Furthest Right

Bad science, for profit

We don’t lack for examples of bad science. But I picked this one because it is backward rationalization, or finding the result you want to achieve, and then faking the data to back it up.

They did it in this case with (a) valid data and (b) an invalid interpretation of that data.

Headline: Murder rates affect IQ tests scores: study


If a murder occurred in a child’s neighborhood — an area of roughly six to 10 square blocks as denoted by the U.S. Census — the children’s test scores fell by an average of half a standard deviation, Sharkey reported.

On an IQ test using 100 as the average or norm, one standard deviation is 15 points. So if a child took the test within a week of a local murder, his or her score was 7-8 points lower on average than the score of a similar child in a similar neighborhood where there was no murder. – Reuters

If you look at the above, you’ll see some salient facts:

  • There was no before/after comparison. They worked from an average of 100 IQ points, and found that in areas near where murders occurred, the IQ of children was generally lower.
  • There is no actual causation suggested. In fact, the question is left open. But through the wording of the article — it’s “science” remember, our new religion — we’re left to assume that there’s a causal relation.
  • Finally, they tell you the real reason why they wanted these results: “black U.S. children score about one standard deviation lower on standardized tests than white children. This finding accounts for half that difference”

Think about how absurd this is. They’re taking a statistic, basing it on the idea that everyone scores a “normal” IQ score of 100, and then assuming that people who score lower are missing points because a murder occurred nearby.

They didn’t test them before the murders.

Yet they make the assumption that the murder caused the low IQ score, and not the other way around: something else groups low IQ people and murders in the same neighborhood.

They also quickly leapt to the universal justification — “this reduces the black/white IQ gap, and therefore increases equality!” — without pointing out all the black success stories who have higher IQs, or all the white failure stories who have lower IQs.

Since leftists specialize in accusations of racism, I think I’ll turn this around on them — this article, which clearly hopes to pander to the vast Crowd of leftists who want to believe we’re all equal because we’re equal inside (our souls, although they can’t use such religious language) is flamingly racist, and here’s why:

  1. It assumes that because someone is black, they must be affected by the test scores of the lower echelon black households.
  2. It assumes that black people need others to help them by making excuses for IQ scores, which are magically valid in this article although lots of other populist “science” talks about IQ as if it were irrelevant.
  3. It wants us to believe that murders cause IQ changes, and that trauma causes IQ changes, instead of having us face the simple fact that IQs differ within racial groups as well as between them, and we need to work with that fact instead of denying it.

In short, there’s a whole lot of bad, angry, and grossly stupid thinking going on here, in the name of “science,” which we like to assume is infallible, even though as this article demonstrates “science” is created by individuals, many of whom pander to the desires of the crowd.

Look for articles in the future proving that if you’ve failed in this life, in a quantum universe there’s a parallel world in which you’re rich, smart, successful and having sex with supermodels. As soon as it occurs to these “scientific” idiots, I’m sure they’ll publish it.

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