Friday, May 11, 2007

Religion is Good For Kids!

... if and only if you want docile, easy to control children who never question authority. Otherwise, not so much.

Oh, and there are some problems with the methodology:

Titled "Religion and Child Development: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study", the study begins with three admirable caveats: (1) The benefit is defined primarily by how well-behaved children are, (2) the data, based on parent and teacher interviews, are entirely subjective, and (3) the data were gathered from a survey conducted for a different purpose and from a cohort consisting almost entirely of first graders.

the rest here. Naturally, since it's a dubious study with questionable data and a diffcult to support conclusion, it's all the rage on Fox!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More on "The Secret"

I covered some of this already, but Slate has an extended write-up today. While the "Secret" seemed like the familiar Oprah-ish do-what-feels-good philosophy, I hadn't fully realized where I had seen this all before until I read this paragrpah:

At this point I should add that The Secret is not only drivel—it's pernicious drivel. The obvious question that arises from its claim that it's easy to get what you want, is: Why do so many people get what they don't want? As Byrne writes, "Imperfect thoughts are the cause of all humanity's ills, including disease, poverty, and unhappiness." Yes, according to The Secret, people don't just randomly end up being massacred, for example. They are in the wrong place because of their own lousy thinking. Cancer patients have long been victims of this school of belief. But The Secret takes it to a new and more repulsive level with its advice not just to blame people for their illness, but to shun them, lest you start being infected by their bummer thoughts, too.

Recognize the idea? It comes from the only world religion that has it's head so far up it's ass that it doesn't beleive in matter.

Yup, it's Christ Science (with less Christ and even less Science).