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By Scott Yenor, Public Discourse, July 31, 2019

All the science in the world does not answer the deepest questions of political importance. Pretending that questions of political priority are merely technical or scientific questions is the lie of modern times. Conservatives must relearn this lesson in order to defend essential public goods like marriage and the family.

Debates over the science of marriage and happiness are really about whether marriage is best understood as a vehicle for individual growth or as a community of love. Each side claims the authority of science. Many are critical of the science on which the individualist vision of the family rests. Arguments will gain public purchase when sound science serves the larger ethical truth about the nature of marriage. Married people are happier because marriage responds to a deep human need for love and community.

This dynamic helps explain why reams of scientific literature about how detrimental broken homes are for children―studies produced consistently over the past forty years―have not moved liberal public intellectuals or policymakers to defend the family as the most essential, basic unit of society. It also explains why some scholars resort to manipulating the data. ….