Monday, May 6, 2024

Unscientific American

James B. Meigs writes:
Science journalism surrenders to progressive ideology.

Michael Shermer got his first clue that things were changing at Scientific American in late 2018. The author had been writing his “Skeptic” column for the magazine since 2001. ...

Shermer dug his grave deeper by quoting Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald and The Coddling of the American Mind authors Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, who argue that the rise of identity-group politics undermines the goal of equal rights for all. Shermer wrote that intersectional theory, which lumps individuals into aggregate identity groups based on race, sex, and other immutable characteristics, “is a perverse inversion” of Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind society. For Shermer’s editors, apparently, this was the last straw. The column was killed and Shermer’s contract terminated. Apparently, SciAm no longer had the ideological bandwidth to publish such a heterodox thinker.

The article gives many examples.

I have criticized these SciAm trends for years.

Maybe the title should be Unscientific Unamerican, since the magazine is now owned by a British company.


  1. It's time for people to call crazy people crazy. It sounds harsh, but feelings are what lead to the problem in the first place, when doctors started pandering to 'feelings' as being the basis of medicine instead what was demonstrable and evident. This is no longer medicine so much as snake oil, where the so called physician says and does things to the patient for their own benefit, not the patients. I don't care if the doctor is 'scared' they might lose a patient or have career friction with other looney doctors, First, DO NO HARM. If this simple oath can not be followed, get the hell out of medicine.

    Schizophrenia is not a condition where you would affirm that the psychotic voices the person hears in their head are real, and should be listened to and called an 'identity'. Likewise, body dysmorphic disorder is not an 'identity', it's a mental disorder. You don't treat mental disorders by encouraging them and giving them more validity in the mind of the person suffering from them.

    If a person who is male wants to affect feminine characteristics, that does not mean their gender is anything other than what they were born as. It just means they are acting feminine. No one has ever been demonstrably born into the wrong body in the history of humanity, it is simply a bullshit made up concept by mentally ill people with quack enablers encouraging their delusions.

    Read some history about gender oriented mass psychosis, it has happened before, usually around the time of a society collapsing. You would think the warning bells would be going off in some historian' heads. Camille Paglia has been warning about this trend for years, it's worth a look at her work to see that such trends are not long lasting or stable, and that they are consistent markers in predicting societal collapse.

  2. Dear Roger,

    I didn't read article you cite because I didn't think it was necessary --- or, would be worth my time.

    What's interesting to me, however, is *your* ending line:

    > ``Maybe the title should be Unscientific Unamerican, since the magazine is now owned by a British company.''

    Why do you say so, Roger?

    I mean, I'm not exactly worried, but a thought does cross my mind, given your All American Success Stories like Bill Gates and all...

    If today it's a ``British [and therefore an un-American company, cited by you as `Unamerican'] company,'' what stops you tomorrow from calling a Startup I might found in India as, err, `Unamerican'?

    Do you wish to claim that non-American equals err... ``Unamerican''? On what basis?

    And, if a Third Class Indian [perhaps / probably a JPBTI] comes to you, and claims, and even manages to convince you (even without having attended, say Clemson, because he attended Berkeley or Princeton or Louisiana State) that he is NOT an ``Unamerican,'' by virtue of his having been graduated by one of your schools and having managed to hang around you long enough, would *that* make him good enough for you?

    I mean, just how does this osmosis/reverse osmosis/symbiosis/reverse symbiosis work, by you all?

    Characterizing private publishers in reference to their nationalities is a path to hell paved with a lot of good intentions, Roger!

    [PS: Yes, I shall sure resist posting such comments at your blog, come approximately the winter of this year.]

    1. If you start a company in India, then it will not be an American comparny.

      SciAm has been taken over by foreigners, and they have rejected the great American scientific values that the magazine pursued for 150 years.

    2. I will reply in kind, by not addressing you by name, if that's what you American borns of my generation have become degenerated to.

      Oakay, here we go:

      ``If you start a company in India, then it will not be an American comparny.''

      Tautology, perhaps?

      ``SciAm has been taken over by foreigners,''

      Looks like a fact to me.

      ``and they have rejected the great American scientific values''

      With all [actually] due respect[s?] to your Founding Fathers, not just Ben Franklin but also Col. Washington:

      Do ``scientific values'' belong to a *nation*? a culture? a thinker?

      `` that the magazine pursued for 150 years.''

      Should I take it on faith from you? And then, have the values been so uniformly good over all those 150 years as you project? After all, 150 years is a long time, Roger!


    3. No need to take anything on faith. Just look at old issues of SciAm. They were outstanding, for decades.

    4. No come back? The meanwhile actually was a chance given to you!

      *I* hadn't forgotten either about culture or thinker --- the individual thinker. Private! Private!! Private thinker, if that's what you today's Political Americans want to hear.

    5. Why did you American guys allow Britishers to freely move into your country when I was young, and progressively built walls specifically against my country-borns without affecting the Brits (and I am concerned here with this fact because, tautologically, I was born in India), hunh?

      Shall I quote a female co-student jumping on to a male co-student from Britain at UAB? That ``zed'' must, of course, be pronounced as ``zed,'' and not ``zee''?

      Just how low you want to go, you ``patriotic'' Americans? (Actually, religiously Christian sans Aristotelian influence Americans?) Just how low do you want to go? And what do you think you can do with your Psychic and Muscle Powers?

      No, I am not a Muslim. Neither a H^3. Neither a JPBTI.

      I'm just a talented Indian, born talented as far as I can recollect, and, I know it. I also studied philosophy, not just engineering or physics and mathematics. Deal with it, you Americans of the All American Success Story Garage Mechanic Bill Gates or other kind of your compatriots.

    6. The USA is currently taking in a lot more people from India, than from England.

  3. Ajit,
    I think you are going off on a tangent.
    I'm not sure why you would get upset about identifying a periodical owned and controlled by the British as un-American. It is a small play on words, but not much, as a British periodical owned and controlled by Americans espousing American views would be called un-British if it called itself 'British Philosophy Today'.

    The Guardian (US edition) is an extremely left leaning newspaper (i.e. they seem to be entirely unaware that there is more than one political party in our country) that spews hot leftist garbage 24/7...and is based in the UK. It IS un-American, as it isn't owned and operated or actually really based in America and yet pretends to be for America readership despite the fact they often don't understand that we do not have nor want a parliamentary form of government.