This is the article that appeared in the June 2024 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.

Anti-Catholics are famous for saying the Catholic Church is anti-science. Yet it is well acknowledged that the role played by the Catholic Church in the making of the scientific revolution was central. Today, those who are profoundly anti-science are militant secularists, many of whom, ironically, work in higher education and in the medical profession.

Scientists like Copernicus, Boyle, Linnaeus, Faraday, Kelvin, Rutherford and Kepler were responsible for the origins of modern science. As David Klinghoffer notes, they were “overwhelmingly religious.” To be specific, they sought to understand God through his creation.

This doesn’t stop Catholic critics from pointing to Galileo as the classic example of the anti-science legacy of the Catholic Church.

But Galileo did not get into trouble because of his ideas; after all, his ideas were taken from a priest, Copernicus, who was never punished. Indeed, Father Roger Boscovich continued to explore Copernican ideas at the same time that Galileo was charged with heresy, without attracting a bit of opposition. Had Galileo not presented his hypothesis as fact—that was the heresy—he would have escaped trouble.

Contrary to the mythology, Galileo never spent a single day in prison. Nor was he tortured. In fact, he spent his time under “house arrest” in an apartment in a Vatican palace, with a servant. More important, his work was initially praised by the Catholic Church: Pope Urban VIII bestowed on him many gifts and medals. A century later all of Galileo’s works were published, and in 1741 Pope Benedict XIV granted him an imprimatur.

Today many of those who follow science are being punished for doing so. Just consider what is happening to students and professors who insist that sex is binary. They are being stigmatized, if not silenced altogether, by the masters of the cancel culture.

When a 67-year-old woman found someone “with a penis” grooming himself next to a young girl in a Planet Fitness ladies’ locker room in Fairbanks, Alaska, she took a photo of him to prove her experience. Those who run the gym said he had every right to be there: he identified as a woman, so that was that. She was banned from ever entering again.

When a man walked around totally naked in a Planet Fitness ladies’ locker room in North Carolina, he was arrested for indecent exposure. But not because the gym is unalterably opposed to such behavior—they were upset because he didn’t tell them in advance that he believes he is a woman. In other words, indecent exposure is not indecent if the pervert with male genitalia says he is a woman.

“Brittney Griner and Her Wife Are Expecting Their First Child.” That is the headline published by “Today” on the famous woman basketball player and her girlfriend.

In the Planet Fitness examples, and in the “Today” instance, it is painfully obvious that we are living in a surreal world, one where politics has thrown science overboard.

A man can say that he is a woman—or a worm for that matter—but when self-identification contradicts reality, such declarations are palpably false. To be explicit, there is no such thing as a transgender person. It is a fiction. We are either male or female (intersex persons are not a third sex). Planet Fitness can rely on politics, e.g., the ideology of transgenderism, but in doing so it is contradicting science.

Similarly, it is a legal fiction to say that two people of the same sex can marry. Marriage is a universal institution designed to channel the sex drive of men and women in a socially responsible way. An important function of marriage is the possibility of the procreation of children; they need a stable and patterned environment in which to grow.

In other words, the most important cell in society, the family, is integrally tied to the institution of marriage. They are both the reserve of one man and one woman, and no amount of ideological protestation matters.

Brittany and her lover are denied by nature from having a family. They can rent a womb, acquire someone else’s baby, or adopt the children of some other couple, but they cannot create their own offspring. That’s the way nature, and nature’s God, work.

Science is not based on whim or fancy. It is based on laws that reflect the empirical reality of nature.

In a sane society, those who teach that the sexes are interchangeable, and that two people of the same sex can realistically marry and have a baby, should be fired for misrepresenting science. They are more akin to the devotees of the Flat Earth Society than they are to serious scholars.

To those who say such a position is lacking in compassion for those who disagree with this analysis, it needs to be said that when compassion conflicts with truth, it needs to take a back seat.

It is regrettable, yet understandable, that those who work in higher education and in the medical profession have witnessed an attrition in the prestige they once enjoyed. They alone are to blame and they alone can fix it. Rediscovering the verities of science is a good place to start.

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