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12-16 - 2010 Polygamy Reference Case Proceedings- Day 14

12-16 - 2010 Polygamy Reference Case Proceedings- Day 14

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Published by borninbrooklyn
Proceedings of the Canadian Reference Case on Polygamy Day 14
Cross Examination of Prof Rose McDermott and Video Affidavit of Howard Mackert, a former member of the FLDS Sect
Proceedings of the Canadian Reference Case on Polygamy Day 14
Cross Examination of Prof Rose McDermott and Video Affidavit of Howard Mackert, a former member of the FLDS Sect

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Published by: borninbrooklyn on Feb 16, 2011
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1Rose McDermott (for AG of Canada)In chief by Ms. Wray1 December 16, 20102 Vancouver, B.C.34 (DAY 14)5 (PROCEEDINGS COMMENCED AT 10:00 A.M.)67 THE CLERK: Order in court. In the Supreme Court of8 British Columbia at Vancouver this 16th day of9 December 2010, calling the matter concerning the10 constitutionality of section 293 of the Criminal11 Code, My Lord. And witness I remind you you're12 still under affirmation.1314 ROSE MCDERMOTT, a witness15 for the AG of Canada,16 recalled.1718 THE COURT: Thank you. Ms. Wray.19 MS. WRAY: Yes, My Lord, this morning we are continuing20 with the direct testimony of Professor Rose21 McDermott, and we left off yesterday afternoon on22 page 10 of her report which is Exhibit 41.23 THE COURT: Thank you.2425 EXAMINATION BY MS. WRAY: (Continued)26 Q And at paragraph 49, Professor McDermott, you have27 outlined the dependent variables that are examined28 in your statistical analysis. Could you remind us29 again, the difference between a dependent and an30 independent variable.31 A Yes, so an independent variable can be roughly32 equated to the variable that you think is the33 cause and the dependent variable would be the34 thing that is the effect. So you're exploring the35 temporal relationship between the first thing, the36 independent variable, and the second thing, the37 dependent variable, the effect.38 Q And at paragraph 49 there's a list of -- by your39 count this is 18 dependent variables?40 A Yes.41 Q And how is it that you came to choose these42 particular variables?43 A These variables were chosen based on theoretical44 speculation of factors that we would expect to be45 consequent to polygynous marital structures from46 the perspective of evolutionary psychology. There47 may be many additional other variables that could
2Rose McDermott (for AG of Canada)In chief by Ms. Wray1 be affected by polygamy that I was not able to2 look at because data isn't available. So I can3 speculate about other variables but I didn't have4 the data to explore them. And so these were the5 variables that I expected might potentially be6 related to -- that I actually had the data to7 explore using the WomanStats database that I8 described yesterday.9 Q On that same page at paragraph 52 you note in the10 first sentence that it is important to control for11 variables that could cause the outcomes you're12 examining?13 A Right.14 Q Can you explain that to us, please.15 A Right. So whenever you look at a statistical16 analysis there's always a possibility that the17 relationship that you're exploring is, in fact,18 explained by some other cause. So the classic19 example with this is smoking and lung cancer20 where, for a long time, you know, the smoking21 companies, you know, RJ Reynolds would say smoking22 doesn't cause cancer, there's some third thing23 like a genetic factor that causes you both to24 smoke and causes cancer. And it took experimental25 research to actually show lung tissue in a petri26 dish exposed to particular kinds of tars and27 nicotine that cause lung cancer. But in essence,28 what you do when you control in a statistical29 model is you try as best you can to say, if you30 hold this third variable constant and you change31 this other variable do you still get an effect on32 the things that you are interested in explaining.33 And if you do statistically it means that those34 things still exert an effect independent of the35 thing that you're controlling for. If it doesn't,36 the statistics come out not statistically37 significant, and then you know that it may not38 really be explaining it the way that you had39 hypothesized.40 Q And in your analysis what was the control you41 used?42 A I used gross domestic product as measured in terms43 of US dollars, which is the standard measure that44 is used for wealth.45 Q Why did you do that?46 A I did that because that is in the existing47 literature, not just with regard to polygyny but
3Rose McDermott (for AG of Canada)In chief by Ms. Wray1 with regard to an entire host of social and2 political variables. Really the monster variable3 that explains an enormous amount of things in4 complex social and political systems. And so if5 you look at a lot of work, for example, in6 economic development or, you know, processes of7 democratization or things like that, GDP is almost8 always the thing that is most powerful in terms of9 explaining a whole host of variety of outcomes10 that people are interested in explaining. If you11 can find a variable that still emerges significant12 controlling for GDP that really means you have13 something, because GDP in all the literature is14 really the monster variable.15 Q Are there are other controls that are also what16 you would characterize as monster controls?17 A No, because most of the other variables may relate18 to specific outcomes but not to a whole variety of19 outcomes. So for example you could look at20 differences in political structure but they would21 only affect some of the variables. They wouldn't22 affect other variables, for example, those related23 to health. But GDP, because it influences many,24 many things, including the amount of resources a25 society has to devote to legal structures and26 health structures and educational structures,27 infuses many aspects of society in a manner unlike28 almost any other.29 Q I would like you to turn now to page 11. Here you30 begin to discuss the types of models you used in31 your statistical analysis. You've characterized32 this as a regression analysis?33 A Yes.34 Q I'm hoping you can explain for us what exactly a35 regression analysis is.36 A Okay. So before I start I just want to say that37 what I'm about to say is really, really, really38 simplistic, so I'm going to try to make it simple39 and there's obviously many caveats to the way that40 I'll describe it.41 THE COURT: You came to the right place.42 THE WITNESS: So the simple thing to do is to say that43 what regression does is it tells us an estimate of44 additive linear effects. That means if you take a45 bunch of variables and you combine them together46 what does it tell us about the effect on a given47 outcome. So there are many ways you can do this

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