Biology for me but not for thee

Originally posted at American Thinker

In August of 2018, Steven Andrew Jacobs, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago — Department of Comparative Human Development, wrote a 22-page working paper, “Biologists’ Consensus on ‘When Life Begins.'”  Jacobs’s paper was based on research for a dissertation entitled “Balancing Abortion Rights and Fetal Rights: A Mixed Methods Mediation of the U.S. Abortion Debate.”

The data Dr. Jacobs gathered for his 2019 thesis found that of the 5,577 biologists he interviewed, surveyed, and reviewed, 96% believed that “human life begins at fertilization.”  The conclusion of that project matched those expressed one year prior, by the American College of Pediatricians.

After the fact, in an article published a year later entitled “I Asked Thousands of Biologists When Life Begins. The Answer Wasn’t Popular,” Jacobs wrote about the negative response his findings provoked in those justifying ending life in the womb:

It was the reporting of this view — that human zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are biological humans — that created such a strong backlash. It was not unexpected, as the finding provides fodder for conservative opponents of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court had suggested there was no consensus on ‘the difficult question of when life begins and that ‘the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, [was] not in a position to speculate as to the answer.’

Although 5,577 biologists’ scientific opinion was that life began at conception, biologist Sahotra Sarkarprofessor of philosophy and integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts, called the collective opinion “problematic.”  In an article entitled “When human life begins is a question of politics — not biology,” Sarkar wrote:

The overall point is that biology does not determine when human life begins. It is a question that can only be answered by appealing to our values, examining what we take to be human. Perhaps biologists of the future will learn more. Until then, when human life begins during fetal development is a question for philosophers and theologians. And policies based on an answer to that question will remain up to politicians — and judges.

In an age where “follow the science” has become the mantra of those who do just the opposite, the “science” surrounding biological sex and gender has also become a topic whose accepted definition is now based solely on subjective feeling; personal philosophy; and, of late, “politicians — and judges” who support all manner of absurdity.

With radicals in charge, rejecting biology to support both abortion and gender politics becomes problematic.  This especially holds for those currently participating in the coordinated effort to pervert reality and confuse everything from life to biological sex.  This raises the question: if the left believes that “politicians — and judges” determine when life begins, why not also call upon that expertise to determine things like sex and gender?

Recently, an opportunity to do just that arose at Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing, when Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn asked the Supreme Court nominee, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?”  Rather than answering the question by “following the science,” Brown Jackson would not acknowledge the logical definition of the female sex and instead responded, “No, I can’t … I’m not a biologist.”

A quandary concerning the definition of woman arises for America when you consider that the judge is about to be granted a position to interpret a Constitution that includes an amendment that states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”  Exactly how will Ketanji defend “equality of rights under the law” regardless of sex if she can’t define the difference between a male and a female?

Furthermore, if biological certitudes like life at conception and chromosomal sex characteristics can no longer be defined, can “biological bases, phenotypic or physical characteristics, and cultural bases” still determine race?  And if not, is it fair to describe Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown as the first black female nominee for the highest court in the land?

Based on her record, and likely in support of “expansive abortion rights,” when asked by Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, “When does life begin, in your opinion?,” while interviewing for a job to issue opinions, Jackson had no opinion at all.  Instead, before laughing, the all-knowing judge responded, “Senator, I don’t know.”

Doesn’t the left believe that “politicians — and judges” are assigned the job of determining the answer to that exact question?  If so, why, then, when asked to define the word “woman,” would a judge who must reject biology to support ending life in the womb publicly reference biology as a clever attempt to deny biology?

Be it ending life in the womb or biological sex, Ketanji Jackson Brown is the embodiment of the disingenuous dichotomy that the left finds itself in when the clever response to questions they say only a biologist can answer involves an answer none of them agrees with.


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