Scientific Institutions Engage in Leftist Advocacy
For an enterprise supposedly as unpolitical and bias-free as science classically is supposed to be, conservatism is surprisingly rare.
Since we last reported the leftist bias in scientific institutions (Jan 19, 2012), has there been any shift to the right? any penitence for embracing and promoting one political party? No; it has gotten worse. Here are just a few of the most egregious examples in recent days. These not only state leftist positions, but openly advocate them.
Anti-Israel: The only redeeming feature of this example is that at least Science magazine published a protest letter by John R. Cohn of Thomas Jefferson University. The Science May 18 cover story was a special feature on “Human Conflict.” Out of all the possible pictures of human conflict imaginable, what did the editors of Science choose? It was a photo of a bombed-out building attributed to the Israeli Defense forces. Cohn’s letter, published two months later, accused the editors of politicizing science:
I am writing in reaction to the cover photo and accompanying caption selected for the 18 May special issue on Human Conflict. It seems disingenuous to claim that of all the world’s conflicts, a building identified as destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was “not [chosen] for any political message or endorsement.” Nobody eschews war more than Israelis, who, unfortunately, also know the consequences.
If the editors wanted striking visual impact and gruesome evidence of inhumanity, there were better choices: the killing fields of Cambodia, the destruction of the World Trade Center, Rwanda, Dresden, Hiroshima, Bataan, Darfur, Armenia, Normandy, Auschwitz… unfortunately, the list of greater carnage is nearly endless.
By identifying the IDF as perpetrators, the caption undermined the photo’s role as a generic illustration of the consequences of conflict. Indeed, there was no need to identify the details. They were a distraction. The photo no longer represented abstract human violence, but rather one more illustration of Israel, taken out of context. Portraying Israel as the aggressor obscures the fact that the country is trying to defend itself against decades of assaults provoked by ethnic hostility—attacks still taking place. That is politicized science, which serves to encourage—not discourage—conflict.
Scientists advising Obama: What should a science news site have to do with presidential politics? Nothing, really. But PhysOrg published the views of two UK scientists taking it upon themselves to act as his campaign advisors: “Obama needs to show Americans he’s still ‘one of them’,” the headline reads, followed by PhysOrg’s summary, “To win a second term in office, President Obama needs to persuade voters that he is still one of them – and recapture some of the charisma that help [sic] propel him to the top four years ago.” No such advice was found anywhere on PhysOrg advising Romney how to win.
Scientists advocating for leftist NGO’s: It is common knowledge that environmental groups, particularly non-governmental agencies (NGOs) such as the Sierra Club, are predominantly (though not exclusively) leftist in ideology – particularly those lobbying for government intervention in private property rights and action against global warming. Another PhysOrg article advocated this in its headline: “Environmental groups should pool efforts to reach the public.” One would think a science news site would stick to the facts about the environment, not provide advice on how to sway public opinion.
Unhealthy theists: Another prominent science news site promulgated a highly questionable psychological study that materialists are healthier – questionable because such studies are loaded with untestable variables. In “Mind Vs. Body? Dualist Beliefs Linked With Less Concern for Healthy Behaviors,” Science Daily uncritically promoted the idea that those who believe the mind is separate from the brain are likely to engage in unhealthy behavior, calling the research “findings” instead of suggestions or opinions. Without doubt, hard-core secular Darwinists are likely to be materialists, not attributing the mind to a soul or spirit.
Same-sex marriage and the church: A particularly egregious example of leftist ideology masquerading as “science” is found in a PhysOrg story entitled, “College students likely to disagree with religious teachings that homosexuality is a sin.” Saturating this report about University of Michigan Michael Woodford’s views on how to overcome student’s parental and church teachings about marriage are biased words intended to show conservatives as backward and liberal churches as open-minded. PhysOrg joined left foot in to the leftist professor’s advocacy of same-sex marriage: “College students’ beliefs about same-sex relationships can be shaped by their church’s teachings, but some are willing to oppose their religion’s position on the issue, a new University of Michigan study indicated. And this can influence students’ views about same-sex marriage.” Topics like sin and marriage have no place in a science news site, but PhysOrg’s complicity in Woodford’s anti-conservative advocacy that seeks to undo what parents and churches have taught their children echoes intolerant rhetoric this week from certain politicians attacking the Chick Fil-A food chain for its president’s vocal stand for traditional marriage (see Family Research Council article).
Burn the heretics: What happens when a scientist goes rogue and steps outside the leftist consensus? He or she had better wear armor and combat boots, if not a flame-proof fireman’s suit. Look at the case of Mark Regnerus (U of Texas), whose politically-incorrect research (reported here 6/10/2012) indicated that traditional families are better for children than same-sex parent homes. All fury broke loose against him from the sociological science community, according to Christian Smith at the Chronicle of Higher Education, who likened their response to an “academic auto-da-fé” (a reference to Spanish Inquisition celebrations of burning heretics at the stake). Regnerus’ attempt to state his findings in the gentlest, fairest, most tolerant manner possible were no protection. See also “Science Lies Bleeding: A Ballad for Honesty” by Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review.
Wait a minute, the reader hesitates … I’m confused. Aren’t liberals supposed to be the champions of tolerance? Aren’t these the ones promoting diversity? Isn’t their favorite word inclusion?
Now you understand the mindset of the Darwin Party. With few exceptions, they are cut of the same cloth. Leftists whimper for academic freedom when in the minority. But once they get power, they become intellectual bigots and bullies, with no tolerance for the inclusion of diverse views outside of those that are progressive, leftist, liberal, and even radical.
If you find any politically conservative Darwinists who support traditional marriage, the US Constitution, private property rights, the free market, individual liberty, limited government, free speech and scientific integrity, send him to the embassy for protection from the next academic auto-da-fé.