|Originally posted by AmyB
As an overly analytic scientific minded person I would guess that the person who wrote that comment is just trying to be scientifically precise.
The scientifically precise way of making that comment is something like:
"Do these studies really prove your point? How do they deal with class issues, since our program is specifically meant to help low-income families?"
That would be a comment that actually addressed the role of the research in a grant proposal! Her comment was hardly scientific! It was personal! As my friend pointed out to me, there are some ways of saying things that just cut off all rational conversation.
As I wrote above, I know that there are a lot of studies, some showing that fathers are essential and some that they are superfluous or harmful. My job is to write a grant proposal to fund a program to get young men positively involved in the lives of children they have had with girlfriends. The program has nothing whatever to do with parents dying, heaven forbid.
There is a lot of father-positive research out there that people try to use to show why dads should get custody in divorce cases. Our program has NOTHING WHATEVER to do with that. These are never-married teen parents and many live together without being married. But how would you know that?
My coworker, however, knows that perfectly well!
Edited to add: Editing a grant proposal isn't about scientific inquiry, it's about analysis of argument, and ad hominem arguments generally do not seem to be within the scope of scientific rationalism.