Sunday, October 25, 2015

Perception doesn't change Reality

Any experienced social scientist knows that by themselves self-reported results don't mean all that much. They are great for getting broad basic information and in helping determine further areas of study. The Pew Research Center is excellent at this type of broad swath data collection. Unfortunately, their results are all too often misconstrued and abused. A recent Religious News Service piece is a great example of this bogus approach. Cathy Grossman's "Do science and religion conflict? It’s all in how you ‘see’ it" does a disservice to one of the recent surveys conducted by Pew. The title isn't too bad but the writing implies things that are blatantly false. Just because a large number of people are able to reconcile conflicting ideas or institutions does not mean the conflict is not there. I have previously written about this issue. Check out my November 6, 2011 post "Science Vs. Religion" Despite people's desire to pretend there is no conflict I have yet to come across a well supported argument that counters the fact the two are opposed to each other by their very nature.

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