Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Pro-gay marriage study retracted for using “completely” fake data

Marriage and family

Marriage and family

The story was reported in the ultra-leftist Politico.

They say:

One of the authors of a recent study that claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it.

Columbia University political science professor Donald Green’s retraction this week of a popular article published in the December issue of the academic journal Science follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.”

According to the academic watchdog blog Retraction Watch, Green published a retraction of the paper Tuesday after confronting co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate assistant at UCLA.

The study received widespread coverage from The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and others when it was released in December.

“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green told the blog.

[…]The investigation into the paper began when graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, were initially impressed with the work and wanted to do an extension of it, according to a timeline of their probe posted Tuesday. When the students started a similar study, they found they were not getting the large response rate that Green and LaCour received in theirs.

[…]Qualtrics said it was not familiar with the project and “denied having the capabilities” to do some of what the survey described, according to Green, after UCLA’s political science department chair contacted the company. The graduate students also contacted a Yale political science professor to help look into the discrepancies.

After speaking with LaCour, Green told one of the graduate students and the Yale professor that the UCLA graduate assistant [Michael LaCour],had confessed to “falsely describing at least some of the details of the data collection.”

The equally leftist Washington Post is even more forceful – calling the data a complete fake.

Excerpt:

[…]…[W]hat really happened was that the data were faked by first author LaCour. Co-author Green (my colleague at Columbia) had taken his collaborator’s data on faith; once he found out, he firmly retracted the article.

Ironically, LaCour benefited (in the short term) by his strategy of completely faking it. If he’d done the usual strategy of taking real data and stretching out the interpretation, I and others would’ve been all over him for overinterpreting his results, garden of forking paths, etc. But, by doing the Big Lie, he bypassed all those statistical concerns.

The Christian Post has an article on this that makes the faking of the data look deliberate.

Excerpt:

According to Hughes, after Green was alerted to the irregularities, he contacted LaCour’s dissertation advisor, Professor Lynn Vavreck. After Vavreck confronted LaCour, he was unable to provide the study’s raw data and claimed he accidentally deleted the file. A representative from Qualtrics, the company that provided the survey program LaCour used, told UCLA there was no evidence that the data had been deleted.

Isn’t it amazing that the fake study was quickly picked up by the mainstream media, but none of them thought to check the data? Well, I guess it’s what they wanted to believe, and there was not even one person who thought critically about it. That’s the trouble with surrounding yourself with people who agree with you. I doubt that anyone in the mainstream media can even state the case against same-sex marriage without resorting to insults or caricatures. And that’s how these mistakes get made.

Here’s an older post that summarizes what we know from research on same-sex parenting. This post is more recent, and links to two studies – one from the UK, and one from Canada – that show that same-sex parenting does have a negative effect on children. Surprise! Moms matter. Dads matter. You can’t switch either one out without hurting the child. That’s one reason why people oppose same-sex marriage. And another is because it is not compatible with religious liberty and freedom of conscience. We’re getting more proof of that almost every day.

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UVA Dean sues Rolling Stone for publishing Jackie’s false rape story

None of the normal rape stories were good enough for her

None of the normal rape stories were good enough for her

This is from the leftist Washington Post, of all places.

Excerpt:

A University of Virginia associate dean of students filed a multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine Tuesday, alleging that it portrayed her as callous and indifferent to allegations of sexual assault on campus and made her the university’s “chief villain” in a now-debunked story about a fraternity gang rape.

Nicole Eramo is seeking more than $7.5 million in damages from Rolling Stone, its parent company Wenner Media and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the investigative journalist who wrote the explosive account of sexual assault on the campus in Charlottesville, Va. The magazine retracted the story after news organizations and the Columbia University journalism school found serious flaws in it.

Eramo, who is the university’s chief administrator dealing with sexual assaults, argues in the lawsuit that the story destroyed her credibility, permanently damaged her reputation and caused her emotional distress. She assailed the account as containing numerous falsehoods that the magazine could have avoided if it had worked to verify the story of its main character, a student named Jackie who alleged she was gang raped in 2012 and that the university mishandled her case.

“Rolling Stone and Erdely’s highly defamatory and false statements about Dean Eramo were not the result of an innocent mistake,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court. “They were the result of a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses, and a malicious publisher who was more concerned about selling magazines to boost the economic bottom line for its faltering magazine, than they were about discovering the truth or actual facts.”

[…]“Erdely and Rolling Stone’s epic failure of journalism was the result of biased, agenda-driven reporting,” the lawsuit says. The suit claims that the magazine’s account represented “a purposeful avoidance of the truth, and an utter failure to investigate the accuracy of Jackie’s claims.”

The magazine also printed a photo illustration of Eramo that she argues is inflammatory; the lawsuit says that the magazine turned a mundane Cavalier Daily student newspaper photo of her addressing a classroom and turned it into a wild-eyed image of her sitting in an office and giving a thumbs-up in front of a distraught sexual assault victim as protesters hold signs outside. The lawsuit claims the doctored image “demonstrates the lengths Erdely and Rolling Stone were willing to go to portray Dean Eramo as a villain.”

The complaint details that in the wake of the story’s publication, Eramo received hundreds of spiteful e-mails from alumni and others who judged her based on her portrayal in Rolling Stone. In addition to rape and death threats, the messages described Eramo as a “wretched rape apologist” and “a disgusting, worthless piece of trash” who should “burn in hell forever.”

Yes, that’s what we call “radical feminism”. The whole point of radical feminism is to tell lies and make fake statistics to make women look like victims, and men look like evil brutes. Then the government steps in and fixes everything, e.g. – giving women free birth control pills. And that’s why feminists vote for bigger and bigger government, because they have been told, through these myths and fake statistics, that they are victims. This is the same big government, by the way, that is now going to war with freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Should Christians care about puncturing the myths that cause people to vote for the big government that comes after us? We better start making the connections and getting in the game now, before it’s too late.

We as Christians really need to consider why people are voting for the bigger secular government that turns around and trashes our liberties, for example, with the Hobby Lobby case and the mandate that companies pay for drugs that cause abortions. If you don’t want Christian-owned companies to be forced to do bad things, then understand that you have to counter the reasons why non-Christians vote for bigger government. If it’s global warming, you have to defeat that. If it’s higher minimum wage, you have to defeat that. And I am telling you right now, there are a lot of women out there who are being led by their emotions into disastrous situations of their own making, and then turning to big government for a bailout, because feminists are telling them that it’s all the fault of those evil men. If you want your religious liberty, your right to work, your right to keep what you earn, then you’d better start connecting the dots and confronting the people around you. Christians, we cannot absorb doctrines like radical feminism into our worldview, we have to fight against it by telling the truth.

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UVA retracts rape story after Columbia University calls it “journalistic failure”

UVA students following their leftist masters

UVA students blindly following their leftist masters

The Wall Street Journal reports on the conclusion to this radical-feminist scandal. I’ll explain later why I am writing about this, too.

Excerpt:

Rolling Stone retracted an explosive article detailing an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity after Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism concluded that the story was a “journalistic failure that was avoidable.”

The Rolling Stone story was written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and published last November under the headline “A Rape on Campus.” It sparked a national uproar over sexual misconduct at college campuses. At UVA, President Teresa Sullivan suspended all Greek activities for six weeks and students marched in protest.

But before long, other media reports raised serious doubts about the veracity of the article and the reporting and editing process behind it.

[…]The “most consequential” decision, the report found, was Rolling Stone’s acquiescence to the fact that Ms. Erdely “had not contacted the three friends who spoke with Jackie on the night she said she was raped.” If Rolling Stone had done so, it said, it “would have almost certainly led the magazine’s editors to change plans.”

[…]The Charlottesville, Va., police concluded in March after a four-month investigation that “there is no substantive basis to support the account alleged in the Rolling Stone article,” the Columbia report notes. Police said at the time they were unable to interview the woman featured in the story and their investigation remains suspended until she decides she “wishes to cooperate.”

Jackie was later discovered to be a radical feminist. The author of the retracted rape story is also a radical feminist. And she is presenting herself as a victim:

Ms. Erdely, in a statement, said the past few months have been among the most painful in her life, and reading the Columbia report detailing her mistakes was “a brutal and humbling experience.”

[…]The report said that Rolling Stone’s editors, as well as Ms. Erdely, “concluded that their main fault was to be too accommodating of Jackie because she described herself as the survivor of a terrible sexual assault.”

Columbia, however, disagreed with that conclusion, noting that editors made decisions about “attribution, fact-checking and verification that greatly increased their risks of error but had little or nothing to do with protecting Jackie’s position.”

Newsbusters quotes the report, which shows that Erdely’s story was agenda-driven from the start:

Last July 8, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a writer for Rolling Stone, telephoned Emily Renda, a rape survivor working on sexual assault issues as a staff member at the University of Virginia. Erdely said she was searching for a single, emblematic college rape case that would show “what it’s like to be on campus now … where not only is rape so prevalent but also that there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture,” according to Erdely’s notes of the conversation.

Reason.com quotes this part of the report to show her editors were complicit:

Jackie proved to be a challenging source. At times, she did not respond to Erdely’s calls, texts and emails. At two points, the reporter feared Jackie might withdraw her cooperation. Also, Jackie refused to provide Erdely the name of the lifeguard who had organized the attack on her. She said she was still afraid of him. That led to tense exchanges between Erdely and Jackie, but the confrontation ended when Rolling Stone’s editors decided to go ahead without knowing the lifeguard’s name or verifying his existence. After that concession, Jackie cooperated fully until publication.

Reason also comments:

It’s actually even worse than that. When Erdely told Jackie that she really did need to know the name of Jackie’s date (the lifeguard who supposedly masterminded the attack), Jackie stopped answering her phone calls and texts for about two weeks. Eventually, Erdely left Jackie another voicemail in which the writer agreed to stop trying to contact the lifeguard and instead use a pseudonym, Drew. After that, Jackie magically reappeared, calling Erdely back “quickly,” according to the report.

Jackie, in fact, displayed impressive levels of self-preservation and rational behavior—at least, from the perspective of a highly disturbed person whose goal was to spread an incredible lie without exposing it as such. She was highly detailed in her account of the crime, gave descriptions, and recalled (wholly invented) conversations with great accuracy. And she studiously avoided any line of questioning that would have exposed the lie. If a particular question posed a threat, she either invented a reason why it couldn’t be answered, or simply stopped responding.

No one at Rolling Stone has been fired, much less charged with crimes. The woman who made the false rape charge has also not been charged with anything. So there is no deterrent there to prevent this from happening again – either to the women who make the charges, or to the radical feminists who “report” on them. Let’s hope that when the lawsuits shake out that both Erdely and her Rolling Stone cheerleaders find themselves bankrupted.

How often are rape claims false?

National Review explains:

Specifically, in their analysis of sexual-assault cases at a large university, the authors found that 5.9 percent of cases were provably false. However, 44.9 percent cases “did not proceed” – meaning there was insufficient evidence, the accuser was uncooperative, or the incident did not meet the legal standard of assault. An additional 13.9 percent of cases could not be categorized due to lack of information. That leaves 35.3 percent of cases that led to formal charges or discipline against the accused.

“35.3 percent of cases that led to formal charges or discipline against the accused”. That’s a lot of Jackie-scenarios.

The trouble is when people don’t do the homework and just come to have a general mistrust of men based on their intuitions and emotions from stories they hear about from the news media – stories like this one. And yet they become so sure that they have an educated and informed opinion, just from hearing news reports. They never hear about the retractions.

My take

So why did I cover this story in past blog posts, and why am I bringing up the retraction now? Well, it’s because of the feminist agenda. I want to point out how the feminist left uses stories like this in order to push a wedge between men and women. Women who are indoctrinated for four years in misandry are less likely to look to men as protectors, providers and moral/spiritual leaders. Marriage, with its traditional gender roles of men working and woman raising the kids, will be out.

If men are all rapists, then how could a woman give up her own dreams and career to stay home and raise kids? If men are all rapists, how could a woman trust a man to be faithful to her? If men are all rapists, then how could a man be trusted to provide for a family. If men are all rapists, then how could a woman trust a man to stick around when she is old and wrinkly? And of course, this lousy impression of men is all reinforced by the binge-drinking, hooking-up, and serial cohabitation that is so popular in university campuses.

There is a reason why Rolling Stone ran with this story, despite all the warning signs – it made the point that they wanted to make. Women who think that they can’t depend on men will naturally turn to bigger government to provide for them, and that’s what people on the left want women to do. Marriage is subversive to their plan. Having a lot of children is subversive to their plan. Homeschooling is subversive to their plan.

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Did your science textbook teach that embryo drawings prove evolution?

Haeckel's embryos and scientific fraud

Haeckel’s embryos and scientific fraud

Jonathan Wells, a biologist with Ph.Ds from Yale and UC Berkeley, writes about one example of fake evidence here:

Charles Darwin thought that “by far the strongest” evidence that humans and fish are descended from a common ancestor was the striking similarity of their early embryos. According to Darwin, the fact that “the embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar… reveals community of descent.” 2 To illustrate this, German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel made some drawings in the 1860s to show that the embryos of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) look almost identical in their earliest stages.

But Haeckel faked his drawings. Not only do they distort vertebrate embryos by making them appear more similar than they really are (in a way that Stephen Jay Gould wrote “can only be called fraudulent” 3), but they also omit classes and stages that do not fit Darwin’s theory. Most significantly, Haeckel omitted the earliest stages, in which vertebrate embryos are strikingly different from each other. The stage he portrayed as the first is actually midway through development. Yet according to Darwin’s logic, early dis-similarities do not provide evidence for common ancestry.

Haeckel used his faked drawings to support not only Darwinian evolution, but also his own “Biogenetic Law,” which stated that embryos pass through the adult stages of their ancestors in the process of development.

…Haeckel’s drawings were exposed as fakes by his own contemporaries, and his Biogenetic Law was thoroughly discredited by 20th century biologists. It is now generally acknowledged that early embryos never resemble the adults of their supposed ancestors. A modern version of recapitulation claims that early embryos resemble the embryos of their ancestors, but since fossil embryos are extremely rare, this claim is little more than speculation based on the assumption that Darwin’s theory is true.

Now the standard response from Darwinists: no textbooks are still using the fraudulent embryo images.

You can see the actual faked pictures from the modern textbooks here. These textbooks were being produced as late as 2004, even though the fraud was detected in the 1800s! Is this the vaunted self-correction of science, or science being twisted to support social and political goals?

And this excerpt from that article is interesting:

Some Darwinists continue to deny that there has been any misuse of Haeckel in recent times. If that is the case, why did Stephen Jay Gould attack how textbooks use Haeckel in 2000? Gould wrote: “We should… not be surprised that Haeckel’s drawings entered nineteenth-century textbooks. But we do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!” (emphasis added) Similarly, in 1997, the leading embryologist Michael K. Richardson lamented in the journal Anatomy and Embyology that “Another point to emerge from this study is the considerable inaccuracy of Haeckel’s famous figures. These drawings are still widely reproduced in textbooks and review articles, and continue to exert a significant influence on the development of ideas in this field.” (emphases added)

Here is a link to the peer-reviewed journal Science, where there is an article talking about the fraudulent embryo drawings. Yes – the drawings really are fraudulent.

And finally, Casey Luskin has a new post up at Evolution News that lists all the textbooks that contain the fraudulent drawings. One is dated 2013! The drawings just keep getting recycled over and over as a “proof” of evolution.

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Three UVA students who knew “Jackie” challenge Rolling Stone rape story

This is from the leftist Washington Post, of all places.

Excerpt:

It was 1 a.m. on a Saturday when the call came. A friend, a University of Virginia freshman who earlier said she had a date that evening with a handsome junior from her chemistry class, was in hysterics. Something bad had happened.

Arriving at her side, three students —“Randall,” “Andy” and “Cindy,” as they were identified in an explosive Rolling Stone account — told The Washington Post that they found their friend in tears. Jackie appeared traumatized, saying her date ended horrifically, with the older student parking his car at his fraternity, asking her to come inside and then forcing her to perform oral sex on five men.

In their first interviews about the events of that September 2012 night, the three friends separately told The Post that their recollections of the encounter diverge from how Rolling Stone portrayed the incident in a storyabout Jackie’s alleged gang rape at a U-Va. fraternity. The interviews also provide a richer account of Jackie’s interactions immediately after the alleged attack and suggest that the friends are skeptical of her account.

The scene with her friends was pivotal in the article, as it alleged that the friends were callously apathetic about a beaten, bloodied, injured classmate reporting a brutal gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. The account alleged that the students worried about the effect it might have on their social status and how it might reflect on Jackie during the rest of her collegiate career and that they suggested not reporting it. It set up the article’s theme: That U-Va. has a culture that is indifferent to rape.

“It didn’t happen that way at all,” Andy said.

Instead, the friends remember being shocked. Although they did not notice any blood or visible injuries, they said they immediately urged Jackie to speak to police and insisted that they find her help. Instead, they said, Jackie declined and asked to be taken back to her dorm room. They went with her — two said they spent the night — seeking to comfort Jackie in what appeared to be a moment of extreme turmoil.

[…]They said there are mounting inconsistencies with the original narrative in the magazine. The students also expressed suspicions about Jackie’s allegations from that night. They said the name she provided as that of her date did not match anyone at the university, and U-Va. officials confirmed to The Post that no one by that name has attended the school.

Also, photographs that were texted to one of the friends showing her date that night were actually pictures depicting one of Jackie’s high school classmates in Northern Virginia. That man, now a junior at a university in another state, confirmed that the photographs were of him and said he barely knew Jackie and hasn’t been to Charlottesville for at least six years.

The friends said they were never contacted or interviewed by the pop culture magazine’s reporters or editors. Although vilified in the article as coldly indifferent to Jackie’s ordeal, the students said they cared deeply about their friend’s well-being and safety.

[…]They also said Jackie’s description of what happened to her that night differs from what she told Rolling Stone. In addition, information Jackie gave the three friends about one of her attackers, called “Drew” in the magazine’s article, differ significantly from details she later told The Post, Rolling Stone and friends from sexual assault awareness groups on campus. The three said Jackie did not specifically identify a fraternity that night.

[…]The article’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Rolling Stone also declined to comment, citing an internal review of the story.

The leftist site Slate has an article by well-known radical feminist Hanna Rosin, who analyzes the Washington Post article.

She writes:

The Washington Post has an update on Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that strongly implies, without outright saying so, that the gang rape at the center of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article might be fabricated. Post reporter T. Rees Shapiro spoke at length with the three friends who met up with Jackie, the student who says she was raped, on the night in question. In the Rolling Stone story this scene was crucial. Erdely described Jackie as standing mute in her bloody dress, the Phi Kappa Psi house where the alleged rape happened looming in the background, as her friends callously debated whether they should take her to the hospital and risk ruining their social reputations. This set up the larger theme of a university culture and social scene indifferent even to the most brutalized victims of rape.

Earlier, those friends told the Post that Jackie told them she’d been forced to have oral sex—a much different story than what Jackie told Rolling Stone. This new Post article adds some details that make the entire account seem more suspicious. Jackie had told her friends—referred to by the pseudonyms “Cindy,” “Andy,” and “Randall” in the original story and in the Post’s follow-ups—that she had a date on Sept. 28, 2012, with a handsome junior in her chemistry class. (In the version she told to Rolling Stone, that date was with someone she’d met at her lifeguarding job.) But in the Post story, the friends imply that this junior might not exist and may have been invented by Jackie to make Randall jealous.

When the friends first heard about this junior, they were intrigued and asked Jackie for his number. They started exchanging text messages with him, and he described Jackie as a “super smart hot” freshman. He complained, though, that she liked a “nerd 1st yr”— meaning Randall—who is “smart and funny and worth it.” Jackie’s friends could never find this junior in the UVA database nor on social media. She provided her friends with a picture of him, but the Post has since learned that the guy in the picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who does not go to the University of Virginia and was in another state participating in an athletic tournament on the night of the alleged rape. (More recently, Jackie gave her friends the name of a different guy. The Post also contacted him, and he said he’d never met Jackie.)

[…]Jackie has now given her friends two different names for the man she was with that night. Neither of them was in fact with her, ever dated her, or even knew her all that well. She appears to have invented a suitor, complete with fake text messages and a fake photo, which suggests a capacity for somewhat elaborate deception. Jackie, though, has not recanted her story. Her attorney would not answer questions for the Post‘s story on Wednesday and has told reporters to stop contacting Jackie.

Here’s the most disturbing journalistic detail to emerge from the Post‘s reporting: In the Rolling Stone story, Erdely says that she contacted Randall, but he declined to be interviewed, “citing his loyalty to his own frat.” Randall told the Post he was never contacted by Erdely and would have been happy to be interviewed.

A web site called GotNews is claiming to have identified the Jackie from the story, and the Jackie they identified was a student activist in high school. That woman’s Pinterest page sported a lot of radical feminist “rape culture” memes. Also, the author of the Rolling Stone piece is a well-known feminist activist and she has in the past confessed to “shopping around” for victims in order to further her feminist agenda. That link takes you to a Youtube video where she explains her feminist agenda in her own words. This is what students learn as gospel in college, though. Our laws and our culture are built around this Sabrina / Rolling Stone view of men.

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