Woke anthropological groups put transgender ideology over scientific inquiry – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — “Follow the science,” we are constantly told by the elites. (Social conservatives, of course, already mutter under our breath when we hear this: Except when we’re talking about abortion…or gender ideology…or how social distancing might cure our STD pandemic…) But this brings up an important question: Who gets to decide what The Science is? And what do those people believe? 

The reason this is so important is because we know that many institutions have been ideologically captured. To define our terms for a moment, Wikipedia notes that “ideological capture” – which was previously known as “regulatory capture” – is a “form of corruption of authority that occurs when a political entity, policymaker, or regulator is co-opted to serve the commercial, ideological, or political interests of a minor constituency, such as a particular geographic area, industry, profession, or ideological group.” 

Sound familiar? That’s precisely what we’ve seen with the transgender movement’s breathtaking blitzkrieg of our institutions over the past few years – including those that we previously relied on to define The Science. 

Consider a recent statement released by the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropological Society. (I know the social science is technically real science, but bear with me.) Titled “No Place For Transphobia in Anthropology: Session pulled from Annual Meeting program,” these organizations announced on September 28 that scientific inquiry needed to be subject to transgender ideology: 

The AAA and CASCA boards reached a decision to remove the session “Let’s Talk about Sex Baby: Why biological sex remains a necessary analytic category in anthropology” from the AAA/CASCA 2023 conference program. This decision was based on extensive consultation and was reached in the spirit of respect for our values, in order to ensure the safety and dignity of all of our members, as well as the scientific integrity of the program.

The first ethical principle in AAA’s Principles of Professional Responsibility is to “Do no harm.” The session was rejected because it relied on assumptions that run contrary to the settled science in our discipline, framed in ways that do harm to vulnerable members of our community. It commits one of the cardinal sins of scholarship—it assumes the truth of the proposition that it sets out to prove, namely, that sex and gender are simplistically binary, and that this is a fact with meaningful implications for the discipline.

Re-read that a few times and consider the implications for a moment. A lecture on biological sex was cancelled because it might “harm” transgender people and because the idea that there are two sexes – male and female – runs “contrary to the settled science in our discipline,” which is a wild claim to make. Despite the fact that scientists have been identifying the sex (rather than the “gender identity”) of people from mere bone fragments, these two organizations hasten to explain that fact away: 

Such efforts contradict scientific evidence, including the wealth of anthropological scholarship on gender and sex. Forensic anthropologists talk about using bones for “sex estimation,” not “sex identification,” a process that is probabilistic rather than clearly determinative, and that is easily influenced by cognitive bias on the part of the researcher. Around the world and throughout human history, there have always been people whose gender roles do not align neatly with their reproductive anatomy. There is no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification. 

They continue on to compare “gender-critical” views – that is, the views everyone held until about fifteen minutes ago – to the “race science” of the last century, apparently oblivious to the fact that the eugenic worldview that captured the scientific world is a pretty good example of the sort of ideological capture we see going on right now. The eugenic worldview resulted in forced sterilizations and other horrors…the transgender worldview has resulted in…well, the sterilization of minors and other horrors. The Venn Diagram overlap there is uncomfortably large for those who care to look at it closely. 

To summarize: two scientific organizations mischaracterize a scheduled lecture (it was about sex, not about gender, which according to their worldview are different things); compared it to racism; insisted that the “harm” it might do to people who identify as transgender overrides any potential scientific value it might have; and assert that the retroactive backfilling of trans activists who have been frantically rewriting history and inserting their revisions into every discipline is, in fact, The Science. And you, dear reader, are expected to believe The Science or be smeared as an ignoramus and a bigot.  

Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.