Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pathologizing analytical thinking

NewScientist reports:
People with autism appear less likely to believe in God – a discovery that has strengthened theories that religious belief relies on being able to imagine what God is thinking, a capacity known as "mentalising".

One of the hallmarks of autism is an impaired ability to infer and respond to what other people are thinking, so the investigators wondered whether this would affect their likelihood of believing in God.

In a study of adolescents questioned on their beliefs, those with autism were almost 90 per cent less likely than non-autistic peers to express a strong belief in God.

The study – along with three others that questioned hundreds of people about religious belief and mentalisation abilities – also showed that men are worse than women at mentalising. This correlated with them being less likely than women to believe in God.

"We reasoned that if thinking about a personal god engages mentalising abilities, then mentalising deficits would be expected to make belief in a personal god less intuitive, and therefore less believable," says Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and joint head of the investigation. "We found support for this in four different studies."
So you are more likely to believe in God if you also believe that you can read God's mind as well. The strange part of this story is to describe people as mentally deficient if they do not claim to mindread God. That is backwards.

Claiming to be able to able to mindread God should be considered a symptom of schizophrenia, along with hearing voices in your head.
The researchers caution, however, that the findings do not prove that belief in God relies exclusively on mentalisation. "We cannot infer causality without further research," says Norenzayan, pointing out that there are many other reasons why people may or may not believe in God, whether or not they are good at mentalising. Norenzayan's own research team has shown, for example, that analytical thinkers are less likely to believe in God.

Conversely, says Norenzayan, people may adopt religion for a host of psychological and cultural reasons independent of "mind-reading" abilities.
Yes, people believe in God for various reasons. It seems obvious that analytical thinkers would be less likely to believe in God, and less likely to suffer mindreading delusions.

This is another example of psychologists trying to pathologize analytical thinkers.

The study is here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Coyne bans me from his blog

I criticized a paper by leftist-atheist-evolutionist Jerry Coyne below, and left this comment me on his blog:
This paper is sillier than I expected. It is based on a “Successful Societies Scale” that rates the USA as the least successful nation in the world.
Coyne responded:
It’s not based on that at all – that’s an EXPLANATION for the high degree of religiosity in the US. The main point is that America’s creationism come from its religion. Further, other sociological studies (cited in the paper) support the dysfunctionality of the US compared to other First World countries. Finally, you’re flat wrong about the US being the least successful society in the world. As I said, it’s the least successful society among 17 FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES SURVEYED. Did you even read the paper?

You appear unwilling to accept the US’s position here. Fine, but it doesn’t make the paper silly. And stop urinating on my carpet. If you have criticisms, make them in an objective and non-insulting fashion.
He does not restrict to 17 countries. His paper quotes surveys of aa many as 67 countries, and he uses broad language. His paper says:
Religion is an answer that many people do not want to hear, but there is much ev-idence that America’s resistance to evolution is truly a byproduct of America’s extreme religiosity.
His argument is that social dysfunction causses religiosity, which causes belief in creaationism, which causes disbelief in evolution. This argument is not limited to 17 countries. He says, "Paul’s data show that, compared to other countries, we are a sick society."

Coyne is a leftist who wants the USA to become more socialist. His main criterion for being a dysfunctional society is income inequality. He says that higher income inequality leads to higher religiosity, particularly among the wealthy, but it is also true that higher freedom leads to higher income inequality. When he calls us a "sick society" in the Evolution journal paper, he is just applying his leftist political biases.

Here is his message banning me:
Look, Roger, you first should first apologize for your mischaracterization of the USA’s position in the world on the SSS, and now you show complete misunderstanding of how I regard Gould and Wilson. You obviously haven’t followed my website, which has often praised Gould’s scientific writing (while criticizing his views on punctuated equilibrium and NOMA) and Wilson’s contribution in Socibiology, conservation, and his work on ants. They don’t get ALL OF EVOLUTION “wrong,” but have taken positions that I don’t agree with. That’s true of all science. Your statement that I think “leading evolutionists” (you cite only two) “get it wrong” is misleading, and you know it.

You’re trolling without any knowledge of my views, and you mischaracterized my paper, which is not silly.

I suggest you frequent other websites, because I don’t want you urinating on my carpet.
I was not allowed to respond to this on his site.

His paper is silly. It is worse. It is garbage that should not have been accepted by any real science journal, and was only published in a religion-hating evolutionist journal.

I did not say that the leading evolutionists get ALL OF EVOLUTION “wrong,” But they do disagree about the core of evolution. Gould said evolution is random while Dawkins says it is deterministic. Coyne says we have no free will. Dawkins and Coyne say evolution works purely at the gene level, while Wilson says that life on Earth is dominated by social species benefitting from group evolution. Dawkins and Coyne have denounced Wilson for this in the harshest terms. Dawkins implies that Wilson's ideas are unworthy of being published.

Coyne tries to downplay these as disagreements as if they are inherent in science, or "true of all science." No, they are not. Coyne led a group of 140 scholars to publish a 3-page paper denouncing Wilson. The list of authors was longer than the content. This does not happen in real sciences.

Real scientists do not so carelessly combine scientific, philosophical, and political views, and are not constantly lobbying politicians and judges to force others to accept those views. That is what Coyne does. The reason people don't like evolutionist messages from people like him has nothing to do with income inequality or America being a dysfunction society. It is because evolutionists like him cannot resist making evolution a political and anti-religion cause, and people reject all the non-scientific baggage that goes along with evolution.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why America is dysfunctional

I criticized an article abstract by leftist-atheist-evolutionist Jerry Coyne, and now he has released the full article as published in journal Evolution. He argues that religion and skepticism of evolution causes societies to be less succuessful, and he substantiates that with a "Successful Societies Scale" that rates the USA as the least successful nation in the world, among the 17 surveyed. In particular, he argues that the rich are more religious than the poor, and thereby promote income inequality and a dysfunctional society.

Coyne concludes:

Creationism in America, then, may be a symptom of reli-gion, but religion in the modern world may itself be a symptom of unhealthy societies. Ultimately, the best strategy to make Ameri-cans more receptive to evolution might require loosening the grip of religion on our country. This may sound not only invidious but untenable, yet data from other countries suggest that such secularism is possible and, indeed, is increasing in the United States at this moment. But weakening religion may itself require other, more profound changes: creating a society that is more just, more caring, more egalitarian. Regardless of how you feel about religion, that is surely a goal most of us can endorse.
For Coyne, teaching evolution is just a tool for undermining religion. Earlier he says:
Now, more than at any time in my life, I see Americans awash in popular science — evolution in particular. Bookstores teem with volumes by Stephen Gould, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Edward O. Wilson, and Jared Diamond; evolutionary psychology is all the rage; natural history museums have become user friendly; there are dozens of blogs about evolution; and entire television channels are devoted to science and nature. Science education for laypeople is not hard to come by, and we have more popular commentary on evolution than ever before. Yet our record of accepting evolution is still abysmal. Why?
Most of those authors are explicitly anti-religion. Coyne's article discusses how Gould was anti-religion. I have discussed Pinker's latest anti-Christian book. Dawkins is probably the world's most famous atheist, and now devote more energy to promoting atheism than evolution. Wilson is an atheist but his ideas have been savagely attacked by Coyne and Dawkins. Dawkins' review today of Wilson's latest book says, "unfortunately one is obliged to wade through many pages of erroneous and downright perverse misunderstandings of evolutionary theory." Diamond's work is widely praised in leftist academic circles, but not well accepted among experts in the subject matter.

Update: Coyne has now banned me from commenting on his blog, because I supposedly misrepresented his views and for "urinating on [his] carpet". Meanwhile he leaves up various ad hominem attacks on me and my mom, such as "you never were housebroken" and "You suck."

Here is my reply to him, that he blocked:

Jerry, I have read your praise of Gould and Wilson, as well as your criticism. You certainly never said that they get all of evolution wrong. But you do harshly criticize them. Wilson just wrote a book on what evolution and human nature are all about, and you just quoted Dawkins today trashing the book in the harshest terms. He says that Wilson's "errors ... are important, pervasive, and integral to its thesis in a way that renders [his book] impossible to recommend." Either Dawkins gets it wrong, or Wilson gets it wrong.

Also, your paper says, "Paul’s data show that, compared to other countries, we are a sick society."

About that last blog item, Coyne blocked the comment, "This shows that our leading experts have profound disagreements over what evolution is all about." Coyne posts scathing attacks on others regularly, but he sure cannot take a little criticism.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Men like meat

SciAm reports:
Americans eat an average of 195 pounds of meat a year, with men consuming much more than women. The study is in the Journal of Cancer Research (pdf).

In a series of experiments, people consistently rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. Researchers also found that meat-related words like “steak” conjured male-related words in free association tests significantly more often than female-related words. The word “chocolate” however, conjured more female-related words in the minds of participants. And foods like raw beef or blood were viewed as far more “male” than “female.” And participants rated male meat-eaters as more masculine than male non-meat-eaters.
This is scientific research? Anyone would say that this is obvious, unless brainwashed by propaganda that there are no sex differences.

As a SciAm comment points out, eating tofu is definitely not manly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time to short Google

I just watched Charlie Rose interview Google CEO Larry Page:
Rose: But in 2012, there have been no acquisitions ... or have there?
Page: No, I think we've done a lot of them. ... It seems like I get one every week.
Rose: One acquisition a week, in terms of buying companies?
Page: We have a weekly meeting where we go thru the acquisitions and usually there is something going on.
Page does not seem to know what his company is doing.

Update: It appears that Google has survived the Oracle Java lawsuit. But I attribute that to the incompetence of Oracle lawyer David Boies. A lot of people are very impressed with him, but it seems to me that he has screwed up several high-profile cases.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Censoring the internet

V-Dare reports that a Jewish group is trying to regulate the internet by law and by industry collusion in order to "combat online hate speech, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism…"

This is so foolish. Censorship is always directed against ideas that have a germ of truth, and not against obvious falsehoods.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book on famous liars

I was just reading last year's Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff by James B. Stewart:
With many prosecutors, investigators, and participants speaking for the first time, Tangled Webs goes behind the scene of the trials of media and homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart; top White House political adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby; home-run king Barry Bonds; and Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff.

Stewart's main argument that Bonds lied is this quote from a judge in a different steroid case:
And that's a very difficult thing to believe; that a top-notch athlete, knowing the razor-thin margins separating the best from the others, would not be keenly aware and very careful about what he or she would put in his or her body and recognize the effects immediately on their performance. ... I am troubled, quite frankly, by the statement." [p. 349] [again on p.359]
This quote appears twice, and differs slightly from elsewhere.

This is no argument against Bonds. He admitted to taking the "clear" and the "cream". He had no FDA approvals or scientific publications or big pharma guarantees or personal biochemistry knowledge to go on. He trusted someone. Maybe it was Greg Anderson, maybe Victor Comte, maybe someone else. We don't know for sure. Whatever the details, here was a top-notch athlete who was putting substances in his body without being keenly aware of what those substances were and what they could do. No one did, as the substances were unknown to modern medicine.

It is safe to say that Bonds thought that the substances would do some good, or he would not have been taking them. But athletes commonly take vitamins, food supplements, spices, special foods, homeopathic remedies, etc. in the hopes that they will be helpful. These beliefs seem to be largely superstition to me. So it is possible for top-notch athletes to not recognize the effects of what they take. It is plausible that Anderson assured Bonds that the substances were worthwhile, and Bonds told the truth.

James B. Stewart fails to mention that Secret Service agent Larry Stewart was charged with perjury for his testimony against Martha Stewart. None of these Stewarts are related, as far as I know. Martha Stewart was convicted of lying in statements that were not under oath and not recorded, and she was not accused of perjury or insider trading or of benefiting from her lies. It seems more significant to me that the prosecution lied under oath in order to put someone in prison.

The case against Libby was even stranger. As the book explains, Libby's defense was not only that he told the truth, but that he said what was necessary for the public to learn the truth about the Iraq War, with Plame's husband telling unrebutted lies to the press.

The core of Libby's conviction is that he had a telephone conversion with CBS's Russert on the day the Wash. Post released a column naming Plame as working for the CIA. The conversaion had no bearing on the column, but Russert and Libby gave different testimony about whether Plame was mentioned in the call.

I see 4 possibilities. Maybe Russert or Libby had faulty memory, or maybe one of them lied.

It is plausible that Russert lied because he had an obvious motive. If he had known about Plame, then he would have been forced to testify about his confidential source. He might have ruined his career, jailed like Judith Miller, and incriminated his source.

Libby had nothing to gain by lying because he had already admitted that he had learned about Plame before talking to Russert. It is possible that Libby lied and somehow thought that the lie would help Karl Rove, but I doubt that Libby would lie to save Rove.

It is plausible that Libby misremembered, because Libby may have mentally prepared himself about what to say if Russert mentioned Plame. Months later, Libby could have confused what he said with his prepared scenario.

Madoff told lies that cost billions of dollars and caused misery to a lot of people. Even if M. Stewart, Libby, and Bonds lied, I do not see how any harm came to anyone. Stewart may have sold stock based on an insider tip, but it was bad info and she would have been better off holding onto the stock. If Libby were lying to prop up the Iraq War, I would want to punish him for that, but his case had no bearing on the war or on anything else, but the career of an over-ambitious prosecutor. Even if Bonds lied, he did not interfere with shutting down Balco or banning steroids. Not even the baseball authorities say that he did anything wrong. He was not convicted of lying. He was only convicted of giving an evasive answer to a question before the grand jury. That conviction ought to be reversed on appeal, because not even the prosecutor seemed to think that the answer was incomplete.

The book has a lot of detail about these 4 cases, but fails to get to the substance of the matters. What were the lies and who were harmed by them? I guess the author is trying to make the case that we tolerate liars too much, but I see it differently. First, if these folks lied so badly, then it should be possible to prove that they lied. Second, perjury is lying about a material fact. The Ten Commandments do not prohibit all lying. Just bearing false witness. M. Stewart, Libby, and Bonds were not witnesses to anyone but themselves. Libby was disliked for the Iraq War, and Bonds was disliked for breaking Babe Ruth's records. I believe that these prosecutions were driven more by politics than by actual lying.

The hot dishonesty trials of today are Roger Clemens and John Edwards. The evidence against Clemens is that his trainer got immunity for testifying that Clemens used steroids. It seems like just the word of Clemens against the word of the trainer to me. Either one could be lying. I believe people are innocent until proven guilty.

Edwards is a snake, and transparently phony. Or so I thought. Millions of Democrats thought that he was fit to be President because they thought that he had empathy for the poor. He certain lied about his affair, and let his rich friends spend millions to cover up his recklessness. But I do not see how he committed a crime.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In favor of profiling

Computer security author Bruce Schneier writes:
The Trouble with Airport Profiling
Why do otherwise rational people think it's a good idea to profile people at airports? Recently, neuroscientist and best-selling author Sam Harris related a story of an elderly couple being given the twice-over by the TSA, pointed out how these two were obviously not a threat, and recommended that the TSA focus on the actual threat: "Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim."
This is a bad idea. It doesn’t make us any safer -- and it actually puts us all at risk. ...

Underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was Nigerian. Shoe bomber Richard Reid was British with a Jamaican father. One of the London subway bombers, Germaine Lindsay, was Afro-Caribbean. Dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla was Hispanic-American.
His arguments fail. Unless all passengers are equally risky, then it will not be optimal to treat all passengers equally.

Yes, terrorist can take countermeasures as a result of security policies. They might train old ladies to become suicide bombers. So TSA has to search Henry Kissinger. But any policy that induces terrorist to work hard will make us all safer.

Schneier argues that profiling Muslims may offend Muslims. Maybe so. It is more offensive to search people in excess of their risk, just to avoid offending Muslims.

Linday changed his name to Abdullah Shaheed Jamal, as a Muslim convert. How is he an argument against profiling?

Schneier's arguments do not say that avoiding profiling makes us less secure. He just argues that it is not as effective as you might guess. So what drives anti-profiling opinions?

I believe that there are two arguments against profiling. First, a leftist-egalitarian belief that if any group is subjected to suspicion, then fairness requires that all groups should be subjected to the same suspicion. Second, that terrorism threats present an opportunity to deprive all citizens of basic civil liberties.

Maybe the TSA is a necessary evil. But it is not necessary or desirable to treat non-suspicious folks the same as those matching the profile of a Muslim terrorist.

Update: Schneier posted his email debate with Harris. The only argument for profiling he concedes is efficiency, as Harris points out that terrorism is correlated with Moslems. But Schneier doesn't believe that TSA does much good anyway.

Monday, May 14, 2012

When Pro-Vaccine Messaging Backfires

SciAm reports on a new study:
Researchers then showed the participants two reassuring statements that vaccines pose little risk. Half the participants read: “There is only sporadic evidence that repeated vaccinations overwhelm the immune system.” The other half read: “There is no evidence that repeated vaccinations overwhelm the immune system.”

Those who were told there was no evidence for risk reported greater concern about vaccination and less intention to vaccinate their child than those who read the moderate messaging.

That makes sense to me. If someone tells me that some medical treatment has no known adverse reaction, that tells me that either he is lying or the treatment has not been studied. The pro-vaccine lobbyists insist on giving dumbed-down propaganda that is contrary to common sense.

In related science news:

"Evidence is mounting that research is riddled with positive bias. Left unchecked, the problem could erode public trust, argues Dan Sarewitz, a science policy expert, in a comment piece in Nature. ...

There's a brilliant line on this in "The science of discworld" - I won't pretend I can quote it 100% accurately off the top of my head but it goes something like this: "In the media you will often read that a certain scientist is trying to prove a theory. Maybe it's because journalists are trained in journalism and don't know how science works or maybe it's because journalists are trained in journalism and don't care how science works - but a good scientist never tries to prove her theory, a good scientist tries her best to disprove her theory before somebody else does it for her, failing to disprove it is what makes a theory trustworthy." ...

Actually, you need to read "The Black Swan" by N. N. Taleb. Science that tries to confirm a theory is already infected with confirmation bias. There are a pile of examples that demonstrate the fallacy of confirmatory inference. Taleb uses a variant of Bertrand Russell's -- a turkey might reasonably infer, based on his daily experience, that humans exist for the sole purpose of feeding him, caring for him, providing for his every need. This might go on for day after day, increasing the turkey's degree of belief in his hypothesis of a good and beneficent humanity filled with love of turkeys, right up to the day that -- ulp -- something unexpected happens.

These are strange ideas about science. Of course it is possible to positively show that measles vaccine is reasonably safe and prevents epidemics. That is why the vaccine is recommended. The package insert also warns of various adverse effects that were reported in studies.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Books on the mind

There is another new book about how the mind works on the bestseller lists. It is Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, by Leonard Mlodinow. Other such books are Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer and Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.

There seems to be endless demand for these books. I heard Mlodinow promoting his book, and he does not have a shred of evidence for the unconscious mind ruling behavior. He claimed that it was based on research of the last ten years, but most of it has been known for centuries. His best examples were optical illusions. These illusions are amusing examples of how the mind can get fooled, but they say nothing about the unconscious or behavior. He disavowed Freud, as expected, but quoted Jung who was just as kooky.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mindreading a talking pineapple

Ever have trouble with reading comprehension tests? The way they work is that the schools buy them from testing companies who hire panel of experts to adapt published literary passages and write questions. The passages are changed for political correctness, and the questions may have little to do with the passages, but instead test for certain thought processes in your mind.

A recent example is an adaptation of a story by Daniel Pinkwater. The test panel changed the rabbit to a hare, the eggplant to a pineapple, added some commentary from other animals, and changed the moral of the story.

It has this summary:

A talking pineapple challenges a hare to a race. The other animals wager on the immobile pineapple winning — and ponder whether it’s tricking them.

When the pineapple fails to move at all and the rabbit [hare] wins, the animals dine on the pineapple.

The grade school students were given these multiple-choice questions:

Beginning with paragraph 4, in what order are the events in the story told?
The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were...
Which animal spoke the wisest words?
Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple?
What would have happened if the animals had decided to cheer for the hare?
When the moose said that the pineapple has some trick up its sleeve, he means that the pineapple...

These questions received a lot of criticism for their ambiguity, but the problem is worse. The questions do not even try to test what the story actually said. They try to test mindreading of cartoon-like characters. Instead of asking what the animals said, it asks about their feelings, motivations, and intents.

Some people say that it is important to test the emotional understanding and empathy of children, and they apparently believe that a child should be able to feel how a moose or a crow might be annoyed at a talking pineapple for being tricked into disbelieving that a rabbit can win a marathon race.

This seems dubious to me. I think that the supposedly-correct answers are wrong. One does not eat a pineapple because he is annoyed by the pineapple. Not even a moose.

Regardless of the answers, a reading comprehension test should test reading comprehension of the actual story, not test for psychological feelings about a moose anthropomorphizing a fruit.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

White babies recognize other white babies

Science Live reports:
New research indicates that by the time they are 9 months old, babies are better able to recognize faces and emotional expressions of people who belong to the group they interact with most, than they are those of people who belong to another race. ...

In the study, 48 Caucasian infants were given the task of differentiating between faces of their own race and faces that belonged to another, unfamiliar, race. In another experiment, sensors placed on the babies' heads detected brain activity when the babies saw images of faces of Caucasian or African-American races expressing emotions that either matched or did not match sounds they heard, such as laughing and crying.

While 5-month-olds were equally able to distinguish faces from different races, 9-month-olds fared better with their own race. Likewise, brain-activity measurements showed the 9-month-olds processed emotional expressions among Caucasian faces differently than those of African-American faces, while the 5-month-olds did not.

While it is plausible that babies would recognize their own race better, they only looked at what white babies do. Maybe white faces are always easier to recognize than black faces. Or maybe faces are easier when they match the race of the baby's care-givers. They study does not say.

The NY Times has an article on some related research:

In guiding early social leanings, accent trumps race. A white American baby would rather accept food from a black English-speaking adult than from a white Parisian, and a 5-year-old would rather befriend a child of another race who sounds like a local than one of the same race who has a foreign accent.

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Scream and other icons

Art news story:
“The Scream” by Edvard Munch broke the world record for priciest artwork sold at auction yesterday, fetching $119.9 million at Sotheby’s in New York City. ... Munch’s painting is ranked in global polls as the second-most identifiable icon, after the“Mona Lisa” and before Che Guevara’s face.
Che? Is that a joke? Here is what a Russian immigrant professor says about him:
Che Guevara is one of the few communist leaders who still has a broad following in the West. Go to any college campus or hip neighborhood and you’ll see plenty of Che T-shirts, Che posters, and even the occasional Che cell phone message. This is extremely unfortunate, since Che was in fact a brutal mass murderer and terrorist, ...
Wow, I would not have guessed that he is so widely recognized.

Osama Bin Laden and Mao Tse-tung also have widely recognized images, but they are recognized as evil leaders. What is Che recognized for? Do all those people know what a criminal he was?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Christian preacher is closet atheist

I posted below an example of liberals calling Christians hypocrites, and here is another example, from NPR radio:
Teresa MacBain has a secret, one she's terrified to reveal.

"I'm currently an active pastor and I'm also an atheist," she says. "I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday's right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that's totally false."

MacBain glances nervously around the room. It's a Sunday, and normally she would be preaching at her church in Tallahassee, Fla. But here she is, sneaking away to the American Atheists' convention in Bethesda, Md.

My guess is that her church is now wondering why they ever hired a female pastor in the first place.

Wikipedia defines:

Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have.[1] Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie. ...

Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. ... Thus, an alcoholic's advocating temperance, for example, would not be considered an act of hypocrisy as long as the alcoholic made no pretense of constant sobriety.

You might also see this definition of a hypocrite:
A person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives
So a Christian preacher is not a hypocrite just because he is a sinner. Christianity teaches that all men are sinners. A black man is not a hypocrite just because he is a Republican. A taxpayer is not a hypocrite just because he favors higher taxes. But a Christian preacher is a hypocrite if she secretly promotes atheism in her spare time.