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:


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


"The prudent capitalist will never adventure his capital...if there exists a state of uncertainty as to whether the Government will repeal tomorrow what it has enacted today."
-- William Henry Harrison


"If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court … the people will have ceased to be their own rulers."
-- Abraham Lincoln


"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
-- George Washington


"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the People. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."
-- H. L. Mencken


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


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


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
-- unknown, but often attributed to George Orwell


"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
-- Voltaire


"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C. S. Lewis

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.