Oxford college bans ‘harmful’ Christian Union from freshers fair, Camilla Turner, Telegraph
First They Came for the Biologists, Heather Heying, WSJ
Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?
The revolution on college campuses, which seeks to eradicate individuals and ideas that are considered unsavory, constitutes a hostile takeover by fringe elements on the extreme left. Last spring at the Evergreen State College, where I was a professor for 15 years, the revolution was televised—proudly and intentionally—by the radicals. Opinions not fitting with the currently accepted dogma—that all white people are racist, that questioning policy changes aimed at achieving “equity” is itself an act of white supremacy—would not be tolerated, and those who disagreed were shouted down, hunted, assaulted, even battered. Similar eruptions have happened all over the country.
What may not be obvious from outside academia is that this revolution is an attack on Enlightenment values: reason, inquiry and dissent. Extremists on the left are going after science. Why? Because science seeks truth, and truth isn’t always convenient.
The left has long pointed to deniers of climate change and evolution to demonstrate that over here, science is a core value. But increasingly, that’s patently not true.
The battle on our campuses—and ever more, in K-12 schools, in cubicles and in meetings, and on the streets—is being framed as a battle for equity, but that’s a false front. True, there are real grievances. Gaps between populations exist, for historical and modern reasons that are neither honorable nor acceptable, and they must be addressed. But what is going on at institutions across the country is—yes—a culture war between science and postmodernism. The extreme left has embraced a facile fiction.
Postmodernism, and specifically its offspring, critical race theory, have abandoned rigor and replaced it with “lived experience” as the primary source of knowledge. Little credence is given to the idea of objective reality. Science has long understood that observation can never be perfectly objective, but it also provides the ultimate tool kit with which to distinguish signal from noise—and from bias. Scientists generate complete lists of alternative hypotheses, with testable predictions, and we try to falsify our own cherished ideas.
Science is imperfect: It is slow and methodical, and it makes errors. But it does work. We have microchips, airplanes and streetlights to show for it.
In a meeting with administrators at Evergreen last May, protesters called, on camera, for college president George Bridges to target STEM faculty in particular for “antibias” training, on the theory that scientists are particularly prone to racism. That’s obvious to them because scientists persist in using terms like “genetic” and “phenotype” when discussing humans. Mr. Bridges offers: “[What] we are working towards is, bring ’em in, train ’em, and if they don’t get it, sanction them.”
Despite the benevolent-sounding label, the equity movement is a highly virulent social pathogen, an autoimmune disease of the academy. Diversity offices, the very places that were supposed to address bigotry and harassment, have been weaponized and repurposed to catch and cull all who disagree. And the attack on STEM is no accident. Once scientists are silenced, narratives can be fully unhooked from any expectation that they be put to the test of evidence. Last month, Evergreen made it clear that they wanted two of its scientists gone—my husband, Bret Weinstein, and me, despite our stellar reputations with the students they claimed to be protecting. First, they came for the biologists . . .
Science has sometimes been used to rationalize both atrocity and inaction in its face. But conflating science with its abuse has become a favorite trope of extremists on the left. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick, and not, dare I say, very logical.
Science creates space for the free exchange of ideas, for discovery, for progress. What has postmodernism done for you lately?
Ms. Heying is a former biology professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
Modern Liberalism’s False Obsession With Civil War Monuments, Jason L. Riley, WSJ
Behind the monument wars is a plague of self-hatred, Jonah Goldberg, NYP
Confederate Monuments: The Problem With Politically Correct History, Larry Elder, RCP
Racism, Social Justice, Antifa
Why the Left Can’t Let Go of Racism, Shelby Steele, WSJ
Yes, antifa is the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis, Marc A. Thiessen, Wash Post
The hypocrisy of antifa, Jonathan Turley, The Hill
Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization and must be denounced by Democrats, Ned Ryun, Fox News
Education and Campus
The Uncomfortable Truth About Campus Rape Policy, Emily Yoffe, The Atlantic
Higher Education Is Rigged Against Students, David Barnes, RCE
Straight Talk for College Women, Jennifer C. Braceras, WSJ
Signs Liberalism’s Slow Suicide is Finally Complete, R Tracinski, Federalist
Video: Dildo-waving female students can’t digest peer’s argument that guns defend against rape, Jennifer Kabbbany, College Fix
Chelsea Manning: What Was Harvard Thinking?, Jacob Heilbrunn, The National Interest
A Beating in Berkeley, Eric Edelman & Robert Joseph, The Weekly Standard
Harvard students interrupt, mock Betsy DeVos during school-choice speech, Valerie Richardson, Wash Times
Inside the Legal Labyrinth of a Campus Rape Case, Ashe Schow, RC Investigations
The German schoolboy jailed for writing to the BBC, Abby d’Arcy, BBC News
Inside the Madness at Evergreen State, Jillian Melchior, WSJ
A Do-It-Yourself Liberal Education, Charles Lipson, RCP
Overruled, Stuart Taylor Jr., The Weekly Standard
Why Hillary Clinton was right about white women – and their husbands, Lucia Graves, The Guardian
Sexual Politics, Daniel Henninger, WSJ
Here’s What Really Happened to Hillary, Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ
There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Deserving DREAMer’, Michelle Malkin, RCP
Making Growth Great Again, Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ
How’s He Going to Explain This?, James Freeman, WSJ
Moment of truth arrives for Obamacare repeal, Rachana Pradhan & John Bresnahan, Politico
Reflections From an Insider on Charlie Gard and Socialized Medicine, Art Estopinan, RC Policy
Labor Day, freedom, and the wreck of socialism, Wash Examiner
What’s the Matter With Germany?, American Greatness
Rescinding DACA Is The Right Thing To Do, David Harsanyi, The Federalist
Inebriates of virtue, The New Criterion
Scott Walker: States can fix Obamacare’s mess, Gov. Scott Walker, Wash Examiner
Senator Franken Smears Alliance Defending Freedom with ‘Hate Group’ Label, Alexandra Desanctis, The Corner
The Climate-Change Distraction, Bjorn Lomborg, WSJ
Finding America’s Lost 3% Growth, Phil Gramm & Michael Solon, WSJ
The Mafia and the migrants, Cal Thomas, Wash Times
Why Republicans Can’t Govern, Julia Azari, Five Thirty Eight
Trump’s September Budget Deal Could Move Tax Reform, Romina Boccia, The National Interest
Support female entrepreneurs with much-needed tax cuts, Carrie Lukas & Elaine Parker, The Hill
Tesla autopilot crash: Feds want to force drivers to watch road, Nathan Bomey, USA Today
The Republican Tax Plan Better Be Audacious, David M. Smick, WSJ
Arrested Utah Nurse Had it Coming, Daily Caller
Truck Driver: ‘Overregulation’ Means Government Literally Deciding When I Work, Eat, And Sleep, Matthew Garnett, The Federalist
Did Obama Know about Comey’s Surveillance?, James Freeman, WSJ
We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts, Ben Webster, The Times
How Did Women Fare in China’s Communist Revolution, Helen Gao, NYT
Neil Gorsuch can give workers a win over unions at the Supreme Court — if we fight for it, Maxford Nelsen, Wash Examiner
Record $135 billion a year for illegal immigration, average $8,075 each, $25,000 in NY, Paul Bedard, Wash Examiner
Price Resigns Amid Outcry Over Private Flights, Andrew Egger, The Weekly Standard