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If you do not like science, just change it

Reader comment on item: Covering Muslims
in response to reader comment: For all you know, Erik Bleich and Maurits van der Veen are right

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jun 13, 2022 at 16:46

Dear Dr Pipes, Authors Erik Bleich and Maurits van der Veen did a study of news reports and found that these reports linked Islam to violence and so are biased against Islam. Instead of treating this study as an objective indicator that Islam was more associated with violence, they chose to assume that the media was biased against Islam. In short, if you do not like objective science, you can malign the people who created the data. This is the good-old shoot the messenger strategy!!

Let me illustrate it with an easy to understand example. A lot of computer models work by identifying word associations. We all know that the world famous Taj Mahal was built by the Muslim king Shahjahan. People have written hundreds of essays and books stating that Shahjahan built Tajmahal. If we feed these books and essays to computers, the computers will soon "learn" that Tajmahal and Sahjahan have something to do with each other. It is as simple as that. If a computer program produces something to this effect, we wont say that this program is biased in favor of Muslims or Shahjahan. We will just say that the computer program rediscovered the known association between the the Taj and the king.

But when the same science discovers a link between Islam and violence, we start to manipulate the science and say that media is biased. I am writing this note to protect the scientific methods. Protecting scientific methodologies is more important for humanity than protecting Islam or any other philosophy. People should not start distrusting science because it links Islam with violence. I would rather call Erik Bleich and Maurits van der Veen dishonest charlatans than honest scientists.

Unfortunately Bleich and Veen are not alone. In this day and age of political correctness a lot of others are doing the same. And, Muslims are taking advantage of that. Please check the reference ref1 below. In this article a Muslim sounding scientist Abubakar Abid paints AI technology GPT-3 as biased against Muslims.

To establish the claim that a scientific method is biased against Muslims, we will have to show that it produces anti-Muslims info even when we feed it unbiased articles about Islam. To establish that the articles fed to GPT-3 were biased, we have to show that they were biased independently of the scientific method. These authors did neither.

If we buy the Bleich and Veen's methodology, I have a suggestion for scientists in Israel. They should feed the IDF related articles written by the Palestinian media to GPT-3. GPT-3 will soon learn that IDF does atrocities. This will kill two birds with one stone. First, Israel can then claim that IDF is as gentle as Florence Nightingale was. And, second, they can establish once and for all that Palestinian media is biased. This is exactly what Erik Bleich and Maurits van der Veen and Abubakar Abid have done. Unfortunately, IDF is too honest and too intelligent to do that.

ref1: Article suggesting GPT-3's bias against Islam: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/22672414/ai-artificial-intelligence-gpt-3-bias-muslim

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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