Even… more… ludicrous teleology from evolutionary psychologists

November 9th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evolutionary psychology, mail, telegraph, times | 40 Comments »

If academic funding was determined by newspaper coverage we would never research anything but MMR and evolutionary psychology.

Which is fine. Read the rest of this entry »

Imaginary numbers

September 1st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in cash-for-"stories", evolutionary psychology, statistics | 36 Comments »

[This piece got massively cut for space in the paper, fair enough but personally I can’t bear to look. Here’s the last version I saw, with added email action from Professor Weber at the bottom.]

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
September 1st, 2007

“Jessica Alba has the perfect wiggle, study says”. You have to respect a paper like the Telegraph, especially when they report an important piece of science news like this on their news pages, especially when it gets picked up by other people like Fox news, and especially when it’s accompanied by a photograph of some hot totty. “Jessica Alba, the film actress, has the ultimate sexy strut, according to a team of Cambridge mathematicians.” Read the rest of this entry »

Pink, pink, pink, pink. Pink moan.

August 25th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evolutionary psychology | 103 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday August 25 2007

I want you to know that I love evolutionary psychologists, because the ideas, like “girls prefer pink because they need to be better at hunting berries” are so much fun. Sure there are problems, like, we don’t know a lot about life in the pleistocene period through which humans evolved; their claims sound a bit like “just so” stories, relying on their own internal, circular logic; the existing evidence for genetic influence on behaviour, emotion, and cognition, is coarse; they only pick the behaviours which they think they can explain while leaving the rest; and they get themselves in massive trouble as soon as they go beyond examining broad categories of human behaviors across societies and cultures, becoming crassly ethnocentric. But that doesn’t stop me enjoying their ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

All men will have big willies

October 21st, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, cash-for-"stories", evolutionary psychology, references | 57 Comments »

This article was cut to a deflating wiffle in the paper, 650 down to 400 words, here is the last version I touched.

Ben Goldacre
Saturday October 21, 2006
The Guardian

“All men will have big willies”, said the headline of the Sun. This was the story of Dr Oliver Curry, “evolution theorist” from the Darwin@LSE research centre. “By the year 3000, the average human will be 6½ft tall, have coffee-coloured skin and live for 120 years, new research predicts. And the good news does not end there. Blokes will be chuffed to learn their willies will get bigger – and women’s boobs will become more pert.”

Where did this story come from? And does it stand up? Well, what has been represented as important Read the rest of this entry »