The Frog Doth Croak Too Much!

I spent a day cleaning up all my old “donotlink” links.  I’m so sad that they shut down because I loved being able to refer to the idiot sites without giving them an extra hit for the hit counter.  This is one such site.

The comprehension of canines and Archbishop Charles Chaput

On Tuesday we learn about research which concludes that dogs understand what we are saying to them. Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it. That research was published to a peer reviewed scholarly journal.

Apparently Archbishop Charles Chaput’s cognition works a bit differently. Chaput only seems to understand what he wants to hear. He most certainly does not comprehend the importance of peer review. The Philadelphia archbishop will soon replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone as the Church’s point man on suppressing gay rights with regard to marriage. Chaput writes:

Before we go on, I’ve written about Mr. Hart’s view before here.  There is still no evidence to conclude that he is now, or ever was, a practicing Catholic so I’m not sure why he’s so fixated on the bishops of the Church who follow Church teaching.

Mr. Hart cutely tries to compare Archbishop Chaput’s understanding to dogs’ understandings of language.  That falls a little flat when Mr. Hart shows a bit of confusion. He seems to like peer reviewed, scholarly journals but doesn’t like papers based on peer reviewed, scholarly studies that disagree with him.  Hypocrisy noted.

The goal of my column this week is simple: pointing readers to The New Atlantis, one of the nation’s best journals about science, technology and their intersection with ethics. Earlier this week (August 22), The New Atlantis released an important new overview of nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies from the 1950s to the present on issues of sexuality and gender identity, with findings from the biological, psychological and social sciences.

I’m not really sure why Mr. Hart didn’t link to this scholarly piece of work, which took in the results of many studies, but here you go:  It’s loooonnnnngggg but worth the read.  Mr. Hart really doesn’t want you to read it because it will make it much harder to dismiss when you do.

Exactly how Chaput would characterize a pretentious quarterly blog, without peer review as “one of the best” is relegated to that conservative catch-all: God works in mysterious ways. It will remain a mystery because Chaput lives in a protective bubble. No one will challenge him directly and he does not respond to critics. His concern is theology and the catechism. He doesn’t care how many kids get f**** (Censored by Mom because profanity does not an argument make!) up in the process as long as the Church’s teachings are defended. 

Do you have any concrete arguments to the contrary?  Where does the science go wrong?  When was the last time you read 200 peer reviewed papers on anything, Mr. Hart?  What’s your medical, psychological or statistical background again?  Oh yeah, you don’t have any.  You really don’t have a background in ethics, that’s for sure. 

The overview, entitled “Sexuality and Gender,” can be found on line here. (See above because Mr. Hart stripped out and doesn’t want you to see.) While the body of the overview may be data-dense for the average reader, the report’s executive summary, conclusion and prefatory notes to each section are clear, well-written and accessible to any interested adult. And we should be interested, because sexuality and gender identity are now sharply disputed topics with big implications for the health of individuals and our wider culture.

So, I’m still trying to figure out where Hart alleges Chaput to be wrong.  Overview of 200 peer reviewed papers.  Check.  Data dense.  Check.  Footnoted to the hilt?  Check.  In fact, far more noting that Mr. Hart will give, since he failed to even link to the paper.  Hart doesn’t like the outcome of the stats, pure and simple. 

Chaput seems to have taken some pointers from a Baptist creationist. Argue and teach the controversy. In point of fact the science on sexual orientation and gender identity is most certainly not “sharply disputed.”

OK, let me break this paragraph into multiple chunks of fallacy.  Let me just ask this first. What in the @#$%#$%?  Is this guy at all in reality land?  Not sharply disputed?  Where would that be? Because that’s not the view from Planet Earth!

The overwhelming consensus on both is that they are innate with some fluidity.

Um, this is where I think that Mr. Hart shows his cards.  If he had read the study, he would note that’s exactly what the doctors have both stated. 

However, while biological sex is an innate feature of human beings, gender identity is a more elusive concept. (

You, Mr. Hart, have just agreed with their findings.  That said, you have “sharply disagreed” with their finding that you can’t say that people are “born that way.” 

 Repackaging good science to contend otherwise does not establish a scientific dispute. But there is a controversy.

Wait, if we’re not “divided sharply” then there would be no controversy, right? I suppose he doesn’t consider all of the guys with fancy letters after their names scientific if they don’t agree with him.

It is between science and religious dogma.

They are not contrary, my friend.  Did you notice that neither Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer nor Dr. Paul R. McHugh are ordained?  How about Johns Hopkins hospital?  Surely that must be a religious institution because they won’t do sex change operations.  Face it.  You may not like it but actual people in the field of medicine, science, and psychology do not agree with you. It’s got to be hard for you when the science agrees with what the Church has said.  Ouch!

 Science is based on research that third parties review, primarily for methodology. Religious dogma, for the most part, is superstition based on ancient texts of dubious origin and provenance. “Studies” that torture science to draw conclusions that conform to religious dogma are just more superstition. There should be no controversy that children are best served by real science. Sadly that is not always the case.

I don’t think that Mr. Hart would know true science if it bit him in the behind.  True scientists take in data from all sorts of sources.  They don’t cherry pick. They look for studies that show good statistical methodology.   Like I said, reasonably sure that he didn’t read the study before he started flapping his gums.  I’d like for him to show where the good doctors ignored science.  Until he’s ready to do so, instead of throwing out conjecture, he should just shut the heck up on the good archbishop who has clearly done his due diligence in reading the study.