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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
 
Science? What Science?
There are many news items in the popular media that drive me crazy. One type however, stands out because it offends both my sensibilities as a crazy-right-winger and as an erstwhile scientist. I call it “backwards science” but there is probably a technical name for it. You know what I’m talking about. A story comes over the wire such as; children who have pets when they are young are less likely to develop allergies when they get older. If you’re me you immediately slap your forehead and throw something at the radio. You see, to me it is obvious that children of parents with no pet allergies also don’t have pet allergies. The reason that this family has a dog or cat when the child is young is because the parents aren’t allergic! All the articles’ authors have proven (if anything) is that pet allergies are probably genetic. Not very surprising.

Frequently, these news items have more sinister implications. For example, the latest power-grab by the state, “universal pre-school” uses these same tactics in an attempt to separate children from their parents at younger ages to begin their indoctrination. Mandatory pre-school would also be a boon for the teachers union and everyone else who believes that bigger government is better government. I would like to analyze the claims made by the backers of the universal pre-school proposal. The radio ads state that children who attend preschool are less likely to need special ed. Of course, children who need special help are simply less likely to find a preschool to accommodate their needs, hence they don’t attend. The ads further state that children who attend pre-school are less likely to drop out of school. I would contend that the kind of parent who values early education (like pre-school), is less likely to raise a child who will drop out of school. Their claim that children who attend pre-school are less likely to become criminals probably follows the same logic. The bottom line is that you can never extrapolate from a self-selected group to the population at large. Always notice when this tactic is used. It is usually an attempt to regulate your behavior leaving you with fewer choices and less freedom.
Comments:
Children who attend pre-school are less likely to be at home playing with pets during the hours of pre-school.

Ah-choo!
 
And don't forget that children in pre-school are less likely to be out in the streets committing crimes during those hours too. ;)
 
In the interest of full disclosure: Ball and Chain did not attend pre-school. Does this extrapolate to the fact that those who did not attend pre-school are more likely to obtain a PhD, have Conservative political views, enjoy cooking, and have allergies! I think soooo! Svenmom
 
For example, the latest power-grab by the state, “universal pre-school” uses these same tactics in an attempt to separate children from their parents at younger ages to begin their indoctrination. Mandatory pre-school would also be a boon for the teachers union and everyone else who believes that bigger government is better government.

You are stretching here. That kind of reach might hurt.
 
Ralphie: funny
Inland Empress: I just imagined roaming bands of three-year-olds terrorizing the neighborhood. Actually, it's not so far fatched
Svenmom: Get a blogger account already!
Jack:OK, you explain the sudden drive for pre-school.
 
For another scientific study that was fun for my husband to analyze...
http://therapysessions.blogspot.com/2005/11/more-nonsense-about-spanking-im-always.html

pseudoscience ROCKS!

(*)>
 
B&C,

No, you explain what you mean about indoctrination and then I'll respond.
 
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