Only the gay die young? Part 8 – Loose ends

I have read the Camerons replies to me in this ongoing discussion and have only a few more things to say.

Regarding Paul Cameron’s letter, I have very little to say. It does not appear to me that he really addressed any of my critiques. Instead, he convinced me that he has his mind made up about those who lead as he put it “parasitic lives.” He had a lot to say about his two quests in life, one being the public health consequences of second hand smoke and the other being the menace of what you could call second-hand-gay (we are all doomed because a small percentage of people are attracted to the same sex). If that doesn’t make sense, you’ll have to read his letter to me – but then again, that might not help either.

Kirk Cameron’s note was more substantial but I still need to see their data before I will comment more on the Denmark component of their study. Kirk Cameron says the paper is in peer review and so he cannot make the data available. When (if) the study is published, then I will review it further. He had various replies to Dr. Frisch’s critiques as well, none of which were especially convincing to me. As I read through the letter, it seemed like some fast dancing was going on. Here are examples:

As I will explain, you have apparently misread or misunderstood aspects of our methodology. Further, the ‘whole story’ about our research is not fully contained in the EPA paper, but rather in a series of separate, but related articles, each addressing a slightly different topic. Be that as it may, I do find it a bit of a double standard that you would implicitly criticize our use of the media and internet as a forum for dissemination of new information, when your blogsite is not, as far as I can tell, subject to any scholarly oversight (beside your own).

Ok, so I am supposed to read your mind? You have bits and pieces of justifications in other papers but since I don’t have them I can’t know what you intend. And Kirk compares a blog to a news release?

Yes, our estimates of homosexual longevity are preliminary and may change with additional data. But are they necessarily false or unreliable? No.

So when the news releases say dogmatically straights outlive gays by 20 years, this is “dissemination of new information?” So which is it? New information or preliminary data?

Kirk C. spends much time attempting to make an analogy (benchmark) between estimates of longevity for the general population and estimates for gays. However, one can take a representative sample of a known population, but using the same methods with an unknown population may not lead to the same results. I am not convinced that he has properly sampled homosexuals (or their deaths) in order to satisfy the assumptions needed to make the analogy reasonable.

And then there is this deflection:

Plus, there is the issue of nonrespondents. For the Canadian study this was relatively low — around 20% — but clearly still large enough to dramatically change the prevalence estimates were non-response correlated with a concealed homosexual orientation. This did not prevent Statistics Canada from asserting publicly that only 1.7% of the Canadian population was bisexual or homosexual. Were they professionally negligent in doing so? And what about the research teams from Great Britain, France, and the U.S. that have also reported low estimates of homosexual prevalence despite even larger refusal rates? Are you also criticizing them in the same vein, or is it only us in whom you have no confidence?

Statistics Canada nor have other researchers made something out of their numbers beyond the estimates of prevalence. The Camerons have read into what is essentially a black box and promoted their guesses in the press as facts. I personally don’t care what the facts turn out to be. However, I get the feeling that the Camerons do.

Unless something else comes up, this is probably part last.