Category: Environment

Suarez: Nature or nurture? BBC expert unable to specify, quoted extensively nonetheless

2014-06-25_13-30-00

Reasons why footballer-biting-other-footballer resulted from nature (i.e., the passing of traits from parent to offspring at a biological, or genetic, level):

“I would suggest he is hard-wired in this way. It’s not something that’s going to come out of his character with a few sessions with a psychologist…It’s in the man.”

That was “leading sports psychologist” Tom Fawcett, quoted by the BBC.

The implication is that interventions aimed at curbing such biting will prove to be futile because this guy is biologically pre-programmed (i.e., hard-wired) to do these things, and his behaviour is not accounted for by his experiences or environment. Thus, giving him new experiences ought not affect his behaviour.

Reasons why footballer-biting-other-footballer resulted from nurture (i.e., the emergence of traits in a person’s lifetime as the result of life experiences and environmental conditions):

“The formative years of people’s development do contribute to their personality. If you look at his history, Suarez had a fairly hard upbringing, which would have been fighting for survival – he was streetwise.”

Tom again. Continue reading “Suarez: Nature or nurture? BBC expert unable to specify, quoted extensively nonetheless”

Bandwagon latest: ‘Science news’ with tenuous World Cup relevance doing the rounds right now

1. Analyzing John Brooks’ Dream About Scoring the Winning Goal

Source: Time.com, ‘HEALTH’ section (17 June)

One-line summary:  A US soccer player scored a goal and then says he previously had a dream about doing so. So then, can your dreams predict or influence your future? Scientists say maybe or maybe not. By which they mean: ‘Actually not.’

We know it’s on the bandwagon because they say:So while it’s not exactly ‘scientific’…

World Cup relevance: 4/5

Science relevance: 2/5

 

2. The Story Behind the Foam That World Cup Refs Use To Stop Cheating

Source: Gizmodo.com (17 June)

One-line summary: That vanishing spray, invented in 2002, is now on TV a lot. So without actually explaining how it works, here’s what a ‘free kick’ is.

We know it’s on the bandwagon because they say: Continue reading “Bandwagon latest: ‘Science news’ with tenuous World Cup relevance doing the rounds right now”

Stop Press: Some kids are crap at computer games, one chimp is not

chimpgamer

Is it me, or are sample sizes just getting smaller? I mean, last time round we had that scare story warning us that the art of parenting is being destroyed by smartphones — you know, the one based on observations of 40 adults in a fast food restaurant in Boston. Turns out that 40 adults was just scientific extravagance. You can actually spot the end of humankind on a much smaller budget.

This time our evidence of the descent of humankind into species-wide stupidity is from a study sample comprising twelve children. Yes, twelve.

The sample was boosted by the inclusion of some chimpanzees. Four chimpanzees to be exact, although only one of them proved to be of any interest (I presume the other three just scratched themselves and threw dirt at the experimenters). Continue reading “Stop Press: Some kids are crap at computer games, one chimp is not”

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