Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Robert Knight uses biased work in attack on Vermont

Phony culture expert (and present writer for Coral Ridge Ministries) Robert Knight is definitely back.

Knight (who has on occasion used the discredited work of Paul Cameron as well as verbally attacked physicians who complain about how religious right groups distort their work) was in rare form when he criticized the Vermont legislature for overturning the state governor’s veto of its gay marriage bill:

In its unanimous opinion in Varnum v. Brien, the Iowa Supreme Court says that real marriage is merely a form of “prejudice” (using that word 21 times) and hints that homosexuals might be better parents than the mother-father variety. The seven justices cite junk science from gay-dominated guilds (the American Psychological Assn., etc.) to float the idea that kids are no better off in a normal home:

“Almost every professional group that has studied the issue indicates children are not harmed when raised by same-sex couples, but to the contrary, benefit from them. …we acknowledge the existence of reasoned opinions that dual-gender parenting is the optimal environment for children. These opinions, while thoughtful and sincere, were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies.”

Say what? They have it exactly backwards. It’s the “gay parenting” studies that are deeply flawed, as Drs. Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai demonstrate thoroughly in their devastating book No Basis: What the studies Don’t tell us about same-sex parenting.

So by his name calling of the American Psychological Association and other groups (without proof by the way), Knight is inferring that they have a bias and ergo their work is not credible.

How ironic that he should cite Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai’s book.

Lerner was appointed by the former President Bush as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. However before that time, he and Nagai, his wife, ran a consulting firm where they conducted research.

Their clients included:

the Center for Equal Opportunity, a Sterling Va.-based think tank headed by Linda Chavez, briefly President Bush's choice for secretary of labor and a leading opponent of affirmative action.


the Princeton, N.J.- based National Association of Scholars, a faculty organization that believes race-based admissions policies are divisive.

It gets better:

In the area of K-12 education, Mr. Lerner in 1995 co-wrote a review of history textbooks for Lynne V. Cheney, then chairwoman of the Committee to Review National Standards, a private group of scholars. Ms. Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, used the study, which was later published as a book, in her efforts to scuttle the voluntary national history standards underwritten by the federal government.

In that book, Mr. Lerner found that race, ethnicity, and gender got three times as much emphasis as political freedom in contemporary textbooks and that the latest wave of history texts used what he termed "filler feminism" to inappropriately insert female historical figures into texts in lieu of purportedly more significant males.

According to the Partners Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples, one study conducted by Lerner and Nagai on African-Americans and rape caused their credibility to come under question:

Lerner and Nagai are not credible; they are researchers-for-hire who make their living writing studies for conservative organizations and finding results that support conservative social policies. One such organization funded a Lerner study that found African Americans were over three times more likely to be acquitted of rape charges than whites. To reach this conclusion Lerner looked at a mere five jury trials involving black defendants. (Roger Parloff, “Speaking of Junk Science,” The American Lawyer, January 1997.)

The book in question that Knight referred to, No Basis, was commissioned by the Marriage Law Project, a Washington-based group against gay marriage.

The point here is clear. Knight recklessly accuses legitimate medical organizations of having a bias but then thinks nothing of citing two researchers who are paid to conduct research for conservative groups - something that shows an actual bias.

That’s bold faced duplicity.

But for those who know of his tactics, that’s Robert Knight to a tee.


WaltzInExile said...

I'm sure the American Psychological Association will be pleased to hear that they're a "guild" now. Or not, you know.

BlackTsunami said...

I'm sure they have learned by now to ignore Knight and company. But I won't. It's useful fun to refute their bullshit.

David Hart said...

This is a very well written article.

At the risk of being terribly anal:

"Knight is inferring that they have a bias and ergo their work is not credible"


The listener infers; the speaker implies.

Thomas said...

Robert Knight seems to be slipping (professionaly, he's already slipped mentally). He's gone from the high profile Family Research Council, to being one of the men of Concerned Women for America, a lower profile group, to Coral Ridge Ministries, a moribund group that has had virtually no visibility since D. James Kennedy went to hell.

BlackTsunami said...

Cut that out, Miss Beadle. ;P

Seriously though thanks for the compliment ;)

BlackTsunami said...

Now, now Thomas - let's not make any egotistical predictions about who is going to heaven or hell. That's for the opposition to do ;p

Emproph said...

LOL, Dave. It’s stuff like that that keeps me up at night…

“At the risk of being terribly anal:

"Knight is inferring that they have a bias and ergo their work is not credible"


The listener infers; the speaker implies.”

Terribly anal, yes… BTW, what do over the shoulder linguisticators like you cost per hour these days?

I’m just asking because…I have this fr...niece...who’s constantly splitting infinitives. She says they’re colloquial, but I don’t even know what that means.