it and wasn’t surprised. Sky News leans Right, but their news opinion segments are partisan Right. So, you wouldn’t put much credibility in Sky unless you wanted a far-right bent that agreed with your own bias.

In this clip, Rowan Dean waxed eloquently for seven minutes about how Sweden “got it right,” while other countries, including Australia, got it very wrong. I don’t know Rowan Dean. I do know that he’s an advertising executive. I don’t think he’s medically trained. Still, he seemed confident that Sweden got it right by not embracing the harsh lockdown measures adopted by other countries. To back up his opinion, he quoted several sources, all of them right-biased:

  • The UK Telegraph has a mixture of factual and non-factual reporting. It sometimes publishes misleading reports and omits to report information that may damage conservative causes.
  • The Spectator Australia: Rowan Dean is the editor (no conflict of interest there)
  • The Daily Mail: scores “Low” on factual reporting and shows extreme right-bias, poor sourcing to credible information, and is prone to conspiracies and fake news.

Quoting any of these sources is like me saying, “It’s true. I read it in the Herald Sun.” Understand that algorithms will feed you content that is similar to what you’ve already read when you search on the Internet.

The danger here is that you can think the whole world agrees with you. To counter this, you must glean information from a wide range of credible references.

I responded to my friend, “It’s still way too early to tell whether Sweden got it right or not. The Spanish Flu came in three waves as the virus mutated. Wave Two killed most people. COVID-19 is a new virus in human beings. Medical professionals are still working out what it’s like, how to respond to it, and so on. Rowan Dean is an advertising executive, not a medically trained person. He would do well to learn from history and delay his judgments. That’s, of course, if he wants to learn from history!”

Balance the Information

In the second part of the clip, Dean discussed hydroxychloroquine, which, he says, was used by Switzerland with significant effect against COVID-19, then banned because of a negative report in The Lancet medical journal. The Lancet later retracted the article, and Switzerland started using hydroxychloroquine again.

It should be appreciated that The Lancet retracted the article because they wanted to independently review the original research. But, because of client confidentiality, the researchers refused to share their data. For this reason, The Lancet retracted the article, not because the research was wrong.

Further research has been conducted. The Lancet has now republished the study adding, “Several arguments support the hypothesis that hydroxychloroquine, in addition to having no beneficial effect in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, might have potentially fatal cardiac effects.”

This week, The Lancet published another study which, to their knowledge, is “the largest ever analysis of the safety of hydroxychloroquine and hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin worldwide.”  Their conclusion: “Although long-term treatment with hydroxychloroquine is not expected for the management of COVID-19, some research suggests that the higher doses prescribed for COVID-19 than for rheumatoid arthritis can, even in the short term, lead to equivalent side-effects given the long half-life of hydroxychloroquine.” Those side-effects include increased risk of chest pain, angina, and heart failure. Armed with credible, evidence-based, peer-reviewed research, countries and states can make informed decisions whether or not to include this drug as part of the treatment for COVID-19.

To my previous message, my friend responded, “How about the hydroxy chloroquine [sic.] it has been unjustly vilified!” I replied, “I’m not medically trained. I don’t know if it’s been unjustly vilified or not. Donald Trump is not medically trained either, and I believe he has been irresponsible in his endorsement of this drug. I do know that one of the downsides of all this publicity is that hydroxychloroquine has become in very short supply. I recently saw an interview with a lady who has lupus, and she said she hasn’t been able to get her regular hydroxychloroquine prescription. What a tragedy. I wonder how many other people have been adversely affected? I am concerned that so many lies are being spread by so-called Christians. I think, “Thou shalt not lie” is still a commandment??”

A trap for people on the far-right is a propensity to fall for conspiracy theories. Conservative Christians often fall for these due to a belief in a coming one-world government and the antichrist. And so, COVID-19 becomes this evil plan instituted by a cabal to derail countries, a plot to destroy businesses, and remove freedoms. And “they” are trying to cover all this up. “They” know that hydroxychloroquine really works against “their” man-made virus, but “they” don’t want you to take it and get better. Not only that, Bill Gates already has the vaccine and wants to inject it into you along with a microchip so you can be tracked. To be clear, the technology to track people via vaccine microchip doesn’t yet exist. A chip would need to be injected (one that can send and receive information), a battery would have to be inserted too. What size of a hypodermic needle would you need for that? And how would Bill Gates co-opt every doctor, nurse, and medical professional around the world to buy into this scheme?

This kind of fear-mongering is not worthy of those who follow Jesus. We are called to be people of truth, not conspiracies and lies. I thank God for medical professionals who, out of their love for humanity, give their lives to health and healing. What we need is not guess-work from politicians or armchair “experts.” Your Google search is not research. It doesn’t compare to someone’s Master’s degree or Doctorate. And it doesn’t make you an expert!

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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4 replies on “Everyone’s an Expert”

Linda Opolionsays:

Yes totally agree. I can’t believe so many Christians are getting caught up in the lies of conspiracy theories.
Hydrochloriqine has become like the toilet paper.
Everyone wants it without scientific evidence. Australia is now only testing it now as a prophylactic treatment for nurses. They think it might work. Think. Not 100% sure. That’s why they are testing it on nurses now. They know it is not a cure for Covid. It’s been scientifically proven it doesn’t work for treatment of Covid.
The chip in a vaccine gets me. The bible never said the Mark of the beast would be a chip. The Mark is supposed to be in the hand or the forehead.
A vaccine is placed into your upper arm.
We need to trust governments God has put in place for us. Not think every government in the world and every Doctor is out to get us.
In God there is no fear. The fear of a vaccine with a chip is as bad as the fear of Carona.
We should not be spreading fear as Christians. This cannot be the word of God.

Deborah Lambeinsays:

I would agree that “we are called to be people of truth, not conspiracies and lies,” and that said, I would ask that you, too, be cautious, lest your anti-conservative bias misleads you. And yes, there is a lot of fake news floating around, but since the majority of mainstream media leans left, I imagine most of it is weaponized against the right. The truth is, which news sources lean left, centrist, or right isn’t easy to determine since there is no exact methodology to measure such bias. Vigilance, fact-checking, and common sense are crucial.

As far as hydroxychloroquine, if a person is succumbing to Covid, I see no reason not to administer it (preferably with a Z-pack—and NOT at cardiac-damaging levels). My own father took the drug for nearly 20 years as a treatment for arthritis with no ill-effects. He is 96 years old and going strong. Our own President Trump took the drug, as well, with no ill-effects. To ban this treatment in a situation where no alternatives are available is simply wrong!

In this world, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing and many who invite them in. It is well to remember John 12:40: “He (God) hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” The New World Order is no conspiracy theory.

Here in America, leftist wolves spend every minute attacking our president under the guise of altruism and a love for humanity. They twist the truth, stifle free speech, and fill our schools and institutions with anti-American propaganda. They pitch labels such as xenophobe, racist, and white supremacist—their tools: lies, innuendo, and anarchy. These are the roots of fascism. History proves this, but as we all know, history tends to repeat itself. America’s history—her proud heritage preserved by decades of courage and sacrifice—is under assault, and make no mistake: once there are no heroes to inspire us, government will control us.

America is the last vestige of true freedom in the world, and should she fail, other countries will fall like dominoes. Take heed of Daniel 7:23: “Thus, he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.” As I said, the New World Order is no conspiracy theory.

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Thanks for your comments, Deborah. To be clear, I am not at all anti-conservative. In many ways, I am a conservative person. Yes, I am very cautious and do much fact-checking before I publish a blog or use any source. I cannot comment on the USA, but I don’t agree that most of the media lean-left. It really depends where you are personally. For example, if you’re far-right then pretty well everyone leans left!

As for hydroxychloroquine, I am not a medical professional and so my opinion is limited. I’m not aware of people banning the drug. I am aware that extensive, peer-reviewed research is being carried out to determine its efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19.

I agree with you that things in the USA are not good right now. We in Australia look on and shake our heads. The division, unrest, shootings, and brutality are greatly concerning. My wife and I have spent much time in the States, have many dear friends there, and love the US very much. But it is not, “the last vestige of true freedom in the world.” One of the weaknesses of the US (observed first-hand) is its preoccupation with itself. There are many nations, Australia included, that live in true freedom.

The fourth beast of Daniel 7:23 was the Roman Empire of the First Century, not an end-time New World Order. Read this blog to get better insight from Scripture on this ~ https://baysidechurch.com.au/one-world-government-the-antichrist/

The church’s job is to turn on the light not to talk up the darkness. Jesus said the “end will come” when every ethnic group has heard the Gospel. Our message is good news! Kind regards, Rob

Audrey Davidsonsays:

Everyone’s an Expert

A very well researched and thought out answer to the current literature from non-medically trained “experts”. Thank you. I worked in the medical field at base level in a laboratory and hospital, learnt basic medical allied fields theories and practices and do not over-ride the medically trained. I am however skeptical about the coding of the reason(s) for death as I know having assisted with coding that the figures can be distorted with inaccurate coding for other benefits.

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