PRINCETON, NJ, July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Princeton University has retracted its offer to hire Michael LaCour, the UCLA grad student behind a fake study purporting to show data favorable to homosexual activists.
The study, conducted by LaCour and Columbia University professor Donald Green and published in the magazine Science last December, claimed that activists could swing people to support same-sex “marriage” in the span of 20 minutes by one personal conversation.
Further, the study alleged, the results of these conversations would not only last for a year, but also spread to members of the converts' households.
Green repudiated the study in late May of this year after other researchers failed to reproduce its conclusions. Science officially retracted the study on May 28.
After the retraction, LaCour released a 23-page-long statement in which he apologized for “errors in design, implementation, and data collection” and for “misrepresenting survey incentives and funding.” However, LaCour justified his study on the merits, casting aspersions against those researchers who failed to reproduce his conclusions.
LaCour's defense failed to move campus officials at Princeton, who stated last Tuesday that “[w]e have completed our review” of the matter “and rescinded our offer of employment.” Princeton had offered to take LaCour on as an assistant professor.
Princeton declined to comment any further on the matter, with a spokesperson stating that the university would not release any more statements or information.
LaCour has falsified aspects of his academic career as well, misrepresenting his receipt of certain grants and a teaching award and fabricating parts of his resumé, according to nymag.com's “Science of Us” blog.
The weakness and inadequacy of hard evidence in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples was a prominent theme in the debate preceding the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges marriage decision last Friday. Public policy analyst Jason Richwine, for example, accused pro-redefinition activists of “misusing science for political ends” and “portraying weak evidence as conclusive.”
Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in Obergefell, joined by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, ignored the issue of evidence (particularly as it relates to the well-being of children), instead defining marriage in terms of adults' desire “to define and express their identity.”
Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the “pretentious,” “egotistic” style of Kennedy's rationale. “The Supreme Court of the United States,” Scalia wrote, “has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”