To the Editor: Common ground 

To the Editor: 

The phrase “I believe in science” has recently become widespread. Yet science isn’t a belief. It is a rational process in which a proposal about what might be real is tested against observations acquired by experiment and experience. 

A discussion of matters involving science involves examining the relevant observations on their merits — where did they come from, how do they relate to other observations? It is not well-served by assertions of “conspiracy theory,” a vague term whose effect, intended or not, is to deflect rational consideration of the observations. 

In composing my recent letter to the Islander on the issues surrounding COVID vaccines, I made an effort to promote substantive discussion by using only mainstream sources — government agencies, scientific journals and the mainstream media. While there is no guarantee that these sources are inherently trustworthy, they seemed to offer the best common ground for discussion. 

Active links can be included in the online versions of Islander opinion pieces. As stated in my letter, links were available in its online version for easy access to the mainstream sources of every observation presented. It was my hope that people interested in discussing the subject would make use of these links and respond to them substantively. They are still available for that purpose at, or the short URL And I am willing to talk personally with anyone interested in the issue, of whatever persuasion. 

I agree with thoswho responded to my letter, that people should be free to take the vaccination — or not. The reference to “coercion” was not to brute force, but rather to the growing push for restrictions on normal living of those who are not vaccinated — hugging friends, seeing family, entering venues — and the preparations for requiring a vaccine “passport.” 

The letter was intended to share information not widely available in the current public discourse. There was no intent to disparage anyone, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who felt it did. 


Dick Atlee 

Southwest Harbor 

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