December 8, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Political Bias in Science Media, cont.

This entry continues listed examples of political bias in science, academia and secular media.

Last week, we illustrated the disease of misconduct and unreliability in Big Science. And yet Big Science and Big Media continue their onslaught against Christian values, conservative politics, and Donald Trump. Here’s a rapid-fire list to prove it; these titanic conglomerates are juggernauts of leftism, not pure-hearted seekers of truth. They stray far outside their domain of natural knowledge into politics, ethics, and philosophy. Can anyone find any article in the major journals or secular science media that support conservative views? The following examples are not 100% wrong in everything they say, but they display an overwhelming bias against conservative ideas and a strong undertone of leftist ideas. There is one article supporting religious values in the list. See if you can find it.

(Note: Articles from amalgamating news sites like Science Daily and Phys.org come originally from universities, labs and other academic science institutions.)

Homosexuality: You can tell where Clayton Howard is headed with his headline on The Conversation: “The migration of same-sex couples to the suburbs is shaping the fight for LGBT equality.” First of all, is it science’s job to get involved in this “fight”? Second, define LGBT equality; they already get special treatment! The ones needing equality are those trying to defend their religious beliefs about marriage and gender.

Guns and Health: PLoS Biology wants to get “science in the fight to uphold the rights of children.” About 80% of the goals of this paper are noble and uncontroversial (nutrition, vaccines, health care) but science is supposed to stick to natural knowledge, not fights and advocacy. Read further and you find the article includes oblique attacks on gun ownership, and expects governments to be the solution to everything. Those are leftist positions.

Criminality: This article on Science Daily upholds the materialist view that criminals are products of their neurobiology, not sinners. By implication, treatment is a subject for neuroscience, not criminal justice. Another piece on Medical Xpress tries to explain altruism in psychological terms. Psychological science, you recall from previous CEH reports, is under scrutiny for non-reproducible results. Religious upbringing leads to better health and well-being in adults, Medical Xpress says. But Science Daily talks about the “evolution of psychiatric disorders,” making criminal behavior a matter of Darwinism, not personal responsibility.

Gender confusion: There’s a new word for normal people: “cisgender” (as opposed to “transgender”). These are people who identify with their biological sex.  In her “Explainer” at The Conversation, Joanna McIntyre decides the word is divisive, because it implies there are only two genders.

Health care: This article on Medical Xpress about the opioid epidemic suggests that the problem derives partly from health care policies in the “era of Donald Trump.” Trump is not the cause of “deaths of despair in the era of Donald Trump,” conservatives would respond; he is working hard to solve it, but don’t expect secular media to give him any credit.

Gender confusion: Medical Xpress notes that LGBT people have “poorer health outcomes” than normal people, but what’s the solution? Not to help them change, of course. The leftist position is to force insurance companies to take care of them.

Abortion: This is an attack by New Scientist on the Trump administration and his nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This leftist “science” rag is that they “might” limit the ability of women to kill their children, and also might limit “fetal research” – the sale of baby body parts. What a horror that would be!

Homosexuality: Phys.org praises the teachers whose attitudes are becoming more accepting of LGBT students, in contrast to those nasty religious “fundamentalists” who “view homosexuality much more negatively than those with more progressive religious views.”

Climate change: Rachel Nagelberg (Northwestern U) begins positively on Phys.org, suggesting there is “a bright side to those dire climate change reports.” And what could that be, Rachel? She grins, it’s the election of a bunch of new progressive Democrats in Congress that can stop Trump. “We’re going to need some pretty radical thinking and radical change,” she concludes. Science Daily rings the alarm, “Nations must triple efforts” to reach the U.N. climate goals – this despite the revelations of new natural sources of the potent greenhouse gas methane we reported (28 Nov 2018) that were not figured into their climate models.

Corporal punishment: Medical Xpress concludes from a study of pediatricians that spanking is never right. But did the secular eggheads at Tufts University ask Dr. James Dobson? Did they ask Solomon? Are today’s scientists the only ones who have learned how to raise successful children with appropriate discipline? Parents have been having children since Adam and Eve, and quite a few turned out OK that were spanked. Some spanking can be abusive, but not all of it, if done sparingly and in love, Christians believe. Should science decide questions of right and wrong?

Abortion: This piece on Medical Xpress is fairly balanced, but you see the bias in the headline: “the right to abortion is on the line.”

Political bias: Nature writes, “Beware the rise of the radical right.” Is there no radical left? Surely there is, and it is dangerous. “Academic freedom is on the hit list when radical politicians gain office — as they have done in Europe,” the Editors say. Oh, my goodness. What we could say about academic freedom in the Soviet Union, North Korea, and Cuba. Nature is blind to that, although they do qualify it somewhat, with no examples, “When parties of either the extreme right or extreme left take power, any one of democracy’s foundational pillars can be knocked away.” Their bogeymen are Brexits, patriots, and ones who don’t believe in man-caused global warming. Their utopia is “collective progressivism” (globalism).

Advocacy: Nature advocates for advocacy: “Why graduate students should get involved in advocacy.” Advocacy for what, you ask? The usual leftist progressive stuff: diversity and inclusion, government funding, climate activism, etc. This helps grad students become “leaders.” Aren’t scientists supposed to be neutral, dispassionate, disinterested researchers about natural phenomena?

Conclusion: Understanding “the myth of apolitical science” (Science). Are you surprised at learning about all this bias within academia? You shouldn’t be. In a book review of Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science by historian Audra J. Wolfe, reviewer Alex Wollerstein says that politics and science have a long history.

“Science is apolitical” is a deeply political statement: One only feels the need to assert something like this in times when it is a hard case to make. That science exists within a political environment and participates in political activities should not be controversial. But it is, especially in the current moment, when it would be (politically) convenient to have something in our present world that felt devoid of politics.

At times in the past, science leaned conservative. Now, it is overwhelmingly liberal. One reason for that is the extremely lopsided party affiliation in universities, especially in the sciences. Jerry Bergman shows how out of touch scientists are with the American public:

In an examination of over 150 departments and upper-level administrations at 32 elite colleges, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture found that the ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans was more than 10 to 1 (1,397 Democrats compared to 134 Republicans). In the US, registered Democrats and Republicans are roughly equal in number, but not a single department at any of the 32 schools even remotely approaches parity between the two.

The closest any school came was Northwestern University, where 80 percent of faculty were registered Democrats and 20 percent registered Republicans. At Brown University the ratio was 30 to 1. The researchers could not identify a single Republican on the faculty at Williams, Oberlin, MIT, or Haverford Colleges. The ratio of liberal to conservative professors has profoundly changed from 4 to 1 a few years ago to 17 to 1 today. 

A Center of Media and Public Affairs Study found that “American academia is overwhelmingly dominated by liberal secularists,” a fact that proves bias against conservatives and religious persons in hiring and promotion of faculty. According to Gallop Polls of the last 50 years, about 70 percent of Americans believe in some form of creationism in contrast to about 3 percent of leading science academics. Depending on how questions are asked, around 10 percent of American are atheists compared to 95 percent of leading science academics.

With such a total imbalance in party affiliation and religious belief, we cannot expect their scientific research to be immune from political views. Perhaps the only quick solution would be a program of affirmative action for conservatives, with funding tied to the degree of parity on faculty.

Not all these articles are 100% biased. Some say good things. Some report facts apparently with neutrality. Pervading them, though, you hear a leftist-progressive undertone, sometimes loud, sometimes soft. It’s everywhere, like a background buzz. You almost never hear a conservative refrain in the din. Why do you never hear reports like “Blacks make up 13.4% of the population, but 36% of abortions” except on conservative sites like CNS News? Why do only conservative news sites like Breitbart News talk about the human rights abuses in North Korea that have gotten worse since Kim Jong-un took power?

Science doesn’t have to be that way. There is absolutely no reason for a leftist slant in science. Many of the founders of science were highly religious or conservative politically, and did great work. Those who are conservative today often have to keep quiet, lest the PC police end their careers.

Note, please, that this commentary is not overturning the tables. It’s about balance. The situation would be just as bad if conservatives controlled Big Science and Big Media and persecuted its dissenters. Scientists should be free to vote Democrat if they want to, and believe in liberal views unrelated to their scientific work. But in the same way, conservatives should be allowed to work as scientists in a university or lab without fear of being shunned or dismissed, and reporters should be allowed to write about research that supports traditional values. Debate is essential for good science. The news is distorted without a conservative voice.

The bias in science and media is a great evil that must be rectified. Most academics, studies have shown are Democrats who voted for Clinton and despise Trump. Some departments at universities are 100% Democrat, or even radical socialist. You know this is going to infect their research. The same bias pervades media, and it odorizes their reporting.

The solution is balance. So let’s use a progressive tactic against the leftists: advocate for affirmative action for conservative scientists and reporters, until 50/50 parity is reached. Who would complain about that, except a totalitarian?

 

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