Abusing Science: Leftists Push PC Agendas with Scientism
Nothing in science says women should abort their babies or humans should deny their genes. But if it’s PC, media will use fake science to promote it.
We’ve been illustrating the leftist bias in Big Science for some time now. Big Science includes academia, the journals, mainstream media and various talking heads in powerful positions who pretend to “speak for science” as if science were some uniformly credible fact-checker. But as C.S. Lewis said, “Strictly speaking, there is, I confess, no such thing as ‘modern science’. There are only particular sciences, all in a stage of rapid change, and sometimes inconsistent with one another.”
Since scientists are just as morally fraught as everyone else (15 July 2018), it is imperative that citizens look askance at those who “speak for science” and learn to make them prove their points with logic and evidence, as they should expect from any fallible human. Ask yourself if any facts of science justify what these particular fallible humans are saying:
Further Confusing the Gender Confused
In Science Magazine, Katherine Korsei lionizes a transgender “woman” who calls herself “Joanna Harper” and loves running. Calling Harper “The Trailblazer,” Korsei tiptoes around the obvious conflict that is already raging in women’s sports now that it has become politically correct not to “discriminate” against those who are born male but choose to transition to female. Could anybody but a left-leaning scientist be confused about common sense?
Many people believe transgender women such as Harper have athletic advantages over non-transgender women—sometimes called cisgender women—because of their previous exposure to male levels of testosterone. But Harper, a medical physicist at a large medical center in Portland, Oregon, has been challenging that assumption with data. In 2015, she published the first study of transgender athletes’ performances, finding that transgender women who received treatment to lower their testosterone levels did no better in a variety of races against female peers than they had previously done against male runners. Although Harper’s study included only a few transgender women, Eric Vilain of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., a geneticist who specializes in gender-based biology, calls it “groundbreaking.”
Efforts by researchers to understand what hormone treatments do to transgenders is important, but it’s another thing to excuse or promote a behavior that violates a person’s genetics. Is Korsei aware that some feminists are calling for removing “L” from LGBT because of this problem (WND), where men can now call themselves lesbians and thereby invade women’s private areas for what could be dishonest and prurient reasons? Does she care about the female athletes who must put up with biological males’ physical advantages? Has she ever heard about the Y chromosome?
One would think evolutionists would decry behaviors that restrict the biological role of reproduction on which natural selection depends. This story illustrates the overruling power of political correctness even over Darwinism. Korsei ends by allowing Harper to say she’s “happier” that she made the transition. Rather than labeling a disorder a disorder and providing hope for those afflicted, Korsei, and Science Magazine, promote an anti-scientific distortion of biology just because it is politically correct these days to do so.
Bucking PC Can Be a Career-Limiting Move
Leftists love buzz-phrases instead of arguments. Consider a phrase bouncing around academia these days: “toxic masculinity.” Like other such phrases, it embeds within it the expected response: revulsion at anything that is “toxic.” Leftists also love to lump everyone into labels. This is an attack on manhood for everyone with XY chromosomes and a measure of testosterone, to say nothing of all the list of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. If a man just acts like the creature he is, suddenly he becomes a danger to society by this phrase, even if he is a gentleman. Finally, leftists love non-reciprocal labels: only men can be toxic, not women. Breitbart News relayed what happened to a male student at the University of Texas accused of harassment: he was forced to reflect on “toxic masculinity” as punishment.
While the student should certainly face punishment after being found responsible for harassment, it’s entirely unclear if reflecting on “toxic masculinity” is an appropriate punishment considering its ideological origins. It is appropriate for public universities to suspend students who harass others. It is not appropriate for them to adopt partisan talking points about the negative impact that men have on society.
The anonymous student told Campus Reform that the assignment made him feel like the university was pathologizing his gender. “That’s not just discrimination; that’s treating masculinity as a mental health issue, and pretending they have some pretentious duty to correct the supposed defects in my sex for the betterment of all society,” the student said.
The details of his harassment charge are not mentioned in the paper, but as some have seen, harassment can be a very subjective determination. If he was guilty, then punishment was appropriate. But not kowtowing to the politically correct term can be a career-limiting move, as one professor found out – a female professor, who dared try to neutralize the toxicity of gender by applying it in both directions. Campus Reform writes:
Heather Heying, a self-described “professor in exile” since since being driven out of Evergreen State College by student protesters, recently issued a scathing indictment of “toxic femininity.”
Heying, an evolutionary biologist, begins her Quillette article by condemning the popular feminist idea of “inherently toxic” men, labeling the concept a poor, “biologically essentialist” idea.
“Yes, toxic masculinity exists,” Heying acknowledges after relating two anecdotes from her time as a young woman in Los Angeles, California. “But the use of the term has been weaponized. It is being hurled without care at every man.”
“This term, toxic masculinity, is being wielded indiscriminately, and with force. We are not talking imprecision now, we are talking thoroughgoing inaccuracy,” Heying contends. “Most men are not toxic. Their maleness does not make them toxic, any more than one’s ‘whiteness’ makes one racist.”
Heying’s experience being driven out of her university for daring to think fairly shows that evolutionary biology is not as powerful as leftist politics. This is another trait of leftist phrases: they are not applied equally: only whites can be racist, and only men can be toxic. In exile, Heying tried to explain her view:
“Creating hunger in men by actively inviting the male gaze, then demanding that men have no such hunger—that is toxic femininity,” Heying asserts. “Subjugating men, emasculating them when they display strength—physical, intellectual, or other—that is toxic femininity. Insisting that men, simply by virtue of being men, are toxic, and then acting surprised as relationships between men and women become more strained—that is toxic femininity.”
Justifying the Destruction of Human Life in the Name of Science
Is this natural? Nature gave a lengthy page to a pro-abortion “scientist” to brag about his opposition to Argentina’s law restricting abortion. In “Why I testified in the Argentina abortion debate,” Alberto Kornblihtt gets free rein, with no response from a pro-life scientist, to use the pulpit of ‘science’ to explain why it’s OK to murder babies in the womb. Incredibly, he appeals to “critical thinking” and embryology to claim that this is perfectly fine from a scientific viewpoint. And yet his “science” is laughably illogical:
I focused instead on confusion between the concept of an embryo and a legal person — in many countries, a status acquired only after a live birth. I argued that some terms used in value-based arguments do not make much sense in biology. For example, an embryo is made of living cells, but so are placentas, sperm and eggs. And a person can be declared dead when his or her heart stops beating or brain activity ceases, even though cells in the body remain alive for a substantial amount of time afterwards. So it does not follow that everything with live human cells is a human.
Does Alberto realize that the embryo has its own genome, half of it from the father? The differences between a human baby in utero and placental tissue should be obvious to anyone who’s had basic high school biology. This is incredibly bad science for a Big Science journal, but Nature reproduces it because it supports the PC, leftist position on abortion. No space must be given to Christian conservatives with their science. Kornblihtt portrays them as the obstructionists. He continues his bad science rationalization, claiming that since the embryo relies on the mother, it’s not human:
I also explained that the fertilization of an egg by a sperm is a necessary but not sufficient condition to produce a baby. We are placental mammals: embryos can only develop to maturity within a woman’s womb. So far, no one has created a placental mammal entirely outside a uterus. Furthermore, a developing embryo depends on placental exchange. Oxygen and food move from the expectant mother’s bloodstream into the placenta and then to the embryo. Carbon dioxide and toxic molecules move from the embryo into the placenta and then into the mother’s bloodstream.
Therefore, I said that in my view, an embryo is almost like an organ of the mother: its cells depend on her bloodstream to receive nutrients and remove wastes. I also said that without the right to terminate pregnancy, women are essentially placed in bondage to their embryos.
A pro-life science could obliterate these arguments in seconds if there were a fair debate. If Kornblihtt really believes what he says, then a nursing baby is an organ of the mother, and so is a quadriplegic needing assistance with living. Is Nature prepared to go there? Do they want to claim that caregivers are “essentially placed in bondage” to their invalids? Whatever happened to a mother’s love?
Readers of CEH need to realize that Big Science today acts as a leftist cabal, masquerading as science (14 Oct 2010, 2 July 2017). Not all that Big Science publishes falls into that category, of course. We celebrate the good science when it is apolitical and evidence based: figuring out how an enzyme works, seeing a new world for the first time from spacecraft, learning what treatments are effective against cancer, and a thousand other things. But when “Big Science” goes political, philosophical, or theological, watch out! Its spokespersons are almost uniformly liberal, progressive, and leftist in world view. In your mind, take off their white lab coats and see them as they are: anti-Trump Democrats, shouting for global socialism. At those times, you will be the better scientist, not being fooled by appearances.