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A study purporting to show that people’s views on gay marriage could change simply by meeting gay people has been retracted following revelations that its data was fabricated.
The study was published last December in Science, and prior to publication drew a great deal of attention from the American media. Vox, for instance, described the findings in the study as “kind of miraculous.” As it turns out, that’s exactly what they were, because they were apparently made up.
According to the study, people from communities hostile to gay marriage could have their opinions shift dramatically after spending just a few minutes speaking with a gay person who canvassed their neighborhood promoting gay marriage. Not only that, but this could have a spillover effect, making not just the people themselves more pro-gay but also other people who lived in the same household.
The study, among other things, lent support to the notion that those opposed to gay marriage simply don’t know or interact with open homosexuals. More broadly, it was seen as an important development in the science of how people can be convinced to change their minds on ideologically-charged issues.
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The study began to fall apart when students at the University of California at Berkeley sought to conduct additional research building off of it, only to find major irregularities in how its research was apparently conducted. For example, thermometers used to measure participants’ attitudes produced consistent, reliable information, even though they are known for producing relatively unreliable numbers.
Also, the data recovered had an exceptionally consistent distribution, with not a single one of the 12,000 supposed participants providing anomalous or unusual results. In other words, the study’s data was too perfect to be believable.
Donald Green, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the paper, made the decision to retract it after having a confrontation with co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA. While LaCour maintained that he hadn’t fabricated the data, he was also unable to produce the original source files supposedly used to produce it. When he failed to write-up a retraction, Green took the initiative and did so himself.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green told Retraction Watch, a science watchdog website.
LaCour, the graduate student accused of fabricating at least some of the data, made a Twitter post Wednesday afternoon saying he was “gathering evidence” about what had occurred:
“And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel.” (1 Kings 11:9)
The Scriptures have an interesting commentary on Solomon’s life: “When Solomon was old…his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God” (1 Kings 11:4). How is it possible to start well and end sadly?
We Must Guard Our Heart: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Solomon admonished in Proverbs 4:23. The Hebrew word for “keep” is natsar and the main verb for “guard” or “set a watch.” Psalm 119 uses natsar 10 times to demand our careful “watch” on our obedience and use of the Word of God. The promise is: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).
Store the Good Treasure: In one of his many confrontations with the Pharisees, Jesus gave several illustrations about the impact of the “heart” part of our nature. Jesus spoke of binding the “strong man,” noting that a tree produces the fruit it was grown for, and that snakes are always snakes. Then Jesus makes this observation: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).
Others Will Try to Turn Your Heart: Jereboam (1 Kings 11–12) led Israel in rebellion against Judah and against God. He “devised of his own heart” (1 Kings 12:33) liturgical practices that “made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 15:34). Peter warns: “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).
We must guard our hearts, “for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Shalom!
by Henry Morris III, D.Min.
This is like denying that Catholics have a Pope. How about we stop Islamic State instead of pointless rhetoric.
Check it out:
Thursday at the White House press briefing, when asked if he believes ISIS has a caliphate, press secretary Josh Earnest said, “No, I don’t believe that at all.”
Earnest said, “No, I don’t believe that at all. What we actually see is they do control some territory, but less than they used too. We also see that ISIS leaders are very concerned about their own security. They are not moving particularly freely these days. They are justifiably concerned about their safety because they know that the U.S. and our coalition partners have the capacity to take them off the battlefield.”
VICTORY OVER SATAN, THE DEVIL,
AS A LIAR (John 8: 44):
"He was a murderer from the beginning, and
stood not in the truth, because there is no truth
in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of
his own; for he is a liar, and the father thereof."
This does not mean that the enemy never tells
the truth, but his truth has the objective of getting
the believer involved in evil; e.g., when the spirit
of divination spoke the truth, that Paul and Silas
were the servants of God, it was to suggest the
lie that Paul and Silas derived their power from
the same source as the girl under the evil spirit's
power. The devil and his wicked spirits will speak,
or use, ninety-nine parts of truth to float one lie,
but Paul was not deceived by the witness of a
soothsaying prophetess acknowledging their divine
authority. He discerned the wicked spirit and its
purpose, exposed it, and cast it out.
Even so must the believer be able to triumph over
Satan as a liar, and be able to recognize his lies,
and those of lying spirits, in whatever form they
are presented to him. This he does by knowing
the truth, and using the weapon of truth.
War on the Saints by Jessie Penn-Lewis
Tomorrow: Victory Over Falsehood By Truth
The Senate edged closer to granting the White House fast-track trade authority Thursday in a cliffhanger vote that was in doubt until the very end.
Sixty votes were needed on the procedural motion to end debate and move to a final vote, and Republicans and Democrats alike knew it would be a tough climb.
Senators had been unable to reach an agreement on amendments, and Democratic opponents of fast-track believed they had a chance at a second victory in two weeks on trade.
To get the measure over the 60-vote threshold, supporters needed to convince a group of pro-trade Democrats to cross their party’s leadership and back the president.
They had little room for error, given five Republican no votes.
And the stakes were high.
The White House had already lost one procedural vote on trade last week, and a second defeat would have delayed the Senate’s work on fast-track until after the Memorial Day recess. That would have seriously blunted momentum ahead of what may be an all-out war in the Democratic Party to win passage in the House.
Before the vote, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got help from an outside source: Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, who met Thursday morning with Democratic leaders and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), a crucial swing vote.
McNerney asked Democrats to back the request to end debate on fast-track, which could help Obama complete a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade deal connecting the United States with countries in Latin America and Asia — and open markets and business opportunties for Boeing.
The huge multinational, which employs more than 80,000 people in Washington state, is also a big supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which is under attack from conservative Republicans.
Cantwell has been pushing for a Senate vote to extend the bank’s charter beyond June 30, when it is set to expire. The fast-track vote gave her leverage to try to make a deal.
Cantwell’s home-state colleague, Sen. Patty Murray (D), was also interested in getting a deal.
Murray, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership, supports fast-track. But her vote was in doubt Thursday morning when she and Cantwell met with McConnell to discuss a possible deal.
That conversation did not yield immediate results, and as Cantwell arrived on the Senate floor, she said no agreement was yet in hand, according to a senior Democratic aide.
More than halfway through the vote, it appeared supporters of fast-track might be stuck.
Five Republicans had voted against McConnell, and he needed at least six more Democratic votes to get to 60.
Two key Republicans also had yet to vote: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a likely presidential candidate with an interest in the Ex-Im issue; and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) a former U.S. trade representative in the Bush administration who faces a difficult reelection next year.
Obama sought to help his own cause by calling Cantwell during the vote in the Democratic cloakroom, a private room within the chamber where senators often hash out deals.
A Democratic source familiar with the call said Obama promised to press Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to schedule a vote on the Export-Import Bank reauthorization.
McConnell then huddled in the well of the Senate floor with a group of pro-trade Democrats including Cantwell, Murray and Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.), Tom Carper (Del.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.
The breakthrough came when McConnell promised Cantwell that he would schedule a vote next month on an amendment authorizing the Export-Import Bank.
As soon as he did, Cantwell wheeled around and voted “Aye,” followed in quick succession by Murray, Heitkamp and Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
McConnell’s proposal also pushed Graham, who was also in the huddle, to vote yes.
Portman also voted yes after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) promised him that he would ask for a unanimous consent agreement to vote on his amendment, which is meant to protect the U.S. steel industry from unfair trade practices. The amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who had led the charge against fast-track on the Senate floor.
In a 62-38 vote, fast-track’s supporters had won the biggest vote on trade in the Senate, clearing the table for a final vote that could come on Friday.
Senate sources said Murray was instrumental in putting together the final deal.
They said she helped persuade Cantwell to accept McConnell’s offer to promise a vote on the Export-Import Bank next month.
It’s also clear that Obama’s last-second lobbying and McNerney’s presence made a difference.
The Boeing CEO met with Murray on Wednesday, and he attended a meeting with the Senate’s top three Democratic leaders — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) — in Reid’s conference room at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Murray was supposed to be at that meeting too, but she skipped it to meet with McConnell and Cantwell instead.
Sources said McNerney made it clear he viewed the fast-track vote as a high priority.
Chaz Bickers, a spokesman for Boeing, said McNerney and Cantwell have “had several conversations over the last couple of days.”
The tough Senate vote is by no means the final chapter on fast-track and Obama’s trade agenda — or on the Export-Import Bank.
Boehner told reporters Thursday he would bring any legislation the Senate passes to reauthorize Ex-Im to the floor.
But he said it would then be open to an “open amendment process” allowing the House to “work its will.”
“That’s the only commitment that’s been made. There are a lot of options of what could happen,” he said.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) promised Portman that he would include his steel amendment in a customs and trade enforcement bill scheduled for debate in the House.
The amendment was included in the customs bill the Senate passed last week.
“This provision is a top priority of the House Steel Caucus and Sen. Portman, and Chairman Ryan has made a commitment to them to include it in the House customs and trade enforcement bill,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for the Ways and Means Committee.
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