A poll came out not too long ago that set off a flurry of condemnations on social media. The results showed that only 45% of Republicans now trust “science” as an authority about various issues.
The poll, conducted by Gallup, showed a stark divergence among partisan groups, with Democrats trusting “science” at a 79% clip, up from 67% in 1975. Republicans, on the other hand, dropped by 30% from a high of 72% in 1975.
The reactions were predictable. “Look at these stupid Republican rubes” they shouted from the security of their blue-checkmark accounts on Twitter. But what those hysterical takes failed to take into account is that trust is earned, not adorned via academic credentialism. If someone with a Ph.D. next to their name says something objectively false, you do not owe that person your respect, whether they are with the CDC or your local hospital.
On that note, perhaps the starkest example of why Republicans are actually justified in their distrust of the scientific community appeared Friday via an announcement from WebMD, one of the largest medical repositories on the internet, this week. The American Medical Association (AMA) has endorsed the idea that biological sex should not appear on birth certificates.
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Why do Republicans not trust science? It’s a total mystery, right?
It’s hard to think of a group of people who have fallen so far, so fast because of their own idiocy than those who consider themselves part of the scientific community, including the medical corners of it. Obviously, Dr. Anthony Fauci is the leader on that front, but things don’t just stop with incoherent, inconsistent pronouncements about COVID-19.
These kinds of attempts to obscure biological truth are not just contrary to the facts, they are dangerous. Biology is not a social-contruct. It has real-world connotations that can be deadly when they are not observed.
The existence of birth defects does not negate the reality of biological sex. Even the most severe still result in a person technically being male or female at a genetic level, which is vital when it comes to treating certain illnesses and taking preventative medical measures. No, the presence of ovaries does not alone dictate biological sex. No one has ever claimed that. Yet, the presence of biological sex is an undeniable fact with far-reaching implications that must be heeded.
Regardless, if the counter-argument is that some tiny percentage of children are born without any ability to clearly define their sex at birth, those specific instances should be dealt with in a specific manner. Punting the entire idea of biological sex in relation to birth certificates is like cutting off one’s arm to remove a splinter. If there are exceptions, you handle them as exceptions. You don’t throw the entire field of medical science into chaos to soothe the concerns of far-left activists.
Returning back to the broader point, though, it’s clear that Republicans have been more than vindicated in their distrust of our current scientific establishment. The “experts” have far too often turned out to be partisans bending the knee to their chosen ideologies instead of objective reality. That’s untenable, especially when they, at the same time, demand unquestioned adherence to the proclamations of their various fields. Again, trust is earned. It is not bestowed by a credential or a CNN appearance.
In short, it is not the fault of Republicans that they don’t trust the scientific community. It is the fault of the scientific community for so betraying the tenets of science, whether we are talking about mask-wearing for the vaccinated or the erasure of biological sex. When science decides that politics should take priority over facts, they should expect a political response.