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:


"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
-- John Adams


"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."
-- Milton Friedman


"The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight."
-- Theodore Roosevelt


"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."
-- William F. Buckley


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


"I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office."
-- Milton Friedman


"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


"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- H. L. Mencken


"If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law."
-- Winston Churchill


"Conservatives have excellent credentials to speak about human rights. By our efforts, and with precious little help from self-styled liberals, we were largely responsible for securing liberty for a substantial share of the world's population and defending it for most of the rest."
-- Margaret Thatcher

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.