Science Fakers


Law Professor Elizabeth Foley nails it at Instapundit:

THEY’RE NOT SCIENCE DENIERS, THEY’RE SCIENCE FAKERS: What is it about progressives and their manipulation of scientific data?  It’s not just global warming climate change; now it’s social science on gay marriage.

According to the study, people from communities hostile to gay marriage could have their opinions shift dramatically after spending just a few minutes speaking with a gay person who canvassed their neighborhood promoting gay marriage. . . .

The study, among other things, lent support to the notion that those opposed to gay marriage simply don’t know or interact with open homosexuals. More broadly, it was seen as an important development in the science of how people can be convinced to change their minds on ideologically-charged issues.

The study began to fall apart when students at the University of California at Berkeley sought to conduct additional research building off of it, only to find major irregularities in how its research was apparently conducted. . . . 

Donald Green, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the paper, made the decision to retract it after having a confrontation with co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA. While LaCour maintained that he hadn’t fabricated the data, he was also unable to produce the original source files supposedly used to produce it. When he failed to write-up a retraction, Green took the initiative and did so himself.

Guess some folks think they can fake it ’til they make it.  Or maybe it’s just Alinsky’s “the ends justify the means.

The politicization of science, “social” science has always been a politicized swamp,  is one of the signs of just how decadent the times in which we live are.  From a seach for truth, much of science has become merely a tool to be wielded in ideological battles, truth be damned.

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  1. “social” science has always been a politicized swamp,

    No, there are conscientiously conducted studies and there is junk work. The real problem would be the questions which are not asked because there is too much uniformity in defining what constitutes a worthy questions.

    What’s odd about this is that the perpetrator stands accused of inventing a piece of survey research out of whole cloth and his accusers are other social researchers who have co-authored pieces with this fellow LaCour’s co-author. LaCour’s co-author has repudiated the paper.

  2. Dr. Sheldon Cooper comments on the so-called “social sciences,” in general, and this issue, in particular, “This is why I have no respect for the field.”

    Seriously, behavioral or post-modern academics/journalism/scholarship consist of credentialed cretins deriving conclusions based on ideology and not fact/logic. It relies on anecdotes and stereotypes incorporated in mental emotional filters to misrepresent and misunderstand data, events, and facts. In fact, the academy is venal. Its purpose is to advance the ideology/narrative and provide continual propaganda for charlatans such as Clinton and Obama, and for the progressive program. Behavioral academics/scholarship seamlessly imbeds fabrications into facts. In it, all reading is arbitrary and personal. A theory cannot be proved only disproven. Behavioral academics invent facts, deny/ignore errors, display arrogance and execrate anybody providing opposing evidence. For those liars, truth, facts, realities, and history do not exist. They are clay in their hands. They use them to make a point, to do good as they see it. And whatever they need to twist or omit is justified by their purity of intentions – and they always have the purest of intentions.

  3. Donald R. McClarey provided a link to Freeman’s paper, and his conclusions about Mead’s work are pretty damning. Her work is discredited as fakery or unbelievable incompetence.

  4. Deleted your last comment Art. Try again without the personal insult. I include in “social” sciences: anthropology, sociology, political science and parts of economics. I await with eager anticipation your defense of these citadels of unbiased, factual and objective science.

  5. William P Walsh wrote what I was thinking.
    If men were the automatons that behaviorists claim they are, the behaviorist psychologists could not have invented the amazing nonsense called “behaviorist psychology.” So they are wrong from scratch–as clever and as wrong as phlogiston chemists.
    Notebooks of Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love by the late Robert Anson Heinlein

  6. Michel Foucault was surely right, when he observed that the objective features of a phenomenon so little constrain the ways it is classified and theorized that these features can be disregarded in trying to understand why a particular classification system or scientific theory has been adopted.

  7. Cut out all that tainted grant (and other) politicized money and watch this “crisis” go down faster than the Hindenburg.

    These erratic eco-scientists would have Christ arrested for trying to crush a mountain with the weight of people when he gave His “Sermon on the Mount”

  8. Big problem with social sciences is figuring out an objective measurement– and a way to distance yourself from the data enough to interpret it. People are complicated.
    There’s the additional problem of when it’s licit to do experiments at all.

  9. Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen was a Social Scientist: verdict conclusion first, trial evidence after.
    I say that as a historian who preferred the humanities to social science. Probably why I failed to prosper in academe, at least in part.

  10. It is worth remembering that Sociology was founded by Auguste Comte and has always reflected his belief that “For the human mind, each branch of our knowledge is necessarily required to pass successively, in its progress, through three different theoretical states” In the “theological state,” the human mind explained phenomena by “supernatural agents” and by arbitrary wills conceived in the image of man. In the “metaphysical state,” it explained them by abstract entities and hidden causes (“abstract forces inhering in bodies, but distinct and heterogeneous”). In the “positive state,” it does not seek to explain them, it observes them as facts and unifies them by laws, and so makes itself capable of rational prediction (it restricts itself to “considering them as subjected to a certain number of invariable natural laws which are nothing else than the general expression of the relations observed in their development”).

    Comte insisted that sociology, and science in general, seeks nothing but laws or invariable relations between phenomena, whereas metaphysics seeks causes. Science asks only the question “how” without ever asking the question “why” and rises above simple empirical observation only in order to foresee facts or phenomena in a deductive manner. For him, the paradigm of a scientific law is a differential equation, describing, not the causal relationship between phenomena, but the functional relationship between variables.

  11. Donald R. McClarey wrote, “Auguste Comte, the French buffoon who started the Religion of Humanity:” – The very same.
    His Religion of Humanity was aptly described by Thomas Huxley as “Catholicism without Christianity.” Jacques Maritain has pointed out that this project only seemed feasible because, “It is a fact that at Comte’s time a noticeable part of the French bourgeoisie had already inaugurated this kind of Catholicism. If Comte could dream of founding an atheistic Catholicism, it was because the class in question had among its most solid members a number of practical atheists, more or less brought up by Voltaire and Béranger. They called themselves Catholic, though in all their principles of conduct they denied God, Christ and the Gospel, and upheld religion for merely temporal and political reasons — preserving social order and prosperity in business, consolidating their economic power, and keeping the lower classes in obedience by means of a virtuous rigor sanctioned from on high. The existence of this type of so-called Catholics made the idea of creating an atheist version of Catholicism less impossible; at the same time, the sort of inconsistency and hypocrisy which affected them was for the founder of positivism an incitement to endeavour to regenerate them. The religion of humanity was, so to say, a reply to their negativeness. It told them: Admit what you are — and instead of adoring God with your lips without really believing in Him, and instead of being socially useless, because you despise the commandment given to you to love each other, adore the Great Being which is made known to you by sociology, and make yourselves useful by serving it with that atheistic love which is called altruism.

    Such an appeal was bound to remain unheard, because no matter what love and devotedness one spoke of, this was precisely what the persons thus addressed did not want at any cost; besides, they had no desire to deprive themselves of the slim chance offered to them by a Christian death, in case the priests were prating more than fairy tales.”

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