Thursday, March 11, 2010

The 10 most absurd published scientific papers

From Wired online comes a list of 10 absurd but published scientific papers.

Optimising the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: use of a human taste panel. (Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition)
Ok, this reads like we want people to enjoy and use canned food to feed their cats. That's reasonable, I mean, I used to dread opening a can of that nasty crap, so I am with them so far.... but a quick turn into the twilight zone starts when a human taste panel.....? Can you imagine that day? Guy asks you if you want to make some cash being on a science panel...that is cool...out comes the catfood and you have to open it...not so cool. Now taste some (if ya want to get paid~!) and the real bad news has got to be that they had to do this more than once!!!???

Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behaviour. (Journal of Experimental Biology)
Honest? Give a bee some coke and say build a house and make some food. Just imagine this in real life...Here is da toolz and da board oh and a pound of me a house....aaaaaaahuh

Swearing as a response to pain. (NeuroReport)
I would have told them this for free! Same guy above, loaded nail gun, two boards on the ground and he manages to drive one in right between the eyes...bets on the next 2 words he says?

Pigeons can discriminate "good" and "bad" paintings by children. (Animal Cognition)
Hell I know people that can't do this!

The "booty call": a compromise between men's and women's ideal mating strategies. (The Journal of Sex Research)
I don't even care about the question....the idea that someone got a paper printed that is called Booty Call gets a thumbs up from me!

Intermittent access to beer promotes binge-like drinking in adolescent but not adult Wistar rats. (Alcohol)
Maybe its just any day they have access to beer is a banner day for the rats. huh? but I have to ask, what is the base line for non binge behavior in the winstar rat? and is rat binge like a group of rat frats buddies and a dixie cup?

Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time. (PLoS One)
First I hear that a pig can have hours long orgasms and now Fruit Bats get head?

More information than you ever wanted: does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy? (Cyberpsychology and Behavior)

Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull? (Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine)
was this like a field research thing? Case first off, no one is going to waste a perfectly good bottle of beer...Now if its really skunky, it deserves to be broken over someone's head.

The nature of navel fluff. (Medical Hypotheses)
It's gray and often has a serious funk....payme

Complete article


S.M.D. said...

As silly as these all sound (and they really do sound completely nuts, so much so that I can't imagine anyone funding some of these), I guarantee you a lot of these papers expanded our knowledge of the wider field of science to which they belong (particularly neuroscience of humans and animals). Even if the research is absurd, what we gain from the absurdity is a deeper knowledge of a bigger picture. Pigeons, for example, are more and more becoming rather intriguing and intelligent little creatures. No, they're not like chimpanzees or gorillas, but the complexity of their little bird brains is proving to be far more than we give them credit for.

marry said...
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Beam Me Up said...

oh I know you're right and in a lot of cases dead on as well. Then again...check out the films of tests on live pigs and the effects of blow torches...I am no bleeding heart but some of these people need supervision. I just put up the list because of its comedy potential, but I would be the first to admit that I don't have the credentials to call foul on any research project.