Bullshit Alert

Maybe you’ve heard of this study that the usual suspects have latched onto as “proof” of their superior virtuousness, or something to that effect.  I suspected something wasn’t quite right; with these sorts of things, it usually isn’t.  Then this turned up this morning:

Don’t blithely believe the study that allegedly “proves” that religious kids are not nice people

Suspicion confirmed.  “Bull…shit…bull…shit…it all sounds like bullshit to me, to me…”

[Regressives] are tremendously excited about a study that purports to show that kids raised religiously are less nice than atheist children:


"There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs."
-- Thomas Sowell


"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
-- George Washington


"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."
-- Thomas Sowell


"By government giveaway programs, individuals are often hurt far more than they are helped. The recipients of these programs become dependent on the government and their dignity is destroyed. Is it compassionate to enslave more and more people by making them a part of the government dependency cycle? I think compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need it. Helping people to become self-sufficient is much more compassionate than drugging them with the narcotic of welfare."
-- Rush Limbaugh


"Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process."
-- Ronald Reagan


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero


"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
-- Margaret Thatcher


"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong."
-- Calvin Coolidge


"The American republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
-- Alexis de Tocqueville


"It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

Please, please let me count the ways in which I part ways with what I perceive as a ridiculous excuse for science.

First, I distrust any sociological study that proves conclusively that conservatives and religious people are mean, stupid, selfish, cruel, etc. As a starting point, we know that the vast majority of these sociological/psychological studies can’t be reproduced, which is one of the basic requirements for the validity of any purportedly “scientific” study. That means that the findings here are inherently suspicious.

Second, these lab studies are suspicious when their results run counter to the real world. For example, endless lab studies from Leftist institutions show that conservatives are dumb and ill-informed.  The problem is that actual data derived from real world subjects reveals that they’re better informed than their Leftist peers. And with specific regard to religious people, the reality, outside of children in the psychologist’s lair, is that religious people give much more generously to charity than their non-religious peers, something shown, not by little games, but by the hard numbers of actual donations.

Third, the “dictator game” the kids played had nothing to do with the real world because kids understand the difference between real and pretend.  Here’s an example:  when my cousin and I were little, we loved playing poker. We’d wager tens of thousands of imaginary dollars and cheat like crazy. Those behaviors, however, were not predictive of our actual approach to the world. In real life, my cousin and I are, and always were, both honest and financially conservative.

There’s more at the link.