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Why I distrust studies used in Arguments and Articles


If we've ever had a conversation, or if you've ever heard me have a conversation, you may notice that I will not accept as an argument a "study" you cite. I've even been made fun of for saying that I don't trust "stats." The reason for this is simple. Statistics and studies and research papers may be well done, but more often they are inaccurate, false, misleading and untruthful. Creating a truthful and rigorous scientific study is complex and very difficult. Darwin dedicated his entire life to not only proving his own theory but DISPROVING his own theory. He wanted to make sure he was correct. Claiming in a conversation that you have a study and that this "proves" your case is inappropriate and destructive toward proper discourse. In this podcast (originally a video on my youtube channel) I dig into a particularly pernicious study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) about rape and sexual assault. Their study, the National Crime Victimization Survey is quoted and used as evidence for such claims that the vast majority (63% or more) of women do not report rapes and that only 2-10% of rape accusations are false. Find out what this source actually says and how to be cautious of accepting magic words like "studies," "Stats," or even "science" as definitive arguments for or against your claim. Below are the links for all the websites that I refer to in this episode. Dr. Ben Bayer, The Sniff Test

Washington post article

NSVRC overview:

BJS Review

The Cut Article

NCVS Report 2015

NCRVS About page

National Academies Report

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©2017 BY KIRK J BARBERA.