Some Simple Questions for 'The Party of Science'

posted by Dan O'Donnell - 

Democrats love to call themselves the “Party of Science” and anyone who dares challenge them “science deniers,” but they seem to have a difficult time answering these three relatively simply scientific questions:

When does science say life begins?  Is it at conception?

It is.  In fact, it’s one of the simplest questions to answer in the entire field of human biology.  Life begins when a man’s sperm penetrates a woman’s egg and fertilizes it.  In that instant, a new living cell—complete with new, completely unique DNA—is created.  Hence, a new life has begun.

As “The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology” puts it, “human development is a continuous process that begins when an oocyte from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male.”

“The first cell of a new and unique human life begins existence at the moment of conception (fertilization) when one living sperm from the father joins with one living ovum from the mother. It is in this manner that human life passes from one generation to another. Given the appropriate environment and genetic composition, the single cell subsequently gives rise to trillions of specialized and integrated cells that compose the structures and functions of each individual human body.

“Every human being alive today and, as far as is known scientifically, every human being that ever existed, began his or her unique existence in this manner, i.e., as one cell. If this first cell or any subsequent configuration of cells perishes, the individual dies, ceasing to exist in matter as a living being. There are no known exceptions to this rule in the field of human biology.”

Does science consider gender a biological construct or a social construct?

Once again, the answer is pretty straightforward: A human being’s (or any living organism’s) gender is determined by the chromosomes he or she receives from his or her parents. 

This concept is so simple that an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy was able to easily explain it to children back in 1996.

Strangely enough, on his new Netflix show “Bill Nye Saves the World,” the Science Guy became somewhat of a politics guy, because he seems to think gender is suddenly fluid.

He is correct that some people are born with an extra X chromosome (an affliction known as Klinefelter Syndrome) or an extra Y chromosome (XYY Syndrome), but neither of these has any impact on gender expression or transgenderism.  They are developmental disorders.

And up until recently, transgenderism was classified as a mental disorder known as Gender Identity Disorder.  In 2012, though, politics—not any significant advance in the science of mental health—prompted the American Psychiatric Association to change the term Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria.  Why? Because Gender Identity Disorder was “too stigmatizing” for those diagnosed with it.

Nothing about the science behind this disorder changed, however.  Gender Dysphoria is still listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organization (which has been less immune to political pressure) still considers transgenderism to be a mental illness in its International Classification of Diseases. 

And as for the notion that biological gender is somehow fluid and subject to change?  Professors at Johns Hopkins Medical School and Arizona State recently determined that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” and “the hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.”

Does science believe that nuclear power is safe and clean-burning?

Yes.  Believe it or not, science considers nuclear power to be the safest energy source in the world—safer even than solar and wind power.  Remember, it wasn’t science that turned environmental groups against nuclear power; it was media coverage of nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986.

There hasn’t been a single fatality in a nuclear accident since, and that includes the widely publicized Fukushima Daiichi incident following the Japanese tsunami in 2011.

Nuclear power isn’t just safe, it’s also clean-burning, releasing not dangerous pollutants into the air, but harmless water vapor.  And a typical nuclear reactor produces just 20 to 30 tons of waste per year as opposed to the 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge a typical coal plant puts into the air each year.

Given that most if not all nuclear waste is stored safely on-site and the water vapor that nuclear plants produce contains almost no radiation, living near a plant raises one’s risk of developing cancer by a grand total of one-tenth of one percent.  By way of comparison, that’s far less of a cancer risk than occasionally smoking a cigarette.

And even the worst nuclear disaster of all time, Chernobyl, will by the time its direct effects are over, kill an estimated 4,000 people.  Particulate matter from the average coal plant in the U.S. kills an estimated 7,500 people each year (although this figure is disputed).

Yes, the science clearly points to nuclear power being the single safest form of energy production known to man.  Just as the science clearly shows that human life begins at conception and that gender is a biological concept.

Who could possibly disagree with that, except for, you know, science deniers?

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