posted on Jan, 27 2013 @ 07:50 PM
Everyone here seems to know how to work a search engine - the necessity of subject specific knowledge is irrelevant in this day and age when you can
find a study to support any viewpoint you want in minutes using google.
To clarify before I begin, I'm not saying don't comment on an issue if you're not an expert on it. What I am saying is don't comment on an
issue unless you know what you're talking about.
You don't need formal qualifications to make valid points on an issue, but you do need to know something about the issue.
I do not care about your feelings.
If you feel strongly on a subject, that's fine. That does not give you the right to argue about it. Reality is not emotion based. The fact is that no
matter how much you want something, logic will always win in practice.
If conservative, read 1, if liberal, read 2.
1. Just because you think poor people should not receive any help from the government does not mean that they won't. They need it to survive, and
people dying is bad. Your emotional response, i.e. socialism is bad will not change the facts, or anyone else's opinion.
2. Just because you think poor people should receive help from the government does not mean that they will. They don't need it to survive, they can
work themselves out of poverty. Your emotional response i.e. socialism is great will not change the facts, or anyone else's opinion.
The main point I'm trying to convey here is that you need to argue your case based on evidence, not on what you believe in. I respect your
beliefs, but unless there is evidence to support them, I will disagree with them.
READ THIS BIT
And that leads me nicely on to my pet peeve... People who use the abstract of a study to back up their opinions.
I am a scientist. I do science.
If you believe something, and someone asks you to back your claim up, DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR CLAIM AND USE THE FIRST STUDY WITH AN ABSTRACT AS EVIDENCE
WHICH AGREES WITH YOU.
Recently, I've argued with people over several studies, they have only read the abstract which is a basic account of the findings and conclusions of
a study. It is a paragraph long and does not fully explain the methodology, results and findings, or caveats, of a report.
When I've read the study in full, I've either found the methodology to be flawed, the conclusion to say something completely different to the
abstract, or that the researchers involved were heavily funded by the people who the report favours.
I don't want to get too technical, so I'll use a political example, since everyone knows everything about politics. Here's a politcal analogy of
what people are doing in the scientific forums on ATS.
Abstract: Iraq had WMDs, so we invaded.
ATS post: OMG IRAQ HAD WMDS SO WE INVADED
Methodology: "for this study, we polled 20 people on the street and asked them if they thought iraq had WMDs"
Results: "8 yes, 7 don't know, 5 no"
Conclusion: "the majority of people think iraq has WMDs, however, not an overall majority, less than significant results, data not based on realistic
or common standards, results based on single experiment by one group, not repeated"
Basically, I'm trying to get this message across to the people in the scientific forums:
THE ABSTRACT IS ALWAYS WRONG