Progressives Will Make Science Primitive

The hysteria sweeping college campuses is too widespread to ignore even in mainstream channels. The Left’s children have picked up the mantle of protest to eat their elders. The protests and attacks on right-wing, centrist, or even progressive thinkers allow for a much wider discussion in the media of what exactly is wrong with academia–this discussion only after decades of hyphenated studies majors, gender fluid graduates, and academics calling for dismantling the host culture.

Look hard enough or simply read peer reviewed studies and you can see the dangerous direction that entrenched progressive academia is taking science. It is moving primitive to serve its clerisy.

Others would argue that what we are seeing in academia is a form of Lysenkoism. It would, after all, make sense for America’s communist academics to mimic the Soviet style of old. Conceptually, bending results to fit preconceived notions and political beliefs does happen in climate science, most notably with hockey stick manipulation and failing to show longer time scale climate charts and graphs indicating warmer historical periods.

Manipulation occurs more in the humanities, where progressive blinders preclude researchers from citing or investigating views outside the Overton Window. Research into the origins of homosexuality drove down the biological or “born this way” path for decades, and surveys and studies into any linkage of early childhood same-sex contact (molestation) and adult identification with homosexuality were dropped for decades, only to be broached again now.

Another angle is that the progressive approach to academia parallel’s the Nazi regime’s approach to aryanization of subjects, which even extended to the hard sciences. There was not just a German cultural history of literature and art to celebrate, but also the German way to interpret sciences. With progressivism, all research areas pass through the race, gender or sexuality prism and come out on the other side properly progressive.

There is something darker, though, about what progressives are doing, namely engaging in an explicit rejection of what modern science is based on: mathematics.

Without math, what experiments, comparisons, measurements, and broader conceptual conclusions can be derived? Mathematics and the focus on grounding science in mathematics is what separates modern science from the medieval period and classic studies. Technology did have a hand in this, as Europeans developed the mechanical clock and telescope, which allowed for accurate measurement and standardization between researchers. One could debate the value of the clock itself for the scientific and industrial revolutions that began in Europe.

These inventions allowed for the scientific method’s use by amateurs, provided they adhered to the process and tools with appropriate review. They not only had to use the system of weights and measures in a replicable way, but there had to be checks that the weights and measures were accurate in the first place. Did you run the experiment–forget the result of the experiment for a moment–did you run the experiment, and did it prove or disprove the hypothesis? This is where the Lysenkoism element of progressive academics comes into play because results do not conform to their hypotheses.

The emergence of modern science placed a focus on the experimental because it could be measurable. With the advances of Copernicus, Brahe, and of course Newton, science became less about the debate and reasoning and more about the proof. The models could explain exactly where a body would be or how fast, long, and powerful motion would be. Newton synched the heavens and earth under the same force.

The progressive coalition needs to place its members in academia, which functions as a patronage and jobs machine for the Left–not simply an ideological laboratory. There are only so many seats available in the guild for ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies. To stuff members into other subjects takes time, and the STEM fields are subjects that progressive voting coalition blocs score poorly on with regularity. There is also, of course, problem of pushing the boundaries of STEM to break new ground, yet trying to do so with weaker students. The demand is great, but the supply is weak.

Progressives are now making a strong attempt at infiltrating the sciences, particularly by introducing and intermingling concepts like race, racism, cosmology and the time space continuum. Climate change itself needs to consider the gender differences of interpretation and effects. Gender even affects how one can study the forests and how forest study and research is done. Evidence-based medicine is a problem that gender scholars can address.

That last link is key. The abstract cites the “social nature of science,” which constitutes a rejection of the idea that science is based on mathematics, experimentation, and examining the data that experiments yield. The reason for introducing the concept of the social nature of science is because progressives have run into the problem of science and reality not aligning with their belief system and ideology.

Reality can, in fact, be avoided in research. It can be confined and suppressed, but it is harder to ignore in the hard sciences that have traditionally used experiments, math, and measurements for exploring the fundamental structure of nature. When reality cannot be ignored, progressives cite mystical factors that conform to progressive ideology can be incorporated. These studies are slipped into peer reviewed journals, they get cited many times over in other papers, and the hogwash clears the academic over the hurdle to receive tenure or at least a full-time position.

The lie of 2 + 2 = 5 continues because all have entered the game accepting it as real. They never have to convince you in order to obtain sinecure in academia. They receive their spot and like a self-replicating machine, a von Neumann academic, the original social lie spreads to other academics, future educators, and for the students who need to pass through these courses for a diploma.

It is not science, not modern science. It is debate and discussion of science dripping with ideology and religious belief. The road forward for progressive science is a road back, as progressives build a hierarchy and church of its own that will lead to stagnation and ossification.

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13 Comments

  1. I’d take issue with ossification. What “progress,” does to science is more along the lines of destruction. Widely understood empiricism on biology has been steadily discarded and the attempts to resurrect them in the modern context have been met with immense hostility. If other sciences receive half this transformation we’ll be well on our way to a technological devolution to parts unknown.

    In my opinion, this is going to steadily advance as the elite left is continuously forced to make greater concession to the brown and mulatto middle class that they have cultivated in academia, corporate bureaucracy, and government in particular. Given the average age of a tenured professor, it is not beyond the pale to suggest that western society is a decade or two shy of a very disruptive cultural revolution.

    Have that Lasic surgery, it may be a poor time to wear glasses in public.

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  2. It is sad, though unsurprising, that a patently justified deconstruction of the Lysenkoism of the Left includes a gratuitous and quite absurd dig against climate science, which is the parallel Lysenkoism of the (American) Right. I suppose the necessity of signalling tribal belonging transcends ideology.

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    1. Alistair Hermann July 2, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Is climate science more or less susceptible to corruption than economics?

      Both are characterised by single run systems. Both are characterised by long term predictions based upon extrapolation of limited data sets. Both are characterised by inordinately complex subsystems that are not well understood. Both have been utilised to form political fulcrums, resulting in severely distorted alignment of interests.

      This is not to suggest that either lacks components of competent and reality based research and theory; in fact, such are necessary for a political fulcrum to form.

      But rather – why in these circumstances would anyone assume that corruption is not the dominant force in the discipline?

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      1. There are many complex variables in climate science. But the basics have been known for a long time (e.g. greenhouse effect, albedo). The world’s first climate model was constructed by the chemist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. In a book based on his research, he forecast a global temperature increase of 4C from a doubling of CO2, which is well in line with modern IPCC models (which if anything take care to be cautious and conservative given the fake “controversy” in their field). Oh yes, and Arrhenius also saw this warming as a good thing, envisaging a tropical Scandinavia, and was a supporter of eugenics.

        Needless to say this was all before the dominance of the Cathedral or “blue-government bureaucracies” controlling funding for climate research.

        This is not to say that climate scientists are politically neutral (scientists in general are highly liberal, and this is even more true with climate science, I suspect mostly due to the filtering effect there), that leftists respect science any more than conservatives (that is, when it goes against their group tribal beliefs), or that leftist ideologues have more power and consequently a greater capacity to translate their vindictiveness into concrete action (e.g. Mann kept his job/position, as he should have, but Watson, Richwine, Tim Hunt, etc. didn’t). The Right’s main saving grace on science policy is merely that it’s fixations are likely less harmful.

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        1. “leftists respect science any more than conservatives”

          This is demonstrably false. There aren’t enough leftists who respect the biological and genetic science to fill a thimble. Their “respect,” for some of the sciences owes it’s roots to their dogmatic credential respect extended to anyone who is not branded a bad-thinker. eg. Any random scientist with innocuous prog opinions is considered a genius while James Watson is a racist who had a few good ideas.

          I can say this with some confidence owed to my position in the field and my proximity to the research. Many of my colleagues themselves are reticent to work on projects that are potentially at-odds with progressive dogma. They will, if pressed, choose what is socially acceptable over what is empirically sound. And there are an increasing number, particularly in America, who are actively working to subvert empirically sound research with the foil of social justice.

          Speaking of the right’s lack of respect for science is, in my experience, largely a canard. For every biblical Luddite on the right there are a a number of lumpenproles who are every bit as ignorant and combative of empiricism on the left. That the left has cultivated an image of enlightened post-religious scientific prowess is pure propagandist illusion to encourage the non-committal young scientist to reject the right out of hand.

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    2. Bracketing for a moment the *de re* question, *if* there is Lysenkoism in climate science it could *only* be a Left-Lysenkoism, because the funding for climate science is controlled by blue-government bureaucracies; because the hiring process for climate scientists administrative state, in NGOs and in “environmental science” departments is entirely converged; because the ad hoc readjustment of official climate models to account for ever-newer failures is only on the side of the left.

      You should be able to acknowledge that regardless of where you think the error lies. If the Right is failing to be duly credulous and respectful of the authority of the People’s Climate-Science Commissars, then we are just dumb peasants. If the Left has fallen prey to a closed loop of politically correct bureaucrats, professors, and policy-entrepreneurs, then they are Lysenkoists.

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    3. Lysenkoism requires one to suspend skepticism and would be the opposite of the Right’s behavior towards climatology.

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  3. What’s striking about the stuff going around in Progressive academia right now is the seemingly random character of it. It no longer appears to have the rigor and coherence that ideological discourse ordinarily has, no matter how far-fetched or erroneous. Progs have gone completely bananas. Much of what they have to say is impenetrable even to techniques for analysing ideological and other signifying systems that don’t assume the discourse being analyzed is rational or corresponds to any reality, only that it has a type of non-random structure. Prog discourse often lacks even that. I’ve given up trying to look for it, and not without having tried. What progs today have to say resembles the word salads of floridly psychotic mental patients speaking private languages. Its producers are insane, caught up in a mass psychosis, a collective mental breakdown that points to an underlying social breakdown.

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  4. It’s like an ironic old testament judgment. When a prog talks about science in the context of theism or climate change, I just ask it how many genders there are and watch them get emotional. Climate change as a whole is anti- civilizational and anti- science. It’s part of this weird hippie death cult that wants everyone except zuckerberg and the psycho dude at google to live in caves and eat raw kale all the time.

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  5. Henricus Institor July 3, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Techno-civilization requires science and math. If the SJW cult takes over the STEM fields in the academy, science will move off into other labs, probably corporate labs, to do the necessary work to make those SJW tech-wonder-phone-thingies work.

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    1. In house R&D seems to make sense. This reminds me of the ‘reversal of urbanization’ piece I wrote where the progs will create a high-low loop and the people outside it will build something true and better

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      1. In house R&D requires a great deal of capital and generally pivots on the fulcrum of state enforced Intellectual Property laws. I don’t find the concept ridiculous, but it certainly has logical gaps that I have a hard time bridging. There are various sorts of open source and crowd funded means of obviating both these issues, but they are thus far not scaling very well except when they have large high estate customers. eg. Redhat and the Deep State

        Had I to guess, I would think that the high-low loops has to have some defection from the high camp before the middle can build anything competitively at scale. Having said that, if the high-low loop becomes inefficient enough, perhaps even currently non-competitive solutions will become commercially viable.

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  6. Abelard Lindsey July 3, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Correction.

    The SJW’s may make government-funded university science primitive. Privately-funded science will continue unabated, rendering the former irrelevant.

    Reply

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