New Scientific Research revisited

In the category of “Old Business.”

On July 23, I asked blog readers what the phrase “new scientific research” meant.

Here is what some of you said:

New: Recently reported (not in media for more than 3 months)

Scientific: Can document measuring criteria, tested, revealing a need to do further research

Research: Primary Data

If it’s new, it’s not a review of past literature.

Data that hasn’t been reported before.

Not –

A literature review

A meta-analysis

A re-analysis of data that has been previously been reported with a different analysis.

Study with new data…Not a literature review. Not a review to undermine the own viewpoints with no diversity view.

That’s what I think too. Therefore I was surprised to see NARTH headline their recent press release for the summary paper, “What Research Shows…” as

New Scientific Research Refutes Unsubstantiated Claims Regarding Homosexuality

The problem is that there is no new scientific research in the paper. The paper itself is not new scientific research but rather a collection of prior studies.

I asked NARTH leaders about the decision to call their paper “new scientific research.” I did learn in the process that the NARTH Governing Board had reviewed the press release and title and approved it. When I pressed about why the paper was called “new scientific research,” NARTH past-president Dean Byrd then wrote to me twice say that he did not have time to answer the question.

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  • concerned

    Everything old is new again.

  • Byron

    Sounds to me like he doesn’t have the integrity to answer the question…

  • Evan

    I’m right, I know it, there’s no need to answer.

  • Lynn David

    You went a long way with this post just to tell a joke.

  • Don

    Obviously the reason Dean Byrd did not have time to answer the question is that he is FAR too busy working on “new scientific research.”

  • Bob

    Probably instead of doing NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, they were out finding NEW DONORS. Check this out:


    Subject: News from Narth

    Date: 30 July 2009 22:42:28 BST

    NARTH The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality


    Every year for the past five years a major funding organization has given NARTH a $50,000 donation. When we went to see them a week or so ago they asked us a simple question, “If we were to eliminate NARTH from our list of organizations we fund could you survive? Do you really have the support of a large enough number of “grassroots” friends and donors to justify our continued financial help?”

    Wow! You see, money is tight all across the country and even large foundations don’t want to waste their funds on organizations that don’t have member support. They wanted us to demonstrate that NARTH is worthy of their continued financial commitment – BECAUSE – we have committed friends and supporters.

    I think there is a rather simple solution. On August 30th we want to take them a list of 1,000 people who believe in NARTH enough to contribute $20. That’s right, just enough for a half tank of gas, a nice dinner out, or two movie tickets.

    Only $20! I think they will be impressed and frankly, NARTH needs their (and your) support. Want to do more? Donate an additional $20 in the name of your spouse, child, or grandchild. Donate $20 in the name of someone NARTH has help overcome unwanted homosexuality, but please donate!

    Click on the button below and take the NARTH $20 Challenge and help us prove that the good that NARTH does is a mile wide and 1,000 friends deep.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! -The NARTH Board of Directors


  • Michael Bussee

    Warren, on this thread and numerous other times, you have suggested that NARTH is being less than honest — about “new” research, about the APA report, twisting data, etc.

    Why would NARTH do or say something it knows is not true? They must know they are going to get caught eventually… What would be the point?

  • Michael Bussee

    I mean, they seem to want respect so badly — and then they blow it so badly…

  • Warren

    All – I don’t know why some at NARTH stretch things so. Maybe because there is no real press that keeps them honest on this kind of stuff. Even Christian media and bloggers (save a couple commenting here) ignore this stuff. If you can get by with things, then one might get sloppy or worse.

    Instead, people read this stuff and they think critics are just ideologically opposed to NARTH. Thus, people who might be inclined to hold them accountable don’t know enough to do so.

    Some Christian media simply won’t look into it even when it is pointed out. Case in point, OneNewsNow, the “information” arm of the American Family Association. I pointed out to the reporter on the story about the APA and switching churches that their slant on it was wrong. I was rebuffed without a hearing. Rarely in all my time looking into media mistakes have I been just dismissed in that way.