June 24, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Science Will Not Endure Radicalism

So far, the radical Left has thought Big Science is on its side. That friendship may not last much longer.

For the past year, Big Science has bought into the radical Left’s call to eliminate “systemic racism” from all walks of life. Journal editors have stopped everything to do their expected penance. For example, Nature Communications printed a piece June 22 titled, “An actionable anti-racism plan for geoscience organizations.” What does geoscience have to do with anti-racism? It sounds like an agenda written by Black Lives Matter, using all the politically appropriate buzzwords:

Here we present a twenty-point anti-racism plan that organizations can implement to build an inclusive, equitable and accessible geoscience community. Enacting it will combat racism, discrimination, and the harassment of all members.

But things are getting out of hand. Now,

  • Space is racist.
  • Cauliflower is racist.
  • Math is racist.

Science editors reading the news must be mumbling, “Huh?”

An article by Laura Hollis in The Western Journal, reposted today by WND, is titled, “Now space is racist.” It quotes a course description at Cornell that is surely too crazy for scientists to accept:

Conventional wisdom would have it that the “black” in black holes has nothing to do with race. Surely there can be no connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness. Can there?

The answer offered: indeed there is! It was not the opinion of astrophysicists at the university where Carl Sagan once taught that science was the salvation of mankind. It was the opinion of “Black Studies scholars and fiction writers who ‘implicitly and explicitly posit just such a connection,'” the article says, quoting the course description directly:

Contemporary Black Studies theorists, artists, fiction writers implicitly and explicitly posit just such a connection. Theorists use astronomy concepts like “black holes” and “event horizons” to interpret the history of race in creative ways, while artists and musicians conjure blackness through cosmological themes and images.

Hollis’ article is noteworthy for the reactions that some have tweeted about the Cornell course:

  • “Even the hard sciences are no longer immune to the ongoing racial hysteria.”

  • “In other words, ideologically corrupted social theorists are hijacking astrophysics to misinterpret history by using unfalsifiable social theories.”

  • “If you want to know what an intellectual wasteland the Ivy League has become, at Cornell they are wondering whether ‘black holes’ are racist.”

This could start a major rift between the Science Department and the Humanities Department, and maybe even a rift with the Administration. Whether or not that happens, clearly things have gone too far if radical leftists think that the term “black hole” is an affront to blacks or an affirmation of blackness as a racial identity. What’s next? White keys on the piano are racist? Will students be required to compose and perform pentatonic music on the black keys for fear of being called ‘white supremacists’? Will the Music Department be the next to wake up if the nonsense continues?

There’s precedent for such a rift. When the Social Construction theorists starting deconstructing literature in terms of modern ideas of postmodernism, at one point scientists had enough. The famous Sokal Hoax of 1994 was Big Science’s way of laughing them off the intellectual stage. And if scientists denounce an idea, the ripple effects in culture weaken radicals’ efforts to give it traction in politics.

Words have to mean things for science to work. The Social Constructionists twisted words to mean things that the original authors never intended. That’s exactly what the Far Left is doing again, when they twist scientific terms to mean racial things that were never in the mind of historical scientists. Black is a color identified with many neutral and good things: coffee, electrical wire and tape, TV sets and audio components, plastic pipe, anti-reflective material, bird feathers, melanin, shoe leather, black-tie dinners and a thousand other things having nothing to do with race. Scientists need the words black and white in their neutral sense to do their normal work.

Historians remember when the USSR and Red China labeled its science by whether or not it supported the regime. Some scientific terms and concepts were interpreted in terms of ‘Western capitalist ideology’ and outlawed as insufficiently Marxist-Leninist. The communist leaders purged scientists who were not sufficiently vetted as loyal. Musicians like Dmitri Shostakovich, too, were under pressure in the Soviets’ all-out effort for ideological purity.

This time, the movement trying to impose a socialist utopia on America and western nations is not yet in full totalitarian control. There may be time for Big Science to back out.

No reasonable person these days defends racism. Extreme sensitivity about race, gender and other “victim groups” may turn Big Science against the Far Left. If they get angry enough and turn on the radicals, the public may also gain courage to stop the nonsense. If the anti-racists come after you, laugh. Laugh your way out the door and then surround yourself with logical people who will laugh with you. Post the nonsense on whatever social media will not censor it, and start a Laugh-In that will shame the evil perpetrators of Marxism where they belong: back into grave of that fly-infested, freeloading, peasant-hating, womanizing scoundrel Karl Marx.




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