Tag Archives: Pressure

Jay Richards explains when you should doubt “scientific consensus”

Jay Richards writing in The American, a publication of the American Enterprise Institute. (H/T Evolution News via Apologetics 315)

This short article summarizes 10 things to look for that hint that “scientific consensus” as a substitute for arguments and evidence.

Excerpt:

How is the ordinary citizen to distinguish, as Andrew Coyne puts it, “between genuine authority and mere received wisdom? Conversely, how do we tell crankish imperviousness to evidence from legitimate skepticism?” Are we obligated to trust whatever we’re told is based on a scientific consensus unless we can study the science ourselves? When can you doubt a consensus? When should you doubt it?

Your best bet is to look at the process that produced, maintains, and communicates the ostensible consensus. I don’t know of any exhaustive list of signs of suspicion, but, using climate change as a test study, I propose this checklist as a rough-and-ready list of signs for when to consider doubting a scientific “consensus,” whatever the subject. One of these signs may be enough to give pause. If they start to pile up, then it’s wise to be suspicious.

Here are the 10 points he discusses:

  • Bundling well-evidenced claims together with speculative claims
  • The use of ad hominem attacks against dissenters
  • The use of coercion to force scientists to join the consensus
  • Publishing and peer review that is cliquish
  • Unwarranted exclusion of dissenters from peer-reviewed literature
  • Misrepresentation of peer-reviewed literature
  • A rush to declare a consensus before it even exists
  • When the subject matter is not easily testable (e.g. – simulations)
  • When defenders resort to phrases like “Scientists say…”
  • When science is used to push for dramatic policies
  • When journalists are not reporting the issue objectively
  • When supports appeal to scientific consensus instead of arguments

One can easily see how this list applies not only to global warming alarmism, but to Darwinism as well.

Assessing feminism’s results: the hook-up culture

This must-read ABC news story should help to open some eyes. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam interviews some young people about the quality of their relationships in the brave new world of feminism.

Prostitution:

“Five minutes and I got $100,” one girl said. “If I’m going to sleep with them, anyway, because they’re good-looking, might as well get paid for it, right?”

Another girl talked about being offered $20 to take off her shirt or $100 to do a striptease on a table at a party.

The girls are almost always from good homes, but their parents are completely unaware, Azam said.

Coercion:

“I think there’s very much trading for relationship favors, almost like ‘you need to do this [to] stay in this relationship,'” one girl told “Good Morning America.”

“There’s a lot of social pressure,” said another. “Especially because of our age, a lot of girls want to be in a relationship and they’re willing to do anything.”

Self-destruction:

“I mean, we’re not looking for our future husbands,” one girl said. “We’re just looking for, maybe like … at our age, especially, I think all of us, both sexes, we have a lot of urges, I guess, that need to be taken care of. So if we resort to a casual thing, no strings attached, it’s perfectly fine.”

Azam said she thinks the “no strings attached” romances could be a defense mechanism against a greater disappointment.

“A lot of girls are disappointed in love,” she said. “And I think they believe they can hook up the way guys do and not care.

Why feminism is to blame

It was feminism that sought to replace fathers with government social programs. Feminism that raised taxes to provide social safety nets for women who could not be bothered to choose boyfriends wisely. Feminism that instituted no-fault divorce to encourage women to divorce men for money. And feminism that pushed women out of the home via high tax rates, so that children would be indoctrinated by left-wing public schools.

Let me be clear: the Democrat party is anti-family. Their policies destroy love, marriage and parenting. The secular-marxist-feminist left wants to control people. Free market capitalism, the family and robust religious beliefs are obstacles to their fascist goals. Feminism opposes the family, secularism opposes the integration of faith and public actions, and marxism opposes free market capitalism – the ground of liberty itself.

I think that young people are uninformed/unwise/un-parented enough to believe that these experiences are not scarring them emotionally. I am a man and growing up I knew intuitively that sexual intimacy with women followed by separation would be a catastrophe emotionally. The only way to properly assess the opposite sex is by keeping clear of their insecure, godless, soulless, clutching arms. Physical contact kills objectivity.

Young people are the most shallow people in the world. They judge people on appearances, and they try to use people to make themselves happy. Christian young people are not taught to view relationships as alliances made for the benefit of God’s purposes in the world. Instead, young people don’t know whether God exists, what he is like, and how to involve his goals and character in their decision making.

When I was a young man, I dreamed about romance, courtship, poetry, roses, marriage and lifting up my children in front of my face. I made decisions to prepare for that vision: chastity, investing, frugality, studying theology and apologetics, etc. I made sure that I could satisfy the demands of being a husband and father. I spent equal time on computer science, to make money, and on Christianity, to gain knowledge, wisdom and character.

I would say that the vast majority of young people today repudiate that vision of family with their actions. Their morality is moral relativism. Their epistemology is postmodernism. Their purpose in life is hedonism. This is not liberating. On the contrary: their actions removed their ability to marry, relate to a spouse and parent children. The more Christianity retreats, the more atheist “morality” steps in.

If atheism is true, then there is no real way we ought to be. Each person struggles with others to secure feelings of happiness. Other people don’t have any purpose except to be forced to make us happy. There is no morality. There is no free will. There is no moral accountability. There is no ultimate significance. There is no purpose. And children, born and unborn, are the biggest victims of all.