Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ideology and contempt for science

The sentence against Socrates
In several previous articles I have warned about some of the dangers that are just now threatening the advancement of science, which has proceeded for over two centuries and a half. One of the most important is the dominance reached by certain ideologies with great political influence, that when their ideas are attacked on scientific grounds are oblivious to what science says, or just call it pseudoscience.
  • It is a scientifically undisputed fact that the life of a human being begins at the fertilization of an egg by a spermatozoon. Despite what certain politicians and journalists say, there are no discussions on this issue in the scientific world. In a previous article I have summarized the scientific consensus, which has been unanimous for over a century and a half. Nevertheless, the proponents of a certain radical feminist ideology proclaim a right to abortion which in fact is the right to kill their children. If these abhorrent laws hold, it is due to the cowardice of the rulers, who do not dare to repeal it. The result is a step back in the defense of human rights. We are going back to the Middle Ages, when parents had the right of life and death over their children (this right is now granted to mothers). We are going back to slavery, when some human beings (the masters) had the right of life and death over others (the slaves). We are going back to the Roman Empire, when abortion and infanticide were legal until 24 hours after birth. Is this what they call progress? I would rather call it going backwards.
  • Another dominant ideology, the gender ideology, is based on scientifically absurd premises, such as the claim that the sex of each person has no relation to genes and body building. To disguise the fallacy, they call sex gender, a purely grammatical concept that has nothing to do with sex, although they sometimes coincide. Advocates of this anti-scientific ideology are snatching from parents their constitutional right to the education of their children, by imposing in schools the teaching of their ideology: another action which no ruler dares to oppose.
  • When a state legislation imposes on schools the prohibition of teaching the theory of evolution, or the obligation to offer as an alternative the creation of the world in six days, or any other nonscientific theory, scientists protest, and it is right that they do so. Thanks to this, all these laws are sooner or later repealed by higher authorities.
  • All these aberrations are possible as a result of the predominance of another ideology (relativism), which holds that truth is an outmoded concept, because there are no absolute truths, everyone can choose their own; the idea that truth and falsehood, good and evil, are malleable; that parliaments have the right to decide by majority on scientific truth, or on the definition of good and evil. The height of absurdity is that such a right is claimed by members of Congresses whose scientific knowledge is often practically nil.
Relativism is scientifically and philosophically absurd, as it rests on a false statement:
There are no absolute truths
Let us consider this. Assume it is not an absolute truth. Then why should we accept it? Assume it is an absolute truth. Then it would clearly be false (a contradiction), for there would exist at least an absolute truth.
If these ideologies are imposed, it will mean the end of science and the beginning of what C.S.Lewis called the abolition of man. Against this, the following two statements seem to me obvious:
  • A scientist is required to defend scientific truth against any ideological imposition, of whatever sign.
  • A parliament exceeds its functions if it denies the right of living to any group, or if it handles scientific issues outside its competence, such as the definition of a human being. Any day they will repeal quantum mechanics or relativity theory. 
A single glaring error discredits a government, as happened in Athens with the sentence against Socrates, which discredited Athenian democracy forever. Our governments and parliaments could make history for reasons precisely opposite to their expectations.

The same post in Spanish
Thematic Thread on Politics and Economy: Previous Next

Manuel Alfonseca

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