Doing research to confirm your beliefs

As a scientist I can’t think of a better way to bias your research and end up with bogus results:

The record is clear, and once we are able to get hearings on this, everyone will see what they already know, and that is that those who have the least opportunities at this age find themselves in the military, as I did when I was 18 years old.

Not only is Charles Rangel looking to find what he wants to find in these proposed hearings but he is announcing to the world what data he will find and what his conclusions are. Even if he managed to find data completely contradictory to what he believed he would have a difficult time admitting he was wrong and changing his conclusions. For a politician this is even more difficult than for a scientist. But then again he is a politician, not a scientist. For them it’s not about finding the truth or doing the right thing–those things are irrelevant in politics.

That reminds me of a couple jokes:

POLITICIAN: From the Greek `poly’ (“many”) and the French `tete’ (“head” or “face,” as in `tete-a-tete’: head to head or face to face). Hence `polytetien’, a person of two or more faces.

Martin Pitt

And my favorite along this line:

The word ‘politics’ comes from the Greek root ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tics’, meaning blood-sucking parasites.

One thought on “Doing research to confirm your beliefs

  1. It can be very credibly argued that at age 18 you’re likely to have about as many options as you’re going to have in your entire life. Possibly the maximum.

    Once you start making major decisions, such as education and career choices, marriage, getting into a mortgage, etc.. Your options have been reduced by the simple and obvious fact that you have made commitments.

    Now there is the entirely different subject of the way one may feel about things at 18, compared to how one might feel at 45. IN that arena, the Left has been selling us despair, hopelessness, and fear. The main targets of this sales program are young people. Hence, they are trying to bring about the fulfillment of their own sick prophecies.

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