You conclude that how?
Not enough information is easy to surmise--conclude is actually not the best word here because the term implies that I've made up my mind and that no further research is needed; surmise is much less final in its definition--based on the scientific principle that correlation does not necessarily prove causation. The conclusion (final judgment) that's hard to support is one based on insufficient data.
What proof do you have that premarital cohabitation causes a higher divorce rate? You don't get to use the statistics so often used to show a possible connection, since those are inconclusive regarding causation.
I've seen that assertion. I've yet to see the substantiation.
All the research I've seen (and I've seen plenty) come to the same conclusion. An interesting one, which unfortunately I can't lay my hand on right now, deals with a study of children, family structure and problems (drugs, depression, etc.). It found that the children of cohabitating but intact families display the same rate of problems as the children of divorced parents.
Nor do you get to resort to your allegation that Dr. Harris has an agenda, since such casts aspersion on the presenter without paying any attention to the logic of her position.
Although ad absurdum can serve the purpose of logic, her use of it doesn't.
Is this not the very definition of an ad hominem?
I guess not:
From Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ad%20hominem)
ad ho·mi·nem [ad hom-uh-nuhm‑nem, ahd-]
1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
I gave a reason (she had not proved the studies false, yet uses them as a case study of false data), and that she was presenting this as gospel truth to her (I am guessing here) undergrads.
2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.
What argument? She makes an assertion, which she doesn't back up, and then goes on to promulgate it.
1. How is this hedging?
You have to make a straight forward hyothesis before you can test it.
2. You don't need any data to speculate, which is what her frequent use of may is. It's simply a device to show that there may be other factors that we haven't considered or have decided in our emotionalism not to consider.
She gives no proof it wasn't considered. In fact, does she name the data she is criticizing?
Again speculation to draw our minds to the reality that we may not have enough information.
Or casting doubt on the reality that we may already have it.
Well, maybe intuition is a good way to recognize that we just don't have enough information. She certainly isn't going to let anyone say, as you do, "My mind's made up. Don't confuse me with the facts."
What facts? None have so far been provided.
1. A skim search for specific catchwords on this site found nothing on premarital cohabitation. Can you point us to a specific article?
To be honest, I read the hard copy edition regularly, which condenses reports of all sorts of aspects of marriage, divorce, cohabitation, etc.
2. Does this site present itself as a serious scientific resource or base its articles on sound scientific research? If not, then from a purely scientific point of view, I would have to reject what they have to say.
Yes, the report regularly cites all sorts of scientific research by the secular definition of the term, for example the CDC in the US and its equivalents in other countries, academic peer reviewed journals, etc.
Sorry, nothing from the Creationist Center.
Fortunately, though I see great value in approaching a subject with the rigorous rationalism of scientific method, I understand that a scientific approach is certainly not the only way to see the issue of premarital cohabitation. I still believe from the Church's witness and from anecdotal evidence that shacking up before marriage is, in almost all situations, a foolish course of action. Furthermore, I don't see that discrediting the emotional rush to conclude from insufficient evidence that premarital cohabitation per se increases divorce rates necessarily attacks my belief.
I remember a sociologist who did a study on the "rigorous rationalism of the scientific method" in the late 80's. The conclusion: fundamentalist preachers were the best at applying it at problems. Scientists, among the worst (there pet theories always got in the way).
As Thomas Kuhn states in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," quoting I believe, Niels Bohr, new scientific advances become established only when the old scientists die off.
You're wasting your time, Peter. This is the approach that some people never seem to get past.
Projecting again, are we?
I told my students (who had asked) that I voted for Huckabee. When asked why, I said to give an anurism to a number of my colleagues. Not 100% true, the anurism was just a fringe benefit.