Science Should Be Politically Neutral
Why do all the mainstream science journals and reporters give a leftist slant? That’s not very scientific.
Science is supposed to be about “is” not “ought”. Individual scientists are free to have political opinions, but it is misleading and even dangerous to put a scientific imprimatur on matters of public policy. That’s what secular scientific institutions are routinely doing. Pick a policy debate, and you will most likely find the mainstream scientific institutions taking the leftist, statist position and telling the government what it “should” do.
Climate change: Even if a “consensus” believes that warming is occurring, and humans are mostly responsible for it, science’s job is to report data. The editors of Nature go far beyond that. Not only do they press for government action, they want to stifle debate against the consensus and manipulate public opinion. Sometimes they do it overtly; other times by presenting only one-sided correspondence.
- Beware of climate neo-skepticism, John H. Perkins wrote in Nature on June 18th. Let alone real skeptics. Neo-skeptics, he says, are those who appear to support the consensus but go short of advocating political action.
- Climate advisers must be astute, David C. Rose wrote in Nature on June 11th: Entrepreneurial climate scientists, he says, should “use every opportunity to maximize political influence.”
Homosexuality: What does Nature have to do with African politics? The Editors take the far-leftist line that anything short of full acceptance of gay relationships constitutes “homophobia” (an unscientific term used by homosexual advocates only). One would think nature itself teaches that heterosexual union is the function for reproduction. Certainly Darwinians should understand that; homosexual acts produce no offspring, the foundation of natural selection. It takes contorted theorizing to find a “scientific” function for homosexuality—much worse to justify promoting it. Even if homosexuality is observed among some animals, that’s an “is” not an “ought” for humans. And after the recent embarrassing retraction in Science Magazine (6/06/15), one would hope journal editors would conjure up some humility before making bombastic sermons on the subject. It wasn’t to be:
- In a lengthy article on June 10, Nature wrote proudly about gay activist academics who are actively working to oppose the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and some other African countries. Writer Linda Nordling was particularly proud of one who is taking a report that seems to make homosexual behavior “natural” and “use it akin to how they use the Bible on us.”
- Nature’s editors on June 10, taking their stand on a paper that concludes homosexuality is merely “one feature on the spectrum of human sexuality,” became militant in their crusade. “Spread the word. Share the report and its findings,” they encouraged. Those are oughts, not is’s.
Abortion: Medical Xpress shows sorrow over women who are having a harder time getting abortions after Georgia passed a law outlawing abortions after 24 weeks (preemies can be viable before that). No grief is shown for the pain-capable babies torn apart by abortion. The article equates this with a “women’s health” issue, a typical euphemism by pro-abortion activists. So tragic that more babies will be saved: “If the full ban goes into effect, the situation for the women who need these services will become even worse.” So some women don’t know they “need” the “service” until their babies are viable? Where is the celebration for the conservatives who worked so hard to save babies?
Intelligent design: The misrepresentation of intelligent design never ends. Peter Ellerton, a lecturer in critical thinking at the University of Queensland, wrote a pretty informative article on The Conversation about how wandering from the issue at hand leads to fruitless argumentation. Dr. Ellerton, your own bias is showing:
Realise, for example, that the point of not teaching Intelligent Design in science classes is one of quality control, not of academic freedom. Or that teaching about religion in schools is not the same thing as instruction in specific religions. Or that same-sex marriage is about equality of rights, not degrading them.
Watch this space: preach to churches. Space.com posted an odd headline: “How to Bolster Space Exploration: Get Religious Groups Onboard.” There’s a clear “ought” where an “is” should be. What makes Elizabeth Howell think that religious people don’t support the space program? And isn’t space exploration a policy question involving limited government funds derived from taxpayer dollars, subject to multiple competing interests? Who is she talking to? Howell is certainly within her rights to become an entrepreneur and start her own SpaceX company. She could even ask religious groups to support her business.
Science denial busting: There’s no question that elements of society reject legitimate scientific findings without good reason, going after fake cancer cures, embracing superstitions and the like. But why is it always conservatives who get the bashing by university academics? John Cook’s article on The Conversation, “Busting myths: a practical guide to countering science denial,” makes good points; myths deserve a good busting. What is his exhibit A of science denial? You guessed it: global warming. If he wants to tell people what they “should” do to debunk deniers, maybe he “should” take on the Goliaths of skepticism on that subject rather than the office workers at the water cooler (see Straw Man tactic).
Superstition preferred over Christianity: It was the summer solstice last weekend. At Live Science, Elizabeth Goldbaum took the opportunity to relay some of the pagan rituals humans have engaged in on the longest day of the year. She quotes some expert who says, as if the good old days were more fun, “yesterday’s solstice fires and fire-jumping rituals, though doused by our inherited puritanical mind-set, still lives on in our Fourth of July fireworks. And rites once rife with feminine magic still persist in the month of brides (May).” Why are the Puritans still such easy targets for media ridicule? Historians know that they were not as “puritanical” as often portrayed. They brought civilization, law, and democracy to the new world, not a “mind-set” (i.e., dogma). Does Goldbaum think we would be better off acting like pagans at solstice, celebrating astrology and fertility rites? Isn’t science better than superstition? She should be thanking the Puritans, not spurning them.
A little balance would go a long way to correcting the overwhelming perception that scientific institutions and their lackey reporters are all left-leaning political ideologues. Where is one article celebrating a conservative position? Find us an article in Nature, Science or any of the leading science news sites that is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Constitution, or that gives a fair hearing to intelligent design. Where are they? You secular reporters and journals, why not come clean and identify yourself as leftist Democrat operatives with a spin on science to support your materialist assumptions? Stop pretending to be objective.
People should realize that science has been corrupted by the ideological left. They control what gets taught, what gets reported, and what gets counted as “science.” Be discerning. The “is’s” of science are as valid as ever, when reported fairly and honestly. The “oughts” of Big Science and Big Media are ideological propaganda pieces. That’s because they overwhelming reject a Creator as a source of natural rights and morality, and embrace Darwinian evolution as the core of their worldview.
Let’s take on Ellerton’s quote. (1) Intelligent design and quality control: If that were true, Ellerton would want Darwinian evolution to be taught honestly. He should also be informed that nobody at the Discovery Institute is advocating teaching ID in the classroom, so that’s a red herring. And it is certainly a fair question to focus on academic freedom when teachers who doubt Darwin are often punished for not going with the consensus flow. (2) Teaching about religion in schools: not clear what he is talking about here. Is this about some schools teaching Islam by having students act out Muslim practices and praying to Allah? Or is he conflating religion with creation again? Without clarity, this is a distraction. (3) Same-sex marriage and equality of rights: So after thousands of years, all of a sudden homosexual advocates deserve a new right nobody ever conceived of before? Where does the Declaration of Independence say rights come from? And if those opposed to gay marriage are forced to close their businesses because gay activists apply the power of government to force them to participate in a “gay wedding” (ex., ADF), that doesn’t constitute “degrading” rights? If Ellerton thinks he is good at focusing issues, he needs strong coke-bottle glasses.