Does science matter when it comes to hot-button issues? Well, it appears science does not always matter in determining what people believe. Let us look at a couple of these issues and how people reject scientific evidence. But before we do, let us first define what we mean by the scientific method.
The scientific method is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence, subject to specific principles of reasoning.
Science is the pursuit of knowledge through experimentation and observation.
Now, let us look at the first issue ‘Abortion’ from a scientific perspective.
The world has come a long way since the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade back in 1973. “An article published in February in the international, peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Ethics is making headlines around the world. In the article, former Cambridge and Oxford University researchers Dr. Alberto Giubilini and Dr. Francesca Minerva argue the very point pro-life advocates have said all along: There is no essential difference between a fetus and a newborn, and their moral status is the same (Christianity Today 2012).”
In other words, the unborn is a person, not just a fetus. The pro-choice lobby lives in denial of the fact that life begins at conception. When it comes to abortion, it does not matter to them what science shows us.
One point to note. Giubilini and Minerva are not advocating a pro-life position, but rather they are actually advocating ‘after-birth abortion’ or as The Telegraph newspaper in England puts it, “killing babies is no longer different from abortion.”
The Breakpoint article “Pro-Life Pro-Science” points out the problem for pro-choice activists. “The reasoning of the abortion rights movement in general and Roe v. Wade in particular depends on two assumptions. First, that unborn babies are meaningfully different from born ones. Several decades of science have demolished this idea. We can see into the womb now and observe a baby hiccupping, sucking its thumb, clapping, practicing breathing, and even playing. The obvious question when confronted with such a spectacle is how this child differs from the one in the cradle.
Second, the reasoning of Roe specifically invoked viability-the stage at which an unborn baby can survive outside its mother’s womb. But science has changed all of that too. Advances in neonatal intensive care have pushed the point of viability back from 28 weeks to around 22, and it continues to move earlier and earlier with each year.
All of this has left the American medical system in a state of schizophrenia. Doctors and nurses will work around the clock heroically to save the life of a baby born prematurely. And yet in some cases, those very same doctors and nurses will be called upon to end the life of another baby the same age or even older (Breakpoint 2018).”
So when it comes to abortion, pro-choice activists disregard scientific evidence. All the evidence that science has uncovered points to the fact that a fetus is not a ‘blob of tissue;’ it is a human being. However, science does not matter in regards to abortion for pro-choice advocates.
Let us look at another hot-button issue ‘Transgenderism.’
Many people thought that when the LGBT community won the battle over same-sex marriage that things would calm down. Not so. Instead, they have moved on to other crusades, the most recent one being transgenderism.
Today, we have a segment of the population who no longer want to define gender on the basis of biology. In other words, gender becomes an emotional feeling, not a biological reality. As a result, attempts are made to use cross-sex hormones to induce development of desired sexual characteristics and at times even undergoing surgery, in order to line up with what a person’s sense of gender is. In the name of political correctness, Facebook was pressured by transgender activists to add fifty different ways to describe gender. How crazy can it get?
But can gender be a simple matter of choice based on our feelings and not based on any scientific criteria?
Perhaps we can best understand how this is not a sound scientific reality by taking it a step further. How about the person who feels they are really an African American even though they are born Caucasian. If I feel I am an African American, why not live like one; be one. Not long ago, an Oregon woman named Rachel Dolezal considered herself ‘black,’ even though she was born to white parents. As she told NBC’s Matt Laurer, “I identify as black.” She became a local leader of the NAACP. Eventually, her deception was revealed, and she was laughed off the national stage. Why? Because people know you cannot be black just because you feel you are or you want to be. Biology and DNA determine your race, and you can not change that just because you feel like it.
It is likewise, illogical and against all reason to simply say that a man who feels he is a woman should be allowed to change their official gender. And in turn, be allowed to use the women’s restrooms or locker rooms.
Unfortunately, much of the scientific study regarding gender identity is not always reported in the mainstream media. For example, a study from Sweden shows suicide rates for those who have undergone sex reassignment surgeries were 20 fold higher than in the nontransgender population.
Paul McHugh, one-time psychiatrist-in-chief at John Hopkins Hospital, cited a study showing that 70 to 80 percent of children with transgender feelings who received no medical or surgical treatment spontaneously lost those feelings. McHugh writes, “Given that close to 80% of such children would abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated, these medical interventions come close to child abuse.” One could go on, but the advocates who promote transgender issues will not face this evidence. It again seems that science does not matter.
THE CALL FOR COMPASSION
While one can argue against abortion and the transgender movement, Christians need to have love and compassion for those who are caught up in such struggles.
Many a woman has been driven to abortion because of the circumstances she has faced, including pressure from men, financial pressure, social pressure, etc. Likewise, young people who are troubled by gender identification need loving support, even while we share the truth.
One needs to seek to present truth with love and seek to understand the needs that people face.
A CLOSING WORD OF CAUTION
It is often easier for someone to point out other people’s deficiencies when they too refuse to face scientific evidence that contradicts their own beliefs and opinions. But we have to ask ourselves if there are any issues in our lives where we might do the same. Let me stir up a few people by mentioning ‘climate change.’ Now, in my mind, the climate is changing based on scientific study. There are many arguments as to what is causing this change, but there are people who, in the face of all the scientific evidence, still deny that ‘climate change’ is happening.
Science does not have all the answers and Christians recognize the knowledge that comes from God’s Word. None the less, we can be blind to the truth that we might not want to face. Let us humbly examine ourselves! Science does matter, but we must handle it with humility.