Settled But Superfluous Science - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Settled But Superfluous Science

Once again science has been mobilized to verify the bloody obvious. In separate studies, researchers with time on their hands, government money to abuse, and little interest in things we don’t already know, have verified that men make better combat soldiers than women, cats aren’t as loyal to people as dogs are, and Americans don’t know much about science. (The kind of science I’m relating here they really don’t need to know about — it would be nice though if more Americans could see the gaping holes in the evidence that is supposed to support the global warming/climate change hustle.)

To the surprise of no one outside of feminist red-hots and those who enable them or are hen-pecked by them, a nine month-long study done for the U.S. Marine Corps of 400 co-ed Marines in combat training shows that men Marines shoot their rifles more accurately than women, are able to move faster carrying heavy gear, and are better at removing wounded troops from the battle-field. Men could throw their heavy packs over a wall. The women had to be helped. The men Marines in rigorous training suffered injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments at a rate of 18.8 percent. Women Marines suffered these kinds of injuries at a rate of 40.5 percent.

Gee, men make better lean, green, fighting machines than women? Who knew? As Private Gomer Pyle, USMC, might have put it, “Sur-prise, sur-prise.”

But don’t expect that just because science has date-stamped the obvious in this arena that our community-organizer-in-chief, who has an absolute and unquenchable lust for the counter-intuitive, will stop pushing to have women placed in military roles to which they are manifestly unsuited. Ideology and identity politics are all. Science only matters when it can be made to support the left-wing agenda.

Showing his political loyalty, even when it requires denying reality and endangering the troops, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus dismissed the study as dishonest, saying that the Marines are just a bunch of male chauvinists. One must say stuff like this to be Obama’s SECNAV. It’s a good thing that real Marines are more loyal to their country than to their political leadership. How hard would they fight for a capon like Mabus who is so quick to slander them? (Mabus is free to say preposterous stuff like this only because there is no danger that it would ever be Mabus himself wounded on the battle field with only a 120-pound lance corporal named Heather, with the upper-body strength of a summer breeze, to drag him to safety. But I digress.)

Speaking of science, after an online survey of 3,200 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center, Pew has given Americans a grade of C in scientific knowledge. Those who took the quiz got fewer than 70 percent of the questions right (making the grade of C another case of grade inflation). Interestingly, supposedly anti-science Republicans did better on the quiz than Democrats. Men did better than women, people with college degrees than people without, whites than blacks, people from the West over people in the South.

One in four Americans believes the sun revolves around the Earth. They walk among us.

Rush Holt, a former congressman and CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggested the survey might have been more useful if it had tested knowledge of the process of science, how scientific knowledge is arrived at, and how it’s different from other forms of knowledge. “It’s important to know that science is based on evidence, and that (people’s) decisions on daily life can also be based on evidence,” Holt said.

At the University of Lincoln in the UK, researchers have ferreted out what has always been available to even to the most casual observers, which is that cats do not need human owners to feel secure and safe. Unlike dogs, our always reliable pals, cats show no separation anxiety when their people are absent. Cats, as everyone who has ever been around one knows, have their own agendas. And these have nothing to do with what people want. 

But the researchers try to reassure cat-lovers by adding that cats can have affection for their people. If they didn’t want to be with their owners they would leave, the researchers say. Well, maybe. But not until after dinner.

I’m not looking for our cat, Peanut, to clear out any time soon. A former stray, he fetched up on our back deck some years ago and has refused to leave. Over the years he has grown fat and sleek on our hospitality. At the last visit to the vet he weighed in at 18 pounds. He can now catch only very old and very slow mice. I’m working on a post-modern play about life with Peanut. I think I’ll entitle it “Waiting for Gordo.”

I can’t resist a tip of the sarcastic hat here to these intrepid seekers after the truth. With breakthroughs in knowledge like these, how long will it be before some top-flight scientists verify, with charts and graphs, that the sun comes up in the east every day and that there is some kind of relationship between diet, exercise, and body weight?

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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