Farewell, Science

Exposing Social Agendas Flying Under the Banner of Science

In “Unscientific American” (City Journal, Spring 2024), James B. Meigs admits that “American journalism has never been very good at covering science. In fact, the mainstream press is generally a cheap date when it comes to stories about alternative medicine, UFO sightings, pop psychology, or various forms of junk science.”

Worse, in my view, headlines for stories about real science often overstate the significance of the details being reported. Jonathan Witt catalogs a bag of parlor tricks commonly used in popular media to keep pushing the evolutionary narrative despite the lack of relevant evidence presented in the hyped article. This is a consistent pattern in articles touching on evolution.

And then there are the stories that should have been covered but were not. Denyse O’Leary reviews a new book, Darwin’s Bluff, which documents both Darwin’s admission that his celebrated Origin was only an abstract, lacking in supportive evidence, and his unfulfilled promise to publish a second book providing the scientific details. Neither the popular media nor any prestigious scientific publications such as Scientific American ever bothered to point this out. But Salvo has.

Ulterior Agendas

Poor science journalism goes beyond just defending Darwin. Straightforward, evidence-based truth-seeking about other matters is being subverted, too. Scientific American has lately ignored facts that might offend the woke or challenge the progressive agenda. Meigs tells how Michael Shermer, the agnostic/atheist founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine, was booted from writing his regular “Skeptic” column for Scientific American after 18 years.

One of Shermer’s rejected columns dealt with “the fallacy of excluded exceptions,” which refers to the wrongful exclusion of counterexamples that do not fit the pattern of a favored hypothesis. Citing the common belief that sexually abused children grow up to be abusers, Shermer pointed out that while some do, most do not. But his editor would not publish this fact lest it give the appearance of downplaying sexual abuse. Shermer then submitted a column about how discrimination against various minorities has been decreasing, but it, too, was axed. Meigs notes dryly, “For progressives, admitting that any problem—racism, pollution, poverty—has improved means surrendering the rhetorical high ground.” In the last column he submitted, Shermer wrote that “intersectionality”—which pigeonholes individuals into identity groups—is “a perverse inversion” of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for a color-blind society. With that, Shermer’s contract with Scientific American was summarily terminated.

False Progress

Another example of “progressive” agendas subverting science is the case of Intersexual Politics,” by Leonard Sax. Dr. Sax describes the creation of a new “fact” about the incidence of those born with intersex features (i.e., indeterminate male-female physical characteristics, especially genitalia).

The “fact” now touted is that the intersex population makes up 1.7 percent of the whole—or “nearly two percent”—so that people born intersex are now said to be as common as people born with red hair! This new number helps support the delusion of a sexual “spectrum,” instead of the natural binary of male/female. But, as Sax reveals, this rate of intersex occurrence is a one hundredfold inflation of the true number, based on a radically redefined meaning of the term intersex; it’s an agenda-driven, unscientific “fact.” The use of false numbers gives the impression of mathematical objectivity to a bogus claim about what is normal human sexuality. You can always find a cheap date if you want one.

We invite you to dig deep into Salvo and savor the openness to truth that sets us free. We’ve nothing to hide and everything to discover.

is the executive editor of Salvo and the  Director of Publications for the Fellowship of St. James.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #69, Summer 2024 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo69/farewell-science


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