How Not To Do Science – Bedhopping Aristocracy

We’ll not bother to go into who gets this wrong, the Telegraph or the scientists, but wrong it is. What they’re measuring is the rate of unacknowledged, or even unknown, bastardy. While claiming to be measuring the rate of bastardy. The two really aren’t the same thing.

The myth of the bed-hopping aristocracy has been debunked after researchers discovered that historically the lower classes are 12 times more likely to have had illegitimate children than those of higher ranks.

See More

When They Become British Stick Insects Stop Bonking

And quite right too, none of that bringing your filthy foreign habits over here. A particular species of stick insect immigrated with some plants perhaps a century ago. And since then they seem to have gone off bonking and now reproduce asexually:

A New Zealand stick insect that migrated to the UK more than seven decades ago has given up having sex and become asexual, prompting biologists to wonder about the use of sex at all – especially in Britain.

See More

In A Strange Way This Still Doesn’t Solve The Veal Problem

At first sight this new sperm selection method will solve the veal problem. At second sight it won’t – perhaps, on the third it will again.

The veal problem being that a cow needs to have a calf each year if she is to continue to produce milk. Female calves go on to be milk producers – lovely. Male calves, well, these days, they get shot on Day 1. Because we don’t preferentially eat the meat of dairy cattle, it ending up, at best, the in the frozen gunk and therefore being of low value.…

See More

Scary Indy Headlines – Nuclear Edition

Soviet nuclear submarine emitting radiation ‘100,000 times normal level’ into sea, scientists find!

It’s actually quite an interesting story – Soviet nuclear sub wreck found, actual images, cold war secrecy etc. here.

But that deliberately scary headline, wow. 100,000 times!! It might lead the reader to conclude a nuclear explosion is imminent under the Barents Sea.

Except it is 100k times normal seawater. That is 100k times sod all.

It’s a vent on the sub occasionally wafting out puffs of more radioactive water.…

See More

Cheddar Man Tells Us Something Different About Race And Immigration

It is depressingly true that much science – for example, of the roots of homo sapiens and thus of humanity – is politicised. Rather than a description of what happened we get things distorted through the lens of what people think should be happening now. So, for example, where and when Homo Sapiens turned up in Europe becomes an almost Whiggish story of how Europeans – white of course – scaled ever greater heights of humanity while other areas remained Neanderthal or even Erect.…

See More

Donkey Intelligence Is Heritable – A Bit. Bang Goes The Lefty Theory Of Education

There is a particularly idiot belief over in some corners of the left that we human beings are just tabula rasa. The human being, at birth – or perhaps conception – is not just equal in moral worth to all other humans but is equal in all manners. Particularly and specifically, all of us are equally intelligent. This is why we must all have the same education – for it is only environmental factors that lead to differences in either intelligence or life outcome.…

See More

You’re Right, Your Mobile Is Vastly More Powerful Than The Apollo Computer

A nice little working through quite how much more powerful your iPhone is than the Apollo computer that took men to the Moon:

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

See More

No, Really, Humans Eated The Megafauna Into Extinction

The Observer gives us a listing of five megafauna that are, sadly, no longer with us. Well, actually, with Megalodon we’re probably rather happy they’re not. Sharks four times the size of Great Whites would make surfing a more than unusually exciting pastime.

The interesting thing about their list is that of the five it’s us humans that ate the four non-Megalodons into extinction. So much for that idea of the naive human hunter gatherer living in harmony with nature, eh?…

See More

Crimea Fried Ostrich – And Then We Eated It

Another marker to put down about the extinction of the varied megafuana. A lot of which went extinct just as human beings – or varied ancestors of – turned up in the same area. The usual bit being that we eated it.

There is, sadly enough, a common misconception about our ancestors. Nature loving, that Rousseauesque fantasy of just drinking the clear water, munching on the acorns that fall unbidden. That humans don’t thrive on acorns matters not a whit to those who share this fantasy of an Elysian past.…

See More