One of the worst trends of our primitive modern age is the resurgence of “scientific” claims for racially inherited intelligence quotients. Being a scientifically ignorant person myself, my objection to this is simple: I deny, quite vehemently and with no small reserve of anger, the claim that science can meaningfully quantify, or even properly teach us to understand, the full nature, value or level, of human intelligence in the first place, and the claim that this limited information should be taken seriously by civilized people.

When well-intentioned moderns attempt to rebut such claims, they generally make the mistake of trying to do so using only the same instrument. But science can only observe nature, and its findings can always be cherry-picked to prop up literally any political agenda (this can also be done with history). Human beings are more than nature: we are consciousness. That consciousness can sometimes use reason and science to combat prejudice and hatred, but without love, they are only tools, that will increasingly be used as weapons.

An excessively rational liberalism, lacking an element of religious imagination, will fall miserably short, because it has lost hold of the human heart. Nature has no fixed goals or destinations, at least not morally. But we do.

This is why the women’s movement used myths. The myths were often fantasies without the support of history, but that wasn’t the essential point. A vision of female spiritual power and equality had to be advanced along with the legal sense, because reason is inadequate without mysticism: Only spirit can fully contest the mere rule of flesh, which is ever threatening.

The Constitution is partly a supernaturalist document, and we have acknowledged that we are more than mere biology and reproductive organs. By embracing gay marriage, we have affirmed the extension of divine law to cover homosexuals, and enfolded them in a deeply conservative tradition. I think that they are better off there, and it would appear that most of them enthusiastically agree.

This is a classical liberal fusion of tradition with religion, and mind (law) with spirit (intuition). Recognizing the nature of the transaction helps. Rather than censoring science, or using it for political ends, we must keep it in its place: Our culture must retain the bonds of spiritual life, or it will collapse upon us.

LUKE BUCKHAM

283 Pearl St.

Keene