Mises Wire

The March for Science Attacks Free Thought

“Science,” the method by which we understand the world and apply knowledge to improve human existence, is the latest casualty of the Progressive agenda. On April 22, 2017, several million people gathered at March for Science rallies across the United States to “stand up for science.” But surely science needs no publicity stunt in the industrialized world, where the benefits of scientific advancements — cars, electricity, cell phones, and the internet — are widely accepted. So what exactly are these demonstrators promoting?

The first goal of the March for Science is to supplant the correspondence theory of truth with the consensus theory of truth — the belief that reality is determined by social opinion. As described in their Core Principles, “Political decision-making that impacts the lives of Americans and the world at large should make use of peer-reviewed evidence and scientific consensus.” However, consensus-based thinking is the antithesis of science; it is a groupthink approach to controlling public debate, as individuals with contradictory evidence are effectively censored. To the detriment of public health, consensus science sways dietary recommendations.

For example, contrary to widely accepted medical opinion, dietary cholesterol has little impact on the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. But the government-sanctioned Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) retains a legal monopoly on peddling nutritional advice, barring other individuals from obtaining licensing to provide alternative dietary consulting services.

Regardless how one comes down on this question, the fact remains that the quality of a scientific theory is determined not by consensus or the number of people who believe it, but by its correspondence with reality. 

Science as Just Anther Type of Social Justice

If the purpose of science is to discover facts about the world, then we needn’t be concerned with an individual scientist’s alleged minority group membership. But if the purpose of the new science is to advance an egalitarian political agenda, then group representation matters more than true scientific achievements. Indeed, issues that used to remain in the sludge of sociology are now encompassed by the scope of “science.” The Marcher’s statement continues:

We represent and stand in solidarity with historically underrepresented scientists and science advocates. … We commit to educating ourselves and others about the issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in science. … We pledge to amplify the work of underrepresented scientists. … [We embody] a diverse range of races, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, religions, ages, socioeconomic and immigration statuses …

A glance through their Twitter feed, replete with an ironic fusion of friendly rainbows and angry black-pride fists, affirms their conception of science as a tool for furthering social justice ideology: “colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues.

Yet data do not support their petulant insinuation that science is an exclusive realm for straight white men. As of 2013, 73% of graduates in health fields (surely “scientific” endeavors) were women; this level rises to 91% among those who hold PhDs in nursing. Asian-Americans hold 50% of tech jobs, despite comprising less than 6% of the American population.

Furthermore, true scientific inquiry is inherently unbiased, as each discovery is evaluated for its merits and reproducibility, and not by the alleged group identity of its author. The Marcher’s claims of underrepresentation are incongruous with their glorification of the peer review process, a system that should afford unbiased evaluation of research studies via anonymization of authors. But identity politics is impervious to facts. It exists to fuel the victimhood industry, which serves the interests of the victims (by granting them entitlements) and their advocates (by granting them a dependent class over whom to wield perpetual power). 

Mistaking Corporate Welfare for Science

The third step in the March for Science mission is to lobby for federal funding that ultimately secures a Progressive influence over public policy. According to the Marcher’s Principles, “We advocate federal funding in support of research, scientific hiring, and agency application of science to management. Their conception of scientific inquiry is thus driven not by a quest for truths, but by Congressional funding schemes that subsidize predetermined, politically-influenced conclusions. For example, the annual federal HIV research budget is $2.7 billion; yet HIV, which affects 1.2 million Americans, has a known cause and simple prevention. Meanwhile, the less-glamorous chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), comparable in symptomatology and distribution, is designated to receive a mere $7.6 million — less than 1/300th of the annual HIV budget. Billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into projects supporting other facets of a global agenda, including worldwide campaigns promoting birth control and abortion in the name of empowering women.

No Dissent Allowed

The apathetic citizenry has been duped into uncritically accepting modern scientific dogma. The degree of disdain the March for Science organizers hold of the public’s intellect is revealed in their recommendations for protest signage:

What sign should I carry? …  Maybe you want to proudly tell the world that vaccines have kept you healthy? Or thank the EPA for keeping your water safe? This could be the right time to declare your support for a well funded [sic] NIH!

On the matter of certain vaccines, consensus science tells us that no debate is to be permitted at all. For example, in the name of science and health, the March for Science promotes the MMR vaccine, which, according to whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, is known by the CDC to increase the risk of autism in African-American boys by 340%.

Reasonable people can and should debate the matter. But if the risks of vaccinations are so negligible, as the Marchers assert, one is left wondering why the industry needs the federal government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation program, a tax-subsidized fund to provide no-fault liability insurance for pharmaceutical companies whose products injure or kill — a perk extended to no other industry in the country.

In the name of science and safety, the March for Science admonishes us to “thank” the EPA, an agency that took nearly two years to investigate the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, circa 2016. Thousands of children now suffer permanent neurological disability due to the failure of the EPA and DEQ to adequately investigate and enforce drinking water regulations. EPA employees have been granted effective immunity for their crimes, as a District Court judge dismissed the $722 million class-action lawsuit against the EPA. He ruled, “[A]llowing ... claims to proceed would circumvent the SWDA (Safe Water Drinking Act),” and that pursuing the suit would be “inconsistent with Congress’ carefully tailored scheme” to “entrust the regulation of the public drinking water systems to an expert regulatory agency rather than the courts.” The Marchers rally for economic justice, while simultaneously heralding an agency that routinely overlooks environmental abuses in low-income / minority areas.

In the name of science and research, the March for Science advocate for increased funding to the NIH, the same agency employing 34 scientists engaged in illegal off-the-books “relationships” with big pharma. In 2015, an NIH lab was finally shut down after repetitive failure to follow standard operating procedures resulted in fungal contamination of pharmaceuticals administered to human subjects. As recently as the 1990s, the NIH reportedly subjected foster children to unethical medical experiments involving a cocktail of seven AIDS drugs known to be toxic to adults. Once again, the Marchers disregard the carelessness and incompetence of the NIH, and clamor for more funding of this unethical institution.

The March for Science organization is nothing more than a modern-day Wizard of Oz. As the decrepit old charlatan’s power status was threatened, he exclaimed, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! The great and powerful Oz has spoken!” His sophisticated smoke-and-mirrors show, similar to the manipulative doublespeak of social justice ideology, was designed to silence independent thinkers who would dare to question his authority. Note that his disgraceful scheme was finally brought down by facts, when little dog Toto merely pulled away the curtain to reveal the Wizard’s true identity. The Wizard of Oz turned out to be a displaced circus man named Oscar Zoroaster. Analogously, the March for Science is just a pseudonym for a particularly savvy branch of the Progressive agenda, and should be exposed as such.

Image Source: Paul VanDerWerf www.flickr.com/photos/pavdw/
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