Over the weekend there were a series of pro-Science demonstrations across the country which blanketed social media. It seems that how you viewed these demonstrations breaks down pretty clearly along ideological lines.
Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust summed it up pretty well in the Slate-
“Most “pro-science” demonstrators have no idea what they were demonstrating about. Being “pro-science” has become a bizarre cultural phenomenon in which liberals (and other members of the cultural elite) engage in public displays of self-reckoned intelligence as a kind of performance art, while demonstrating zero evidence to justify it.”
When conservatives look at things like the science march, they see a somewhat bizarre display. They see folks that don’t seem to know much more about what “science” is than me attempting to beat their political opponents over the head with “but science says!”
Conservatives when they look at the climate march, see a bowtie-sporting children’s TV show host yelling at a Princeton physicist on cable news for being “anti-science.”
They see people carrying signs advocating the “decolonization of science,” which shows such a radical misunderstanding of science it’s nearly insurmountable. Science is a process for finding objective truths. “Decolonization” is borne of a strain of philosophy in vogue among leftist academics and radical feminists called postmodernism. Postmodernism eschews the very idea of objective truth. Postmodernism is antithetical to science, so to see its language mixed in a “pro-science” march is strange, to say the least.
Conservatives see people marching for science who cherry pick bits of science they like, depending on whether it supports their political predisposition. Climate change is real they’ll tell you, but they won’t concede to anything which conflicts with their politics. Some will slander scientists who publish findings that appear to be “problematic”, and others on the extreme fringe will go so far as to assault academics with whom they disagree.
They’ll tell you with a straight face that there are more than two genders and that gender differences are social constructs- both of which are demonstrably false.
Conservatives see the aforementioned “pro-science” bowtie wearing TV host do a segment on his “science” show discussing sexuality & gender. A cringe-inducing musical discussion which has very little if any basis in science.
Our modern culture has created quasi-cult around science. Just saying “science says!” doesn’t make you right, and it seems more often than not the use of that qualifier precedes something that’s at least misrepresented. Science is vital to our world, but it is not the end all be all. We can’t use “science” to answer every question, especially some of the most important questions.
Science can tell us many things about human development, but it cannot tell us if abortion is moral. Science can tell us about the prognosis for various diseases and genetic conditions, but it cannot tell us if euthanasia is moral. Science tells us a lot about what is, but can only help us so much in telling us what should be.
I do not know what the left sees when they look at the science march, but that’s what the right sees, and sometimes we could all use a little perspective.