In olden golden days of yore, scientists saw a thing happen and they asked “What caused this?” They set out to figure these causes, sometimes succeeding, usually failing, often only coming to settle on interesting correlations.
It was a lot of fun, those old days. Many interesting ideas proffered. Some of which are likely right, some probably wrong. The way the world works isn’t so easy.
What’s certain is that early scientists did too good a job, too quickly. Their rapid early successes gave rise to the false and terrible hope that the “scientific method” could, and should, be applied to all things. Theory, not God, not Nature, would rule. This was always an absurd hope, but, as the old saying goes, nothing succeeds like excess.
Because from those excesses came, at first, scientism, then later, scidolatry. And from those arose the Cult of the Expert. The effects of this cult are only too well known to regular readers.
So bad has it become that it is now almost impossible for the average man to separate science from scientism, and from his slavish acceptance of Experts.
Scientism is of various kinds, as we have often discussed. The most insidious is what I call scientism of the first kind. This is when science, and Experts, are used to announce to the unwashed, “The thing you always knew was true, and that you knew why it was true, is indeed true, for it has now been Researched.”
This seems harmless, because it appears to be nothing more than Experts agreeing with the world. Their endorsement of the Truth doesn’t cause anybody, not directly, to doubt the Truth. People go on believing it.
But, because it was Science that endorsed the Truth, an act which was not needed, trust in Science increases. Worst of all, scientists begin to trust themselves too much.
Eventually, Theory intrudes. Scientists have convinced themselves they cannot live without it. And, indeed, they can’t, because to expound a cause, or even a correlation, is to theorize. This, like Researching a Truth, at first does not appear such a bad thing. But if practiced long enough, and substituting the practice for Truth, Theory leads to the Deadly Sin of Reification, where Theory becomes realer than the world.
Once this happens, any strongly held Theory can intrude itself on the scientist’s mind. Because Theory trumps Reality, Reality is quietly pushed aside. This even happens with Theories that negate the ancient Truth that Research originally proved.
This is not as odd as it sounds, because this doesn’t happen until responsibility for Researching all Theory is outsourced to Experts and Science. That outsourcing occurs because of scientism of the first kind. Which itself flourished because early scientists did their jobs too well.
All right. Enter RAND corporation, an old timey Research company that in golden days looked for causes of observations. Now, following modern Science, they Research Theory.
One Theory the Army asked them to Research was the physical Equality of men and women. Read all about their Research with the Army here.
By Equality I mean the equalness of men’s and women’s athletic ability and stamina. In the old days, the absolutely irrefragable Truth of inequality between the sexes was known to all, as were its causes. This Truth, once endorsed by Research, has been negated by Theory: it is now forbidden to speak.
Theory demands Equality. So RAND set about finding it. Which is always possible, believe it or not. Especially when you get to define just what “Equality” means. A perfectly legitimate exercise, too, because Science is in the business of measurement. And to measure one first has to define.
Now there is no point in carping about this, and insisting that all such Research is useless, because none of it can possibly change the Truth. Well, that is just your opinion, and you are not an Expert, so your opinion is of no value. Only certified Experts can weigh in, because that is the Way of Science.
RAND tried various things, none of which worked. Finally they followed the Army’s lead and recommended sex-norming tests of ability.
This when math is applied to measurements, transforming those measurements so that differences disappear. If men can lift 200 pounds, and women 50, scientifically multiply the 50 by 4 where (I’ll do the math for you) it becomes the sex-normalized 200*, the asterisk indicating the norming. The asterisk is soon forgotten and Equality is declared.
The idiocy of this, while it might be noticed, is never acknowledged. To do so would break the spell of Theory. If you doubt, marvel at this blizzard of numbers and the avalanche of words, most of them large, technical and sciencey in RAND’s 92-page report.
Discover for yourself if the report throws up its hands and admits men and women are unequal, or if it embraces Theory. Start with the sly propaganda of the cover photo.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.