Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So where is Casey Stengel when you need a good question ? ?

Today, in typical fashion for your multifaceted blogger, let's start with the sublime and progress to the ridiculous.

For the sublime, my most memorable sports quotes:

(1) "This is like deja vu all over again." Coined by Yogi Berra, famed catcher for many world champion New York Yankee baseball teams, almost equally famous for his quintessentially quotable quotes.

(2) "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." Commonly attributed to writer/broadcaster Dan Cook, in April 1978, when he coined the phrase after the first basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Washington Bullets.

(3) "Can't anyone here play this game?" Spoken in exasperation by Casey Stengel, former manager of many world champion New York Yankee baseball teams, when he came out of retirement to manage the woeful 1962 New York Mets baseball team.

So where do we go today for the ridiculous? How can we miss if we go to the amazing "revelation" splattered acros British papers this very day informing us how the processes of evolution explain why girls like pink and boys like blue. Want to have some head-scratching fun? Check out this link:

www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=476578&in_page_id=1965

Oh, and the link has three really cool pictures too.

Researchers at Newcastle University pinpointed the present-day pink-blue division by presenting more than 200 men and women with a series of colored triangles and asking them to pick out their favourite hues. The stunningly shocking result was that, faced with more than 250 different color choices, the women clearly veered towards pinks and lilacs, while the men went mainly for blues.

How would you like to get beaucoup pounds for stuff like that, eh?

But, oh well, so far, so good.

The rub comes, of course, when in order to avert public scorn and a "Golden Fleece Award" for such a shocking discovery, the "researchers " took off to ... where else ... to evolution. Seems like for yarn-spinning "researchers", evolution is always assured easy money. You can just hear paycheques hitting the bank, Kaching ! !

Anya Hurlbert, a professor of visual neuroscience, thought that "the difference has its roots in evolution and the activities of our hunter-gatherer forebears. While men developed a preference for the clear blue skies that signaled good weather for hunting, women honed their ability to pick out the reds and pink while foraging for ripe fruits and berries."

Professor Hulbert, of Newcastle's school of psychology, said: "The explanation might date back to humans' hunter-gatherer days, when women were the primary gatherers and would have benefited from the ability to home in on ripe, red fruits."

So there you go. If you are a bold soul to ask questions, you might ask, "Hmmm ... since science involves observabilty, repeatability, and falsifiability, where is the science in these wild leaps from profoundly obvious observations into the wild blue (or pink) yonder of evolution? Does this wild leap seem like a fair inference of scientific endeavors, or .... ? Or what?

I wish Casey Stengel were still around to ask, "Can't anyone here understand science?"

When I repeatedly see stuff like this, with evolutionary assumptions to "prove" evolutionary conclusions, it is always like deja vu all over again .. again.

Respectfully submitted,

D.U.

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