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KiwiInOz @424:

As I have just noted on the [Slyme]Pit, your scholarly approach is presuppositionalist, much like our old friend, creationist, Sye TenB does.

Iron Chariots:

Presuppositional apologetics is a form of Christian apologetics, primarily in the Calvinist tradition, that asserts that the acceptance of either the proposition “God exists” or the Biblical inerrancy is necessary in order for the world to be intelligible.

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, with emphasis from me:

A Christian presuppositionalist presupposes God’s existence and argues from that perspective to show the validity of Christian theism. This position also presupposes the truth of the Christian Scriptures and relies on the validity and power of the gospel to change lives (Rom. 1:16). From the scriptures, we see that the unbeliever is sinful in his mind (Rom. 1:18-32) and unable to understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). This means that no matter how convincing the evidence or good the logic, an unbeliever cannot come to the faith because his fallen nature will distort how he perceives the truth. The only thing that can ultimately change him is regeneration. To this end, the presuppositionalist seeks to change a person’s presuppositions to be in conformity with biblical revelation.

RationalWiki, with emphasis by me:

Presuppositionalism is the idea that only the Christian worldview can account for logic, morality, science, induction, consciousness itself, and peanut brittle, and that all other worldviews are absurd. Presuppositionalists often go further and assert that classical apologetics and evidential apologetics are sinful and blasphemous, as they savor of “autonomy” and make human reason the judge of God’s existence.

That seems easy enough to prove: all you need to do is point to where I argue that all logical systems have the fewest contradictions when you first assume that Alison Smith is telling the truth about whether or not she was raped by Michael Shermer, and that I therefore don’t need to provide evidence or reason to that assertion.

Should be a cake walk for you.

[quoted from my comment over here]


[… and the bullshit just keeps on coming…]

OnionHead @646:

It’s difficult to tell if you are evading Damion’s objection deliberaely, or if you genuinely are unable to grok the important point he’s making.

Ah good, I was thinking of taking up some of your earlier points, so this makes a natural transition. I don’t think Reinhardt himself understands what he’s asking, as it’s incoherent. I’ll get to that shortly.

(a) The studies that you cited as the source of the [odds of a false report] and [odds of a false report involving alcohol] were exclusively based on reports that were made to the police.  In other words, these studies shed light on the percentage of reports made to the police that are false.

Do you admit and accept that (a) is true, yes or no? If not, please explain.

Half true. Again, I’ll explain why in a bit.

(b) In the Smith-Shermer case, she did not report the alleged crime to the police.  She reported the alleged crime to a blogger, which is significantly different from the police in many relevant respects.

Here’s where you and Reinhardt fall off the rails. Let’s assume this was true: in which of Lisak’s four categories would Smith’s case fit under? None, because those categories only apply to cases reported to police or police-like organizations. This is a category error, like asking where radio waves fit in the visible spectrum. Lisak is quite clear about this:

The present study was designed to contribute another credible estimate of the rate of false rape reporting by using systematic methods to analyze a 10-year sample of cases of sexual assault reported to a university police department. […]

The coding system used in this study was based on three sources: … (2) discussions with senior members of the university police department regarding its methods for classifying and investigating rape reports

But above and beyond that, it’s also not true. Alison Smith first reported to the JREF, as Jeff Wag and James Randi knew about the incident. It’s plausible they or someone else in the JREF stonewalled any police investigation. It’s also possible Smith was intimidated into silence; as I cited earlier on, over half of all sexual assaults in 2009 Canada weren’t reported to police because the victim feared retribution.

Where does investigative incompetence or intimidation fit into Lisak’s four categories? They don’t, because there’s no way to independently assess why a claim was withdrawn, let alone never made in the first place, and Lisak was authorized to do his own investigation, in addition to the original one done by police. Having two investigations made incompetence or malice nearly impossible.

Each team then analyzed all of the 136 sexual assault report summaries and independently assigned classification codes to each of the cases by applying the criteria set out in the coding system. After these initial codes were assigned, all four researchers met with two senior police department investigators who were familiar with all of the cases and who brought to the meeting the complete case files, including police reports, reports of victim and witness interviews, and other documents. During this meeting, researchers asked whatever questions they deemed necessary to obtain the information required to accurately assign a code to each case.

Emphasis mine. While Lisak’s investigation relied on reports made to the police, the actual investigation was not done by the police. As Reinhardt thinks only the police are capable of assessing whether or not a sexual assault took place, he should have rejected Lisak’s study outright. That he didn’t suggests either that he read that portion and ignored it, because it didn’t fit his biases, or he cherry-picked that section without understanding the proper context.

Lisak’s categories not only don’t apply here, they don’t even apply to other studies of false reports. Let’s pick one of the studies he cites for his range:

Spurred by a decline in the proportion of rape cases that were resulting in convictions, the British Home Office sponsored a study of 483 rape cases reported to the police in England and Wales in 1996 (Harris & Grace, 1999). Although the researchers conducted a number of interviews of victims and criminal justice personnel, the quantitative data were derived directly from police classifications. Unlike the later Home Office study described in the following (Kelly et al., 2005), there was no mechanism for scrutinizing those classifications. Of the 483 cases examined, 123 were classified as “no-crime” by the police, and 53 (10.9%) were categorized as false allegations.

Lisak makes no attempt to apply his categories here, because he can’t; British law was actually worse than US law at this point (1975’s Morgan case established “honest belief” as a defense, freeing defendants from even having to make a plausible case for consent, and it wasn’t repealed until 2002[1]), the level of investigation wasn’t nearly as detailed, and most damning of all the researchers were forced to use the British police classifications, not the ones Lisak would invent a decade later.

Note too that the above is a British study. Lisak based his range of false report rates on eight studies from three countries spanning nearly thirty years, with quite different sampling populations. Lisak had no problem ignoring legal codes from different countries and times to assess false reports, yet Reinhardt thinks false reports made to the police cannot be compared to those [made elsewhere], as they’re too different. His basis for arguing they can’t be compared is…

… well, he doesn’t have one. He just asserts it. In comparison, up-thread I argued the false-report-to-the-police rate is an overestimate via several angles, and backed that up with citations to the literature.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, with the exception of British case law all of it could be discovered just by reading the damn study! Reinhardt is a worse scholar than Steersman, because the latter at least has the brains to realize I’ve probably read my own citations.

Which returns me to OnionHead. What’s worse than being an oblivious crackpot?

What Damion is asking is quite straight-forward and it’s a perfectly valid question and a reasonable objection to your analysis.

That is.

[1] Dyer, Clare, and Legal Correspondent. “Honest Belief of Consent Dumped as Rape Defence.” The Guardian.


[… and, to finish it all off…]

OnionHead @652:

This is the particular point under discussion, namely your estimate as to the [baseline odds of Smith falsifying her report]. In developing this estimate, you made inference from [the studies of reports made to the police], to [a specific case wherein the alleged victim did NOT report the crime to the police].

Yes, because otherwise I’d be a science denialist. Here’s a recent CBS article:[1]

Among the potentially crowded Republican field, self-identified Republicans are most likely to say they would consider voting for Jeb Bush (49 percent) and Mike Huckabee (46 percent) for the GOP nomination. These political figures also appear to be the best known of the potential candidates.

Following Bush and Huckabee is Marco Rubio. Among Republicans, 37 percent would consider backing him for the nomination.

But scroll the the bottom and you’ll see:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 13-17, 2015 among 1,006 adults nationwide.

These pollsters only interrogated 1006 people about their political beliefs, yet think they can say anything about 319 million people that they haven’t interrogated?! Reinhardt seems to think this is impossible. The same argument rejects all of physics, as physicists use laws based on things they have examined to explain things they haven’t. Chemistry, biology, geology, cosmology, and so on are also rendered invalid by Reinhardt’s stance, because all of them rely on a fundamental axiom of statistics:

The attributes of a population can be inferred from the attributes of a representative sample.

Now, I know what comes next: by “inference,” you and Reinhardt didn’t mean that entire axiom, or even that bit that mentions inference. No, you just meant the representative sample portion. You’re really arguing that people who report their sexual assaults to the police are not representative of people who don’t.

I agree! Just like we have studies on people who deny they’ve been raped, we have studies on how people who report their sexual assault differ from those that don’t.[2][3][4]

These results show that in a community-based urban population, one-quarter of women presenting to a sexual assault clinic or ED chose not to report the rape to police. This rate is consistent with a previous study in Minneapolis that reported that 24% of sexual assault victims treated in an ED by nurse examiners refused to file a police report (16). During the past three decades, women have become more likely to report rapes and attempted rapes—particularly those involving known assailants—to police (3). But the fact remains that less than half of such crimes are reported (1,3). In fact, law enforcement officials consider sexual assault to be the most underreported violent crime in America (17). […]

Although the majority of our study population had documented physical injuries, we found no differences in the frequency or severity of injuries between reporters and non-reporters. In addition, we found that the use of force and the pattern of anogenital injuries were similar in both groups. Therefore, although the severity of physical injuries may cause the rape survivor to seek appropriate medical care, it does not significantly influence their decision to report. These findings are consistent with a recent Danish study of women presenting to a sexual assault center in Copenhagen. […]

Age, marital status, and ethnicity were not associated with police involvement; however, employment status differed significantly between non-reporters and those reporting sexual assault (69% vs. 54%, respectively). Some rape victims likely chose to avoid the notoriety and stigma attached to rape prosecution, or they feared rejection by friends and co-workers (17,20). More than half of the women we surveyed felt partially responsible for the assault (60%), were concerned about public exposure (75%), and were ashamed or embarrassed by the assault (74%). Practical issues may also be involved—a victim may not have the time to participate in a criminal prosecution, especially if she is employed (22).[5]

This shouldn’t be a surprise, because I’ve already discussed the differences back in comment #443, and used the literature to argue false reports to the police were probably an overestimate of false non-reports.[6]

The closest thing you have yet offered as a reply to this question came, finally, @649 when you wrote:

Which isn’t true, as noted above, but then you go on to not only ignore every argument I made in that reply, but deliberately quote only the weakest one:

Note too that the above is a British study. Lisak based his range of false report rates on eight studies from three countries spanning nearly thirty years, with quite different sampling populations. Lisak had no problem ignoring legal codes from different countries and times to assess false reports, yet Reinhardt thinks false reports made to the police cannot be compared to those not made, as they’re too different. His basis for arguing they can’t be compared is…

… well, he doesn’t have one.

It takes guts to quote-mine when your source is a PageUp away.

This is you attempting to shift the burden of proof.

There is no attempt. I made several arguments. The burden shifted. You deliberately ignored that. And I note every SlymePitter in this thread cheered you for that…

Damion Reinhardt @654:

There isn’t much left to say after OnionHead’s detailed takedown. …. Play the ball, HJ.

… because style has replaced substance in this thread.

I will note that HJ has demonstrated a pattern of going to the man rather than to the argument. For example:

“Shermer’s innocence is a core part of your worldview, and you’re defending it with all the fervor of a 9/11 Truther.” […]

I suppose in certain circles this sort of tendentious ad hominem is considered good form

The substance behind those words, the arguments I used to justify my saying them, are irrelevant to Reinhardt. All that matters is how I’ve said them, and that I said them.

Damion Reinhardt @616:

According to some posters here, that’s pretty much case closed in terms of Crystal Clear Consent. The law in Nevada isn’t quite on the same page as the Pharyngula wiki though, and there is the rub. If I wanted to boldly proclaim someone is a rapist (as the Pharyngula commenters have done time and again) I would reference the relevant legal standard rather than one from a social justice wiki.

Note that Reinhardt doesn’t look up the relevant legal codes.

Sexual assault: Definition; penalties.
1. A person who subjects another person to sexual penetration,or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself oranother, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his conduct, is guilty of sexual assault.[7]

Nor double-check how they should be interpreted.

In short, it is illegal for you to have sex with someone: […] when you know or should have known that the person lacked the capacity to say no or understand what was happening (such as if they were passed out drunk).[8]

Nor read about Crystal Clear Consent, let alone weigh one against the other. That’s all substance, and thus irrelevant. All Reinhardt cares about is that his Holy BookPenal Code was written by Authorities On High in a somber tone, while CCC is a heathensocial justice morality written by shrill meanies. Style is all he cares about.

And with evidence and reason long since gone, Reinhardt can take pride in repeating an incoherent question, because he said it forcefully. OnionHead can bask in a rebuttal that ignores ore misrepresents what it argues against, because he made it look intellectual. Both of them and others are free to find confirmation of their views in trivialities, and believe in them even harder for it.

Nyhan and Reifler found a backfire effect in a study of conservatives. The Bush administration claimed that tax cuts would increase federal revenue (the cuts didn’t have the promised effect). One group was offered a refutation of this claim by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it. The percentage of believers jumped to 67 when the conservatives were provided with the refutation of the idea that tax cuts increase revenue. […]

Some think the backfire effect is due to a cognitive deficit: people view unfavorable information as being in agreement with their beliefs (Lebo and Cassino 2007). …. Another explanation involves communal reinforcement and the assumption that there is more information you don’t have that supports your belief. If one knows that there is a community of believers who share your beliefs and one believes that there is probably information you don’t have but which would outweigh the contrary information provided, rationalization becomes easier.[9]

As someone who’s spent a lot of time studying the literature on sexual assault, amassing a few hundred papers in the process, I’m better placed than most to swat down rape apologists. But while I’ve had plenty of fun tossing out citations, I can see the wind shifting towards dangerous shores.

And so, adieu.

[1] CBS News. “Election 2016: Who Would You Consider Voting For?” Feb 19, 2015.

[2] Binder, Renee L. “Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 42, no. 11 (1981): 437–38.

[3] McGregor 2000.

[4] General Social Survey, 2009.

[5] Jones, Jeffrey S., Carmen Alexander, Barbara N. Wynn, Linda Rossman, and Chris Dunnuck. “Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault to the Police: The Influence of Psychosocial Variables and Traumatic Injury.” The Journal of Emergency Medicine 36, no. 4 (May 2009): 417–24. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.10.077.

[6] A link for the lazy.

[7] “2005 Nevada Revised Statutes – Chapter 200 — Crimes Against the Person.” Justia Law.

[8] “Nevada ‘Sexual Assault / Rape’ Law – Las Vegas Defense Lawyers Explain.

[9] “Backfire Effect – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com.

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