Left-wing outlets insist that “transphobic” Senator Josh Hawley found himself “schooled” by a Berkeley law professor
Fox News summarizes the reporting by several news outlets on the exchange between Senator Josh Hawley and associate professor Khiara Bridges in the following way:
Progressive media sites promoted the viral clip of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges clashing over whether men can get pregnant Tuesday as an example of a liberal “schooling.”
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Bridges testified on the harm that abortion bans could bring to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” After using that term several times, Hawley asked whether she meant “women.” Bridges responded that “trans men and non-binary people” were also capable of pregnancy, leading Hawley to question whether abortion remained a “women’s rights issue.”
After continued questioning, Bridges accused Hawley of being “transphobic” and encouraging “violence.”
(Read more at Fox News)
Please consider these salient points ignored by Fox News
These points might have some bearing on the overall discussion:
- This overall hearing purportedly was held to discuss the affect of the Dobbs case (that is, how the Supreme Court’s decision that Roe came from a loom of whole cloth and, from a liberal perspective, received numerous accusations by abortion providers of causing problems within the field of women’s health).
- The professor did not just mention “people with a capacity for pregnancy” several times — she mentioned that phrase five times before this exchange began.
- Bridges’ response to Hawley’s question “Would that be ‘women?'” clearly opened the discussion of abortion (which previously had been shut off by the Left as something only to be discussed by those with a uterus) to males.
- The reason that Bridges opened the discussion of abortion to men came through her outrage at Hawley’s failure to recognize the current Leftist concept of sexuality.
- Thence, the Leftist concepts of sexuality and sanity can be seen to hold a number of similarities to the better-known paradox of Schrödinger’s cat.
A transcript of the exchange
Although Yahoo News provided the bulk of the transcript of the exchange, the first few interchanges came from the C-Span video included below the transcript.
|Hawley||Professor Bridges, you said several times — you’ve used a phrase I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it: You’ve referred to “people with a capacity for pregnancy.” Would that be “women?”|
|Bridges||Many women, cis women, have the capacity for pregnancy. Many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy. Um. There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.|
|Hawley||So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue, it’s a–|
|Bridges||We can recognize that this impacts women, while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive. Senator Hawley.|
|Hawley||So your view is that the core of this right then is about what?|
|Bridges||So I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic and it opens up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.|
|Hawley||Wow, you’re saying that I’m opening up people to violence by asking whether or not women are the folks who can have pregnancies?|
|Bridges||So I’m, I want to note that one out of five transgender persons have attempted suicide. So I think it’s important–|
|Hawley||Because of my line of questioning?|
|Hawley||So we can’t talk about it?|
|Bridges||Because denying that trans people exist and pretending not to know that they exist–|
|Hawley||I’m denying that trans people exist by asking–|
|Hawley||–If you’re talking about–|
|Bridges||Are you? Are you?|
|Bridges||Do you believe that men can get pregnant?|
|Hawley||No, I don’t think men can get pregnant.|
|Bridges||So you are denying that trans people exist. Thank you.|
|Hawley||And that leads to violence? Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you?|
|Hawley||Or are they also treated like this where–|
|Bridges||No, no, no, they’re allowed to question.|
|Hawley||They’re told opening up people to violence by questioning?|
|Bridges||We have a good time in my class. You should join.|
|Bridges||You might learn a lot.|
|Hawley||Wow, I would learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot–|
|Hawley||–Just in this exchange.|
The quantum paradox of Schrödinger
As well-explained at Nature (primarily because I don’t have the time, devotion to this inane theory, a mind-reading capability, or the patience), Schrödinger presents this quantum paradox:
In the world’s most famous thought experiment, physicist Erwin Schrödinger described how a cat in a box could be in an uncertain predicament. The peculiar rules of quantum theory meant that it could be both dead and alive, until the box was opened and the cat’s state measured. Now, two physicists have devised a modern version of the paradox by replacing the cat with a physicist doing experiments — with shocking implications.
Quantum theory has a long history of thought experiments, and in most cases these are used to point to weaknesses in various interpretations of quantum mechanics. But the latest version, which involves multiple players, is unusual: it shows that if the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, then different experimenters can reach opposite conclusions about what the physicist in the box has measured. This means that quantum theory contradicts itself.
The conceptual experiment has been debated with gusto in physics circles for more than two years — and has left most researchers stumped, even in a field accustomed to weird concepts. “I think this is a whole new level of weirdness,” says Matthew Leifer, a theoretical physicist at Chapman University in Orange, California.
The authors, Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, posted their first version of the argument online in April 2016. The final paper appears in Nature Communications on 18 September1. (Frauchiger has now left academia.)
Quantum mechanics underlies nearly all of modern physics, explaining everything from the structure of atoms to why magnets stick to each other. But its conceptual foundations continue to leave researchers grasping for answers. Its equations cannot predict the exact outcome of a measurement — for example, of the position of an electron — only the probabilities that it can yield particular values.
Quantum objects such as electrons therefore live in a cloud of uncertainty, mathematically encoded in a ‘wavefunction’ that changes shape smoothly, much like ordinary waves in the sea. But when a property such as an electron’s position is measured, it always yields one precise value (and yields the same value again if measured immediately after).
The most common way of understanding this was formulated in the 1920s by quantum-theory pioneers Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, and is called the Copenhagen interpretation, after the city where Bohr lived. It says that the act of observing a quantum system makes the wavefunction ‘collapse’ from a spread-out curve to a single data point.
The Copenhagen interpretation left open the question of why different rules should apply to the quantum world of the atom and the classical world of laboratory measurements (and of everyday experience). But it was also reassuring: although quantum objects live in uncertain states, experimental observation happens in the classical realm and gives unambiguous results.
Now, Frauchiger and Renner are shaking physicists out of this comforting position. Their theoretical reasoning says that the basic Copenhagen picture — as well as other interpretations that share some of its basic assumptions — is not internally consistent.
What’s in the box?
Their scenario is considerably more involved than Schrödinger’s cat — proposed in 1935 — in which the feline lived in a box with a mechanism that would release a poison on the basis of a random occurrence, such as the decay of an atomic nucleus. In that case, the state of the cat was uncertain until the experimenter opened the box and checked it.
In 1967, the Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a version of the paradox in which he replaced the cat and the poison with a physicist friend who lived inside a box with a measuring device that could return one of two results, such as a coin showing heads or tails. Does the wavefunction collapse when Wigner’s friend becomes aware of the result? One school of thought says that it does, suggesting that consciousness is outside the quantum realm. But if quantum mechanics applies to the physicist, then she should be in an uncertain state that combines both outcomes until Wigner opens the box.
Frauchiger and Renner have a yet more sophisticated version (see ‘New cats in town’). They have two Wigners, each doing an experiment on a physicist friend whom they keep in a box. One of the two friends (call her Alice) can toss a coin and — using her knowledge of quantum physics — prepare a quantum message to send to the other friend (call him Bob). Using his knowledge of quantum theory, Bob can detect Alice’s message and guess the result of her coin toss. When the two Wigners open their boxes, in some situations they can conclude with certainty which side the coin landed on, Renner says — but occasionally their conclusions are inconsistent. “One says, ‘I’m sure it’s tails,’ and the other one says, ‘I’m sure it’s heads,’” Renner says.
The experiment cannot be put into practice, because it would require the Wigners to measure all quantum properties of their friends, which includes reading their minds, points out theorist Lídia Del Rio, a colleague of Renner’s at ETH Zurich.
Yet it might be feasible to make two quantum computers play the parts of Alice and Bob: the logic of the argument requires only that they know the rules of physics and make decisions based on them, and in principle one can detect the complete quantum state of a quantum computer. (Quantum computers sophisticated enough to do this do not yet exist, Renner points out.)
(Read about the duels going on over this catty theory at Nature)
Several things to note about Schrödinger’s paradox
We should take specific note regarding the following aspects of Schrödinger’s paradox that have specific application to the Leftist concepts that follow:
- This paradox has no real-world equivalent. It cannot be repeated in your bedroom, at your office, or in any physical location.
- This amounts to nothing but a thought experiment. Read the bullet above.
- The rules of physics have no effect on the thought experiment. Read the two bullets above.
- Thence, based the three bullets above and on the number of times that Marxism or any other Leftist concept has worked in the real world, Schrödinger’s paradox is the perfect medium for understanding mutable Leftist concepts like sexuality and sanity.
If we returned to the original reason for calling the hearing where Senator Hawley and associate professor Bridges had their exchange, we would find that the topic originally focused on abortion. Except that (in accordance with the Leftist talking points promoted across America) all of the males in the chamber would have been silenced because only those with a uterus could speak on abortion.
However, as mandated by Schrödinger’s uterus, we all have and don’t have said uterus.
Therefore, the discussion of abortion has paradoxically been opened to all (at least until the Left realizes that it has opened this discussion and b****-slaps itself to get its focus off of transgender ideology).
In response to two questions (a question on a point of clarity on “people with a capacity for pregnancy” and a question on whether the hearing centered on women’s rights), Bridges quickly became unhinged. First, she accused Senator Hawley of promoting violence against the transgender community by just asking those two questions. Then, when probed on how questions cause violence against the transgender community, she jumped to a claim of self-violence (specifically, suicide) which she anecdotally linked to discussion of things tangential to transgenderism.
This exposes several weaknesses in the argument supporting transgenderism:
- First, the ability to communicate stands as the primary quality (even over the ability to make tools) that makes us human. Therefore, to limit discussion on a topic due to its potential to cause purported “violence” to someone limits the whole of us.
- To confuse violence and suicide in this discussion likely stands as a deliberate blurring of the lines and an ad hominem attack against anyone who doesn’t goose-step to the Bridges drum.
- Transgenderism itself (until very recently) was recognized as a mental disorder of gender dysphoria. Therefore, why should one be surprised that a group that is no longer treated (but encouraged in their delusion and given often non-reversible treatments and surgeries) would become suicidal?
- Probably not finally, but last among the points I will discuss, if a claim of violence is to be made, shouldn’t that claim be direct and material (not hearsay)?
It seems that Bridges only exposes the weakness of her own contentions by going on a personal attack (“Are you? Are you? Are you? Are you?”).