An evolutionary biologist chronicles the onslaught:
At first, left-wing pushback to evolution appeared largely in response to the field of human evolutionary psychology. Since Darwin, scientists have successfully applied evolutionary principles to understand the behavior of animals, often with regard to sex differences. However, when scientists began applying their knowledge of the evolutionary underpinnings of animal behavior to humans, the advancing universal acid began to threaten beliefs held sacrosanct by the Left. The group that most fervently opposed, and still opposes, evolutionary explanations for behavioral sex differences in humans were/are social justice activists. Evolutionary explanations for human behavior challenge their a priori commitment to “Blank Slate” psychology—the belief that male and female brains in humans start out identical and that all behavior, sex-linked or otherwise, is entirely the result of differences in socialization.
This stance is maintained by the belief that evolutionary explanations for sex-linked behavioral differences are biologically essentialist, which is the fatalistic notion that biology alone directly determines our behavior. Blank Slate psychology, however, is universally rejected by experts, as the evidence for innate sex-linked personality differences in humans is overwhelmingly strong. But experts also universally reject that this view demands we embrace biological essentialism, because the environment does play a role, and observed sex differences are simply averages and overlap tremendously between the sexes. Sex no more determines one’s personality than it determines one’s height. Sex certainly influences these traits, but it does not determine them. For instance, most of us know females who are taller than most males, and males who are shorter than most females, though we are all aware that males are, on average, taller than females. In humans, the same is true for behavioral traits.
Wright’s already said enough to get himself fired from most campuses. So no surprise,
Now, armed with what they perceive to be an indisputable truth questioned only by sexist bigots, they respond with well-practiced outrage to alternative views. This has resulted in a chilling effect that causes scientists to self-censor, lest these activists accuse them of bigotry and petition their departments for their dismissal. I’ve been privately contacted by close, like-minded colleagues warning me that my public feuds with social justice activists on social media could be occupational suicide, and that I should disengage and delete my comments immediately. My experience is anything but unique, and the problem is intensifying. Colin Wright, “The New Evolution Deniers” at Quillette
Intensifying? Progressives are felling the careers of Larry Krauss, Francisco Ayala, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, all Darwin stalwarts, on sex harassment charges. In the #MeToo cauldron, who’s gonna risk speaking up for Darwin next?
Rob Sheldon, our physics color commentator, offers some thoughts from the comparatively safe (for now) perch of experimental physics:
Quillette has a tradition of providing a forum for people who can’t get heard on the regular channels, perhaps due to political correctness. This article was by an evolutionary biologist who thinks that the slogan “gender is a social construct” denies Darwin. Here are the conclusions:
“Back when evolution was under attack from proponents of Biblical Creation and Intelligent Design, academic scientists were under no pressure to hold back criticism. This is because these anti-evolution movements were almost exclusively a product of right-wing evangelicals who held no power in academia. Now we have a much bigger problem, because evolution denialism is back, but this time it’s coming from left-wing activists who do hold power in academia. This makes the issue both harder to ignore and harder to remove. Social justice and hyper-militant trans activism now seems to act as a kind of anti-universal acid, and not merely a strong buffer solution. While the universal acid of evolution eats through old cherished beliefs and replaces them with deeper understanding and a clearer picture of reality, the anti-universal acid of social justice ideology is a recklessly destructive force, aiming to abolish scientific truth and replace it with relativistic postmodern nonsense…”
“But it seems clear to me that academia now is not as it was advertised a decade ago when I started down this path. It is no longer a refuge for outspoken, free-thinking intellectuals. Instead, it seems one must now choose between living a zipper-lipped life as an academic scientist, or living a life as a fulfilled intellectual. Currently, one cannot do both.”
So evidently, shutting down Christians was “outspoken, free-thinking” but shutting down evolutionary biologists “a zipper-lipped life”. Or that Darwinism is a good “universal acid”, but the post-modern products of Darwinism are “a kind of anti-universal acid”, (whatever that might be, he doesn’t seem to know his pH scale.) Despite the pain they feel, they don’t seem to realize it is their own hands that have torn down the edifice of knowledge. They still think that discrimination is valid when they are in charge, that courtesy is only for friends, that objectivity is their personal possession.
The mere argumentation used in this article reveals that the academic battles for truth were lost a generation earlier, and today we are simply sweeping up the shards.
The Chinese have a saying: He who rides a tiger can never dismount. Wright tells us, “And biologists like myself often sit quietly, afraid to defend our own field out of fear that our decade of education followed by continued research, job searches, and the quest for tenure might be made obsolete overnight if the mob decides to target one of us for speaking up.” It’s tough. People who question Darwinism go through it routinely. If the axe falls, maybe Gunter Bechly could help Wright get used to it.
Note: At The Scientist, Ashley P. Taylor updates us on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s woes:
Tyson published a response to the allegations in a Facebook post Saturday night. He says that he did not recognize, in the moments of the alleged misconduct, how uncomfortable Allers and Watson were and that he regrets having made them uneasy. While he did not realize that his behavior had bothered Allers until last week, he says that Watson confronted him about the wine-and-cheese evening on her last day at work and that he then “apologized profusely.” He also says that he made the hug-related comments to Watson “on a few occasions” in the context of refusing her hugs and offering a handshake instead. In his statement, Tyson rejects Amet’s accusation of assault. Tyson also states that he welcomes the investigation by Fox and National Geographic. More.
Once all these guys are replaced by the SJW’s hand picks, the unchallengeable bumf we hear will be different, until those hand picks get slaughtered in the next wave of persecutions. Progressivism is like that.
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See also: Larry Krauss? Francisco Ayala? And now Neil deGrasse Tyson?
Bret Weinstein, the Evergreen prof who got SJW-d? It’s partly the fault of creationists!