Sunday, October 15, 2017

Heather Heying: "First, They Came For The Biologists..."

"...The postmodernist left on campus is intolerant not only of opposing views, but of science itself." They didn't actually come for the biologists first...but they've been coming for them for awhile. They particularly hate the fact that there are real natural kinds, and, in particular, that sexes and races are real kinds. That doesn't fit so well with social constructionist mumbo-jumbo (though it's all so confused that it's probably not outright inconsistent with anything...).
   Anyway, I'm inclined to agree with Heying, of course: the left is currently more anti-science than the right. The right's anti-science tendencies are pretty mundane and common: like everybody else, they tend to reject scientific conclusions that they don't like. The left's anti-science tendencies are deep and theoretical: influential sectors of the left reject the very idea of of truth--and the ideas of objectivity, reason and knowledge. Or, worse, they "relativize" them to e.g. culture. Give me skepticism any day over that sort of nonsense. Maybe even worse is the mumbo-jumbo-ness of it all. The left doesn't state its (erroneous) positions clearly--it spews out a familiar fog of nonsense terms that's utterly baffling to almost everyone. Clearly stating clear errors is one thing; undermining the very possibility of clear, rational discussion is much, much worse.


Blogger Aa said...

I would disagree that the left is more antiscience. The left does not deny climate change, the left does not deny evolution, etc.

Granted, there are the antivaxxers on both sides, and gender/sex/etc on the far left.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

Oh yea, about science. I think this is cool:,37.03,1500

You can watch global wind patterns and if you scroll over to Europe you can see the hurricane that might slam into Ireland in the next day or two. Clicking on a spot gives you coordinates and wind speed.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Whoa that wind thing is super cool, thx!

Eh, I'm no good anymore for making comparative claims about the right and the left. I'm currently too pissed off at the left. But, in addition to the more theoretical points, there's all sorts of specific science that the left gets wrong: GMOs, IQ, all the sex/gender and race craziness, their general over-inclination to emphasize social determinants of behavior and underestimate the importance of biology... The right seems to have basically dropped the creationism stuff...and personally I'm not sure that they're a a whole lot wronger than the left about climate change...but that's obviously a risky opinion.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

They are a whooooollleeee lot wronger about climate change. Even my most skeptical colleagues agree it's happening, and humans are the main contributers to it.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Critical Spirits said...

At least half of my cohort here at the institute thinks that race does not map on to any natural kind (or that natural kinds don't exist in the first place), and they look at me all crazy when I suggest otherwise.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Pete Mack said...

Winston: you seem to claim that race is either a scientifically distinct classification OR a socially determined one. Is it possible that both are true, at different times? The trouble with race as science is the fairly vague accepted definition of black: It includes both Nubians and Bushmen. But these are about as far apart as whites and Asians. It also includes people who are something like 1/8 African ancestry. So before you make claims about race, you'd better have a more specific definition.

5:11 PM  

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