Monday, January 3, 2022

Too Many Scientists are White Men

Scientific American magazine published an essay falsely calling the recently deceased E.O. Wilson a racist, and adding:
Other scholars have pointed out that feminist standpoint theory is helpful in understanding white empiricism and who is eligible to be a worthy observer of the human condition and our world.
The link explains:
In this article I take on the question of how the exclusion of Black American women from physics impacts physics epistemologies, and I highlight the dynamic relationship between this exclusion and the struggle for women to reconcile “Black woman” with “physicist.” I describe the phenomenon where white epistemic claims about science—which are not rooted in empirical evidence—receive more credence and attention than Black women’s epistemic claims about their own lives. ...

To provide an example of the role that white empiricism plays in physics, I discuss the current debate in string theory about postempiricism, motivated in part by a question: why are string theorists calling for an end to empiricism rather than an end to racial hegemony? I believe the answer is that knowledge production in physics is contingent on the ascribed identities of the physicists.

I think the idea here is that the Copenhagen interpretation teaches that an observation of a quantum experiment by a white man collapses the wave function, but one by a Black woman does not. Yes, she capitalizes Black but not white.

Nature, the sister magazine, has also gone woke racist:

Too many scientists still say Caucasian

Of the ten clinical genetics labs in the United States that share the most data with the research community, seven include ‘Caucasian’ as a multiple-choice category for patients’ racial or ethnic identity, despite the term having no scientific basis. Nearly 5,000 biomedical papers since 2010 have used ‘Caucasian’ to describe European populations. This suggests that too many scientists apply the term, either unbothered by or unaware of its roots in racist taxonomies used to justify slavery — or worse, adding to pseudoscientific claims of white biological superiority.

Soon they will be saying that the term "human" has no scientific basis, and we are all just apes.

Wilson spent most of his career studying ants. He found that genes influence ant behavior, and suggested the same for other animals and humans. That is the basis for calling him a racist.

Apparently all the woke powers are pushing The Blank Slate, and get upset at any suggestion of the obvious truth that behavior is a subtle combination of nature and nuture. One of Wilson's big sins seems to be that he once made some positive comments about a book titled On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration. It seems like a straightforward and non-political science book to me. Steve Pinker masterfully debunks the blank slate, as we would still be apes if the blank slate were true.

Scott Aaronson agrees that it is wrong to attack Wilson as a racist, but he has to do mental cartwheels to explain why he is agreeing with right-wingers. He now subscribes to a Wuhan lab virus leak theory, and says that Donald Trump was 100% correct, but does not want to give him any credit, so he blames Trump for being right because all decent people reject what Trump says, and thus the truth is discredited.

I am beginning to think that nearly all academics suffer from diseased thinking.

Update: Aaronson now says that according to some definitions, Trump was lying by telling the truth, if he did not realize that he was telling the truth.

Update: SciAm refused to publish this excellent rebuttal, by Jerry Coyne and others.

1 comment:

  1. It should be painfully apparent that science and discovery is not the primary concern of Scientific American. Delusion and fear based virtue signaling have rotted out this once fine publication.

    If you truly feel everyone except yourself is a racist/bigot/ista-phobe, and that skin color or gender denotes virtue, merit, and accomplishment, please consider seeking help from someone who specializes in non-woke psychological counseling for doublethink.

    "To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone - to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink - greetings!"

    — George Orwell