X-Message-Number: 19176
From: "mike99" <>
Subject: science studies and social constructivism
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 15:22:26 -0600

David Stodolsky wrote:

>Social constructionism at its foundation is extremely conservative, fascist
>according to some published work. Given that it is a methodologically
>flawed, its easy for its proponents to come to any conclusion whatsoever.
>These conclusions tend to support the current power holders and dominant
>social views.
>How could such nonsense become important within science? My theory is that
>science has undermined the traditional shields against death anxiety, the
>dominant religious views, to such an extent that they don't do the job for
>most people. Therefore, an attack on science is a welcome relief to
>traditionalists. Now they can go back to believing in the judgement day,
>reincarnation, etc., since science is "just another story."

>>Though you have to wonder why the intellectuals who promote such a  view
>>science tend to oppose nuclear technology.  After all, it's just a matter

>They don't, opposition to nuclear technology tends to come from

I disagree about the foundation of social constructivism. Any reading of the
texts in this field quickly reveals that almost every one comes from the
Left, not the Right. They are not fascist, but rather Politically Correct

Traditionalist religions don't waste their time writing social
constructivist critiques of science; they waste their time writing
creationist nonsense that mimics science.

As for opposition to nuclear power, isn't this mostly a Green political
cause? I don't recall seeing the Greens ever listed as traditionalists,
conservatives or fascists.

Finally, consider the Sokal Hoax, perpetrated by a liberal professor of
physics after he learned of how badly his political allies were trashing
science through their social constructivism. If fascists had been doing
this, he would probably not have done more than write a letter to The New
York Times about it. But since this anti-science nonsense was coming from
his own side of the political aisle, Prof. Sokal took the time to write a
jargon-filled parody of social constructivist science and submitted it
seriously to the journal Social Text, which unwittingly published it. On the
day of publication Sokal announced that his paper was total nonsense.
(Although this should have sunk social constructivist science studies into
oblivion, it still exists because the ideologues who are committed to it
cannot be dissuaded by mere evidence.)

To state my case more colorfully: The right-leaning religious
traditionalists only ape science, while the left-leaning social
constructivists rape science.

Michael LaTorra

Extropy Institute: www.extropy.org
World Transhumanist Association: www.transhumanism.org
Alcor Life Extension Foundation: www.alcor.org
Society for Technical Communication: www.stc.org


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