Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Death of Science

You know, it' s a sad day when science gets diluted the same way Major League Baseball, journalism, and television have. Apparently, anybody can be a scientist now and it takes no skills whatsoever. Gone are the days of real research, study, theory, hypothesis, testing, etc. Now we get morons like this:

Scientist disproves town's strange luck
By Paul Hoskins Fri Sep 9,11:23 AM ET

It's official -- scientists have proved that the people of the small Irish town of Skibbereen do not have unnaturally good fortune. But they do seem pretty happy anyway.
The picturesque town near Ireland's southern coast earned a reputation as the country's luckiest after a series of lottery wins.
But Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in England told a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Dublin that he had proved there was nothing particularly lucky about the place.
He bought 50 lottery tickets in Skibbereen and another 50 in Dublin. He didn't fare any better in the country town than in the capital, proving with statistical precision that its luck is little more than a myth.
But that didn't dampen the spirits of the locals.
"They didn't strike me as very superstitious, they struck me as very outgoing and optimistic," he said. "But it (Skibbereen) is imbued with this idea of being a very lucky place."
"I suspect what's happening is that, by chance, somewhere has to do well and it happens to be Skibbereen," he said.
Optimism can be a blessing. Studies show that a positive outlook improves the chances of cancer sufferers, he said. Positive people, who cross their fingers rather than avoiding ladders, perhaps make their own 'luck'.
"It maintains an optimistic world view which can then become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
But he said an irrational belief in good luck can be a very dangerous thing for the hardened gambler who turns negatives into positives so that losses become 'near-misses'.
"When applied to a situation like gambling it can actually be very, very negative."
He proved nothing, other than an Englishman can't win one lottery in either Skibbereen or Dublin. That's not scientific theory at work, that's a skeptic who throws eggs at people and then says, "See, you've got egg on your face!"
Consider this quote:

"I suspect what's happening is that, by chance, somewhere has to do well and it happens to be Skibbereen," he said.

Uhhh... that sounds like "luck" to me. What a moron.

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