Friday, May 3, 2024

Medical Pseudoscience

It ought to be the case that everyone knows that diversity quotas are a bad idea. The insistence on including people because of their race or ethnicity or even sex does not produce efficient functioning. It does not even produce good science.

That does not mean that its proponents have ceased trying. They are trying even harder. If the case of Case Western Reserve Medical School Dean Stan Gerson is noteworthy, the reason is that he is a man of science. Apparently, scientists are now joining the chorus of those who propose dumbing down their field, the better to promote diversity.

Since the Supreme Court has cast a rather cold eye on discrimination based on race and ethnicity, those who promote diversity have gone looking for a new rationale-- nothing like keeping failed policy alive by subterfuge. 

In her new City Journal article Heather Mac Donald offers Dean Gerson a few lessons in science. She especially wants to shut down the new nonsense about “inclusive scholarship.”

Inclusive scholarship is judged by the race or ethnicity of the scientist. Clearly, the notion comes to us from multiculturalism, whereby all cultures are created equal and whereby the next time you need to see a physician you should try out the shaman or the medicine man.

If there is a less scientific means of discovery, I have not heard of it. Nor has Mac Donald: 

Under traditional scholarship, anyone with scientific insight will be included in knowledge-building. Under “inclusive scholarship,” however, merely having a previously unrepresented “voice” entitles you to a place in the ladder of discovery.

She continues:

 “Inclusive excellence” is judged by a different standard than excellence, namely, the extent to which a given endeavor includes members of different “backgrounds, races, cultures, and socioeconomic classes.”

This is an original thought. Of course, if no one has thought of it before that might be because no one has been that stupid before.

The excellence of science has never before been evaluated by that criterion. The plane either flies or it does not; the bridge either stands or it does not; the doctor either detects the tumor or he does not. The race and class of engineers and oncologists have heretofore had nothing to do with our judgments of their success.

You knew all of that already. If anyone needs to say it, this shows how degraded our intellectual discourse has become.

True enough, some groups are underrepresented in the halls of science. Is it racism or something else?

Science is a colorblind meritocracy (or was before the diversity virus hit). Research labs are stunningly multinational and multiethnic. The underrepresented groups—blacks and American Hispanics—are underrepresented because of their (on average) lower skills levels, not because of race-based exclusion, as demonstrated here.

In truth, many schools, like MIT, have tried to be more inclusive. With rather discouraging results:

The low academic skill level that racially preferred blacks brought with them into competitive schools handicapped them from competing, and they remained behind. A black professor of mechanical engineering at MIT recently described MIT’s sad history of failed racial preferences. Students who had been chosen based on their skin color “left MIT, ashamed, bewildered, and without a degree,” recounts James H. Williams Jr. “This was an annual heartbreaking humiliation for black undergraduates at MIT, and it went on year after year.” No one at MIT or elsewhere was allowed to acknowledge these predictable consequences of academic mismatch.

Unfortunately, when blacks and whites of significantly different abilities are thrown together, they tend to self-segregate. As famed sociologist Robert Putnam discovered, and reported in a paper entitled “E Pluribus Unum,” people who live in multicultural communities tend to hunker down. They do not interact or relate-- because they do not speak the same language or follow the same customs.

Better yet, educators want scientists to live in diverse communities because this will teach them about their white privilege. Since when has this become the pathway to scientific excellence.

Artificially engineered “diversity,” they argued, would educate white students about nonwhiteness and about their own white privilege. But such education of white students, whether or not a legitimate goal, was handicapped by black self-segregation on campuses, due to wide gaps in academic preparedness.

Whereas Gerson pretends that diversity will improve the quality of scientific work, Mac Donald points out correctly that it will do just the opposite. 

Contrary to Gerson, deliberately selecting participants in science based on their identities will not “help us break through to the next generation of discovery and improvements in health.” Quite the opposite: it will encumber that process of discovery and ensure that the global center of scientific gravity shifts to China, which cares only about its scientists’ competence, not their color.

So, there is a national security angle to this effort at dumbing down medical science. The nation is not going to compete against China or against other nations in the world by going to war against white supremacy. After all, companies are now discovering that they do not have the trained manpower capable of building semiconductor factories. They are obliged to import it from overseas. And, lest we forget, if you go to Silicon Valley the tech staff of the great companies is laden with people from China.

And, if Mac Donald is correct, the quality of medical care will eventually suffer.

Sadly, Gerson is not an outlier. He speaks for the entire medical establishment—the AMA, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the federal funding agencies, the science-publishing industry—in his willingness, for the sake of racial virtue-signaling, to undermine the enterprise that has freed humanity from so much suffering.

The wages of guilt, having now infested the medical establishment, will be looking for other conquests.

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1 comment:

370H55V I/me/mine said...

Watch for more botched surgery, plane crashes, and big-time truck accidents in the next ten years. I'm glad I'm an old man.