How To Respond To Biased Sources

G.S. Muse
6 min readJan 30, 2024

The Popular Sitcom, The Big Bang Theory is well known for a formula where a very intelligent (and socially awkward) group of friends debate extremely technical and highly specialized topics that can leave the average viewer scratching their head.

One of these brilliant individuals holds a position, and his friend disagrees.

Each has a bias, but it is a bias based in expertise. The only person in the situation who is “unbiased” is the audience member who knows nothing about this particular topic.

The Big Bang Theory — Is Howard smart enough? Sheldon as a Professor S08E02 [HD]

As someone with a career in science, I’ve often noticed that if you put four experts in a room, you can get five different opinions. These are not mere whims that people dreamed up one day, but expert opinions that are often based in decades of study.

The reality is that the only person who has no bias whatsoever is the vegetable in a coma.

Experts and Diet

Consider the case of diet. Opinions on the best diet range from vegan to paleo and even for some individuals to carnivore. For years, we were sold the idea of the Food Pyramid. When I was in high school, I was told that if I wanted to lose weight, I needed to eat lots of bread and carbs. As you can imagine, I blew up like a balloon in my first few years of college. I have struggled to lose the weight ever since.

I have been told since then that experts knew the whole time that the Food Pyramid was wrong. The malpractice is on the level of doctors who said that smoking cigarettes was good for you.

Yet one thing that these newer diets have in common is that they focus on eating food instead of junk. Whether you go Vegan, Paleo, or Carnivore, you are moving away from the “Standard American Diet” (or SAD).

A Real Doctor Watches “What The Health” — ZDoggMD

A lot of documentaries pushing for one particular diet or another ignore basic statistics. Namely, that correlation does not prove causation. The person who swears off meat is also not consuming fast food in general, which means the deep fried potatoes, lump of bread with a thin slice of meat, and the jug of artificial chemicals is also not being consumed. So is the culprit the thin slice of meat, or the intake of fake bread and chemicals?

And if meat is the problem, then is the problem pork, beef, chicken, (the fries and soda on the side), or is it the way the food is cooked?

One expert in-particular comes to mind. ZDoggMD is the internet name of Zubin Damania, a medical doctor who has established a large following by commenting on medical issues in his videos. While Damania will often criticize activists, he will also criticize the mainstream medical establishment and medical institutions when he sees flaws being presented to the public as fact.

Netflix Food Documentaries Are Lying To You | A Doctor Debunks Bad Nutrition Science — ZDoggMD

This is why correlation does not prove causation, just because two factors are correlated does not mean that one causes the other.

This is one of the reasons I hate the word “Opinion” — it can refer to the views of an expert cardiologist who is going against common medical wisdom based on facts and data, but it can also refer to a would-be-dictator who watched a three-minute news clip on CNN and now thinks she is qualified to run your life.

Dissecting Back to the Future | The Big Bang Theory

The Unbiased Activist and The Biased Expert

I recently watched a great video from IowaDairyFarmer where he responds to an activist who claims that farmers abuse their cows by forcing them to be milked. The activist claims that it’s not like cows just line up to be milked voluntarily.

The farmer then shows a video of cows doing exactly that and explains that he could not force the cows to be milked if he wanted to.

Notice that the dairy farmer is who many people would dismiss as “biased” while the activist is someone that many would regard as a heroic “Social Justice Warrior.” After all, he is spending his life in the dairy industry, while she has a virtuous vegan opinion on the Internet.

Sadly, much of this “activism” has been a ball-and-chain on the ankles of science and technological progress, as can be seen decades later by the impact of the anti-nuclear movement.

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin

As I’ve discussed in my other articles, similar anti-energy movements have held back other technologies such as fracking, which has proven to be one of the most effective resources in combating CO2 emissions.

Surprisingly, a lot of this “activism” goes directly against the facts that have been established and agreed upon by mainstream experts. Dr. Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University professor, explains why the narrative that most people have believed about wages and gender is totally wrong.

310. Understanding the Gender Wage Gap feat. Claudia Goldin

So how does one move forward?

The reality is that every expert source is going to have a bias. Humans have finite minds. This does not mean that objectivity is impossible. An honest person can look at matters of politics, economics, religion, nutrition, and society, but only by going out of their way to seek out experts who challenge what they’ve been taught.

As one man once said:

“A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”
~ Charles Darwin

The only way that one can be fully informed on an issue is to hear the arguments of experts on all sides of a debate directly for yourself.

In any fairly large and talkative community such as a university there is always the danger that those who think alike should gravitate together where they will henceforth encounter opposition only in the emasculated form of rumour that the outsiders say thus and thus. The absent are easily refuted, complacent dogmatism thrives, and differences of opinion are embittered by the group hostility. Each group hears not the best, but the worst, that the other group can say.
- C.S. Lewis

Image Credit Here

A Personal Note

As someone with a career in science (I just graduated with my master’s in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics), it should stand as no surprise that I grew up believing a lot of things that I no longer believe.

I once wholeheartedly believed in Darwinian Evolution, until I read the arguments of scientists who held to other views.

One might say that the scientist who becomes a Christian during the course of her career is “biased” while the scientist who is a member of The American Association for Angry Atheists is “unbiased.”

New Book Shows that Fossil Record Supports Biblical View of Human Origins 1–19–2019 by Chris Rupe

But why is that? Why is the Christian immediately dismissed as “biased” while angry Atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne are “unbiased?”

In The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, the author interviews scientists who argue for design in the universe. As one of those scientists interviewed pointed out, why is it that the Atheist is held in high regard, while the equally qualified professor of Biochemistry, who came to faith after years of study, is dismissed out of hand?

Christian SciFi Fantasy and Horror — Cody Libolt and G.S. Muse

Conclusion

Every human being in the world is going to have biases. If you show me a news anchor who claims to be “unbiased,” then I will show you a propaganda artist. That blue-suited news anchor is no less biased than the black-robed preacher.

That said, an objective understanding of reality is not out of reach. By taking the time to hear the arguments of scientists and experts who hold to different views, especially those who challenge the views presented in schools or the mainstream media.

The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.
~Proverbs 18:17

--

--

G.S. Muse

G.S. Muse, also known as GreenSlugg on YouTube or simply as “Greg” is a lab technician, youtuber, author, and blogger. His work can be found at GSMuse.com