John Stonestreet and Shane Morris

Does Biology Need “Queer Theory”?

The fact that more honest scientists find it necessary to call out prestigious institutions for embracing unscientific gender nonsense says a lot about the assault on reality happening right now. Biology doesn’t need “queer theory.” It needs instead a worldview that grounds the givens of reality, givens that were put in place by God, instead of an ideology that sees everything as a social construct. 

A recent video from the PBS Eons YouTube channel, a show which covers topics related to paleontology and evolution, wrestled with how it is possible to distinguish between male and female dinosaurs when all that is left are bones. In it, the host objectively defined the concept of biological sex as applied to these extinct creatures: “In this script, we’ll be using ‘male’ and ‘female’ as shorthand for ‘sperm-producing’ and ‘egg-producing’ individuals.” She then added that “one shortcut for assigning sex to an individual is by their reproductive organs. Sperm producers have testes while egg producers have ovaries.”
This definition is essentially correct, although no one “assigns” anything. A given individual, whether human or dinosaur, just is male or female. We identify sex; we don’t “assign” it. Sex is objective and binary and has to do with the two distinct roles in reproduction.
Unfortunately, not every source of science education is this clear. For example, evolutionary biologist Colin Wright recently called out Yale University for a lecture that redefined sex according to queer theory. According to slides from this Ivy League course, “Sex is not an inherent, binary fact about a gene, a genome, a zygote or an embryo” but instead a “cluster of iterative, coevolved, differentiated reproductive homologies.” Additionally, the materials for the course (a required course for all Yale pre-med students) claimed that “sex is not determined.” It is “a fact about history, not individuals,” “a performance of the self,” and that “biology needs queer theory.”
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Higher Ed Is Reaping What has Been Sown

Today, youthful naïvete and this thirst for attention is supercharged by social media. After all, until now, no generation has ever been able to virtue-signal to the whole world before. The powerful desire, not only to speak truth to power, but to be seen doing it while claiming the mantle of Civil Rights, is intoxicating. Joy Pullman once called this “Selma envy.” Ultimately, these students, who are often unsure why they’re protesting their schools and flirting with support for terrorism, are a product of universities in which the goal of education is activism rather than wisdom.

Many college and university campuses across the nation descended into petulant anarchy last week as students protested Israel’s war in Gaza. Demonstrations broke out at Columbia University in New York, Harvard, MIT, Emerson College in Boston, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas, Austin, to name only a few. “Gaza solidarity encampments” were built, Jewish students were threatened and assaulted, and protestors demanded that their campuses “divest from companies linked to Israel” and sever academic ties with Israeli universities. Some Jewish students were told to “go back to Poland,” an apparent reference to death camps. “Stop funding genocide,” the signs demanded, as if Israel carried out the atrocities of October 7. Others said “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” without knowing which river and which sea.  
Those sympathetic to student protesters claimed that the uprisings are about ending Israel’s war in Gaza, which was waged in response to the October 7 attacks. Clearly, however, many are calling for something far more radical, such as so-called “decolonization,” or an end to Israel as a nation altogether. 
Left-wing students do have a long history of jumping on protest bandwagons, including those not-so-subtly associated with Islamic terrorism. Part of this reality is the “cult of youth” that has long pervaded American society, at least since the 1960s. This idea that young people are the conscience of our nation and that youth-led movements are always morally right was plainly articulated by a Democratic Socialists of America activist who wrote:  
A good law of history is that if you ever find yourself opposing a student movement while siding with the ruling class, you are wrong. Every single time. In every era. No matter the issue.  
This revisionist view of history forgets, among other things, that the Nazi movement in Germany and Mao’s Cultural Revolution were popular with students who mobilized against the ruling classes. 
In the case of the campus protests last week, however, it’s not even clear who the ruling class is. 
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When “Helping” Kids Hurts Them

For Christians who understand that human beings are more than matter that can be molded and medicated, the need for a book like this is even more obvious. Divine revelation and millennia of insight suggest that much of what passes for “psychological trauma” today is spiritual brokenness. Spiritual healing can take the form of counseling and medication, but to put it simply, no amount of psychotherapy alleviates our need for a Savior.  

As the old saying goes, “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Among the hammers today is psychotherapy, and too many wielding it are convinced that every human problem is a nail. However, the unprecedented rise of mental health problems in Generation Z suggests that the overuse of this tool has done as much harm as good. 
In a bold new book, Abigail Shrier confronts the idea of psychology as an all-consuming ideology. In Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up, Shrier argues that much of what is now taken for granted about psychological and emotional “trauma” is wrong and has left millions of young adults more “traumatized” than if they’d had no therapy at all.  
This thesis aligns with that of her previous book Irreversible Damage, which exposed the reckless push to medically transition gender-dysphoric kids, especially girls. This push has been driven by the mental health industry. In Bad Therapy, Shrier points out the many indications that the whole approach of our therapy-obsessed age is awry. Most obvious is that despite living in one of the most objectively prosperous and safe times in human history, our young people are, en masse, mentally sicker and emotionally sadder than ever. In fact, over 40% of young adults have a mental health diagnosis, twice the rate of the general population. So, the generation most treated for psychological wellbeing is doing the worst psychologically.  
How did we get to this point? In a podcast with former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss, Shrier told the story of her grandmother, Bess, who grew up during the Great Depression.
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The Predicted Push for Polyamory Is Out in Full Force

Marriage, sex, and babies. Our Creator designed them to go together. Tearing them apart has foreseeable results—both for individuals and for society. One of those results is that ever more selfish and loveless forms of sex become normalized as forms of self-expression and love.  

Back in 2004, a collection of voices warned of the consequences of normalizing homosexuality. They were often mocked and dismissed for predicting how so-called “gay marriage” would usher in all kinds of other perversions. Last month, after three national news publications ran stories praising polyamory, these critics now seem like prophets, though their predictions should’ve seemed obvious to all. The slope really was slippery, after all.
In The New York Times version, “[A] Polyamorous Mom Had ‘a Big Sexual Adventure’ and Found Herself.” The New York Magazine sported a cover photo of four cute, snuggling cats beneath the headline, “Polyamory: A Practical Guide for the Curious Couple.” The USA Today gave readers a crash course in the supposedly “misunderstood” polyamorous subculture known as “swingers.”
For the blessedly uninitiated, polyamory is the practice of having more than one sexual partner. In other words, it is what was called (until yesterday) “promiscuity.” However, as with each prior stop on the slippery slope of undefining marriage and the family, this one also abounds with creative euphemisms like “open relationships,” “non-monogamy,” “throuples,” “swingers,” and (worst of all) “polycules.”
The New York Times article listed a bevy of new TV shows, movies, and books promoting polyamory as fun and even beneficial—a journey of “self-discovery” that could liven up your “marriage” (whatever that word still means in this context). Fawning over the middle-aged mom who published her polyamory exploits in a memoir, The Times explained that by opening her marriage, she “cast off internalized sexism and her tendency to put others’ needs before her own.” That last part is certainly true. It’s hard to think of anything more selfish than the implied “you’re not enough” at the heart of polyamory.
The most important thing to know about how we got here is this: Dissolving commitment as essential to sexual relationships is the natural outcome of dissolving complementarity between male and female. If sexual differences are made unimportant to our love lives, so is the number of lovers.
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Are Human Rights a Fantasy?

If there is no one to endow human rights, how can everyone be expected to honor them? There remains widespread agreement that genocide, terrorism, and slavery are wrong, but by what authority will we continue to agree? Glenn Scrivener offered the best answer to these questions. “Rights indeed belong to all,” he says, “—that’s the nature of them. But they’ve also come from somewhere particular.” The source is not just any God, but the God Who specifically became man in Jesus Christ, forever ennobling human nature and sparking the Christian revolution that would shape the West and inspire this declaration, that all are “created equal.” 

In a TEDX talk years ago, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari made the startling claim that human rights do not exist.  
[H]uman rights are just like heaven and like God: It’s just a fictional story that we’ve invented and spread around. … It is not a biological reality, just as jellyfish and woodpeckers and ostriches have no rights, Homo sapiens have no rights. … Take a human, cut him open, look inside—you find their blood, and you find the heart and lungs and kidneys, but you don’t find there any rights. The only place you find rights is in the fictional stories that humans have invented and spread around. 
Last week, Harari’s talk resurfaced on the site formerly known as Twitter and sparked a lively debate among Tom Holland, author of Dominion; Glen Scrivener, an Anglican priest and author of The Air We Breathe; and Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist who wrote 12 Rules for Life.  Scrivener took issue with Harari’s materialism and called his remarks about human rights “nonsense.” Rights are indeed faith-based, he said, but that doesn’t make them any less real.  
Tom Holland, who is not a Christian, responded that while he believes in human rights, they are not self-evident. Rather, they require an act of subjective belief. “Human rights have no more objective reality than, say, the Trinity,” wrote Holland. “Both derive from the workings of Christian theology; and both, if they are to be believed in, require people to make a leap of faith.”   
Jordan Peterson disagreed, and responded in somewhat jumbled psychological lingo that rights are somehow “built into the structure of human being[s]” and are therefore “[n]ot arbitrary at all.” Holland shot back that if rights really are somehow “built into” reality, it’s awfully strange that the concept of human rights only emerged around the twelfth century in a specifically Christian and Western political context. 
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Immunizing Students from Bad Ideas

The subjects most easily deceived were told things like, “You know brushing your teeth is good for you, right? You’ve been taught this since you were little. Trust us.” When they subsequently heard arguments they never had before, this group felt sheltered and even deceived.  The least vulnerable group were those who had not only been warned against a bad argument they would hear, but they were also taught how to respond. They were also warned they could face additional  bad arguments and needed to be aware and vigilant.  One thing we can learn from McGuire’s experiment is that the method many Christian parents and churches use to pass on the faith—reinforcement without taking counter ideas seriously—is the one most vulnerable to failure. 

Many Christian parents worry about how best to pass faith onto their children. Tragically, statistics suggest they are right to worry. In 2020, the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University found that  just 2% of millennials, a generation now well into adulthood, have a biblical worldview. That is the lowest of any generation since surveys on the topic began. According to a Lifeway Research report , two-thirds of those who attend church as teenagers will drop out of church as adults.  
A significant aspect of the battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation has to do with ideas. Helping students think correctly about life and the world, God and themselves, would be hard enough if they weren’t also facing such strong cultural headwinds. Simply put, many young people today leave the faith because they lack the necessary immunity from the bad ideas of our culture. Christian parents must not only present truth to their kids; they must find ways to immunize them against lies.
Dr. William McGuire, a Yale psychology professor in the 1950s, suggested that bad ideas behave like viruses. Specifically, he thought that the more exposure one has to bad ideas in a controlled setting, the less likely they are to fall for those ideas later.  McGuire performed several experiments in which he tried to convince subjects of a lie, that brushing teeth is bad for them. Unsurprisingly, those given no preparation for what they were about to hear were more easily convinced of the lie than those warned against a specific bad argument they would hear.  
However, the subgroups that were the easiest and the hardest to dupe were surprising. The group most vulnerable to falsehoods was not the one with zero preparation, but the one who had merely had the truth reinforced.
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Humanity Isn’t a Problem to Solve: Technology Needs a Telos

Because we are designed, we must be guided by values and not merely algorithms. It is good that we take time to learn, to appreciate beauty, to feel wonder, and to have burning questions about what is behind all that we see. God made us this way, so that, eventually, our seeking would lead back to Him. Though He intends to redeem us from the ravages of sin, He never intends to optimize us into efficient machines. 

Pixar’s Wall-E has proven to be among the most profound and prophetic films of the last 20 years. After hopelessly polluting the Earth and leaving an army of robots to clean up the planet, humans now live aboard a giant ship built by a company that promises to take care of all its passengers’ needs. Thus, humans are left with nothing to do but amuse themselves and eat a lot.  
Many Christians wrote off the Pixar classic because of its hyper-environmentalist message. However, the film’s commentary on human exceptionalism and vocation, specifically the inability of our machines to do our most important work for us, was spot-on. In the world of Wall-E, human beings have a purpose, or a telos that cannot be reduced to maximizing comfort, safety, and convenience.  
In the biblical account of reality, humans exist to glorify and love God, and to serve as His special representatives and co-rulers in creation. Human inventions should help towards achieving those ends, extending our abilities, and mitigating the effects of the Fall. Wanting to replace ourselves with our devices assumes that humanity is the central problem of the world that needs to be solved. 
Recently in First Things, Matthew Crawford argued that an anti-human worldview like the one parodied in Wall-E now dominates our tech and governing classes. Those who are behind everything from smartphone apps to pandemic policy share a basic belief that human beings are inferior to machines. We are, as he puts it, “stupid,” “obsolete,” “fragile,” and “hateful.”  
Crawford opens his essay with an example of a driverless car created by Google that froze at a four-way stop. Apparently, the drivers around the car didn’t behave as it had been programmed to expect.
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Don’t Blame Your Sins on Montana: Our Climate of “Cost-Free Moral Preening”

We need to recognize how unhealthy our addiction to “cost-free moral preening” is. The constant need to be better than “those people”—and to be seen being better—betrays a deep spiritual anxiety that no amount of political posturing can cure.

At least since the movie Inherit the Wind butchered the history of the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial,” many Americans—especially those on the left side of the political spectrum—have cherished a kind of myth about national debates being settled in dramatic courtroom clashes. In reality, they seldom are. However, that doesn’t stop idealistic plaintiffs from trying.  
The most recent controversy dragged before a judge was whether the state of Montana could be held responsible for climate change. Earlier this month, Montana District Court Judge Kathy Seeley ruled that the state’s failure to take climate change into account when greenlighting new oil and coal projects was unconstitutional. The plaintiffs were a group of young people called Our Children’s Trust. They sued the state over fossil fuel production, claiming that Montana violated a section of its constitution that guarantees citizens “the right to a clean and healthful environment.” 
Climate activists have hailed the decision as a significant victory and model for the nation but have not been clear on what exactly has been accomplished. As The New York Times put it, unless a higher court overturns the ruling, Montana must now “consider climate change when deciding whether to approve or renew fossil fuel projects.” That’s all. They must “consider.” 
Ed Whelan at National Review concluded that the impact of this “Children’s Crusade to defeat climate change” on actual energy production and carbon emissions “might well be zero.” Perhaps future projects will involve a symbolic gesture, akin to the so-called “land acknowledgments” commonly seen in academia and on recent episodes of Alone Australia. These rituals involve a speaker beginning by naming the Native American tribes on whose ancestral land they’re standing. Of course, such acknowledgments, as Princeton’s Robert George recently remarked, “do no one any good.” No one gets land back. No de-colonization takes place. There aren’t any reparations. It’s “just a cost-free form of moral preening.” 
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Which Theory of Evolution? Toppling the Idol of “Settled Science”

The habit of fixing upon a dogma and calling it “settled science” is a kind of idolatry that places “science” in the seat of God, appoints certain scientists as priests capable of giving answers no fallible human can offer, and feigns certainty where real questions remain. The great irony is that this image of scientist-as-infallible-priest makes them seem like the caricature of medieval monks charging their hero Galileo with heresy for his dissent from the consensus. As challenges to Darwin mount, we should be able to articulate why “settled science” makes such a poor god.

In 1973, evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote that “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” Almost 50 years later, an increasing number of scientists are asking whether evolution makes any sense in light of what we now know from biology.  
A recent long-form essay in The Guardian signals just how urgent the problem has become for the most dominant theory in the history of the sciences. In it, author Stephen Buranyi gives voice to a growing number of scientists who think it’s time for a “new theory of evolution.”   
For a long time, descent with slight modifications and natural selection have been “the basic” (and I’d add, unchallengeable) “story of evolution.” Organisms change, and those that survive pass on traits. Though massaged a bit to incorporate the discovery of DNA, the theory of evolution by natural selection has dominated for 150 years, especially in biology. The “drive to survive” is credited as the creative force behind all the artistry and engineering we see in nature.   
“The problem,” writes Buranyi, is that “according to a growing number of scientists,” this basic story is “absurdly crude and misleading.” For one thing, Darwinian evolution assumes much of what it needs to be explained. For instance, consider the origin of light-sensitive cells that rearranged to become the first eye, or the blood vessels that became the first placenta. How did these things originate? According to one University of Indiana biologist, “we still do not have a good answer. The classic idea of gradual change, one happy accident at a time,” he says, “has so far fallen flat.”  
This scientific doubt about Darwin has been simmering for a while.
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Canada’s Suicidal Slide

The value of human life is not based on any extrinsic quality. Period. It’s instead based on the fact that humans are made in God’s image. We belong to Him, not to ourselves. This is ultimately why the slope from accepting some suicides to all suicides is so slippery.

If it is true, as Richard Weaver famously put it, that “ideas have consequences,” it is also true that bad ideas have victims. On no other contemporary issue today is the connection between a bad idea and its victims clearer than assisted suicide. In no other nation today are the bad ideas and their victims more aggressively embraced than in Canada.  
In a lengthy and powerful essay at The Atlantic this month, David Brooks exposed just how monstrous Canada’s so-called “medical aid in dying” regime has become since it was enacted in 2016. Originally, Canada only permitted the request for medical aid in dying to those with serious illness, in advanced or irreversible decline, unbearable physical or mental suffering, or whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.” The criteria are vague enough. Since the law went into effect, however, the number of Canadians killed annually has gone from 1,000 to over 10,000. In 2021, one in thirty Canadian deaths was by assisted suicide, and only 4% of those who applied to die were turned down.  
Were all these people terminally ill or suffering from serious and irreversible conditions? Hardly. In fact, Brooks tells the story of a man whose only physical condition was hearing loss yet who was “put to death” over the objections of his family. Another patient had fibromyalgia and leukemia yet wrote that “the suffering I experience is mental suffering, not physical. I think if more people cared about me, I might be able to handle the suffering caused by my physical illnesses alone.” One otherwise healthy 37-year-old who suffers from schizoaffective disorder and is unemployed said, “logistically, I really don’t have a future. … I’m not going anywhere.” As of Brooks’ writing, that man was awaiting approval for assisted suicide.  
Simply put, Canadians who need help are instead being helped to kill themselves because they’re depressed, lonely, or mentally ill. And the slope keeps getting slipperier. Brooks described patients who have been pressured by doctors and hospital staff into killing themselves to avoid medical bills. Earlier this year, the Canadian Parliament’s Special Committee on Medical Assistance in Death recommended extending the program to “mature minors” as young as twelve. 
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