I once got into an argument with a friend. We were rebuilding his stone walkway, and we disagreed about where water would run off. To settle the argument, I turned on the hose and let the water run. As my friend watched the water flow, he continued to argue that it wasn’t running where he thought it should. At that point, he was no longer arguing with my opinion. He was arguing with water itself. This is a fallacy that bests all of us at some point or another. We get so invested in what we want to be true, we argue with raw, objective, inarguable truth. When my friend tried to tell the water it was wrong, the water didn’t care. It just kept flowing.
The point of that little anecdote was to prepare you for the most ridiculous thing you have heard this week. Three British professors have collaborated on a paper. The point of the paper is to argue that statistics are inherently biased, and that they ultimately serve to promote the will of white aristocrats.
The lead author of that paper, David Billborn, is a professor at the University of Birmingham, and he is fast gaining popularity with liberal American scholars.
To counter the racist undertones of raw statistics, Billborn has invented QuantCrit. It’s a systems of checks that enable political scientists to adjust their findings to “remove racist undertones.”
I know you can see where this is going. The ultimate gall of Billborn suggests that numbers themselves are neither objective nor color blind. In fact, according to Billborn, numbers are simply social constructs. You know, like gender. Or race. Or the temperature of the earth.
I guess Billborn and his colleagues didn’t have to take much math to get to their positions. If they had, they might have encountered number theory. It’s the part of math that defines and analyzes numbers themselves. To say that number theory lacks objectivity or promotes racism is to fundamentally misunderstand everything that is math.
Rather than get into proofs and history that are way beyond the scope of this short tirade, I’ll offer this one tidbit. Number theory was first invented in Mesopotamia around 1800 BC. That’s long before any Europeans or “white aristocrats” were doing anything resembling math.
Real World Examples
It would be easy to simply call Billborn and his followers lunatics and move on, but that would miss the point entirely. The most upsetting part of this stupidity is that it has real consequences. The best example happened in the U.S. back in the 60s and 70s.
You see, at the time, widespread statistics were still relatively new to medicine. In that exploration, researchers made a “racist” discovery. They found that sickle-cell anemia (now classified as a type of sickle-cell disease) only seemed to appear among certain ethnicities. As a result, they wanted to save money by only testing newborns who were at significant risk of having the genetic anomaly.
As you might have guessed, the newborns at risk were all of African descent. The program was deemed racist, and it was gutted because white babies weren’t also being tested. As a result, tens of thousands of babies went untreated, and thousands died as a result.
A full 50 years later, we have significant data on the subject, and to date, no European descendant has ever shown any form of sickle-cell disease. In fact, 80 percent of all cases afflict sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants around the globe. The rest of cases are substantially milder and are mostly limited to India and the Arab Peninsula.
Liberals gladly sacrificed thousands of children over two decades just to claim they were against racism and for minorities. This paper is no different. The political scientists are just as biased and agenda-serving as any other group. They lean overwhelmingly left, so they always look for ways to promote their causes.
Since numerical analysis almost always agrees with conservatives on virtually every issue, their only recourse is to discredit numbers themselves. While they criticize Trump for calling out media outlets for obvious bias and falsehoods, they are trying to shout “fake math!” In the end, they aren’t even arguing with conservatives anymore. They’re arguing with water, and there’s a lot more than a stone walkway at stake.
~ American Liberty Report