Cleverly Sifting Science
How to gauge how sound the academic mainstream in a given field is likely to be, and how justified one would be to dismiss contrarians out of hand.
When looking for information about some area outside of one’s expertise, it is usually a good idea to first ask what academic scholarship has to say on the subject. ...The trouble is, this is not always the case. The fact that a view is way out of the academic mainstream may imply that it's bunk with near-certainty, but it may also tell us nothing if the mainstream standards in the area are especially bad. I will discuss some heuristics that provide a realistic first estimate of how sound the academic mainstream in a given field is likely to be, and how justified one would be to dismiss contrarians.
Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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