Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cutting-Edge Scientific Research

The following information is not--I repeat--NOT from The Onion. But it is from Yahoo News, which is the next best thing. 

Someone (maybe the orange lobby?) funded "proverb-busting research" concluding that an apple a day may not, in fact, keep the doctor away! Yes, friends. According to this study, "daily apple eaters had just as many doctor visits as those who ate fewer or no apples."

As long as we're throwing research dollars at proverbs, why stop with this one? Let's put science to work and debunk these important proverbs, too! In fact, I think it's already been done:

  • The pen is mightier than the sword: A double-blind study showed that murders attempted with pens were 99.9% less successful than those committed with swords.
  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease: This study showed that the squeak of most wheels is ignored until it finally becomes unbearable. At that point, the vehicle's owner sprays all four wheels with WD-40 while he or she is at it, so the unsqueaky wheels receive the collateral grease benefit of the squeaky wheel's squeak.
  • There's no such thing as a free lunch: Studies show that if you are willing to listen to pitches from time-share companies trying to sell you a ski condo in Colorado or a vacation bungalow in Key West, there is in fact such thing as a free lunch. However, the study did not include participants who believed in the proverb "time is money."
  • A watched pot never boils: In a controlled study, three groups of people put water on the stove and watched the pots continuously. All of the pots eventually boiled, usually within seven to ten minutes.
  • If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself: Clinical studies show that if you're a cardiac surgeon, you shouldn't try to build a house, and if you're a carpenter, you shouldn't try to perform heart surgery. Both of these efforts tended to result in wrong outcomes.
  • Good things come to those who wait: Two groups of people sat around waiting for a really long time, and neither got anything that good, or at least not anything better than the control group who didn't wait at all.
  • Everything happens for a reason: In a years-long study of millions of happenings, at least 75% were found to have happened for no apparent reason whatsoever.

UPDATE: My dad informs me that the medical journal from which this study derives published it as an April Fool's joke! I am very relieved, although my unshakeable faith in the veracity of everything posted on Yahoo News has been forever shattered.

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