0 thoughts on “Proof that Science (and the media) is Tackling the Important Stuff

  1. Cecily

    Maybe it’s because I have a passing interest in physical anth, but I find that study interesting, even if the New York Times gave it a stupid headline. Most paleontology and evolutionary bio doesn’t have a practical application; that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means. It’s just knowledge. In this case, there actually are some potential applications — for example, I can imagine this research helping people design pillows specifically to ease pregnant women’s backs, et c.

    Plus, as the researcher pointed out, it’s more evidence that we aren’t designed. While evidence doesn’t convince the nuts, it may sway the undereducated common person who might be convinced by the nuts.

    Everyone has their own opinions of course, I just don’t think this is a waste of time. And as I said, some science genuinely IS ‘pure science’ (completely for the sake of knowledge, not useful) and I think that is usually worth doing too.

  2. Jenee

    I agree with you generally, Cecily, but I do have one thing to add. I don’t think that ‘pure science’ is something for the sake of knowledge that isn’t useful. I don’t think it is possible to categorically define any knowledge as useless. There may not be an IMMEDIATE application for that knowledge, but all information that we can gain has the potential for some use.

  3. Heather

    This article was better than I thought it would be, actually. The headline is *very* dumb, but it really was just a research piece.

  4. Cara Post author

    Yeah . . . even if you disagree with my position that the whole thing is unbelievably stupid, there are at least three problems. One, as has been pointed out, is the headline. Two is the fact that the headline actually makes sense, because they actually researched this question specifically — it’s not like someone was doing research on the spine and came to this conclusion in the process of said research. Someone apparently sat down and said “hey, pregnant women are kind of like weebles! I wonder why.” Three, this morning the article was number two on the list of most emailed news stories from the New York Times. It’s currently number four. I stand by my original opinion that there is something seriously fucked up, here.

  5. Ran

    Sorry, but the headline doesn’t make sense; everyone already knew that pregnant women handle the center-of-mass-shift by leaning back. The real question was, what other effects might this have? And one answer is that men and women have evolved slightly different spine curvatures.

    (Note that headlines are not usually written by the same person as their articles, and headline editors tend to butcher science headlines even more than journalists tend to butcher science articles. It’s generally a very bad idea to judge a scientific study by an article about it.)

  6. sabrina

    I actually read this study on a science blog. It’s actually pretty important because its useful in studying the evolution of bi-pedalism in humans. Its totally evo-devo stuff but for us trying to get our ph.d’s in vertebrate paleontology its pretty interesting:)


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