Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Science: Of Tabloids (And Numbers)

It is almost a shame I didn't run across this gem before posting the previous snippet...

On the other hand, I think I was lucky because - unlike poor hacks at El Reg - I do not have to browse The Sun, virtually or otherwise. No wonder professional journalists have such short life expectancies! But, on yet another hand, this story ties in quite nicely into my previous post, being such a blatant abuse of statistics and scientific method the like of which one can see rarely. That is, unless one is forced (or - shock, horror! - likes to) read the tabloids. Because, according to The Sun's in-house medical "expert" we should all base our opinions of Nintendo 3DS health effects - ill or otherwise - on a "scientific" study involving precisely one non-randomly (in other words hand-picked) subject, who by all accounts probably isn't a volunteer either - at least not in the sense of a proper scientific (as opposed to "scientific") experiment. And then, even if none of the above mattered, there's the point of the exercise, both the experiment and a games console. If gamers wanted to lower their heart rates and adrenalin levels they'd all be listening to whale-song while meditating about the Big Blue - and I don't mean the IBM.

Having said that, I have seen an ant in my back garden today - it must be an infestation! Run for the hills...