One additional note about the same-sex parenting study, a partial agreement with Will Saletan on this question: apparently a good deal of criticism has been directed not just at the study but at the study's funders, including the Witherspoon Institute. As it happens, I know a number of the people at the Institute, and similarly know a number of people involved with Opus Dei at various levels. I disagree with them on a number of political, philosophical and religious questions, but the conspiracy-minded can look elsewhere: they are pretty much exactly the same as everyone else. If there's anything salutary about the study and the related conservative approach to academia, it's the idea that the methods of normal academic inquiry are the proper way to go about settling questions of the empirical effects of social change. That the study is flawed in this regard is an argument against its conclusions, but not the effort to look for patterns in the data.

No comments: