There was a “march for science” in Washington D.C. yesterday, purportedly to defend science funding and “evidence-based policy.” Dominated by ideological leftists like Bill Nye and preoccupied with leftist concerns like diversity, it has faced accusations of being an attempt to “dress up the marchers’ political beliefs as science.” But perhaps the science march should be given the benefit of the doubt. If their priority truly is science, and not pushing a particular political doctrine, then they should have no problem acknowledging the following scientific facts, which are a frequent cause of panic, outrage, and denialism on the left.
1) There Are Only Two Genders
This fact is particularly popular amongst people who question the “science march’s” commitment to, well, science.
The idea that there are only two genders, male or female, and that you have to be born either one or the other is a basic truth acknowledged by most people. Biologically, it is irrefutable: humans are a sexually dimorphic species. The only exceptions are the tiny minority of intersex people, who in very rare cases are born with chromosomal types that do not align with regular male-female patterns.
That’s the only exception. If you are not intersex, you are a man or a woman. You certainly aren’t one of Facebook’s 58 gender options, which extend to “lesboflexible,” “agender” and “pansexual.”
Will the Science March organizers acknowledge this inconvenient truth? They certainly haven’t done so yet. And given that feminists bullied them out of using the word “female,” it may be a long time coming.
2) Race is Not a Social Construct
Sorry Rachel Dolezal, you’re white. The case for a biological basis for race, and all the differences of skin color, height, weight and physical characteristics that come with it, is overwhelming. Indeed, the biology of race is so real that you can trace it with a DNA test.
Yet Bill Nye, one of the faces of the science march, thinks otherwise. Here is his brilliant argument:
We obsess about whether our dog is a pug-Jack Russell terrier mix with corgi overtones and an oaky finish. ‘An approachable little dog,’ whatever. They’re all dogs, okay? And so the idea of a purebred is just a human construct. There’s no such thing – in a sense there’s no such thing as a purebred dog.
Yes Bill, if we didn’t name Corgis Corgis, they wouldn’t be Corgis. But they’d still be biologically distinct from Jack Russells. That’s science.
3) Green Energy is Inefficient
Climate change and renewable energy is one of the chief causes of the Science March, championed by Bill Nye and others. The march was deliberately scheduled to take place on Earth Day, when people are supposed to demonstrate their support for the environment by turning all their lights on (MILO recognizes Earth Day by turning all his electronic devices up to max).
Yet many of the fossil fuel alternatives championed by the eco-warriors are woefully inefficient. Wind farms in particular are a poster child for wastefulness, operating at 90 percent capacity or above for just 17 hours a year. Solar energy is another shocker – according to electrical engineering professor Petr Beckmann, it would take 1,000 hours of pure sunshine for a 15-square inch solar panel to generate the same amount of energy as a single lump of coal.
In the U.K., vast sums of money have been poured into green energy schemes, only to disappear after the companies that took advantage of government spending either went into administration or failed to deliver.
Another problem for environmentalists: wind turbines kill more birds of prey like eagles, raptors, and kestrals than deliberate shootings and poisoning.
4) Inequality is Not (Predominantly) Socially Constructed
One of the most troubling scientific facts for the left concerns the heritability of intelligence and behaviour. In the 1960s and 70s, the consensus in the fields of psychology and sociology argued that both intelligence and behaviour are wholly or mostly shaped by our external environment. In other words, if we grow up surrounded by books, with smart parents and good teachers, we become smart ourselves. Alternatively, if we grow up surrounded by poverty and crime, we’re more likely to fall into poverty and crime ourselves. Unequal environment, unequal outcomes.
This theory is central to the thinking of the left. It’s also long past its sell-by date. Known as the “Standard Social Science Model,” it has been undermined by a growing body of research which highlights the innate, genetic factors that drive human behaviour and achievement.
The research from geneticist Robert Plomin is particularly difficult to argue with. Plomin has used studies of twins raised in separate households to determine the heritability of character traits. He has found that even when a twin is raised in isolation from their biological parents, they still end up far more similar to their sibling – and to their biological parents – than they do to their foster parents. Plomin has estimated that 58 percent of variation in school test scores can be accounted for by inherited ability.
To test the Science March’s commitment to science, ask them – repeatedly – to comment on Plomin’s research.
5) Men and Women Are Born Different
The Science March has made a big deal out of the lack of diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). “The lack of inclusivity and diversity in STEM thwarts scientific advancements,” says an official statement on the march’s website.
But diversity in STEM, particularly gender diversity, is not something that can be solved by policy. Feminists insist that the lack of women in some STEM fields, like physics, is caused by entrenched sexism. However, these accounts consistently fail to explain why this alleged sexism is nowhere to be found in biology, where 58 percent of doctorates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees are awarded to women. Or in zoology, psychology, and veterinary science — all scientific fields, all dominated by women. So why do women choose the latter, but not the former? It it just sexism?
The answer can again be found by looking at studies that trace the innate differences, and preferences, of men and women. Autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen has been studying the differences between men and women for over a decade, ever since he discovered that boys were far more likely than girls to develop autism. His research has found that boys (on average) are born with brains oriented towards understanding systems rather than people, emotions, and living things.
This is backed up by research on newborns, which show clear differences between male and female newborns in their preferences. Before they are nine months old, infants show gendered preferences with regards to toys, with male infants gravitating towards trucks and mechanical objects, and girls gravitating towards dolls. The study on newborns in particular helps rule out the the theory that sexist influences from a child’s social environment are the cause of gender differences.
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