Challenging Habitat Blog

Language is important.

This evening, the PM’s announcement of the third COVID-19 lockdown for England went quite well, by BJ’s standards, free of laments about his feelings having to announce bad news, for example…and free of promises that it’s all going to be over by ChristmasSpringsummer

…auto queue helped, of course, to keep on course…

…until he uttered the phrase “miracle of science” in relation to the vaccines.

In science, we don’t do miracles, neither do we believe in miracles. We work systematically and methodically and design experiments to test hypotheses that are based on what was done before and where creativity and innovation takes us.

On the other hand, ‘miracle’ is defined as “an extraordinary event attributed to some supernatural agency” (The concise OED, 8th ed 1990).

Two very different things.

P.S. This post is not about whether another lockdown in England is a good or bad thing. I leave that judgement to people with the appropriate expertise and experience.

Featured image: “Flu Vaccination Grippe” by Daniel Paquet is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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