Causes vs. Effects: A Diet/Golf Analogy

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I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. And to our non-American friends, I hope you had a lovely Thursday. Now on to more important things …

I became a golf addict in my thirties. As often happens with entertainers, it was partly the result of running around with a show-business crowd. Standup comedians don’t work until evening, so a lot of them play golf during the day. Between my fellow comedians and my golf-addict dad, I got sucked in.

After we moved to Tennessee, I managed to keep the addiction at bay for nearly 10 years. I went to the recovery meetings and followed the advice: don’t watch golf on TV, don’t take practice swings with imaginary clubs, don’t hang around with your old golfing buddies because they’ll trigger the craving, etc. I was confident I’d never golf again.

Then my danged nephews (The Older Brother’s Older Sons) conspired to get me hooked again. They employed cult mind-control techniques, such as calling me up and saying, “It’s supposed to be nice weather when I visit. Maybe we can go play nine holes” or “When you guys come up for the birthday party, you should bring your clubs.”

I tried calling my sponsor, but in a near-whisper, he told me it wasn’t a good time to talk. In the background, I heard a THWACK! followed by someone yelling “Nice shot!” so I assumed he was at an archery tournament and being careful not to disturb the archers.

Stripped of any support system, I weakened and succumbed. I spent a golf-binge weekend with the nephews. Ahh, the sweet, guilty pleasure of that first good hit …

Next thing I knew, I was parked in front of my computer at 2:00 AM, wild-eyed, holding a debit card in my right (trailing-side) hand, ordering new clubs. I engaged in the typical rationalizations: my 61st birthday is coming up, I work hard and deserve a little treat, and those single-length irons everyone’s talking about couldn’t possibly cause as much emotional damage as my old Cobras.

Yup, I was hooked again.

The only thing worse than being a golf addict is being a golf addict with a lousy swing. My dad suffered from that sorry combination in his later years, and the stress triggered delusions. As he drove past pastoral settings, he imagined he saw potential golf courses that had been wasted for lesser purposes:


“Something wrong, Dad?”

“Just look at those gently rolling hills, the grassy meadows, the pretty little stream. Get rid of those headstones, you could put a good golf course there.”

I realized that to avoid the same fate, I must either give up golf again or develop a decent swing. I chose the latter. I’m happy to say I’ve already made progress. Finding a golf swing that works, as it turns out, is similar to finding a diet that works: ignore the so-called experts whose advice is technically correct but doesn’t fix the problem, and take advantage of social media to find those rare teachers who actually understand how human bodies function.

I became a so-so golfer in my standup-comedy days. I usually hit the ball when I swung at it, and even had some marginally impressive rounds. But when I started playing again this year, I kept hitting it thin. Or fat. Or I’d duck-hook it. Throw in a few curse words known only to Irish-American golfers, and I’d be my dad at my age, but with less hair.

I shot some slow-motion video of my swing and found to my horror that I had a major “chicken wing” issue, which means my left arm was pulling into my body and my hands were flipping at the ball instead of swinging through it. A chicken-wing swing looks like this:

Telling myself “don’t do that” didn’t work, so it was off to seek the wisdom of crowds on the internet – an advantage my dad never enjoyed.

I sent a video of my swing to an online teacher. He replied that the chicken-wing and flippy hands were the result of not properly shifting my weight. (You can see in the photo above that my weight is still on both feet.) You’ve got to start the downswing by rotating your hips, continue rotating them through the swing, and get your weight to your left side before impact. Do these drills to practice getting into the correct positions. Start the drills in slow motion, then gradually pick up speed.

I did the drills. I could move through the correct positions in slow motion, but that was just posing. Put a ball in front of me, and it was chicken-wing/flippy hands time again.

What the …

So I kept searching YouTube for videos on fixing a chicken-wing, preventing flippy-hands, etc. The experts – most of whom are certified PGA teaching professionals – all said pretty much the same thing: the chicken wing and the flippy hands happen because the body stops rotating. You’ve got to rotate your hips and shift your weight to the left side before impact. Try these drills …

I spent hours practicing rotating my hips and shifting my weight just before swinging at the ball. It always felt forced and awkward. I’d get out the video camera, make a very conscious effort to turn those hips … then watch the video and see my hands flipping at the ball, chicken-wing arm fully on display.  Even worse, consciously stepping onto my left foot and cranking my hips around caused my head to drop down and to the right, away from the ball.

Son of a … this can’t be so friggin’ difficult.

Back to YouTube. Since the root of the problem was (according to the certified experts) a failure to shift my weight, I ran a search on golf weight shift. I came across videos explaining the proper weight shift in minute detail: start with your weight on the balls of your feet, then as you begin taking the club back, push most of your weight back onto your right heel, then push off the ball of your right foot and into your left heel, then drop the club into the “slot” and rotate your hips toward the target … oh, and swing the club into the ball too.

Oh yeah, that’s not complicated at all. I remembered an impression I formed when I first visited a teaching pro 30 years ago: the typical golf lesson consists of a talented athlete telling some schlub how to perform a complex and precisely timed series of moves he’ll never master because he’s not a talented athlete. Something like this:

You want a one-piece takeaway, so start the backswing by moving your arms, shoulders, hips and hands all together. As you turn away from the target, push your weight to the inside of your right heel, and let your left knee will bend out towards the ball. When your hands pass your waist, cock your wrists so the club and your left arm form a 90-degree angle, then allow your arms to move across your chest, but keep the “V” of your forearms together. Continue rotating until your hips have turned about 20 degrees, your back is facing the target, your left shoulder is under your chin, and the club is pointed towards the target above your head. To begin the downswing, push off your right foot and rotate your hips, then step hard onto your left heel, straighten your left leg a bit, and turn your belt buckle towards the target. You need to avoid casting the club too early, so as your weight shifts left, just let the club drop until your right elbow is in front of your right hip. Hold the 90-degree angle until your hands pass your right leg, then release the club by rolling your right arm over your left and letting your wrists uncock. Keep your head down until the ball is gone, then come up onto your left leg for a high finish. If you can relax and do all that smoothly in about one second from start to finish, you’ll hit the ball very well.

I began thinking perhaps I should sell those clubs I just bought while they’re still shiny and new. I can just play disc golf – after all, I’m pretty decent at that game.

Then I came across a video titled GOLF WEIGHT SHIFT IS AUTOMATIC-REALLY REALLY!!

Ahh, that’s nice to know. Shifting the weight is autom – wait, WHAT?!  I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to train myself to shift my weight while swinging a club, and this guy is telling me it’s automatic? How the @#$% can that be?

Remember how it felt the first time you read Protein Power, or Good Calories, Bad Calories, or The Primal Blueprint and realized you’d been struggling for no reason? Remember that AHA! moment when Eades or Taubes or Sisson explained that if you try starving yourself thin, you’re just fighting your own body, and that “consume fewer calories than you burn” is an effect, not a cause? Switch to a real-food diet low in carbs, and your appetite and calorie intake will regulate itself – remember how it felt to finally have someone explain that? That sense of relief … combined with a bit of anger over all the time you wasted following bad advice?

That’s how I felt when I watched the video below (and many more later) by golf instructor Shawn Clement – who reminds me a bit of Mark Sisson. If there’s anyone I’d describe as a paleo golf instructor, it’s him. He relates the swing to motions our brains have already been programmed to accomplish easily. You can watch the video below, but I’ll paraphrase what he says in this and other videos:

If you ask someone to throw a rock or a spear or a frisbee towards a target, he’ll always do the same thing, without fail: take the arm back, cock the wrist, plant the lead foot, rotate the hips, sling the arm toward the target, then release. Ask him exactly when he cocked his wrist, or planted his foot, or turned his hips, he’ll have no idea – but he’ll do it correctly every time. That’s because humans have been throwing things at predators and prey forever, and the kinematic sequence to make that happen is hard-coded into our DNA. We don’t have to learn it. Our bodies and brains already know it.

So why do you struggle to shift your weight and rotate your hips when playing golf? Because you think your task is to hit the ball, so you’re making the ball your target. Your brain doesn’t see any reason to keep rotating your body once you’re facing your target.

But if your task is to throw the clubhead toward a target that’s down the fairway, your brain will fire that hard-coded kinematic sequence, and you will plant your foot, turn your hips, and sling the club – without thinking about it. Shifting your weight and turning your hips isn’t the cause of a good swing; it’s the effect of choosing the correct task.

I felt like a bit of a doofus for not realizing this before. I play disc golf. When I sling a disc toward the basket, I do everything Clement describes: take my arm back, rotate away from the target, cock the wrist, plant my lead foot, rotate my hips towards the target, follow through with my arm and shoulder, etc. – and I never think about it. That sequence just happens. All I’m thinking about is where I want the disc to go.

To remind our bodies that we’re throwing the clubhead toward the target, Clement even has a video showing how to literally throw the club underhand and down the fairway as a drill. I watched that video and several others at night. The next day I took some foam golf balls and a 9-iron out to the front pastures. Yes, I reminded myself, the ball is there, but it’s not my target. The target is that utility pole way out there. My task is to sling the clubhead toward the target and let it pick up the ball along the way.

BOOM. Left foot planted, hips rotated, weight shifted, arms accelerated, hands released, and I ended up standing on my left leg and facing the target. Every time. Without fail. Without thinking about the sequence.

I’ve since watched dozens of Clement’s golf videos. He frequently returns to the same idea: humans suck at thinking about individual body parts – he cites research to back up that statement — but we’re geniuses at automatically moving them in sequence to accomplish a task. Too many golf instructors look at the effects of a good swing and think those are the causes.

Sound familiar? Kind of like when the so-called experts tell you to focus on calories, calories, calories, but can’t explain why most people stayed lean back when nobody knew how many calories their meals contained? Matching their calories to their energy needs wasn’t the cause of being lean – that was the effect of eating real food. It was automatic.

As I watched more of Clement’s videos, I noticed he used to be quite a bit heavier. So imagine my delight when I came across a video where he explains that he lost 50 pounds on a primal diet after reading Grain Brain and meeting a guy named Mark Sisson. I doubt Sisson had any difficulty getting him to understand that matching calorie intake to energy needs is an effect, not a cause.

Because of YouTube’s viewers of this video also watched … feature, I came across another excellent golf instructor named Mike Malaska. His voice and vocal patterns remind me a bit of Dr. Mike Eades. So does his attitude towards the so-called experts.

I’m paraphrasing here, but in one of the first videos I watched on his channel, he said something like this:

Golf is the only sport where you swing at a ball and yet most instructors tell you to forget about your hands and focus on your legs and hips. Would anyone tell a baseball player, or a tennis player, or a ping-pong player, or a hockey player that the arms and hands just go along for the ride? Of course not. But that’s what we tell golfers. We tell them to crank through with their hips and force themselves into these various positions. Those positions aren’t the cause of a good swing. They’re the effects of a good swing. You swing the club with your hands and arms. If you relax and let the arms and hands do what they’re supposed to do, the body rotation and the weight shift will happen automatically.

Can you learn to swing a golf club by focusing on body parts and positions? Yes, but you’ll be fighting against your natural instincts, you’ll probably be inconsistent, and there’s a good chance you’ll hurt yourself.

That sounds a wee bit like:

We tell people to focus on calories and force themselves to eat fewer calories than they burn. Eating fewer calories than you burn isn’t the cause of getting your weight under control, it’s the effect of adopting a good diet. Can you lose weight by focusing on calories and going hungry all the time? Yes, but you’ll be fighting your natural instincts, you’ll be miserable much of the time, and there’s a good chance you’ll screw up your metabolism in the process.

If you’ve ever taken lessons or watched YouTube videos on golf and gone bleary-eyed with all the advice about hips, legs, feet, shoulders, elbows, rotating the core, shifting the weight, holding the lag, etc., etc., compare that with the simple advice Malaska gives here:

He doesn’t specifically say to throw the clubhead toward the target, but if you watch what he’s doing as he describes the “lever system,” it’s the same idea in different words: it’s an underhand throw and release toward the target.

That’s pretty much all I think about now: using my hands and arms to sling the clubhead underhanded towards the target and letting the lever system work. The body moves in response, but I don’t have to think about it. It’s an effect of the swinging motion, not a cause.

Causes vs. effects. The effective teachers — the teachers whose advice works — understand the difference, whether we’re talking about weight loss or golf.

I’ve been practicing what I learned from Clement and Malaska, and originally planned to take those lessons (and my new clubs) to an 18-hole course on my birthday three weeks ago. An emergency situation at work delayed those plans. I finally had the free day and the pleasant weather to play 18 holes the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

When I played 18 holes with The Older Brother and his Older Sons back in August (the day we dumped my dad’s ashes in the water hazard), I shot way over 100 and had more bad swings than good ones. On Thursday, I shot 85. I only took three swings all day where I skulled the ball – because I forgot to sling the clubhead toward the target and went back to trying the hit the ball. As soon as I reminded myself of the actual task, the swing came back – effortless weight shift and all.

I’m no more athletic now than I was in August, but I looked like a completely different golfer … because I kept scouring the internet until I found teachers who understand the difference between causes and effects and followed their advice.

Just like when I finally learned how to be healthy.


The Farm Report: Finally Back To A Bit Of Farm Work

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Daytime temperatures have mostly been in the 50s and 60s, but it’s cold enough at night to send the ticks and chiggers into hibernation. And of course, there’s the scenery. Man, I love autumn in Tennessee.

I haven’t done any farm work in months. Chareva has been tending her garden and taking care of the chickens, of course, but the two big projects we started last spring – fencing in the back of the property and re-netting/re-securing one of the old chicken yards – have gone nowhere since June. I was busy with the programming job, and neither of lobbied to spend the weekends doing hard outdoor work once the hot, humid weather kicked in.

And truth be told, I think we lost our enthusiasm for the fencing project when our dog Coco was killed. She and Misha used to escape together and go exploring (which led to Coco’s demise). We thought they’d enjoy chasing each other around a much larger area than the current fenced-in yard. But since Coco died, Misha seems to have lost the run-around-and-explore urge. We’ll finish fencing in the property someday, but the urgency is gone.

Now that pleasant days have arrived, I finally eased myself back into farm work by getting out the chainsaw and tackling this big ol’ tree, which fell down months ago.

We need more firewood stacked on the front porch, and as far as I’m concerned, the tree is basically a seasoned-firewood store at this point. I spent a good chunk of last weekend cutting it apart.

Nature provided even more firewood by snapping more branches off a dead tree near the creek. I’ll get to those soon as well.

The big ol’ tree happens to sit across the approach to a disc-golf basket that serves as the target for the first, ninth, tenth and eighteenth holes. Jimmy Moore arrived this week for our (almost) annual disc-golf grudge match, so I was especially motivated to open up the fairway a bit. Neither of us needs to have a disc whack a branch and go flying off in some random direction.

I barely played any disc golf this summer and my game has slipped, so it’s looking like a good year for Jimmy to take the crown. Five rounds in, I’ve yet to break par and managed to eke out two ties. He kicked my tail in the other three.  I only have two more days to redeem myself.


Galileo’s Middle Finger: The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck), Part Seven

Pardon the absence. Busy times at work.

Last year I read a book about scientists who were attacked by postmodernist wackos for the sin of refusing to bend their science to fit The Narrative. I figured taking a peek at the book would be a fitting way to finish off this series of posts.

Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice is an excellent read. It’s all the more effective because author Alice Dreger sympathizes with many of the goals of the feminist and transgender activists whose outrageous search-and-destroy tactics she recounts in the book. Dreger is a feminist herself, and she recognizes that science has at times been hijacked by racists and sexists. As she recalls of her own education in science:

Marxist and feminist science-studies scholars had for almost two decades been producing a large body of work deeply critical of various scientific claims and practices. They had shown how various scientists had, in word and deed, oppressed women, people of color, and poor folks, typically by making problematic “scientific” claims about them. Harvard biologist Ruth Hubbard, for example, had taken apart pseudoscientific claims that biology made women “naturally” less capable of doing science than men.… Meanwhile, Hubbard’s Harvard colleague Stephen Jay Gould had scrutinized “scientific” studies purporting to show important racial differences in skull size and IQ and had shown them to be hopelessly riddled with racist bias.

As a science historian, bioethicist, and former professor of clinical bioethics at Northwestern University, Dreger believes in good science. When scientists do sloppy research or allow their biases to skew the results, she reminds us, the problem is with the scientist – not with the scientific method:

The finding by Gould and others that scientists often suffered from bias didn’t mean science itself was rotten. The very fact that scholars could see and show problems of racist and sexist bias in science stood to me as proof that, together, evidence-driven scholars could advance knowledge and ultimately get past the individual human mind’s tendency to follow familiar scripts.

Dreger became an activist when her research led her to discover the medical abuse suffered by intersex children – children whose anatomy doesn’t quite fit either gender.

Some of these patients had immediately apparent mixes of male and female traits—a notable phallus and a vaginal opening or feminine breasts along with a full beard. Others appeared to have one sex externally but the opposite internally. All unwittingly challenged the idea that there were only two real sexes—that there was a clear, natural divide between men and women.

She learned that doctors, when faced with intersex children, often simply picked a gender for them.

The modern system featured not only highly aggressive cosmetic genital surgeries in infancy for children born with “socially inappropriate” genital variations like big clitorises, but also the withholding of diagnoses from patients and parents out of fear that they couldn’t handle the truth. It treated boys born with small penises as hopeless cases who “had” to be castrated and sex-changed into girls, and it assumed that the ultimate ability of girls to reproduce as mothers should take precedence over all else, including the ability to someday experience orgasm.

And later:

I was stunned and outraged by what was going on. I threw myself into the struggle and spent the decade after grad school living two lives—as a professor researching and writing academic histories of the medical establishment’s treatment of intersex and also as a patient advocate and a leading activist for the rights of sexual minorities.

You get the idea: she’s a feminist and activist who spent years fighting for the right of intersex people to choose their own gender or at least to be left alone by the medical industry. Hardly the type of person feminists and transgender activists should try to destroy. And yet they did … because she dared to defend scientists who disagreed with The Narrative promoted by postmodernists.

It was shortly after this time that I took on a new scholarly project, one that without much warning forced me to question my politics and my political loyalties, if not also my decision to give up tenure. This was a project that suddenly changed me from an activist going after establishment scientists into an aide-de-camp to scientists who found themselves the target of activists like me. Indeed, this project soon put me in a position I would never have imagined for myself: vilified by gender activists at the National Women’s Studies Association meeting and then celebrated at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society by the enemies of my childhood hero, Stephen Jay Gould.

… In 2003, three years before I came to the story, a group of transgender activists had kicked up a storm over a book by a Northwestern sex researcher, J. Michael Bailey, because in that book, Bailey had pushed a theory these activists didn’t like: Bailey had suggested that, in cases of men who become women, transgender isn’t just about gender identity, but also about sexual orientation—about eroticism. This, I already knew, was a no-no among certain groups of transgender activists who insisted that virtually all transgender people are born with the brain of one sex and the body of the other.

Transgender people, Dreger is careful to explain, aren’t in the same category as intersex people.  Intersex people have actual, physical traits of both genders.  They are also quite rare — somewhere in the neighborhood of one in 2,000.  Transgender people don’t have ambiguous body parts.

I’ve mentioned several times in this series of posts that postmodernists feel no obligation whatsoever to be logical or consistent. We are simply supposed to accept The Narrative and pretend we don’t notice when The Narrative contradicts itself – which it often does.

The Narrative insists that there are virtually no differences between men and women – in fact, if you declare yourself to be a man even though you have a female reproductive system and menstruate, well, by gosh, you ARE a man … which led to the recent bizarro-world decision by gender activists to go after the Always brand for putting the female Venus symbol on its menstrual products – because “men” have periods too, ya know!  (The company caved and agreed to drop the symbol.)

Okay, let’s see … if you simply declare that you identify as a man, you ARE a man. If you simply declare that you identify as a woman, you ARE a woman. There are no differences in the brains of men and women. In fact, there are really no genders at all … because gender is just a social construct. So says The Narrative. That’s why we see postmodernist drivel like this:

And yet according to The Narrative, the only acceptable explanation for transgender women is that they have a woman’s brain trapped inside a man’s body.

Uh … what? Let’s apply some simple logic:

If there are no differences between male and female brains, it’s not friggin’ possible to have a female brain trapped in a man’s body. If having male reproductive organs doesn’t make you a man, if having female reproductive organs doesn’t make you a woman, and if gender is nothing more than a social construct as opposed to a biological reality, IT’S NOT FRIGGIN’ POSSIBLE TO BE A WOMAN TRAPPED IN A MAN’S BODY.

So here’s the story so far:

If you don’t agree with The Narrative that there are no inherent differences between men and women – including their brains — you’re a bigot, a sexist, a homophobe, a hater, etc., etc.

If you don’t also agree with The Narrative that you are whatever gender you declare yourself to be, you’re a bigot, a sexist, a homophobe, a hater, etc., etc.

But if you don’t also agree with The Narrative that all transgender women have a woman’s brain trapped inside a man’s body, you’re a bigot, a sexist, a homophobe, a hater, etc., etc., and we are totally justified in trying to ruin your career and your life.

Yes, it’s utterly and completely contradictory. But remember, we’re talking about postmodernists here. They can be as illogical and self-contradictory as they please, and you’re supposed to just agree with them on everything, even if actual science says otherwise … which brings us back to the book:

I thought I knew from my background in science studies and a decade of intersex work how to navigate an identity politics minefield, so I wasn’t that worried when in 2006 I set out to investigate the history of what had really happened with Bailey and his critics. My investigation ballooned into a year of intensive research and a fifty-thousand-word peer-reviewed scholarly account of the controversy. And the results shocked me. Letting the data lead me, I uncovered a story that upended the simple narrative of power and oppression to which we leftist science studies scholars had become accustomed.

I found that, in the Bailey case, a small group had tried to bury a politically challenging scientific theory by killing the messenger. In the process of doing so, these critics, rather than restrict themselves to the argument over the ideas, had charged Bailey with a whole host of serious crimes, including abusing the rights of subjects, having sex with a transsexual research subject, and making up data. The individuals making these charges—a trio of powerful transgender women, two of them situated in the safe house of liberal academia—had nearly ruined Bailey’s reputation and his life. To do so, they had used some of the tactics we had used in the intersex rights movement …. but there was one crucial difference: What they claimed about Bailey simply wasn’t true.

Postmodernist tactics 101: words aren’t tools we use to help us arrive at the truth; they’re weapons to be wielded. Whatever you say about an opponent in order to destroy him doesn’t have to be true; it merely has to be effective.

Dreger published a lengthy article detailing the vicious and false attacks on Dr. Bailey. Not surprisingly, the postmodernist search-and-destroy squad went after her next:

Certainly I should have known what was coming—after all, I had literally written what amounted to a book on what this small group of activists had done to Bailey. But it was still pretty uncomfortable when I became the new target of their precise and unrelenting attacks. The online story soon morphed into “Alice Dreger versus the rights of sexual minorities,” and no matter how hard I tried to point people back to documentation of the truth, facts just didn’t seem to matter.

Correct. Facts never matter to postmodernists.

Troubled and confused by this ordeal, in 2008 I purposefully set out on a journey—or rather a series of journeys—that ended up lasting six years. During this time, I moved back and forth between camps of activists and camps of scientists, to try to understand what happens—and to figure out what should happen—when activists and scholars find themselves in conflict over critical matters of human identity. This book is the result.

And that’s just the opening chapter.

The book’s title is partly a reference to a trip to Italy Dreger took as a student. A museum had (supposedly) Galileo’s mummified finger on display. Dreger imagined him flipping off the authorities with all their superstitions and insistence on adhering to dogma.

Philosophically paving the way for the world as we now know it, Galileo actively argued for a bold new way of knowing, openly insisting that what mattered was not what the authorities—ancient or otherwise—said was true but what anyone with the right tools could show was true. As no one before him had, he made the case for modern science—for finding truth together through the quest for facts

But she also chose the title because the scientists whose stories she recounts in the book are much like Galileo himself. They believe in science, and expected (perhaps naively) that being scientifically correct would protect them from being persecuted by people who don’t like what they have to say. They were wrong about that, of course.

I had accidentally stumbled onto something much more surreal—a whole fraternity of beleaguered and bandaged academics who had produced scholarship offensive to one identity group or another and who had consequently been the subject of various forms of shout-downs. Only these academics hadn’t yet formed a proper society in which they could keep each other company. Most of these people had been too specialized or too geeky (or too convinced they were the only ones who didn’t deserve it) to realize there were others like them out there.

Dreger recounts persecutions of scientists who dared to challenge the idea of “recovered memory,” or dared to present evidence that the Yanomami frequently kill each other and kidnap women for sex (The Narrative says they’re all peaceful children of Nature), or dared to write papers arguing that yes, rape is sometimes about sex. (The Narrative says rape is always about violence and power, and never about sex, period.)

For daring to dispute The Narrative, these scientists were all publicly attacked and portrayed as bigoted tools of The Oppressors. Dreger found they were nothing of the sort.

The story I had been told about Mike Bailey and Craig Palmer and so many other white straight male scientists accused of producing bad and dangerous findings, the story I had willingly heard as an academic feminist in the humanities, was that these guys were just soldiers of the oppressive establishment against which we good guys had come to fight. They came from old dogma about human nature; we came from progress and social justice, and so we had to win.

But here I was faced with the fact that not only were these scientists politically progressive when it came to things like the rights of transgender people and rape victims, they were also willing to look for facts that might get them in hot water. They very much cared about progress in social justice, but they cared first about knowing what was true. They believed that good science couldn’t be done by just Ouija-boarding your answers. Good scholarship had to put the search for truth first and the quest for social justice second.

That’s not how postmodernists see it, of course. For them, truth runs a distant second to (ahem) “justice.” As someone who spent years in academia, Dreger knows that all too well:

I knew many of my colleagues in the humanities would disagree. I could practically hear them arguing against me, as if they were seated all around me in those cramped fake-leather seats, yelling to be heard above the churning propellers. We have to use our privilege to advance the rights of the marginalized. We can’t let people like Bailey and Palmer say what is true about the world. We have to give voice and power to the oppressed and let them say what is true. Science is as biased as all human endeavors, and so we have to empower the disempowered, and speak always with them.

She argues back quite effectively:

Justice cannot be advanced by letting ‘truth’ be determined by political goals. Only people like us, with insane amounts of privilege, could ever think it was a good idea to decide what is right before we even know what is true. Only insanely privileged people like us, who never fear the knock of a corrupt police, could think guilt or innocence should be determined by identity rather than by facts. Science—the quest for evidence—is not ‘just another way of knowing.’ It’s a methodical process of checking each other, checking theory against experiment, checking claim against fact, and fact against fact.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the engaging (and often infuriating) stories Dreger tells in Galileo’s Middle Finger. You may not care much about gender and transgender issues, but if you read this blog, I presume you care about science. I also hope you recognize that good science is facing an existential threat because of postmodernist lunacy, and sooner or later, the lunacy will affect all of us.

After all, The Narrative says that eating meat is evil, it’s bad for your health, and raising animals for food will ruin the planet. If these postmodernist wackos aren’t stopped, imagine what will happen to nutrition science. Imagine what will happen if they acquire the power to tell us what to eat. Well, heck, you don’t have to imagine. Just go read the EAT-Lancet paper.

Greger finishes with a chapter titled TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE AMERICAN WAY. Here are a few quotes:

Perhaps most troubling is the tendency within some branches of the humanities to portray scholarly quests to understand reality as quaint or naive, even colonialist and dangerous … to treat those who seek a more objective understanding of a problem as fools or de facto criminals is to betray the very idea of an academy of learners. When I run into such academics—people who will ignore and, if necessary, outright reject any fact that might challenge their ideology, who declare scientific methodologies “just another way of knowing”—I feel this crazy desire to institute a purge. It smells like fungal rot in the hoof of a plow horse we can’t afford to lose.

What privilege such people enjoy who can say there is no objective reality, no way to ascertain more accurate knowledge! … These must be people who have never had to fear enough to desperately need truth, the longing for truth, the gift of truth. Surely, the “scholar” who thinks truth is for children at Christmastime is the person who has never had to fear the knock of the secret police at her door.

The activists who founded the United States—the Founding Fathers—understood the critical connection between freedom of thought and freedom of person. They understood that justice (freedom of person) depends upon truth (freedom of thought), and that the quest for truth cannot occur in an unjust system. It’s no coincidence that so many of the Founding Fathers were science geeks.

I want to say to activists: If you want justice, support the search for truth. Engage in searches for truth … Evidence really is an ethical issue, the most important ethical issue in a modern democracy. If you want justice, you must work for truth. And if you want to work for truth, you must do a little more than wish for justice.

Bingo. She says pretty much everything the postermodernist wackos — with their hostility to free speech, their cancel culture, their rejection of logic and reason, their “different ways of knowing,” and their insistence that we all bow down before The Narrative — need to hear.

But I doubt any of them are listening. They’re too busy proving what fine, noble, enlightened people they are by shouting down everyone else.


The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Six

I’d planned for my next post to be a book review, but someone sent me a link to the video below because it perfectly captures everything I’ve been saying in this series of posts. The college professor in this video is a walking, talking (but barely-thinking) example of the postmodernist mindset described by Stephen Hicks in Explaining Postmodernism.

Now, set aside whatever opinions you have on illegal immigration, illegal immigrants, build the wall, don’t build the wall, etc. That’s not the issue here. The issue is how a college professor – an actual COLLEGE PROFESSOR at Cal State University – deals with logic, evidence and language.

As Hicks described in his book, postmodernists view everything in terms of The Oppressed and The Oppressors. When the speaker cites statistics showing that illegals commit federal crimes at a higher rate than the legal population, the professor immediately tries to blame it on “structural racism” – a term I’d wager a week’s pay she can’t define in fewer than 250 words, most of which will be gobbledygook.

But the really fascinating/horrifying part comes later, when the professor says that by citing these statistics, the speaker is engaging in conversation that is “oppressive.” There it is again, exactly as Hicks describes in his book. According to postmodernists, free speech is oppressive if the wrong people are allowed to speak freely.

(I always think of that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Come see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!”)

But speech isn’t just oppressive, ya see:

Speaker: So that means that you, a faculty member at an American public university, paid for by taxpayer dollars, are conflating speech with violence.

Professor: Yes. Speech can be violent.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the wackadoodle belief that leads to the cancel culture. If we don’t like what you’re saying, you’re committing violence – so we can shut you up to protect ourselves from the violence. (Or in the case of antifa, we can engage in true, physical violence and then claim we were merely protecting ourselves from your speech “violence.”)

Putting her postmodernist-induced lunacy further on display, the professor wants the speaker to ask the audience if they feeeeel violence has been committed on them. Do we rely on logic, proof, some kind of reasonable evidence actual violence has taken place? No, according to the professor, if people feeeeel violence has occurred, then violence has occurred.

It doesn’t require much imagination to see where this lunatic logic leads: people don’t like what they hear, they decide they feeeeel violence has committed, and they respond with actual violence. We’re already seeing that happen.

The speaker responds like a person with an actual functioning brain:

No I haven’t asked, because no violence has been committed on you, because violence is not a subjective feeling. Violence is an objective fact. I can objectively gauge whether or not someone has become violent.

Objectivist vs. subjectivist mindset. Again, exactly as Hicks describes in his book:

Objectivist: if it’s true, I’ll believe it.
Subjectivist: if I believe it, it’s true.

The speaker goes on:

And I would say to you, as a faculty member at a taxpayer-funded university, this is the foundation of liberal education. If you cannot understand that there is a difference between speech and violence, you don’t understand anything that undergirds the liberal arts or liberal education. And that is a real shame. And I say this with all respect and with great distress for our universities, if our teachers don’t understand the difference between ideas and violence, between speech and violence, then they are in no position to educate the next generation of Americans.

But they are educating the next generation of Americans, some of whom go on to work at Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. That’s why the cancel culture is invading those platforms. And that’s why Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are starting to suck.


The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Five

As I’m sure you know, some researchers recently examined the studies on meat and health and concluded there’s little to no evidence meat causes heart disease or cancer. Nina Teicholz wrote about the study and the reaction in the Los Angeles Times:

The red meat studies used one such review system, known as GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluations). In properly prioritizing clinical trials over observational research, GRADE necessarily pushed epidemiology off its pedestal, and this caused the GRADE team of 40-plus researchers from more than 10 countries to conclude that reducing your intake of meat is very unlikely to make you healthier.

The nutrition establishment went ballistic. Even before publication of the Annals papers, 14 heavyweights in the field signed a letter demanding a preemptive “retraction” of the review. All the signers were members of a group called the True Health Initiative that advocates for a plant-based diet.

Well, of course they went ballistic. That’s what The Anointed do when people dare to disagree with them. I’ve mentioned before that whenever I need a perfect example of The Anointed in action, Dr. David Katz is happy to oblige. Here’s a recent tweet from Katz:

He’s cheering the vegan wackos at PCRM for asking the federal government to shut down scientific debate. Just take a moment to wrap your head around that.

Scientists disagree with each other all the time. That’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s how science advances. The researchers who produced the meat won’t kill you study aren’t accused of faking their data. They’ve simply reached a conclusion the vegan wackos don’t like. So PCRM is demanding the Annals of Internal Medicine be forced to retract the study. Here’s a direct quote from the petition:

AIM’s advertisement does far more than cause financial harm—it also promotes physical harm to those who follow its dangerous advice. The Physicians Committee therefore requests that FTC permanently prohibit AIM from disseminating, or causing the dissemination of, the advertisement at issue and require AIM to issue a public retraction of and corrective statement regarding the advertisement.

Anyone who’s looked at the studies on meat and health knows the conclusions are all over the place, as I recounted in this post. If Katz and the PCRM don’t know that, they’re scientific illiterates. I’m pretty sure they’re not scientific illiterates (although the failed NuVal system designed by Katz ranked sugar-laden soy milk as far healthier than a chicken breast), which means when they say there’s overwhelming evidence that meat causes disease, they’re just flat-out lying.

How do they justify lying about known facts and trying to silence other researchers who point out those known facts? Simple: by adopting the postmodernist mindset I’ve been writing about in this series of posts. According to postmodernists:

  • There is no objective reality.
  • Reason and logic are irrelevant.
  • Feelings are more important than reason.
  • Language is not a tool we use to discern the truth; it’s a weapon to be wielded.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to label those who disagree with you as racists, sexists, etc. – the charges need not be true, merely effective.
  • In the hands of the “bad” people, free speech can cause actual harm.
  • To restore “true freedom,” freedom of speech must be withdrawn from those who support the oppressors, even unwittingly.

If you’re a supposed scientist but believe people shouldn’t kill animals to eat them, adopting the postmodernist philosophy must be quite liberating. You no longer have to deal with those annoying facts. You no longer have to consider studies showing that eating meat doesn’t cause heart disease or cancer. Because if you feeeeeel that eating meat is wrong, then by gosh, it’s wrong … and any lies you have to tell or any accusations you have to make to scare people away from meat are now perfectly acceptable. After all, you’re saving the oppressed animals – and if that requires silencing the people who disagree with you, well, that’s okay. The greater good is at stake.

For another example of the mindset at work, here’s a tweet by Kevin Bass, a big fan of the “cholesterol kills!” theory:

Goodness. I was under the impression that diet and health science was far from settled, with doctors and PhDs disagreeing with each other all the time. But apparently Kevin Bass (and only Kevin Bass) is so gifted and brilliant, so familiar with all the research and all its implications, he is 100 percent certain that his opinion on the matter is 100 percent correct – and anyone who disagrees with him should be charged with a felony and tossed in prison.

Yes, I’m sure that’s how science advances — and by demanding censorship and prison terms for those who disagree with him, Bass has proven himself a very good scientist indeed.

Like many people infected with the postmodernist mindset, Bass isn’t exactly a paragon of consistency. He likes to remind people in his tweets that by gosh, he has a degree in this field, and those of us who don’t have no business arguing with him. We must bow down before the degree.

So it was interesting when I found myself debating him on censorship and whether Facebook banning a low-carb diet group is simply a matter of “editorial focus.” (Facebook, of course, has no “editorial focus.” There are groups for vegans, carnivores, Jews, Catholics, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, communists, etc., etc. They have no more of an “editorial focus” than the bookstore on Amazon.)

I reminded Bass my degree is in journalism, which included studying topics like censorship and editorial focus. So by continuing to argue with me, he was violating his own rule about bowing down before people with degrees. I paraphrased one of his own tweets, something to effect that the opinions he forms based on Google searches don’t equal my degree.

He responded by blocking me. That’s what happens when you confront postmodernists with arguments they can’t answer.

Here’s Bass proving he’s a major Basshole by tweeting a reaction to the news that Dr. Berry’s house was damaged by fire:

Once again, I was under the impression the “Cholesterol Kills!” theory was far from proven. Quite a few people, myself included, have had “high” cholesterol for decades, yet show zero calcium on a coronary calcium test.  But Kevin Bass is 100 percent sure he’s 100 percent correct that cholesterol causes heart disease, and anyone who disagrees is causing people to die … so it’s good if that person’s house burns.

But that’s typical of the postmodern cancel culture. If you disagree with me, you are automatically an evil person, you deserve any bad thing that happens to you, and you deserve to be silenced. Only the opinions I agree with should be allowed in any public forum.

The subjectivist philosophers who taught that logic isn’t relevant and feelings matter more than reason didn’t create illogical people who are immune to facts, of course. They’ve always been around. More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle explained that some people make decisions based on reason and logic, while others make decisions based on emotions.

What the subjectivists did was convince people that making decisions about what is and isn’t real based on feeeeelings is correct. The postmodernists then took that ball and ran with it, providing a rationale for assuming anyone who disagrees with you is evil and must be silenced – because if that’s what you feeeeel, it must be true.

Back in the day, universities served as a bulwark against such childish thinking by demanding mental rigor from their students. Then the postmodernists invaded the universities. Now childish thinking is encouraged by many professors. It’s a “different way of knowing,” ya see.

If you spend any time debating issues on social media (or in real life), you’re going to run into more and more of these people. Given everything we’ve covered in this series of posts, I’d suggest keeping a few things in mind when dealing with people infected by postmodernism and the cancel culture:

Logic, facts and reason will bounce off their heads like little rubber bullets.

Sure, cite the facts. Make the logical argument. Just remember that you’re dealing with people who aren’t the least bit persuaded by logic or evidence. Yes, they’ll occasionally cite a study or whatever, but don’t expect them to analyze it logically or even understand it. They’re not citing the study as part of a logical argument. They’re simply firing a weapon. If you point out a huge flaw in the study, or point out that the study actually negates their argument, they don’t care. That just means the weapon misfired. They’ll drop it and pick up another one.

If need be, they will simply make @#$% up.

Debate a postmodernist, and they’ll throw out all kinds of “facts” that simply aren’t true. Again, we’re talking about people who don’t believe in objective reality and who view words as weapons, not tools to discern the truth. So don’t be surprised when they tell you hundreds of studies have shown that meat causes colon cancer! If you challenge the “facts” – say, asking them for some kind of evidence – they’ll probably ignore the challenge and attempt to change the argument.

Sooner or later, they will start insisting you’re an evil person.

Dennis Prager wrote a column in which he opined that people adopt radical-left positions because it makes them feel morally superior while excusing them from dealing with hard realities. I agree.  It’s easy-peasy to give a speech excoriating adults for not dealing with climate change to your satisfaction … without having to deal with the reality that we cannot possibly get rid of fossil fuels (yet) without crashing the world’s economies. It’s easy-peasy to support Free Health Care and Free College For All! … without having to explain how a country already running trillion-dollar deficits will pay for the “free” stuff. It’s easy-peasy to insist that people shouldn’t eat meat because innocent animals are killed … without having to deal with the reality that countless critters are killed to raise crops.

Because postmodernists feel free to jettison reason and ignore those little annoyances called “facts,” they can simply adopt a position that feeeeels morally superior, then assume anyone who doesn’t support the position must be evil … as opposed to being a realist.

So don’t be surprised when you make what you think is a logical, realistic argument, only to have your debate opponent announce that you’re obviously a racist, sexist, animal-murderer, planet-killer, tool of the big bad meat industry, or whatever. That’s the Alinsky strategy at work: if you can’t debate your opponent on the facts, change the argument by calling him a racist instead.

Don’t be offended, and don’t get sucked in. The label actually has nothing to do with anything you said or any position you’ve taken. Trust me, the postmodernist decided you’re an evil person before the debate even began. They don’t care about facts, and the childish belief in their own moral superiority is all they really have.

Which leads to …

If you’re feeling mischievous, you can have a helluva lot of fun by forgoing logic and reason and arguing exactly like they do.

I admit it: I do this now and then, just to watch a postmodernist’s head explode. Remember, you’re dealing with people whose belief system is based entirely on a feeeeling of moral superiority. You’ll never come up with a logical argument to shake that belief. You’ll never convince the postmodernist you’re not an evil person, just someone who deals with reality and facts.

So don’t bother. Don’t go on defense – that’s what they expect. Instead, go on offense and explain why the postmodernist’s position makes him a bad person. You don’t have to actually believe the postmodernist is a bad person, you understand. You just have to take that position for the fun of it. Then stand back and watch the meltdown.

For example: I’ve had vegans tell me that by eating meat, I’m contributing to global warming — and I’m animal murderer too. I reply that by eating soybean burgers, they’re responsible for countless critters being killed in soybean fields that require chemical fertilizers that are ruining the planet, then those soybean burgers are trucked all over the country in gas-guzzling trucks, thus contributing to global warming and further ruining the planet.

That part is factual. Then we move to the fun part, which would be something like …

Man, I can’t believe the way you vegans are okay with killing all those poor critters in the farm fields and ruining the planet just so you can feel good about yourself by eating a soybean burger. You should be ashamed of yourself. You clearly don’t care about animals or the environment like I do.

BOOM! The head explodes.

If you choose to borrow my method, just keep hammering home how evil the postmodernist’s behavior or position is. Don’t relent. Ignore any protestations or offers of evidence that no, no, no, the postmodernist is a Good Person. Do what they do: keep insisting they’re horrible people. Sooner or later (probably sooner) you’ll be blocked. Consider that a victory in a fun little game and go on with your day.

Unfortunately, it’s not a game to scientists who’ve been hounded out of their jobs for disputing the postmodernist narrative. For my final post in this series, we’ll look at a book that deals with that subject.

Since this series dealt with the postmodernist beliefs inspired by the subjectivist philosophers — and I happened to have my two best friends in town for a visit while writing it — we quickly whipped up our version of The Philosophers Song by Monty Python.


The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Four

Campuses across the United States have become ground zero for silencing free speech. Universities founded to encourage diversity of thought and debate have become incubators of intolerance where non-sanctioned views are silenced through bullying, speech codes, “free speech zones,” and other illiberal means.

The quote above is from The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, by Kirsten Powers. Several conservative and libertarian authors have written about the cancel culture, but I wanted to get her perspective because she’s a liberal who worked for Bill Clinton. She says exactly what I hoped she’d say: true liberals should be fighting this nonsense. Throughout the book, she refers to the postmodernists who want to stifle speech as the illiberal left.

At the end of our previous episode, we saw this quote from postmodernist bigwig Herbert Marcuse, describing the policies needed to (ahem) restore freedom of thought:

They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc. Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions.

When Marcuse wrote those words in 1965, few people could imagine universities imposing “new and rigid restrictions on teachings” to somehow promote freedom of thought. After all, the first big campus protests in the 1960s weren’t about Vietnam; they were about the rights of students to engage in free speech.

Somewhere in hell, Marcuse is laughing himself silly. The big protests and riots on campuses today are certainly about speech, but the students are protesting and rioting because other people are saying things they don’t like — and the students want them to shut the hell up.

Perhaps you’ve heard about what happened to professor Bret Weinstein at Evergreen college in Washington state (bold emphasis mine):

Evergreen made headlines in May 2017 when biology professor Bret Weinstein drew student protests and threats of violence for refusing to leave campus on the “Day of Absence.” Weinstein had told the director of a campus multicultural office via an email that he was not leaving campus on a day when white students and faculty were asked to voluntarily leave campus.

He was surrounded by a student mob and yelled at for refusing to participate, with the crowd chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Bret Weinstein’s got to go.”

Weinstein was forced to hold class off campus because he was told that campus police could not protect him.

Those quotes don’t capture just how triggered Weinstein’s students were. This video should do the trick:

A self-described “deeply progressive” professor was hounded, threatened and called a racist because he politely refused to (ahem) “voluntarily” segregate himself on the basis of his race. Let’s see if we can follow the logic here:

I will not be identified by my race = he’s a racist!

So decided the twenty-something mental midgets at Evergreen college. When Weinstein attempted a civil conversation, the students cursed him, shouted him down, and told him to JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN!

In postmodern-speak, this is known as “engaging in a dialog.” Or as Powers puts in her book: The illiberal left doesn’t desire debate; it wants a monologue on one side and silence on the other.

The labels the students apply to Weinstein in the video are absurdly illogical. But remember, we’re talking about students whose minds have been polluted by postmodernists. As we learned from Professor Stephen Hicks in his book Explaining Postmodernism, the postmodernists believe that:

  • Reason and logic are irrelevant.
  • Language is not a tool we use to discern the truth; it’s a weapon to be wielded.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to label those who disagree with you as racists, sexists, etc. – the charges need not be true, merely effective.
  • In the hands of the “bad” people, free speech can cause actual harm.
  • To restore “true freedom,” freedom of speech must be withdrawn from those who support the oppressors, even unwittingly..

Add it all up, and you have the prescription for the cancel culture. The appeal among college students is understandable. Sure, you’re a twenty-something who’s never actually accomplished anything. Sure, you’ll probably end up working at a coffee bar and living in your mom’s basement after you receive that oh-so-useful degree in Gender Studies or Art History. But in the meantime …

YOU get to elevate yourself in the eyes of your peers by declaring other people to be racists, sexists, homophobes, or whatever – and best of all, you’re not even required to present actual evidence supporting the charge!

YOU get to decide which speech is allowed and which speech is harmful to the oppressed and must be shut down.

YOU get to decide who should be fired, shouted down, de-platformed, etc. – because of course, YOU are qualified to make those decisions.

If you succeed in getting someone fired or de-platformed, YOU are elevated again in the eyes of your peers as a brave warrior because you “took a scalp” – while risking absolutely no harm to yourself.

It’s all about YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU!

After absurdly targeting him as a racist, the students took Weinstein’s scalp, thus depriving themselves of the opportunity to learn from a professor who was, by all accounts, a brilliant and dedicated educator. The only upside to the incident is that the following year, freshman enrollment at Evergreen dropped by 50%. Good to know there are still some college-bound students who want to be educated instead of indoctrinated.

It’s symbolic that Weinstein taught science — evolutionary biology, to be specific — because if there’s one area of academics you’d expect to be immune to postmodernist nonsense, it’s the hard sciences. Try telling a true scientist that there’s no objective reality, that logic and evidence have no relevance, or that feelings are more important than reason. A true scientists would laugh out loud.

Well, that used to be the case. Nowadays, thanks to the cancel culture, the true scientist might just keep quiet to avoid committing career suicide. Here’s a recent tweet from Weinstein himself:

The facts of human biology at odds with the entire history and diversity of life on Earth asserted by postmodernists are part of what’s often called The Narrative – a set of beliefs you must not question. You are required to simply accept them as true:

  • The only differences between males and females are the genitalia — all other observed differences are the result of social conditioning.
  • Male and female are nothing more than artificial social constructs — there are actually 57 genders. Or 112 genders. Or no genders. It depends on who you ask.
  • If people belonging to officially recognized victim groups are underrepresented in certain academic or professional fields, the only possible explanation is deep-seated bias by the oppressors.
  • Humans are causing the planet to become dangerously warm … uh, or if the planet isn’t exactly warming, the climate is still changing in some kind of bad way … and this has only been happening recently and is the result of capitalism.

If you are foolish or brave enough question any of these beliefs, the postmodernists will do everything in their power to destroy your reputation, your career and your life. As exhibit A, I present Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard. When asked why there are fewer women professors in fields like mathematics and astrophysics, Summers listed several possibilities … but made the ginormous mistake of suggesting that gender differences in aptitude may play a role. For this offense against The Narrative, he was forced to resign.

It didn’t matter that Summers was merely speculating that a known fact may be involved. IQ researchers have known for decades that while males and females have the same average IQ (100), there are far more males at both extremes of the bell curve. In other words, compared to females, males are several times more likely to be dunces or geniuses. Given this known fact, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are more males in fields requiring a genius IQ.

But according to The Narrative, if fewer women choose a career in astrophysics, the only acceptable explanation is bias. So they took Summers’ scalp.

You’ve probably heard the statistic that 97 percent of scientists agree that humans are warming the planet. What you probably haven’t heard is that 1) the vast majority of those scientists aren’t climate scientists, and 2) the 97 percent figure is drawn from the scientists willing to express an opinion. Two-thirds of the scientists (including climate scientists) declined to offer an opinion.

Hmmm, now why might that be the case? Perhaps because scientists know if they dispute The Narrative, they’ll find themselves out of work? (Kind of like what happened to the scientists who publicly disputed the Lipid Hypothesis.)

What a great technique for manufacturing a consensus. First, you make it clear that any scientist who dares to disagree will be targeted for extinction. Then you ask scientists to offer an opinion. Lo and behold, almost all the scientists who offer an opinion agree with you! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a consensus, so that proves we’re right!

I don’t care whether you buy into the man-made-global-warming theory or not. If you care about science, you shouldn’t want dissenters (or DENIERS!) silenced. You shouldn’t want we have a consensus! to put a stop to inquiry and debate. (By the way, we have a consensus was one of McGovern’s justifications for pushing the dietary guidelines on the public.)

But surely scientists are still scientists, and even if they keep quiet about their findings, they still respect the scientific method, right? Well, that depends on whether the (ahem) “scientist” is a postmodernist or not. Back in this post, I wrote about the nonsense coming from fields like gender studies. Academics in these departments write papers declaring (in tortured English) that all differences between males and females are socially constructed. Amazingly, people buy into that nonsense.

Years ago, I mentioned to a female co-worker that when my sister was an adolescent, she was unusually strong for a girl. (A couple of boys who picked on her learned that the hard way.) Thanks to my co-worker’s postmodernist college education, she took offense and demanded, “What do you mean FOR A GIRL?!”

“I mean she was unusually strong for a girl. You do realize males are much stronger on average than females, don’t you?”

“That’s because men are encouraged to exercise their bodies and women aren’t.”

Yes, she actually believed that. It’s as logical as saying men are taller on average because they’re encouraged to grow taller, or that men have deeper voices on average because they’re encouraged to have deeper voices. It’s also as logical as saying our roosters and our hens behave differently because of social conditioning.

True scientists can point to many reasons (higher testosterone, to name just one) that males are stronger, faster and more aggressive on average than females. So how to the postmodernists deal with these proven biological differences?

Simple. They just just declare that 1) reason, logic and the scientific method are sexist and can therefore be dismissed, and 2) they have discovered “different ways of knowing.” Thanks to these “different ways of knowing,” the postmodernists can declare that male and female are simply social constructs, not biological realities, and that if a biological male declares himself to be a female, well by gosh, he IS a female — and anyone who says otherwise is a hateful bigot who must be silenced.

This has created the absurd situation where biological males are competing in women’s track events, setting all kinds of new records, and going home with all the medals … because to admit that biological males have an inborn advantage would violate The Narrative.

For an even more absurd example, here are some quotes from an article in the American Wire:

Biological males who identify as transgender women are wreaking havoc in women’s rugby in Great Britain.

Women’s rugby referees in England are quitting their jobs over the inclusion of the male athletes, according to a report in The Sunday Times this weekend.

“Being forced to prioritize hurt feelings over broken bones exposes me to personal litigation from female players who have been damaged by players who are biologically male. This is driving female players and referees out of the game,” one referee told the British paper under the condition of anonymity.

Of course the referee would only speak under the condition of anonymity. If she expressed her concern for women getting bashed by biological males without being anonymous, the postmodernist outrage mob would be all over social media, calling her a bigot, a hater, a transphobe, etc., etc., and demanding her head on a platter.

Ironic, isn’t it? Because they will never, ever allow mere facts to get in the way of The Narrative, feminist gender-studies professors have created situations where biological males are kicking the crap out of females.

Perhaps you don’t care about any of this stuff. Perhaps you don’t care if biological males are allowed to compete as females, or if scientists who dispute the man-made-global-warming theory lose their livelihoods.

You should care. Because sooner or later, the postmodernist cancel culture will pick a target that matters to you. The Narrative keeps growing and expanding into ever-more-ridiculous arenas. It will soon include (if it doesn’t already) no-questions-allowed beliefs such as:

  • Raising animals for meat causes global warming
  • The amount of meat we’re allowed to eat must be limited to save the planet

If you don’t believe me, go take another look at the EAT-Lancet manifesto.