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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Where Science is Not Allowed

For much of modern culture Science is the new god. Forget God. We don't need Him anymore. I mean, we're alright with the whole "be kind" kind of thing, but nothing really religious. Science can explain where the universe came from. Science can tell you what causes weather and disasters. Science knows the origins of human beings. Science rejects your puny God. You anti-Science "faith" types can go now. We have a new god.

Well, almost.

We've replaced God with Science unless something else is preferred. For instance, we will not allow Science to deter us from affirming that there is such a thing as "non-binary gender." It is absolutely foreign to Science. There is no measure of "gender fluidity." You can't test for "He was born a male, but he's actually a female." But Science is not allowed in this question. We will do what we want.

Another clear no-go zone for Science is the question of human life. Oh, sure, Science can tell us that human life begins at conception, but don't you dare ask Science for a definition of "personhood." Not gonna happen. So while Science has no possibility of "human person" and "human non-person," we do. Do not point out that this kind of "non-person human" is right out of 18-19th century slavery, eugenics, and Nazi Germany. The "untermenschen" -- the "under men" -- the concept of the non-person people is precisely how slavery and the Holocaust got their power to exist. That is the current modus operandi of modern abortion theory. So, no, Science is not welcome here. We will do what we want.

These types of things are obvious. Don't tell us that Science says that transgenders commit suicide at an alarmingly higher rate than others and that it isn't a product of not being accepted. Don't point out the Scientific proof that "marriage" used in terms of "same-sex" is not the same thing as "marriage" in terms of opposite sex. In these kinds of situations, we do not want facts. But there are others. In other cases we "welcome" Science because it backs our current norm which defines our current morality. One example of that is the question of corporal punishment. "Studies" have "proven" that spanking "is linked to aggression, antisocial behavior, mental health problems, cognitive difficulties, low self-esteem, and a whole host of other negative outcomes." (Gershoff ET, Grogan-Kaylor A. Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses. Journal of Family Psychology. 2016.) There! We like Science. Except that we have a problem. Science here disagrees with ... Science. Did the studies differentiate between illegal abuse or enraged spankings and spankings done calmly? No. Turns out that the latter do not have the same negative outcomes. Do the studies figure out causation? That is, there is correlation, perhaps, but what makes them think that it is a cause? Did the studies ask what happens in the case of loving parents that use spanking as a careful and limited tool to teach their children proper behavior? No. But, that's okay. The findings of the other studies are fine with us, regardless of whether or not they are reliable, well-formed, or reasonable. Or, whatever you do, don't ask Science about the actual origins of the species ... or anything else. In the end they admit they don't know. Or, worse, they jettison rationality and go with "Everything that exists came from nothing at all." In the end Science denies Science because nothing can come from nothing and there are too many Scientific problems with the Science of the origin of the species. No, no, not that Science. In cases like this the Science we admit is the Science we like.

I guess, then, there is some sort of consistency. Religion is okay when it says what we want. Science is allowed when it agrees with us. That which does not agree with what we want is not allowed. In the end, then, we are god and we'll happily admit anything that bows the knee to us. Done!


Craig said...

You might have briefly touched on this, but nowhere is this more apparent than in the discussion of origins. The current best scientific explanation of origins is pretty friendly to the Judeo/Christian concept of "In the beginning...", yet it isn't stopping some pretty fanciful theories. The lengths that are gone to to try to open the door for everything coming from nothing and life magically appearing from non life, are creative if sometimes strange. Yet, these don't even touch on how nothing gives us information. It's kind of amusing to watch people who are taken seriously, actually posit that "Aliens did it." as a possible answer. It's also interesting to watch people who effectively worship Science, simply ignore it when it is convenient.

Stan said...

Yes, although "sometimes strange" is an extreme understatement. Like the idea, "Wait, you reject a higher being as the cause but side with an alien without evidence?" Frankly the "An alien did it" idea is one of the more tame versions that I can find.