reconcile evidence

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Senior Member

I see that it is a pretty common usage. For ex:

"Overweight and obesity: Can we reconcile evidence about supermarkets and fast food retailers for public health policy?" (Random google search, the title of an article by Deborah Viola et al.)

I am not sure which of these meanings it refers to:

  1. (often passive) usually followed by to: to make (oneself or another) no longer opposed; cause to acquiesce in something unpleasant: she reconciled herself to poverty
  2. to become friendly with (someone) after estrangement or to re-establish friendly relations between (two or more people)
  3. to settle (a quarrel or difference)
  4. to make (two apparently conflicting things) compatible or consistent with each other
  5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, etc)
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In order for "reconcile" to work in this sentence the writer has to be trying to make the facts fit a preconceived theory. The key is to rationalize the "fit" to the guess or theory.

    This is a flawed way to work (but efficient); it is efficient because you tend to collect facts that only support your theory, and you get a "conclusion" much quicker that way.

    The right way to work is to assemble the facts and see where they lead you. There is no "reconciling" required if this is done correctly.
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