News & Politics

4 Ways the Left Twists Science Into Propaganda

Thousands of scientists and their supporters including Bill Nye the Science Guy join the March for Science in Washington, D.C., April 22, 2017 .Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca(Sipa via AP Images)

The Left often appeals to science when it comes to salient political issues. Activists attempt to hijack the cultural reverence science commands in order to push its own agenda. Appeals to “science” will not save a flawed perspective in reasoned debate, however.

Here are four ways the Left twists science into propaganda, and why conservatives are right to dispute them.

1. Abortion.

Leftists often employ scientific lingo to suggest that babies in the womb aren’t really babies. Abortion activists refer to unborn babies as “fetuses,” employing a technically correct term in a thinly veiled attempt to dehumanize what is biologically a human and genetically an individual.

From the moment of conception, a fetus has the same DNA as the full-grown adult. This is a scientific fact, and much more salient than the “fetus”/”baby” distinction. By 20 weeks after conception, the unborn human infant can feel pain. Indeed, fetal surgeons treat unborn babies as patients, and they administer anesthesia as early as 18 weeks.

Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans believe human life begins at the moment of conception. Another 15 percent said life begins in the first trimester of pregnancy. Only 14 percent said life begins at “viability outside of the womb,” and only 10 percent said life begins “when a baby is born.” Even so, the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision centered on the question of viability outside the womb, and abortion activists champion that decision and claim a fetus isn’t a baby.

Even on the viability argument, some studies have suggested babies as young as 20-22 weeks after conception can survive outside the womb. Last year, scientists successfully incubated a baby lamb in an artificial womb, suggesting a long-term solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies.

The Left often defends Planned Parenthood as essential for the broad spectrum of women’s health issues. An internal report showed that Planned Parenthood’s services are in decline — all of them except abortion. Pregnancy health centers are rapidly taking the lead in providing counseling, prenatal care, cancer screening and prevention services, and other services.

When activists defend abortion at any time as a “woman’s right,” their position is increasingly at odds with scientific evidence that unborn babies are genetic individuals, can feel pain, and can survive outside the womb at an early age. Even if an unborn baby is technically called a fetus, the Left in this case is attempting to use science to paper up a failing argument.

2. Transgenderism.

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky tweeted, “Some men have a uterus,” repeating the phrase no less than eleven times.

This message argues that biological women who suffer from gender dysphoria — the persistent condition of identifying as the gender opposite your biological sex — and who identify as men should really be considered men. These biological women who have a uterus and who get periods but present themselves as male must change Americans’ perception of gender completely, or so these Leftists claim.

Ivy League Universities like Brown University have already stocked men’s restrooms with tampons, since “men can have periods.” One “man” even gave birth.

Gender dysphoria is a psychological phenomenon. Scientifically, it is true that many people suffer with this condition. That does not mean that transgender identity should be encouraged, however. Various “cures” for gender dysphoria — ways to force a transgender person’s body to conform to the opposite sex — have done undeniable harm.

“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,” Cari Stella, a YouTube artist who once identified as transgender, admitted in a deeply personal video. Max Robinson, a 21-year-old woman who once identified as a man, said of hormone therapy, “It’s not a cure at all.”

Kids who take puberty blockers may suffer from abnormal brain development and bone growth. For teens and adults, estrogen in biological males brings a clinically significant risk of deep-vein thrombosis and testosterone in biological females increases the chance of developing ovarian cysts later in life.

Some of the hormone effects are irreversible. Testosterone in biological females will cause irreversible deepening of the voice and augmentation of the clitoris, while estrogen in biological males will cause irreversible enlargement of breasts.

Tragically, a research university in London refused to fund research into the struggles of those who later rejected their transgender identity, suggesting the research would be “politically incorrect.”

As Bill Nye taught in the 1990s, transgenderism has no basis in genetics. People with two X chromosomes are female, and those with one X and one Y are male. While different societies have different conceptions of how men and women should act, that does not mean it is wise for a man to try to become a woman or vice versa. Even those who undergo complete transgender surgery — like Caitlyn Jenner — cannot alter their DNA.

Worse, transgender ideology arguably fuels the kind of insanity that leads people to mutilate their bodies to become dragon ladies or extraterrestrials.

3. Climate Change.

Bill Nye, “the science guy,” has gone all-in on climate change. The theory goes, since human beings burn greenhouse gases for energy, their emissions put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which causes climate-driven catastrophe.

On this theory, various scientists and scaremongers have predicted that increasing temperatures will lead to melting ice caps, burying cities under water. Last January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicted that climate change will bring flooding in 670 coastal communities, causing six major U.S. cities to become completely submerged.

Last year, Bill Nye — “the science guy” himself! — said humans cause “100 percent” of climate change. He later suggested that older people needed to die in order for younger people to combat climate change.

Whatever Bill Nye says, catastrophic climate models fail to predict the future time and time again. Tom Hartsfield, a scientist and writer with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas, explained that this isn’t a failing of science but a political rejection of nuance in a complex field of study.

“Our global system of air currents, ocean currents, cloud patterns, resonant temperature cycles, energy storage and release mechanisms, and further processes is mind-bogglingly complex,” Hartsfield wrote in RealClearScience. “Presently, the best climate models fall many orders of magnitude short of the power and intricacy needed to effectively predict the long-term climate patterns that emerge from the interactions of all these planetary systems.”

“That’s not a failure of science; it’s just the reality of how tough the problem is,” he concluded.

The climate change narrative is politically convenient for the Left, as it allows activists to predict a doomsday scenario that can only be prevented if citizens surrender their freedom to an overbearing regulatory regime. The science behind the issue is much less clear-cut, however.

When Bill Nye suggested that climate change worsened hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, a meteorologist shot him down, tweeting, “If you believe climate change causes hurricanes, then you’re an idiot.”

Even so, the scientific community itself has become tragically politicized on this issue. Last year, a prominent climatologist resigned from her position at the Georgia Institute of Technology in order to preserve her “scientific integrity,” writing that opposing climate alarmism is “career suicide” in the scientific community.

4. Evolution.

Issues of human origins rarely emerge in political debates, but they are fundamental to the way Americans see the world. The naturalistic theory of evolution by natural selection enjoys a privileged position in the origins debate, with other alternatives excluded at the outset. This theory has run into scientific trouble, however, and there are alternatives.

Stephen C. Meyer, author of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, argued that the scientific consensus on evolution is starting to fall apart. The current understanding of evolution fails “to solve the fundamental problems of new information and new form — you need new information to build new forms of life,” Meyer told PJ Media.

The current “neo-Darwinian” theory of evolution cannot explain the origin of information-rich systems like DNA which are necessary for life, nor huge events in the fossil record like the Cambrian explosion, where vast numbers of species come into existence seemingly from nowhere.

While many dismiss Intelligent Design (ID) as unscientific, it is a scientific theory of origins just like naturalistic evolution.

“The theory of intelligent design, unlike creationism, is not based upon the Bible,” Meyer wrote in Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design. Rather than a Bible-based theory, ID “is based on recent scientific discoveries and what we know about the cause-and-effect structure of the world — specifically, what we know about patterns of evidence that indicate intelligent causes.”

Despite evolution’s weaknesses and ID’s scientific nature, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia continues to smear it as “pseudoscience.” Even Larry Sanger, a co-founder of Wikipedia, has denounced its entry on ID as “appallingly biased.” The site also removed the entry on a notable insect paleontologist who accepted ID, and severely truncated the entry on another scientist ID proponent, removing his scientific accomplishments.

For these actions, Wikipedia won the Discovery Institute’s “Censor of the Year” award last month.

One Ph.D. biologist, Ann Gauger, told PJ Media that the scientific establishment has turned into a “Darwinistic church.”

Evolution as a scientific theory is not a political issue, but evolution as an ideology is. “New Atheists”  and their followers extend the principle of evolution via natural selection to argue that everything happens by chance and that there is no God or ultimate morality.

Once evolution becomes ideological, it can be used to defend almost everything, but people like Bill Nye use it to defend all sorts of deviant sexual practices.

The scientific theory of evolution, true or not, does not undergird the LGBT movement. Instead, it does what all good science does — attempt to explain the way the world works and worked in the past.

Science itself is a search for truth, and the truths it reveals may or may not be political. In the cases of abortion and transgenderism, scientific discoveries suggest the weaknesses in the Left’s position. When it comes to climate change and evolution, the Left attempts to silence debate when the science and its political ramifications are less than clear.

Science works best when unencumbered by political concerns, but when some views are excluded at the outset, that creates problems not just for freedom but for the progress of human knowledge.