Opinion Piece: Science:

Ideology and Contempt for Science

by Dr. Manuel Alfonseca

Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Francisco Tomás y Valiente

Madrid, Spain


Link for Citation Purposes: https://bwwsociety.org/journal/current/2020/mar-apr/ideology-and-contempt-for-science.htm


One of the worst dangers now threatening the advance of science is the dominance of certain ideologies with great political influence, which, when their ideas are attacked on scientific grounds, are either totally oblivious to science, or just reject it, calling it pseudoscience.


In 1972, the first report of the Club of Rome predicted a catastrophic rise in global population, which caused concern in several countries. The 1974 Kissinger Report was an American answer to this foreseen catastrophe. Among the highly unethical procedures suggested by the report to implement government population control programs, there were campaigns for the legalization of abortion throughout the world; financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion rates and sterilization and contraceptive use rates; indoctrination of children; and withholding US aid to foreign countries unless those policies were implemented.


Forty-six years after the Kissinger Report was written, the trends in world population don’t look so gloomy. See my previous article in this magazine and the book Word Population: Past, Present and Future, which collects several papers on the subject by myself, Julio A. Gonzalo and Félix-Fernando Muñoz. Although the latest forecasts by the United Nations are not so pessimistic now as they were decades ago, the attempts to implement the Kissinger Report suggestions in all the world are still in effect, with a few additional procedures which try to act simultaneously on the two variables influencing the global population (birth and death rates). The most important are the following:


1.     By promoting induced abortions worldwide, putting pressure on countries where abortion is not legal, so that they recognize it as a human right, and forcing doctors to perform them, regardless of conscientious objection. In this line, they are planning to force medical students to perform abortions as a prerequisite for getting their degree. In those countries where it is legal, about one every six pregnancies ends in abortion.


It is a scientifically undisputed fact, well-known for over a century, that the life of a human being (or of any living being) begins at the fertilization of an egg by a spermatozoon. That is the point in time when a new being appears, of the same species as its parents, whose genetic endowment (its DNA) is different from that of its parents and of any other living being of the same species, except for identical twins. This new living being will keep its genetic endowment until its death. Despite what certain politicians and journalists say, this issue is quite clear in the scientific world. Nevertheless, the proponents of the radical feminist ideology deny those things with absurd assertions, such as that the fetus is a part of the body of the mother, or that embryos are just collections of cells (this also applies to adults), and proclaim a right to abortion which is in fact the right to kill their children.


The result is a step back in the defense of human rights. We are getting back to slavery, when the masters had the right of life and death over their slaves. We are getting back to the Roman Empire, where abortion and infanticide were legal until 24 hours after birth. Is this what they call progress? I would rather call it going backwards.


Facing the possibility to perform an abortion, every woman should have all the information, which sometimes seems to be hidden on purpose. There are too many educated people who appear to ignore elementary biological concepts such as the fact that an embryo is a living being belonging to the human species, different from the body of its mother. But if this is true, why are some biologists in favor of abortion? Because they follow the relativistic ethics, because they assert that everything society decides is morally acceptable. Because they believe that a decision about this question is not a competence of science, but of laws.


2.     By promoting homosexuality worldwide. In this line, a senior UN ombudsman for LGBT issues has been created, whose mission is not just investigating violence against homosexuals, but also promoting the LGBT agenda in the countries where it is not yet considered as a right. Of course, the more homosexuality spreads, the more the number of births will decrease.


The gender ideology is based on scientifically absurd premises, such as the claim that the sex of each person is a social construct, with no relation to their biology. To disguise the fallacy, sex is called gender, a grammatical concept that has nothing to do with the issue. Advocates of this anti-scientific ideology are trying to snatch from parents their constitutional right to the education of their children, by imposing on schools the teaching of their ideology: an action which few Western rulers dare to oppose.


3.     By advancing little by little towards the social approval of euthanasia as a means to eliminate elderly and sick persons (even children), who produce little and consume resources through their pensions and health care. In contrast to the previous two procedures, which work by reducing the birth rate, this third measure, when it is widespread, will act by increasing the other variable, the death rate.


These aberrations are possible as a result of the predominance of another ideology (relativism), which holds that truth is an outmoded concept, that there are no absolute truths and 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 and Parliaments 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 assertion. Is it an absolute truth? If not, we shouldn’t accept it. If yes, it is a contradiction, for its own existence means that there are absolute truths.


Democracy is the least bad of all political systems, true, but this does not mean that the majority rule, the essence of democracy, must be used everywhere, also in fields where its efficiency has not been proved or happens to be contradictory.


The objective of science is finding truth. Theories are supported by facts: results of experiments, observations, discoveries and so forth. A theory is convincing when many facts support it. If science ever falls under the rule of political democracy, things like this could happen again: in 1897, the General Assembly of the state of Indiana passed a law ruling that the value of pi would be equal to 3.2 in that state. This is ridiculous, but it did happen. If political democracy takes control of science, science is dead.


The methods of democracy are not applicable to the search for truth, which is the object of science and philosophy. If scientific theories were subject to the rules of democracy, a new theory would almost never prevail, for new theories must always fight pre-conceived ideas and gain adepts little by little, by means of argumentation and reasoning. A scientific theory never prevails because it is accepted by a majority, it must be universally accepted. A single discovery (the Michelson-Morley experiment) staggered Newton mechanics, which had been the established theory for two hundred years and was later replaced by Albert Einstein’s General Relativity. If the majority rule were in effect, many new theories would never prevail, and science would progress slowly, if at all.


Besides science, which cares about what is true and false, there is also ethics, which cares about good and evil. Science tells us how things are, ethics how they should be. Ethics should not be under the control of democracy, of the majority rule.


In many Western countries with democratic governments, there is a growing tendency to assert that good and evil are whatever the Parliament decides. This is extremely dangerous. With our kind of political parties, it just means that good and evil is what the party leader will decide. A person or a group of persons should never consider themselves above good and evil. If this is allowed, we may soon have a law forcing compulsory euthanasia for all people above eighty, as we now have a conflict between law and religious freedom.


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. In the face of this, the following two statements seem to me obvious:



A single glaring error discredits a government, as happened in Athens with the sentence against Socrates, which discredited forever Athenian democracy. Our governments and Parliaments could make history for reasons opposite to their expectations.



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