Bottom Line: Of course this load of refreshing common sense comes from the right — Jonah Goldberg, of National Review. In this essay, he says what we’ve been saying for a very long time: there’s no science that supports the contention that a man can be a woman, or vice-versa, simply on his or her say-so.
Here’s the piece in question.
We’ll cover only what the great Goldberg says about the Great Transgender Fad, but he covers a lot more ground than that, so it’s worth reading in its entirety. As is everything that Goldberg pens.
Here’s the first interesting part from Goldberg; it’s his opening:
Why do liberals hate science?
The Left has long claimed that it has something of a monopoly on scientific expertise. For instance, long before Al Gore started making millions by claiming that anyone who disagreed with his apocalyptic prophecies was “anti-science,” there were the “scientific socialists.” “Social engineer” is now rightly seen as a term of scorn and derision, but it was once a label that progressive eggheads eagerly accepted.
Masking opinions in a white smock is a brilliant, albeit infuriating and shabby, rhetorical tactic. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Science is the language of facts, and when people pretend to be speaking it, they’re not only claiming that their preferences are more than mere opinions, they’re also insinuating that anyone who disagrees is a fool or a zealot for objecting to “settled science.”
Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side – at least in an argument.
I’m not saying that you can’t have science in your corner, or that lawmakers shouldn’t look to science when making policy. (Legislation that rejects the existence of gravity makes for very silly laws indeed.) But the real intent behind so many claims to “settled science” is to avoid having to make your case. It’s an undemocratic technique for delegitimizing opposing views and saying “shut up” to dissenters.
The red highlighted part is the point we’ve been making — over and over and over and over and over again — about the nonsensical argument that we hear constantly from climate “scientists”(1) about “settled science.”
Here’s some more of Goldberg’s great essay:
…why are liberalism’s pet issues the lodestars of what constitutes scientific fact? Medical science informs us fetuses are human beings. The liberal response? “Who cares?” Genetically modified foods are safe, sayeth the scientists. “Shut up,” reply the liberal activists. IQ is partly heritable, the neuroscientists tell us. “Shut up, bigot,” the liberals shriek.
Which brings me to the raging hysteria over the plight of transgendered people who need to use the bathroom.
The New York Times recently reported about A. J. Jackson’s travails in a Vermont high school. “There were practical issues,” Anemona Hartocollis writes. “When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls’ bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons.”
Gee, where have we heard this before, if not necessarily in this kind of biological detail? Yep. These pages. If you don’t think this “transgender” silliness is just out-in-left-field crazy, just read that last sentence again from Anemona Hartocollis.(2)
(1) The scare quotes there because, as Goldberg correctly notes, no real scientist would ever be caught dead using the term “settled science.”
(2) Why isn’t her real name something like Carly Anemona Hartocollis? Then she could be: C. Anemona Hartocollis. 🙂