Over the past few years I’ve noticed an increasing number of “Recent studies show…” articles where the ellipsis is filled by something so painfully obvious and commonsensical that it hardly deserves colloquial mention, much less a “study” to confirm.
For example, consider the recent groundbreaking study showing that infants are comforted when held by their mothers, or the mind-blowing study indicating that a sedentary lifestyle may contribute to obesity. And, surprisingly, we now have evidence suggesting that parents can influence their children’s decisions on drug-use! Equally surprising, a new study has found that sibling aggression can lead to an increase in depression and anxiety in children! Who knew?! (Examples could be multiplied ad nauseam, if you’re not experiencing nausea already).
Who knew? We all did. Except that we didn’t. What we are seeing are symptoms of crass scientism cancerously rampant in the social sciences. The aforementioned and other items of conventional knowledge aren’t considered knowledge until “Science sez so.” We need that good ol’ time Science, the great Arbiter of Knowledge, to give us permission to know what we already know. There is no item of commonsense that’s common or sensical enough to be immune to infection.
And while bullshit studies like these are fecklessly funded, humanities departments are pinched or chastised for not being science or math departments, effectively being treated as sickly for not having the disease.