Thursday, October 06, 2005


As regular readers of this blog will be well aware, I am one of the very small band of atheists who takes a considerable and sympathetic interest in Christianity. Like the Devil, I even quote scripture for my purposes sometimes. And I did for a while do a regular scripture blog devoted to recovering via New Testament exegesis what first century Christians believed -- before the paganizing influences of later centuries had set in. If you are an orthodox Christian, don't read it. You may find it disturbing.

And I have written at some length on what history shows us about the common Christian claim that Christianity is an essential foundation for a moral society and individual liberty. I could find little support for that claim. But I see no evidence for the opposite claim, either: That Christianity is bad for you.

So when I saw a report of the negative garbage written about Christianity by "humanist" Gregory Paul in the Journal of Religion and Society, I gave him a pretty good blast (yesterday) over his apparently clueless "research" methods -- without bothering to check on what others had written before me . One of my readers, however, has pointed me to a very comprehensive article by Statguy -- who has taken the trouble to look in more detail at the "research" concerned. And it is, as I thought, incompetent to the point of fraud. Paul apparently carried out no appropriate statistical analysis of any kind. No reputable academic journal in the social sciences would have accepted such clueless garbage -- and I say that from the viewpoint of someone who has had many critiques of academic journal articles published. So I think that identifies without need for further enquiry what the Journal of Religion and Society is: a Leftist rant and nothing more is my guess.

It might be of interest for me to pass on something else that my reader emailed me about Gregory Paul: "I heard him defend his study on a national talk show here in the States. The reason he gave for including Black violence was that Blacks were mainly influenced by "Southern Redneck" culture which came from Protestant Southern English culture and therefore Christian religion is the reason for Black violence. This Leftist's logic is so bad I really don't know what to say".

Amen to that. For more on the "troubled" relationship Leftists have with science, see GREENIE WATCH. The fourth post down that I put up there yesterday is very much to the point. And genetic science is very inconvenient for Leftists too. See, for example here

Before I leave the subject of dodgy Leftist science, have a look at this report: "In a Cornell University study [of Cornell Sociology students], men who perceived their masculinity to be maligned displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle. In other words, men overcompensate when they feel their masculinity is threatened".

I get a bit tired of pointing out the holes in this sort of study so I will simply note that there was NO sampling done for the "research" so NO generalizations from the study are possible -- not even generalizations about all Cornell students, let alone about men in general. And students do of course become expert at telling their teachers what their teachers want to hear. A university education in the "Humanities" seems to consist of little else these days. And having taught sociology students for 12 years at a major university, I know what a wacko lot they can be. I remember one student who seemed to think that the idea of negative numbers was some sort of CIA plot. And I am pretty sure he ended up graduating!


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