Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Misguided Policies

Yesterday I skimmed an interesting article by Helen and Peter Evans. In it, they reviewed a presentation by well-known author and Harvard Med School grad Michael Crichton. They said he voiced a serious concern about science policy, namely “how politicized research results in distorted conclusions and misguided policies.”

In my day, we would have simply said “input determines output” or, in this case, “faulty input determines faulty output.” But I like Crichton’s formula better, because it spells out that crucial middle step – the distorted conclusions. Setting aside science, let’s consider this in personal terms.

If your research or knowledge is flawed by bias or misinformation or whatever, then your thinking will be off, too. You will draw distorted or wrong conclusions. Those, in turn, can lead to misguided actions. Unfortunately, you live in an age of widespread misinformation. Much of television and music aimed at your generation portray a flawed view of life.

For instance, the media glamorize a loose lifestyle. Bed hopping is idealized as freeing, normal and fun. Rarely does a tv program ever depict the serious physical, emotional and mental consequences of such a lifestyle. How many stars of these shows contract a debilitating and disfiguring sexually transmitted disease? How many get unintentionally pregnant? How many acknowledge the emotional trauma and guilt associated with aborting a preborn baby?

So I hope and pray you will be careful in choosing the movies, shows and music you choose to “input” into your mind. And I hope, if you have a restrictive Mom like me, that you will understand she may well be trying to protect you – protect you from corrupt data that leads to distorted thinking that leads to bad decisions.

“Good sense wins favor, but the way of the faithless is their ruin.” Proverbs 13:15