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Bolshevising Queering Science

A reader writes:

Take a look at this:

https://not-binary.org/statement/ [1]

I first got wind of it earlier today when it started popping up in the Twitter feed of one of the academics at my institution (favorably, of course). It’s a statement protesting Trump’s proposed sex definition change arguing that there is no way to definitively determine someone’s biological sex, and even if there were, that evidence should be ignored if it contradicts a person’s self-identified gender.

The statement currently has over 1600 signatures from scientists around the country. More than five are from my institution. This is where we are. This is why I don’t operate a social media account, don’t socialize with co-workers, and censor myself very, very carefully when I publish my writing. It’s not because I’m anti-social. It’s because I’m afraid. How long is it going to be before someone asks me the wrong question, or I slip and make some statement that falls afoul of the gender / race / political orthodoxy, and I get the pink slip? I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in academia, but I do know I’m on my way out. To stay here more than another three years or so is out of the question.

Academia is no longer a safe place to be if you’re a traditional Christian, or even if you just hold mainstream views on sexuality from a mere ten years ago. That’s the long and short of it.

Here’s an excerpt from the statement:

As scientists, we are compelled to write to you, our elected representatives, about the current administration’s proposal to legally define gender as a binary condition determined at birth, based on genitalia, and with plans to clarify disputes using “genetic testing”. This proposal is fundamentally inconsistent not only with science, but also with ethical practices, human rights, and basic dignity.

change_me

The proposal is in no way “grounded in science” as the administration claims. The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex. Furthermore, even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.

So now actual scientists are asserting that genitalia and chromosomes tell us nothing meaningful about maleness and femaleness. That “the lived experience of people’s own gender identities” — that is to say, the individual’s desires — are more important that objective facts. Scientists are saying this. And not just a few scientists, either: over 1,600 of them.

From the International Journal of Epidemiology [2] (2007), this piece by Martin McKee on how ideology compromised science in the USSR. Excerpt:

In 1917, the USSR inherited a thriving scientific community, with strong collaborative links abroad, especially with Germany. During the nineteenth century, Mendeleev had developed the periodic table. Others contributed significantly in areas such as physics, mathematics, mineralogy and agriculture. Borodin undertook groundbreaking work in organic chemistry while composing many highly acclaimed musical works. In 1904, Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for Medicine while, 4 years later, Mechnikov shared the same prize with Erlich for their work on phagocytes. Scientific societies flourished, as did specialist journals. These journals were the setting for vigorous debate, focused on the novelty and objectivity of research. Ideological intrusions were rejected or ignored.

In the years immediately after the revolution, Soviet science continued to prosper, viewed as a contributor to the creation of ‘the first socialist society’. Thus, during the 1920s, the scientific community was protected from the hardships experienced by the general population. Foreign literature was quickly translated into Russian and contacts with scientists from abroad were routine. However, the replacement of aristocratic patronage by state funding did mean that a small number of officials, and by extension senior scientists blessed with their favour, were able them to exert almost total control over their specialist fields. However, almost at once, the Bolshevik Peoples’ Commissariat for Enlightenment engaged in a twin track policy of co-opting the talents of the existing bourgeois scientists while at the same time creating a new cadre of proletarians who would develop a new Communist science. leading to the emergence of an alternative model. The Communist Academy, established in 1923, conformed to the structure of the Party, with a self-appointed Presidium of high ranking officials exerting discipline over its members. Papers were discussed on the basis of their ideology rather than their validity or novelty. Its journal ‘Under the Banner of Marxism’ stated that ‘we are not investigators who observe from a distance the development of ideas, the struggle of social and class forces and the tendencies in our society. We are fighters, our journal is a journal fighting for the materialist world view’.

Over time, traditional scientists saw the benefits of close association with the Party. Increasingly, the word Marxism appeared in the titles of their papers, even if not in the texts. Scientists holding entirely contrary views used almost identical arguments to contend that their version of reality was the true Marxist one. Soon, one’s ability to claim Marxist credentials became the main criterion for advancement and those holding opposing views were criticized for their anti-materialist views. However, the co-existence came to an abrupt end in 1928, when Stalin, concluding that the adherents to Communist science were now sufficiently numerous, called for ‘a mass attack of the revolutionary youth on science’. Scientists who refused to conform, or who were denounced as a consequence of personal rivalries, were sent to the Gulag, where many died. Institutions were subject to periodic reviews which invariably concluded with the words ‘The leadership of the institute has been Bolshevised’. Those expelled were replaced by younger staff promoted from the children of the proletariat.

You think wokeness is going to stop after it ruins the humanities? Think again.

Meanwhile, I wonder how the scientists would overrule the lived experience of this man’s temporal identity?: [3]

That’s not enough for Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old who feels like he’s in his 40s. The Dutch pensioner is asking a court in his hometown of Arnhem, southeast of Amsterdam, to change his birth certificate so that it says he took his first breath on March 11, 1969, rather than on March 11, 1949. The judges heard his case Monday and promised they would render a verdict in the next several weeks.

Ratelband sees his request as no different from a petition to change his name or the gender he was assigned at birth — and isn’t bothered that this comparison might offend transgender people, whose medical needs have been recognized [4] by the American Medical Association. It comes down to free will, he maintains.

“Because nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name, or if we want to change our gender. So I want to change my age. My feeling about my body and about my mind is that I’m about 40 or 45.”

More:

Ratelband’s desire to remake himself is distinctly American, he said, and comes from his training under Tony Robbins, the motivational guru and master of the life hack. He lived and traveled with Robbins for about six months in the late 1980s, he said, and came to believe that “you have to make your dreams come true from visualization.”

“This is American thinking,” he said.

Read the whole thing. [3]

Go, Emile, go, you and your radically nominalist self! Accelerate the contradictions!

It’s amusing, but in a culture whose elites live by the pseudo-religion of Scientism, in which scientists have the authority of priests in ages past, the corruption of science by ideology is terrifying.

Back to the start of this post: this Christian reader works in a university, and is afraid to say anything to anybody, for fear he might say the “wrong” thing, and it will cost him his job. It’s Woke Totalitarianism, and it’s the coming thing.

UPDATE: Matt in VA just posted this comment:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
― Theodore Dalrymple

UPDATE.2: Reader Hal comments:

It’s worse than this Rod.

Very recently, an editorial supporting this nonsense (and opposing the HHS decision to define sex) appeared in Nature magazine.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07238-8 [5]

If you’re not aware, Nature is one of the premiere scientific journals in the world. Being published in Nature confers a high mark of legitimacy to your work. Publishing and editorial decisions from Nature can carry a lot of weight in one’s specific field as well as the greater scientific community.

For Nature to get behind this movement is a big deal. It can lead to reluctance on the part of scientists to challenge these ideas, even if they find the ideas entirely laughable. There’s a great deference towards consensus opinion among scientists, and nothing says that stronger than the declared blessing of the best and brightest minds according to the premiere journals.

The funny thing is, regardless of whatever lip service they give to this stuff, the doctors and scientists of the world will continue to carry on their work as if sexual dimorphism is real. When they set up clinical trials or animal studies, they’ll divide their groups into men and women. No one running a study on a new drug or vaccine is going to perform preliminary analysis to look at all the different features these ideologues think makes sex “ambiguous.” This is even doubly so for animal studies, where low-paid lab techs spend a few moments dividing up the animals on the basis of their genitals.

No, this is a move entirely of politics and ideology, and it worries me that it’s gotten the imprimatur of the scientific publishing world.

113 Comments (Open | Close)

113 Comments To "Bolshevising Queering Science"

#1 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On November 9, 2018 @ 8:54 pm

Ain’t ben

Rod is right, because statements such as this

There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.

Are utterly dishonest, and (willingly) treat the male/female dychotomy as if it were a sort of classification of human beings.
It’s not. It’s the human reproduction mechanism (2 gametes = 2 sexes).
Sexual development disorders just break up or impair the mechanism.

#2 Comment By MichaelGC On November 9, 2018 @ 11:37 pm

On a hunch, I copied and pasted the list of esteemed scientists into an Excel spreadsheet then used formulas to line up the names, the discipline, and the institution into 3 columns. These are the fields of study that come out in just a few minutes of searching and filtering.

Sociology 45
mathematics 36
geograpy 14
astrophysics 23
geology 16
physics 130
masters or phd candidates 464

These are the supposed gender authorities who know better than anyone else what men and women are and are not, and condescendingly tell us how backwards we are to think differently than them.

The media has long since been weaponized for the culture war and is engaged in brainwashing. This is just the latest salvo.

The New York Times started the latest round of trans histrionics a few weeks ago when it screeched that the Trump Administration was “erasing” transgender people from existence. Multiple other outlets picked up the story.

The word “gender” does not appear anywhere in Title VII or Title IX code. Only the word “sex” appears and it refers to the distinction between men and women. Thanks to the NYT spreading confusion, people think that the issue is gender and gender identity.

North Carolina passed a bathroom bill a few years back and was immediately the target of a multi-prong attack by the media and the Silicon Valley syndicate. Georgia discussed a similar bill but the governor was stifled into submission by threats from salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. Another stab at representative government in Texas was undermined by the business lobby. Oligarchs were running the show.

What do you do when it is not just a statehouse, easily intimidated, but the federal government that threatens the transgender nonsense by simply relying upon the code as written? You crank up the shrieking by a few more decibels. Get 45 companies to express their shock and dismay. Get “scientists” to sign a shrill manifesto, Transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people #WontBeErased by pseudoscience.

There is nothing to erase. That which does not exist does not need erasing.

This is called gaslighting, trying to create a media climate in which you doubt your sanity for accepting that the sexes are self-evident facts of life. No one should be the least bit surprised that we find ourselves here, considering what has already happened.

#3 Comment By MichaelGC On November 10, 2018 @ 12:24 am

To that list, add 10 whose discipline is political science. Scientists.

There is also one who is listed as a Marriage and Family Therapist whose institution is listed as “Independent.”

I’m calling this a piece of bogus propaganda. Many, if not most of these so-called signatories would probably be surprised to know that their names are on this list, at least the ones who are alive would be.

#4 Comment By Aaron Gross On November 10, 2018 @ 2:07 am

Rod, you didn’t read the statement very carefully. You wrote:

So now actual scientists are asserting that genitalia and chromosomes tell us nothing meaningful about maleness and femaleness.

Here’s what was actually written:

The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.

I don’t know how anyone could disagree with what the scientists wrote in those two sentences. But whether or not you agree, it’s either very careless or very dishonest to paraphrase it the way you did.

#5 Comment By Elijah On November 10, 2018 @ 10:16 am

@ BF – exactly. When a scientist can tell me on a scan if I’m thinking about peach ice cream or the Eucharist, call me. Until then this kind of science is highly imprecise.

#6 Comment By JonF On November 10, 2018 @ 11:58 am

Re: “To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself.

There are however necessary lies in life, and kindness lies. I have an elderly acquaintance going through treatment for cancer. We all tell him he looks great when we see him. He doesn’t; he looks bad. But we’d be the worst jerks in the world if we told him that instead.

#7 Comment By JonF On November 10, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

Re: That’s not enough for Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old who feels like he’s in his 40s. The Dutch pensioner is asking a court in his hometown of Arnhem, southeast of Amsterdam, to change his birth certificate so that it says he took his first breath on March 11, 1969, rather than on March 11, 1949.

As an aside, if we get to the point that humans experience relativistic time dilation we will have to deal with the fact that some people will not be the age that terrestrial chronology says they are.

#8 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On November 10, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

AZ Gal

I have read enough of Erin Manning to know that she loves you more than any political acvist peddling lies and instrumentalizing your condition. She is a Christian, so her love is unhindered by the inherent imperfection of the human condition.

Moreover I’m pretty sure that the physicians who chirurgically “fixed” the sex of intersex babies soon after birth were (are) Progressives. Only, of a kind which is now ouf of fashion. The fashionable progressive physician of our day are specialized in mutilating and impairing the development of healthy teenagers with quite normal crises of identity.
This is not a Conservative mindset. Conservatives are prudent, and prefer to leave things as they are and see how they turn out before doing anything.

#9 Comment By anon On November 10, 2018 @ 5:24 pm

“Conservatives are prudent, and prefer to leave things as they are and see how they turn out before doing anything.”

That hasn’t been true since Reagan remade the GOP as a right-wing liberal party.

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 10, 2018 @ 10:11 pm

As an aside, if we get to the point that humans experience relativistic time dilation…

And what point is THAT? As far as I know, one has to be traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light to experience relativistic time dilation. It is not a feature of ordinary time on planet earth, nor something to be “experienced” either by meditation or the latest smart phone app. Also, someone who experiences it will actually AGE faster (or slower) than those around them, as distinct from declaring something to be which has not happened.

I have an elderly acquaintance going through treatment for cancer. We all tell him he looks great when we see him. He doesn’t; he looks bad. But we’d be the worst jerks in the world if we told him that instead.

He probably doesn’t take your kind words as impetus to apply for a job as a male fashion model though.

The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.

That statement may be true. But it was the kernel of truth that a lie is wrapped around. It doesn’t actually mean much, and if considered objectively, it would serve as a warning against formulating broad new policies around unsubstantiated assumptions. Also, it does not refute that male and female are distinct conditions, which exist irrespective of human imagining.

#11 Comment By DRK On November 11, 2018 @ 10:57 am

Moreover I’m pretty sure that the physicians who chirurgically “fixed” the sex of intersex babies soon after birth were (are) Progressives. Only, of a kind which is now ouf of fashion. The fashionable progressive physician of our day are specialized in mutilating and impairing the development of healthy teenagers with quite normal crises of identity.

Nope. The pioneer of intersex surgery was Dr. Hugh Hampton Young, son of a Confederate general. He was interested in politics and was known to be a supporter of Albert Cabell Ritchie, a conservative from Maryland who unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination in 1924 and 1932. You may be right about John Money, though, the Johns Hopkins sexologist who was responsible for the tragic Reimer case.

Thinking they know best is an occupational hazard for doctors of whatever political persuasion.

In any case, the Surgeons General Jocelyn Elders, David Sacher (Clinton appointees) and Richard Carmona (George W. Bush appointee) have recently signed a joint statement strongly condemning genital surgery on intersex infants.

[6]

#12 Comment By Rob G On November 11, 2018 @ 3:42 pm

Apparently Rob Roy‘s 18th century Englishmen aren’t the only ones who have a problem telling the difference between arse and quim.

#13 Comment By Bonehead647 On November 14, 2018 @ 12:09 pm

“The idea that science can make definitive conclusions about a person’s sex or gender is fundamentally flawed.”

So states the above-mentioned editorial in the respectable journal of science, _Nature_. While some of us may disagree with this claim, it is important to recognize that there is a tremendous financial benefit to be gained from such a judgment. Scientists can now request funding to develop procedures and technologies that – if their research leads to a breakthrough – can accurately determine the sex of an individual. Imagine the consequences of such a discovery!

Needless to say, taxpayers will need to make a significant financial sacrifice to fund this kind of research. Rest assured that such a sacrifice is good for science and good for business.