According to The College Fix:
UChicago scholar proves biologists believe life begins at conception. It took five years and cost him a career.
Daniel Payne – Assistant Editor •July 10, 2019
‘I’m doing this for the sake of the research’
Steven Jacobs has described some of his time in the academy as “agony.”
The University of Chicago PhD spent the last half-decade in a grueling fight to gather and publish research related to the American abortion debate. During that time he was ridiculed, mocked and defamed; accused of committing academic dishonesty, politicizing science and conducting his work with personal bias; compared to the Ku Klux Klan; and in general painted as an unprofessional radical who was, in one academic’s words, “not deserving of a PhD degree.”
All of this came about simply because Jacobs asked thousands of scientists several questions about when they believe human life begins – questions one respondent referred to as a “trap” and another called “horribly manipulative.”
The results of Jacobs’ work would eventually reveal a stunning fact about American academia in the field of biology: professors overwhelmingly agree with the pro-life position that human lives begin at conception. Gathering that data, arguing it, and getting it published, however, was a crushing and drawn-out affair.
This suggests, there may be yet another guilty secret lurking behind the dominant, widely promoted views. A clip of the results of his survey may give a clue:
Breitbart adds to our understanding of what seems to be a troubling case:
A study found 80 percent of Americans say biologists should decide the question of when life begins, and, when more than 5,500 biologists were then asked that question, 96 percent affirmed life begins at fertilization.
Steven Jacobs, Ph.D. completed his doctoral dissertation research (final publication pending, but an earlier version can be read here) recently at the University of Chicago, but only after a decade of investigation that ultimately led to his final study titled “Balancing Abortion Rights and Fetal Rights.”
In his research, Jacobs focused on studying Americans’ beliefs and values, attitudes toward abortion, and beliefs about when life begins.
One of the quotes he included in his study comes from an anonymous academic biologist, who said, “[The abortion debate] comes down to the question of whether we think personal autonomy is more important than the life of a human being.”
For the first part of his research, Jacobs went to the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision itself for a list of experts who might be considered most qualified to determine when life begins. He then presented this list to participants in one of his surveys.
Jacobs surveyed a sample of 3,883 Americans who were given the choice of biologists, religious leaders, voters, philosophers, or Supreme Court justices as the group of experts most qualified to determine when life begins.
According to the study, the sample was predominantly pro-choice (62 percent), liberal (63 percent), socialist (54 percent), and Democrat (66 percent.) Of the participants, 63 percent were college graduates, 57 percent were female, 43 percent were male.
Results showed 80 percent of Americans selected biologists (95 percent confidence interval [79-81 percent]) as the group to answer the question of when life begins.
Pro-choice participants (86 percent) were more likely to select biologists than pro-life participants (69 percent).
“I followed that up with an open-ended question: ‘Why did you select that group?” and 92 percent said they selected biologists because they are experts in science and they are objective scientists,” Jacobs told Breitbart News in an interview.
The researcher then took survey questions to 5,577 biologists from over a thousand academic institutions in 86 countries. According to the study, the sample of biologists was predominantly non-religious (63 percent), with more liberals (89 percent) than conservatives (11 percent), Democrats (92 percent) than Republicans (8 percent), and pro-choice supporters (85 percent) than pro-life supporters (15 percent).
While the study focused on the biological view of when a human’s life begins, the surveys also included questions about other scientific concepts related to genetics, etc. Participants were asked to respond “Correct” or Incorrect” to statements describing the biological view that “a human’s life begins at fertilization.” An open-ended question on the participants’ biological view of “when a human’s life begins” was also presented.
Overall, the study found 96 percent of biologists affirmed the view that a human’s life begins at fertilization (95 percent confidence interval [95-97 percent]).
The College Fix gives some troubling points of concern:
One respondent to Jacobs’ survey “accused me of nefarious intentions and threatened to sabotage my work by telling other biologists to not participate in my study,” the scholar said. That professor “ultimately reported me to my school’s ethics committee.” Jacobs’ advisor told him to halt his data-gathering, though eventually that advisor would defend Jacobs before the school’s ethics committee, after which the research was allowed to continue.
However, after beginning the survey again, this time in September 2016, “my study was once again canceled within a week.” Jacobs’ advisor was beleaguered with accusations that he himself “had no integrity for even approving [the] research.”
“I was told that my survey seemed like it was developed by the Ku Klux Klan; I was told that my work could expedite the extinction of the human race; I was told that I should be ashamed of myself since I was damaging the reputation of the University of Chicago,” Jacobs said.
He provided The Fix with a staggering number of responses from the survey respondents. Those emails range from the affirmative to the immaterial to the aggressively vituperative.
“A VERY poorly designed questionnaire. I doubt that ANY serious conclusions can be drawn from it,” one response reads. “Abortion has been legal for over 40 years. It’s time for all the religious nuts to get over it,” said another. “Abortion is a woman’s right; the state has no role in the decision to abort whatever the reason (medical, cultural, economic),” a third reads.
“Abortion is not about biology. Please don’t use this survey to say ‘Look, even biologists are pro-life’ because that is absolutely not what my answers mean,” another respondent said.
Others equivocated on the relevance of the questions. “Biology deals with facts. When a life, with value, begins or ends is best decided by philosophers and ethicists,” said a respondent.
Another wrote: “As a scientist, I agree that life begins at fertilization. But, as a citizen of this democracy, I support a woman’s right to choose. From that perspective, I adopt the opinion that life begins at first heartbeat.”
Another criticized Jacobs for referring to the two sides of the abortion debate as “choice” and “pro-life.” That professor requested that the terms be classified as “choice” and “anti-choice.”
This, in response to questions such as:
Asking biologists basic questions on human development
The survey questions were directed specifically at determining respondents’ beliefs about when individual lives begin. Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with two “implicit statements.”
The first read: “The end product of mammalian fertilization is a fertilized egg (‘zygote’), a new mammalian organism in the first stage of its species’ life cycle with its species’ genome.” The second declared: “The development of a mammal begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
A subsequent “explicit statement” asked recipients to respond to this premise: “In developmental biology, fertilization marks the beginning of a human’s life since that process produces an organism with a human genome that has begun to develop in the first stage of the human life cycle.”
An open-ended essay question asked respondents to answer “from a biological perspective” the question “When does a human’s life begin?’”
The questions are firmly couched in the premises and presumptions of biological science rather than any political ideology. And yet the backlash to the survey was relentless and viciously negative.
Jacobs has apparently been told that he is in effect blacklisted; something that sounds all to familiar to those who have argued, analysed and done research that warrants a design inference.
This sort of pattern suggests a guilty secret.
Food for thought. END