Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Daily Mail’s war on science

The Fail has outdone itself with this idiocy.

Women have called the shots at home for millions of years, scientists claim

Scientists may finally have confirmed what every woman from Raquel Welch to Wilma Flintstone has always suspected.

Even back in prehistoric times, the female of the species was very much the boss.

A study has found evidence of ‘alpha cavewomen’ roaming the plains and calling the shots while the menfolk slobbed at home.

Needless to say, the study said no such thing.  It said that in one area there’s evidence that more females than males had arrived from outside the area. Here’s how Nature reports it.  There’s no suggestion at all that the result imply females were alphas: that was entirely fabricated by the Daily Mail.

The Mail again, in possibly the most stupid collection of ‘paragraphs’ ever written:

It also raises the intriguing possibility that Fred Flintstone, the eternally henpecked half of the cartoon partnership with Wilma, might actually have mirrored life on Earth all those centuries ago.

And that Raquel Welch, the doeskin-bikini-clad heroine of One Million Years BC, could have got her movie portrayal spot on.

Alpha cavewoman appears to have travelled far wider than her male counterpart, the research showed. She might even have been the one who went out clubbing, so to speak – reversing the popular conception that it was the bloke who bashed the girl on the head and dragged her home by the hair.

But something seems to have happened to the evolution of the species after those times between 1.7million and 2.4million years ago.

A couple more millennia would have to pass before female independence re-emerged with the bra-burning liberation of the Swinging Sixties.

Not only is this astonishingly stupid, ignorant and glib, it also manages to be numbingly sexist. The ‘joke’ that women are in charge because as everyone knows they nag their husbands was never funny. Besides, in the Flintstones, Wilma was confined to the house doing housework, so the ‘joke’ doesn’t even work.  But at least it was an excuse to put a picture of Raquel Welsh in a fur bikini.

But we all know that Mail readers are terrified that women might one day achieve equality.  The greatest harm of this article is to science.  Look at one of the first comments:

What a silly conclusion these scientists arrived at! All right, so the evidence of strontium in teeth showed that men largely lived and died near their birthplaces, while half of women were likely to find new homes during their lifetime. Since when does this translate to "alpha cavewomen roaming the plains and calling the shots?" The real explanation is obvious. It was men, warriors, who owned and guarded tribal territory. This remained largely unchanged except for new conquests, so more men stayed put. Women on the other hand were traded and exchanged with other tribes, possibly in exchange for property, possibly taken in raids on occasion. However it was done, swapping women among different tribes was a healthy practice that avoided the problems of inbreeding. Naturally this meant far larger numbers of women than men were moved around during their lifetime.

- Cal Brock, Phoenix, Arizona, 02/6/2011 06:44

OK, so the guy’s an idiot and there’s no reason at all to take any notice of what he says.  I hardly know where to begin pulling his bullshit apart.  But he demonstrates very well that when the media fabricate stories, people believe them.  They believe that scientists are stupid, that science is a pointless exercise at best and that science funding should be cut, except possibly for researching cures for whatever their family members died of.

Shame on Paul Harris and Fiona Macrea (wait a minute, it took two people to write this?) for writing this sexist, anti-science, idiotic crap.

No comments:

Post a Comment