by Joseph B. Baity
The modern age of man owes much to the efforts and achievements of the scientific community. With little concern for political fealty, most scientists promote a search for truth through an unadulterated examination of the physical world around us—asking and answering critical questions—and expanding our vision for the welfare of all. Whether we consider the formal sciences, including mathematics and statistics, or the natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry, and biology, or even the social sciences like economics, sociology, and psychology, humanity is enormously more productive and our world infinitely more habitable, predictable, and enjoyable due to the advances brought about by these disciplines.
For generations, mathematicians, engineers, physicists, sociologists, and physicians enjoyed venerated roles in society and a certain mutual admiration within their professional community, friendly rivalries notwithstanding. While there have always been outliers who have used science for nefarious purposes or unseemly personal gain, particularly in the corporate environment, most practitioners prefer to play a benevolent role in society.
Today, however, rather than expanding our knowledge, science is increasingly called upon to narrow, manipulate, or diminish our vision to promote a political agenda. Gone is the persistent questioning—real scientific inquiry—that characterizes honest examination of any subject. For instance:
Is the transgender lifestyle healthy and normal?
Can same-sex parents raise emotionally healthy children?
Does carbon provide a relevant metric for measuring man's impact on the climate?
Should we wear masks and lock down our society to combat COVID-19?
These pertinent questions should inspire incessant and transparent investigation until theory and opinion must give way to observable, empirical, evidence-based facts. Instead, scientific inquiry yields to politically correct emotional appeals, snappy slogans, and factoids while bureaucrats yammer on about "settled science." Worse, those scientists who dare to question the popular narrative, who appropriately insist upon further scientific inquiry, are experiencing vicious, verbal assaults upon their professional reputations, threats to their livelihoods and even their lives, from within and without the scientific community, intimidating them to compel their silence or acquiescence.
Oxford professor and epidemiologist, Sunetra Gupta, a principal signer of the Great Barrington Declaration, a document critical of the COVID-19 lockdowns, recently commented on the venomous nature of the criticism she received for daring to question medical orthodoxy:
I expected debate and disagreement about our ideas. . . . But I was utterly unprepared for the onslaught of insults, personal criticism, intimidation, and threats that met our proposal.
Science is being hijacked, and the scientific community is suffering irreversible harm to something it cannot afford to lose: credibility.
Vernon R. Cupps, Ph.D., writes in his 2014 article, “Acts and Facts”:
Observation and reproducible experimentation are the foundations of science and as such are the established facts upon which the various hypotheses, theories, and natural laws rest. To portray any hypothesis or theory as fact is a clear misapplication of the scientific method. Hypotheses must be verifiable or falsifiable through observation and reproducible experimentation to be considered a legitimate participant in the scientific method.
When political agendas and corporate profits are "blended" with science, the result is not scientific and often injurious, not only to society at large but also to the honest practitioner.
Different scientific ideas regarding the treatment and support of transgender persons, along with the ongoing debates over same-sex parenting, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic, are rife with contention but little political will for truth-based resolution. Scientific credibility—and public trust—is being undermined while the level of vitriol is leading to societal disorder. People are hitting the streets armed with woefully incomplete or deliberately inaccurate science to back their polemical invective.
In his article, “Unsettled Science,” published in The-American-Catholic.com, October 11, 2020, Donald R. McClarey declares:
- Science is a method for gathering facts.
- That much which is claimed to be science in the contemporary world is politicized junk.
- Elected officials will often claim "because science" in order to defend indefensible actions.
- That scientists are no more immune to having their judgment swayed by political beliefs than any of the rest of us.
- Science is useful; Scientism is a malign superstition.
The outlook remains bleak for a godless world that allows its leadership to hijack, politicize, and eliminate authentic scientific inquiry into the manifold questions of our physical existence. When mankind refuses to ask the right questions or to consider even the most obvious answers and solutions because they conflict with political will, they become “futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts [are] darkened. Professing to be wise, they [become] fools" (Romans 1:21-22).