Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Tuesday, February 12, 2002


Not surprisingly, my post on gun rights got a fairly quick response. I won't reproduce the e-mail that I received, because I have not posted any policy on that (I don't get a helluva lot of it to begin with, and it frankly never occured to me), but I will summarize; I got a bunch of good links from this correspondent, along with some thoughts on the issue (he is definitely pro-gun rights). I will post the links soon, and when I have some time, critique the few studies that appear to exist. One point he brought up was whether my restrictions were to rigid, precluding any useful info being found. My response to him, and to anyone else, is that these restrictions are not meant only to apply to research into gun use, but social science as a whole. The physical, chemical and biological sciences have set the bar very high with respect to the control of experiments. Observational science (astronomy, epidemiology, anthropology, etc) must be and is held to the same high standard. If social science research wishes to be accepted by that community, it must find ways to fit this rubric. My training in science has taught me that there really is only one way to KNOW things, and that is the scientific method. This is not to say that people cannot be sure of things, just that they might be wrong (please don't give me any quantum mechanical s**t, I know all about it. Nevertheless, the quantum physical explanation is remarkably good at describing the atomic scale world, even if it is only interpretable in terms of probability). Anyway, I choose to apply these rigorous standards. Others can feel free to believe what they like. More to come...

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