It has been said that social scientists use obscure statistical methods to demonstrate what is obvious to any rational person.
Source: Byron Johnson on page 11 of The Bible in America by Steve Green and Todd Hillard, DustJacket Press, 2013.
That’s at best. At worst, they lie to us…as in:
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
This quote is variously attributed to Mark Twain, Benjamin Disraeli, and others. (Source: Wikipedia)
Beware of surveys. We all wants facts. And sometimes surveys provide them…but sometimes surveys can ignore or hide facts, too. As with all human speech, we are dependent on the intelligence and integrity of those who conducted the survey and wrote about the results.
The word of God is the ultimate in reliability. It’s hard for any human word to reach that standard…even if that human word comes laden with obscure statistical methods.
For example, God has told us about marriage, children, and how all that should work. We should not be surprised therefore when social science confirms that children do best when raised by the mom and dad who love each other and brought that child into the world. On the other hand, when we hear of a survey that says children of same-sex parents do just as well, we’d be wise to ask for more details about how the survey was conducted because it sounds like someone’s cooking the books. It’s been my experience that surveys like this don’t stand up to much scrutiny, and for this reason opponents of God’s ways tend to accept them without scrutiny.
Follow-up Post: Social Science Debunks Social Science (October 9, 2015)