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Entry 240, on 2005-10-26 at 15:10:57 (Rating 4, News)
Recently there has been some discussion regarding plagiarism by members of the Maxim Institute. This is a new right Christian organisation, who have been here just over three years, and who are attempting to influence New Zealand's political and social direction by publishing the results of their research. Many people can't distinguish between the type of "research" they do, and the type real academics and other researchers do, so their message is often taken quite seriously.
The fact is they don't do real research. They have a conservative Christian agenda and simply gather information - some of it true and carefully selected, some of it false - to support the view they have already decided to believe. That's not research at all. Real research involves examining the facts in an unbiased way and choosing conclusions which fit all the facts. It doesn't involve ignoring the evidence which doesn't support your cause. And it doesn't involve changing the facts and numbers around to make them fit your cause.
Unfortunately, these people are quite skilled at what they do, and they generally disguise their religious backgrounds when they interact with the public, because they know many people would reject their disinformation if they knew their real background. But they can't disguise the fact that, under the surface layer of reason, they do have extreme views and a conservative social agenda.
So I would advise anyone who hears anything from this group to be very careful about whether you believe it or not. For example stating that 55% of lesbian parents are violent isn't a valid conclusion if the source group was taken from a festival on violence. And saying 67% of prostitutes are under 18 years of age when the real figure is 5% is just simply untrue. And what about quoting a British anthropologist and then finding the quote doesn't even exist! Next they will be introducing prayer in school, locking up gays, and demanding we teach creationism as a valid alternative to evolution!
Comment 1 (140) by Anonymous on 2005-11-01 at 11:35:48:
Have you ever listened to what the Maxim Institute are saying? Most people think what they are saying is OK. I don't know why you don't like them.
Comment 2 (141) by OJB on 2005-11-03 at 18:37:58:
I don't like them because they are obscuring the truth with propaganda and lies. If they want to push a conservative, Christian agenda, fine. But make it clear that that's what they are doing. They shouldn't try to make it look more acceptable by being dishonest.
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