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PZ pushing idiot science now to bolster his anti-religious hatred August 19, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Liberal self-loathing, Mechanistic Relativism.

Brother. The guy simply does not know when to stop jamming both feet into his mouth.

Here is this biologist who essentially claims that all religion is evil and science is the Answer to Everything, pushing a nearly year-old article that claims religion is the root cause of all our ills. I wrote days after the thing came out that it was taking correlations and claiming they detect causation. I have some training in stats, and the article smelled wrong to me.

Yet, PZ has disinterred it from its musty and deserved grave, crowing once again that he. . .

knew it all along.

Yet another irresponsible “scientist” misreading stats to support his faith-based belief.

To PZ’s credit, he is not willing to lay all the claims that Paul makes at the feet of religion:

Now, to be fair, I don’t think this necessarily says that being religious is bad for the individual; it’s just not good for a culture. I also think it’s a bit sweeping in associating these ills with religious belief in general, because the US is afflicted with particularly malignant forms of religion (and at the root, the problem may not be religion itself, but irrationality and anti-intellectualism and ignorance, something our country has in volume).

I very nearly fell out of my chair when I saw that. Perhaps, since he now feels that he has successfully slain the religious dragon, he may now spare a few words in support of its valiance.

It was nice to see, but in the end, whatever. PZ is deluded, once again.

See here, here and here for lucid, rational analyses that take Paul’s irresponsible and WRONG study out to the woodshed for a serious and well-deserved flogging.

My favorite quote from the de-bunking of Paul?

This is one of the most common errors in interpretation of statistics: Correlation is not at all the same thing as causation.

Which I had said here, at almost the same time that StatGuy said it.

Now watch. If we can even get PZ off his high horse long enough to acknowledge the existence of Paul’s destruction, he will dismiss it. Why? Because StatGuy is a Christian.
I don’t EVER want to hear again that scientists don’t have faith-based beliefs.


UPDATE: PZ continues his state of quasi-religious denial:

If you want to invalidate it, you’d have to either show that the US, for instance, actually isn’t steeped in public displays of religion, or that we don’t have an immense prison population and high rates of such things as teen pregnancy and homicide.

Whining that the author wasn’t a professional statistician or that there are other analyses that could be done to try and salvage religion’s reputation don’t cut it. The major valid complaint I’ve seen is that the US is such a freaky outlier in all measures that it tends to skew the results…but that observation is a kick in the groin to the pious patriots of America, too.

He’s still claiming that a correlation proves causation.

And his echo-chamber sycophants are already starting in with the ad hom arguments:

O’Brien means leave the statistics to christian statisticians. That’s who did the “debunking”.

Sigh. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragically predictable.

UPDATE II: Comments at PZ’s have gone over the edge.  I’m done over there.  See for yourself.

UPDATE III: Now Kos went around the bend, suggesting that Gallup’s  support of Paul’s pseudo-science and possible Christian influence allowed BUsh to  steal the election.

My God, these people are completly unhinged.



1. Dave - August 20, 2006

Hey genius, I’d love to hear your explanation of why the US has a much higher crime rate, much more teen pregnancy, abortions, etc., despite the fact that it is much more religious (and specifically Christian), than Europe and Japan. And conversely why a country like Japan has a driven, advanced, very low-crime society with very little supernatural belief and no trace of Christianity.

Correlation may not “prove” causation, but it makes it look a hell of lot more likely. Call a spade a spade.

2. demolition65 - August 21, 2006

Oh, I dunno. Perhaps for the same reason that commentators who enjoy name calling and easy conclusions (calling a “spade a spade”) tend to correlate with both low IQs and an inability to finish even the simple “public education” offered by this country.

See how much fun generalizations with correlations can be?

3. abc - September 27, 2006

What about this (another incredibly stupid academic)


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