Last month, Scientific American endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in its 175-year history. The newspaper focused on President Donald Trump’s statements regarding the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and climate change, contrasting those with Biden’s pledges on those two issues. Yet Biden does not represent the “candidate of science” if there ever has been such a thing.
In fact, Joe Biden has adopted positions that contradict the conclusions of science on three key issues.
Joe Biden doesn’t just support abortion, he wants to force taxpayers to fund abortion, both at home and abroad. The Democratic nominee has pledged to sign a law codifying Roe v. Wade (1973) should the Supreme Court strike down that decision, and bills Biden supported Senate bills that included no limits on abortion in the second and third trimesters.
Since 1973, however, biology and technology have revealed more and more about human life as babies develop in the womb. By 7 to 8 weeks in the womb, a baby has developed all of his or her vital organs, including bones and cartilage. Ultrasounds can pick up a faint heartbeat as early as 5.5 weeks gestation. By weeks 21 to 23, the baby’s eyes have developed and a stethoscope can pick up the baby’s heartbeat. Medical science has gotten so good that extremely premature babies born as early as 22 weeks gestation have been able to survive outside the womb.
Perhaps for this reason, only 21 percent of Americans say abortion should be “available to a woman any time during the entire pregnancy,” while a vast majority of Americans (70 percent) say abortion should be restricted to the first three months of pregnancy (24 percent); cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother (26 percent); only cases involving a threat to the mother’s life (11 percent); or never in any circumstance (9 percent).
Yet the best science arguably supports a complete ban on abortion, not based on a baby’s development in the womb, but based on the fact that an individual human life begins at the moment of conception.
According to a 2019 study, most Americans believe biologists should decide when human life begins, and 95 percent of biologists say that human life begins at conception. Three-quarters (75 percent) of biologists agreed with the statement, “In developmental biology, fertilization marks the beginning of a human’s life since that process produces an organism with a human genome that has begun to develop in the first stage of the human life cycle.”
Many of the biologists identified themselves as pro-choice and responded to the study angrily, but the basic fact of the matter is that a unique human individual comes into existence at the moment of conception. If all people have the right to life, that right should extend to the earliest moments in pregnancy.
Unlike Joe Biden, I do not believe “science” should have the last word when it comes to political policy. I do not believe the government has the right to dictate a mother’s decision in cases where the pregnancy would legitimately threaten her life, for example. Americans need to work out exactly what the restrictions for abortion should be, and they should do that on the state level.
That said, Biden’s radical pro-abortion position contradicts the best science on conception and fetal development.
Biden has jumped on board the transgender train, even championing gender transition for 8-year-old children. He has supported transgender options on government documents in the name of “accurate representation” and he has pledged to gut religious freedom protections for people who disagree with transgender identity, condemning Trump for giving “hate” a “safe harbor.” He would force schools, businesses, and state governments to open women’s spaces — bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons, sports leagues, and homeless shelters — to biological men who claim to identify as women, in the name of fighting “discrimination.”
Yet science does not support these extreme policies.
Human beings are male and female from conception onward. Biological sex is engraved on each individual’s DNA, and it impacts his or her development from the womb through puberty and into old age.
For these reasons, it is extremely unfair to force girls to compete with boys, who have numerous biological advantages for sports. After the onset of puberty, males have larger lungs, larger hearts, an increased number of muscle fibers and muscle mass, higher myoglobin within muscle fibers (enabling faster transfer of oxygen to those muscles), larger and longer bones, increased mineral density in bones, and height. These factors very, but on average, they give males an edge, and sporting events have long had different standards for males and females.
The rush to embrace transgender identity has caused serious problems in the medical field. Last year, a pregnant woman rushed to the hospital with abdominal pains. Since she identified as a man, however, the doctors immediately dismissed the idea that she could be going into labor. They did not give her the treatment she needed, and the baby died.
Male and female bodies also react differently to certain types of medication. A drug that might cure a disease in a male might create other problems for a female. Transgender identity — and an insistence that transgender identity is “more real” than biological sex — obscures a person’s biological makeup and can cause serious damage in the medical arena.
Finally, many people who once identified as transgender and later embraced their biological sex (known as detransitioners) have come forward, lamenting the irreversible changes they made to their own bodies in search of a false identity. While the American Journal of Psychiatry originally claimed to have discovered evidence that transgender surgery improves mental health outcomes, the paper issued a retraction this past August.
The tragic stories of detransitioners seem reminiscent of anorexic girls who endanger their health by starving themselves, falsely thinking that they are fat.
“I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman, that’s my reality,” admitted Cari Stella in a personal YouTube video. A man who formerly identified as a woman and had his male genitals removed and replaced with a facsimile of female parts later lamented his “Frankenstein hack job.”
Some misled doctors are actually harming kids as young as 8 years old by giving them so-called puberty-blocking drugs. Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an independent private practice endocrinologist in Rocklin, Calif., said of such drugs, “I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease.” He told PJ Media that this “treatment” causes hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, a condition where the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.
Biden and other advocates for transgender identity may mean well, but their policies ignore the science of biological sex and would cause tremendous damage.
3. Climate change
In September, Joe Biden gave a speech on the California wildfires, condemning Trump as a “climate arsonist” and promising that if Americans elect Biden, they can expect fewer fires, floods, and hurricanes than they would under a second Trump term. He has advocated radical policies to transition America away from fossil fuels in the name of saving the environment.
But do these policies fit with the best science on the issue? That depends on whom you ask. Contrary to alarmists’ claims, it is simply not true that “97 percent” of scientists support the notion that burning carbon emissions will bring about catastrophic climate change — that statistic comes from an extremely misleading study.
While it stands to reason that burning fossil fuels may impact the air and heat the earth, climate alarmist predictions based on this premise have proven wrong time and time again for 50 years. In a particularly egregious example, alarmists in 1988 predicted that rising sea levels would bury the Maldives islands beneath the waves by 2018. In reality, not only are the Maldives still above the waves but they have actually been growing larger in recent years.
Politicians like Joe Biden can repeat “science” until they are blue in the face, but that won’t change the fact that the Maldives stubbornly refuse to sink like Atlantis.
Yet Biden’s suggestion that fossil fuels are responsible for worsening California’s devastating fires, the floods in the Midwest, and hurricanes on the East Coast is also off the mark.
The California fires, devastating as they are, trace back to poor forest management, not climate change. I grew up in the foothills of bone-dry Colorado and as the son of a fireman, I spent my summers cleaning up debris from the forest floor, knowing that this “duff” put our house in danger of forest fires. Forest management is key, but climate activists have opposed the clearing of brush. California has a big backlog when it comes to controlled burns and other mitigation efforts.
The Midwest has flooded repeatedly and evidence of hurricanes on the East Coast dates back more than 700 years. Many peer-reviewed studies have disputed the notion that carbon emissions make hurricanes worse.
Yet it seems Biden is all in on the climate change bandwagon. In April, he tried not to let a crisis go to waste, calling the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic a “wake-up call to action on climate change.” As I wrote at the time:
Darn those sneaky all-powerful carbon emissions — somehow they made bats get sick, made human beings study coronaviruses in bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, made some researcher leave while infected, and made the Chinese Communist Party lie to cover it up and enable the spread. It seems the only thing they can’t do is actually bring about the climate disaster predicted by so many alarmists.
To the hammer (and sickle?) of climate alarmism and government regulation, every natural disaster is a nail.
While Scientific American may have been right to fault Trump’s hyperbole on the coronavirus pandemic — the president did make unrealistic promises about the virus just disappearing — it was wrong to champion Joe Biden as some kind of hero for science. The Democrat’s positions on abortion, transgenderism, and climate change are far outside what the best scientific evidence would support, and they should utterly disqualify him from this kind of endorsement.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.