The motto of the Royal Society, one of the first — and still one of the most prominent and important — scientific organizations in the world, is “Nullius in verba,” which roughly translates to “Don’t take anyone’s word for it.”

That motto tightly encapsulates the very ethos of science. Scientific beliefs are to be formed on the basis of experiments and evidence. Experiments are to be such that, in principle, anyone can repeat them and verify their results for himself. Thus, in science, there should be no need to ever believe anything on the basis of authority.

But if this is the scientific ideal, then the COVID fiasco has revealed a profound corruption at the very heart of science.

In the wake of COVID, “science” has become little more than a religion for people who don’t believe in God. Figures like Anthony Fauci have been accorded a saintlike level of veneration, with the media and millions of people across the country hanging on his every word.

People do not believe Fauci because the evidence supports his assertions. They believe Fauci because of who he is. This is directly contrary to the scientific spirit.

For our purposes, we need only to examine the record of Fauci on the subject of masks. At first, Fauci famously said that people did not need to go about wearing masks and that surgical masks would not provide much protection against a virus.

Then, he changed his tune and even began to strenuously advocate double masking — even for the vaccinated. When those like Sen. Rand Paul denounced this as “theater,” Fauci strenuously denied it.

Now that Fauci’s emails have been released, we see that in private, Fauci appeared to know that surgical masks do not provide much protection against a virus.

Florida appears to be almost the only state which takes the scientific ideal seriously. In light of all of the above and in light of Florida’s ongoing war against vaccine passports, one Florida judge took it upon himself to ask an obvious but uncomfortable question.

Actually Asking to See the Evidence For Once

Direct evidence that surgical masks reduce the spread or severity of COVID is extremely hard to come by. Countless studies on the matter have reached the opposite conclusion. Moreover, mask mandates in state after state have no correlation whatsoever with COVID case totals there.

Florida has been working to force cruise ship companies to tone down some of their draconian mandates for people who wish to go on cruises. As of right now, cruise ship passengers are all required to wear masks, and 95% must be vaccinated.

Given this, US District Judge Steven Merryday of Tampa recently asked a very pointed question: “Where does this mask efficacy theory come from?” What is the specific evidence that led the CDC to conclude that masks are effective at stopping viral spread?

But predictably, the left-wing press in Florida, particularly from outlets like the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times, is ripping its hair out because a judge has reared to question the dictates of “science.” This is a huge sign of cult-like behavior. In science, evidence should be provided when it is asked for, but in cults, the leadership may never be questioned.