Anorak News | Slowly Does It

Slowly Does It

by | 15th, April 2004

‘THE expression, coined by a previous Labour prime minister, that a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on is not entirely correct.

Ever wondered why President Bush speaks so slowly?

In fact, the opposite may be true, according to research by Dr Aiden Gregg, a research fellow at Southampton University.

He claims that it takes longer to tell a lie than it does to tell the truth – a finding that he says could be adapted by the police to support existing lie detector tests.

However, a closer examination of the facts (as presented in this morning’s Telegraph) raises one or two problems.

For a start, it has only an 85% success rate when dealing with basic statements such as ‘Grass is blue’ and ‘Tigers have spots’.

The British criminal justice system might have its faults, but we suspect a one-in-six chance of delivering the wrong verdict would be acceptable to few people apart from the Home Secretary.

And, for some reason that we have not been able to fathom, it has only been tested on Christians.

Maybe this is because it doesn’t work with atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Scientologists or maybe we should just work on the assumption that all non-Christians are inveterate liars.

But it does make the practical application of Dr Gregg’s findings even more problematic.

To determine whether the system works, the first question should be: ‘Are you a Christian?’

However, if a non-believer answers ‘Yes’, how do we know if he or she is lying?’

Posted: 15th, April 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink