The rigor mortis of science: The war on measurement itself has commenced

Donna RileyFrom Notes and Comments at The New Criterion:

If you are thinking of building a bridge, be careful if your engineer went to Purdue University. Donna Riley, the head of the engineering department at Purdue, has put the world on notice that “rigor” is a dirty word. In an article for Engineering Education called “Rigor/Us: Building Boundaries and Disciplining Diversity with Standards of Merit,” Professor Riley, who is also the author of Engineering and Social Justice, argues that academic “rigor” is merely a blind for “white male heterosexual privilege.” Yes, really. “The term,” she writes, “has a historical lineage of being about hardness, stiffness, and erectness; its sexual connotations—and links to masculinity in particular—are undeniable.” There follows a truly surreal meditation on the existential and sexist depredations of slide rules—those hard, straight instruments that have traditionally been deployed by men…


She then goes on to attack scientific knowledge itself as hopelessly sexist and colonial.

Unfortunately, there is no simple way of addressing this science-killer in the post-modern university environment that naturalism has spawned. Women who achieve in science will be portrayed as “selling out” because they are using methods developed by men, as if they were free to just go and invent new methods instead. Women who fail or just decide they aren’t suited to science will be portrayed are heroines or victims, not as people who simply chose to do something else.

Most science boffins so far are simply looking the other way, hoping to be destroyed last, instead of crying Shame! on such things.

But then they can’t, can they? Traditionally, science studied nature but was not naturalist. That is, scientists believed that there was an order of things that were really true. When they believed that, the value of qualities like objectivity and rigor was apparent to all. Tday, most probably believe that their consciousness is an illusion that enables their selfish genes to survive and nothing more. So they really have nothing to defend except their jobs.

See also: Can science survive long in a post-modern world? It’s not clear.


Can the rot of naturalism be stopped? Relating information to matter and energy might help

  • Brett_McS

    SJWs going after engineering? That’s a bridge too far.

    • Watchman

      Especially if designed by those “maths is hard thus every student gets a A+” SJW graduates.

    • Will Quest

      We need warning signs that such & such engineering project was created by Neurotic Femininity …..

  • lgeubank

    “Math is hard! It’s not fair to make girls learn it!”>/i>

    • Editor

      One of my first posts ever on a forum, close to 10 years ago, was regarding the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) decision to create a school with an Africentric curriculum. I posted that “Math is hard and exacting. It requires time, study and effort and no amount of “tailoring the curriculum” would change that fact.”
      The pushback and accusations of racism thrown at me are, in part, what got me interested in discussion forums. The universal daycare debate with feminists was also fun but that’s for another post.

  • mobuyus

    The only way I could get hard around her would have to be rigor mortis.

  • Charlamange Rock

    To be fair, let the SJWs use and live in their creations, be they bridges, house or apartments. Don’t hold out a long life expectancy for them. SJW’s making the Darwin awards huge.

  • Clausewitz

    So she’s basically nullifying all of that school’s graduates. If I had my credentials from there I would seriously be considering suing them for future loss of revenue.

    • May credentialism generally die a well-earned death.

      • Drunk by Noon ✓

        That is one upside. The problem is, what else does it take with it?

  • “Can the rot of naturalism be stopped? Relating information to matter and energy might help”

    Sorry, advising people who are worried about the dumbing-down post-modernization of science to adopt religious pre-modernization of science is not a good move.

  • ForlornHope

    Sounds like a lot of bluster concealing the fact that she knows absolutely nothing about the subject she is supposedly teaching.

    • Watchman

      No, but she thinks she does, and that’s good enough for her. What are you, some kind of sexist that believes there is such a thing as objective truth and facts instead of just differing narratives? /sarc

      • Editor

        Boom! Right there! The death of western academia : questioning whether ” there is such a thing as objective truth and facts instead of just differing narratives”

        Amazing this postmodernist canard took hold so fast and so profoundly in the west. I’m still struggling as to why.

  • trespasserswill

    She is no engineer. Look at her LinkedIn history. It’s all flummery peripheral to science and engineering.

  • Shebel

    I still prefer to see females as sweet little things—
    It is when they get Uppity that
    That they become Nasty.
    and Vindictive.
    I don’t want them to change.
    They are fun.

  • Tooth&Claw

    She’s as nutty as the mental health professional that want kids to stop having best friends.

    • Drunk by Noon ✓

      Best friends reek of individuality.
      Best friends might look out for one another.
      Members of a group, will instead look out for the group, or for their place in the group, but not for other individual group members.
      They are warring against individualism, objective reality, and the concept of liberty itself.

      • Tooth&Claw

        They want the state to be a child’s best friend and first love, and make that child forever unable to sustain a committed and intimate relationship. Bastards.

        • Shebel

          I agree .
          I don’t know or understand what these muther fuckers want.

          • Bla Bla

            Chaos. They strive to destroy all that exists and send us all back to the caves. They are utterly and completely pure evil.

      • Shebel

        You are wrong .
        I don’t think that you ever had a ‘Best Friend’.

        You are simply justifying the GANG Lifestyle.

        • Drunk by Noon ✓

          You could tell all that from my post?
          Are you trolling me?

          • Bla Bla


            It’s hard to tell

  • Maggat

    By the time any of her “Engineering” students are designing and erecting (no pun intended) structures, I will not be around to get killed in them when the imminent failures happen

  • Pingback: Scientific thinking patterns are for men only, say feminist profs – Blazing Cat Fur()

  • Shebel

    Some people are Never blessed with a BEST FRIEND.
    Your Best Friend can think the opposite of you–
    But still understand.
    It transcends Religion.
    My best friends are Dying like flies.

  • simus1

    Well, the lying chicom red extremists once maintained everything new, huge, and wonderful in China was built by cadres and peasants only, to match their political nonsense. This loon sounds like she is a jumped up PC cadre with a good marxist lawyer on the fast track.