Indirectly from The American Council of Science and Health
First the intro from Uncommon Descent: Will Science Media’s Slow Descent Into The Woke Crazy Empower Competition?
Covered at American Council on Science and Health:
Last week I highlighted four disturbing trends in science journalism that are destroying the public’s trust in mainstream academic and public health institutions. It’s time to add a fifth bromide to the list: science publications that prize “social justice” activism over evidence-based analysis.
Scientific American may be the worst offender in this respect, publishing groundless opinion pieces such as “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy” and “Modern Mathematics Confronts its White Patriarchal Past.” Biologist Jerry Coyne and science writer Michael Shermer have taken apart both articles in great detail, but Scientific American hasn’t stopped there. The magazine’s coverage of crop biotechnology has tragically devolved into social justice foolishness as well.
On December 27th, SciAm published a story so ridiculous it could have been written by a Greenpeace activist: “How Biotech Crops Can Crash—and Still Never Fail.” American Council on Science and Health (December 29, 2021)Cameron English, “‘Woke’ Scientific American Goes Anti-GMO” at American Cou
Yes, English notes that Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne denounced the unhinged claim in a Scientific American op-ed earlier this year that creationism was a form of white supremacy: “Sure, there may be racists among creationists—there has to be given the connection between Evangelical Christianity and the South—but you’d have to essentially make things up to argue that creationism comes from white supremacy and that its connection with religion is ‘a lie.’”
Okay. But — Cameron, Jerry, are you listening?: Just making things up and enforcing belief in their fantasy is a privilege the Woke give themselves. As we enter the new year, we need to soberly assess the fact that Wokeness is claiming some science media the way cancer claims a body.
On the bright side: In a still-free society, Wokeness will create a space for a new popular science magazine. Lots of Woke-weary folk who value evidence over ideology would likely support it. That magazine should allow evidence-based criticism of Darwinian theory — which is treated with considerable skepticism anyway once you get outside the venue of the very people who blew up SciAm with their Wokeness.
Hey! We have stories. No rants, no picket signs. Lots of stories.
You may also wish to read: Cameron’s Four awful science journalism trends that should die.
Yer news hack (O’Leary for News) is so old that she remembers when science journalists started to denounce the idea of listening to both sides, some time early in the millennium. And here we are today…
I doubt if there will be any real opposition to wokeness, until AFTER the Great Default. The Woke claim to money and power relies on a centralized state for fuel: but frankly, they are just following the steps of the Establishment guilds – lawyers and doctors, engineers, and the rest of the bureaucratic professions (that included pastors and priests of the state churches, a few centuries ago).
The “coloured & humanities” Woke people just want their government-sheltered guaranteed income streams that the “white and sciences” people got over a century ago.
I want an end to ALL the government-sheltered guild systems, regardless of race or academic pedigree. I doubt that I will get it before the Great Default of the welfare state: and even afterwards, the corporations and the experts and the academics and the military and the mob and the lawyers will savagely fight to protect their share of the shrinking government pie and legal set-asides.
God’s People should stay out of all those power-seeking delusions. We need to build our own wealth, especially our children and families and local businesses and neighbourhoods. All these God-despising jokers are sterile and innately build for delusions and death: but if we guard our children, and our neighbourhoods, and our faith in God’s victory, we will win.
I wouldn’t be surprised if God’s people are the ONLY people still walking around by, say, AD 2150. Not because of any great might or power our part, but because we were the only ones to bear and raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, the only ones to have any real, encouraging, and positive hope in the future.
The mere fact of consistence obedience to God’s Law-Word, of striving for more God-pleasing excellence and greater perfection, of building self-governance and wisdom in the Holy Spirit, is it’s own victory.
Not some ghostly mystical irrelevant victory, but a material and substantial and lawful victory, cultural and financial and (in time) political and legal victory. A victory grounded in the power of King Jesus, who lives today in the flesh as well as in spirit.
In time and on earth, as well as in eternity.
Directly from the American Council of Science and Health
From 4 Awful Science Journalism Trends That Should Die In 2022, by James Cameron
Ultimately, fact-checking is a much more subjective enterprise than we would like it to be. Truth is real but sometimes difficult to ascertain, particularly when political ideologies and motivated reasoning are involved. To eschew these pitfalls, fact-checkers need to be keenly sensitive to such biases. Otherwise, fact-checkers will be seen as simply another manifestation of ‘fake news.’
As we now know, fact-checkers (and the media more generally) haven’t avoided these pitfalls. In the wake of COVID-19, they have become apologists for “the science,” defined as the federal government’s response to the pandemic. On the other side of the argument are (often conservative) commentators who find problems where there are none, especially when it comes to the coronavirus vaccines.
Since reporters are human and all humans are flawed, sloppy science coverage is inevitable to a certain extent. But the advocacy-as-journalism trend needs to be reversed before science media loses what remains of its dwindling credibility with the general public. We need to address four broad issues to get science journalism back on course.
Fair-weather science advocacy
The media happily promote sound science as long as the evidence comports with the their broader agenda. But if the facts run afoul of those political or social causes, they are summarily dismissed in the service of promoting ideology. The examples are legion , but here is perhaps the most recent, egregious case of fair-weather science advocacy:
While lecturing the public about the dangers of spreading “misinformation,” the Washington Post published an anti-pesticide article by Stephanie Seneff, an academic-turned-activist who has called the COVID-19 vaccines “extremely toxic” and works closely with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense (CHD). In early 2020, CHD posited that the pandemic was planned in advance and has consistently attacked the coronavirus shots.
Naturally, the Post’s collaboration with Seneff occurred just months before the paper boasted about “Debunking anti-vaxxer RFK Jr.’s claim about ‘suspicious’ coronavirus vaccine deaths.” If you asked me to satirize a major newspaper, I don’t know that I could have invented a story as preposterous as the truth in this instance. In any event, the media can’t credibly attack vaccine skepticism while platforming anti-vaccine activists. Hopefully, they’ll stop in 2022.
Conclusions in search of evidence
Over the last two years, the media have often reported conclusions as incontrovertible before all the facts were available. The debate over a lab-leak origin for SARS-CoV-2 may be the best example. In February 2020, everybody knew that the virus jumped from animals to humans at a wet market in Wuhan; to suggest otherwise was to demonstrate your racial bias. Only fringe senators from the sticks we’re foolish enough to challenge this accepted scientific wisdom.
But the narrative changed in May 2021, once the Biden Administration (rightly, in my view) called for a fuller investigation into the virus’s origins. Major news outlets had to edit the headlines on their lab-leak stories, and Facebook suddenly decided that users could openly discuss the idea. The about-face looks even worse in light of recent evidence that the US government has indeed funded bat coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
We still don’t know where SARS-CoV-2 originated, but the fact remains: many reporters, following some in the science community, reached a premature conclusion before the evidence was in. Worse, they clearly allowed government policy to dictate the boundaries of acceptable opinion. That’s a serious mistake in any setting, but it’s especially troubling in light of the public’s well-documented disdain for US media.
Nuance? What’s nuance?
Science reporting often lacks nuance. In line with our politicized culture, the media like to identify individuals and organizations as heroes or villains, chemicals as dangerous or safe, and certain viewpoints as good or evil. For example, masking is good, mask mandates are even better and, again, only “anti-science politicians” are brazen enough to claim otherwise, as Scientific American alleged in September.
The truth is more complicated, though. Masking, while important in certain contexts, has serious limitations that publications like SciAm have done everything they can to minimize. Vaccine skeptics have the same absolutist outlook on COVID shots. Pfizer has paid billions of dollars in fines for engaging in shady marketing practices; therefore, you shouldn’t get a COVID vaccine, the argument goes.
In neither example is the certainty justified. Pointing out the limitations of masking doesn’t make you “anti-science,” nor is Pfizer’s vaccine dangerous just because of the company’s undeniably checkered past. All medical interventions have limitations, masking included. Pharmaceutical companies can develop life-saving drugs and engage in shady business practices at times. The public would be better served by a media class that could tolerate that sort of nuance.
Cheerleaders for censorship
Many journalists have expressed enthusiastic support for online censorship during the pandemic. A lot could be said here, but the most important point for now is that speech restrictions aimed at “misinformation superspreaders” inevitably silence reliable scientific voices, too. This often prevents experts from counteracting the nonsense that proliferates across the internet. We’re on the cusp of a very dangerous precedent. Hopefully, the campaign for social media censorship will lose momentum in the coming year.
The media often advance simplistic narratives about very complex topics. That’s troublesome because it distorts the public’s understanding of those issues, but more so because it distorts how people approach scientific questions more generally. News outlets that distort evidence to suit an agenda give everybody else the perfect excuse to do the same.
If we want a scientifically literate population that consistently checks its beliefs against the facts, we in science media have to practice what we preach.
I doubt if mainstream science will in any way ‘correct itself’. Its core ideology is Darwinism, and Darwinism is all about the Powerful Elite stuffing itself at the cost of everyone else, beyond the reach of the Divine Law that Darwin & company so deeply hated.
“The human mind is not designed for truth. It’s designed for survival.”
That is, it’s designed for gaining power over the Inferiors, first and last. Everything else is just so much temporary cultural posing, in the name of what’s really important, power and control over the Commoner trash.
“Power Justifies All Things.”
That’s a great concept if you’re a Marxist or a Racist or a Muslim or some other Collectivist, where people of the wrong race or belief system or nation are to be ground under the heel of the Righteous, the Ideologically Pure, the Patriot.
That’s a worthless belief system for Christians, though.
Personal, and then familial, then local and congregational, obedience to the Law-Word of Christ, upholding the word of Truth and Justice for All, THAT comes first.
Political power comes
second third fourth.
Maybe fifth, depending on the circumstances.
Personal, profound obedience to God and His Will comes first.
God’s eye isn’t focused on them. They are focused on you.