June 24, 2005

Bogus "Research" Misrepresents Healthy Choices

Another bogus, albeit “scientific” report hot of the press from the Journal of Adolescent Health boldly proclaims that sex education programs which stress abstinence and urge teens to take a pledge of abstinence until marriage, don’t work. The report also makes the inane assertion that teens who take such a pledge are actually MORE likely to engage in riskier sex than those who do not.
Fortunately the folks at the Heritage Foundation reviewed the data that led to such conclusions and came up with an entirely different result. In fact, according to their analysis they found just the opposite.
According to Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, “Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at Heritage, called the original report, "the worst piece of junk science I've seen in 20 years."
How could two diametrically opposed conclusions be drawn from the same research? Welcome to the world of contemporary science.
In the days of yore, science used to operate on the basis of collecting data and then formulating conclusions based on what the data say. Contemporary science often formulates its conclusions, and then seeks out data—sometimes in a very exclusionary way, to justify desired conclusions. There is no better example of this than the so-called scientific theory of Darwinian evolution. Over and over again, there is a picking and choosing of data based on the desired outcome: The data that supports the theory stays and is touted widely; the data that do not support the theory, even contradicts it, is disparaged, buried and of course ignored.
With respect to the study about adolescents and abstinence, the analysis of the study the journal refers to examined a mere 21 out of 14,000 adolescents—hardly a representative sample.
Rector’s analysis of ALL the data was vastly different. "We found, not surprisingly, that [teens who take a pledge of abstinence] are less likely to engage in sexual activity," he said, "and the riskier the sexual activity, the less likely the pledgers are to do it when compared to non-pledgers."
Actually, despite any research on the subject, the conclusions would still be somewhat irrelevant for as long as there is a God who has revealed Himself to mankind and has given wise guidance for life, His perfect, omniscient counsel is rock solid and doesn’t need the validation of the humanly flawed “scientific” community. Not surprisingly though, whenever “good” science is done, it only ever confirms the truth God ha already spelled out. Would you expect anything less?


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