This week in “I already knew this, no thanks scientists”

(1) Someone gave scientists a grant to figure out that, the heavier a pregnant women is, the heavier her baby is likely to be. We already knew this. Newton showed that if you put a heavy object X inside of a lighter object Y, you get the weight of X plus the weight of Y. That gives you the weight of Z.

(2) Someone gave scientists a grant to figure out that, insofar as you continue drinking habits into youth, you feel like you are still a kid. We already knew this. Newton showed that an object that stays at rest does so precisely because it doesn’t do anything new. Those who remain immature, will remain so.

(3) Someone gave scientists a grant to figure out that, the less you sleep, the more obese you are. We already knew this. While Newton did not show it, other people showed that when you sleep, you are not eating. The less calories you consume, the lest you weigh. Mutantis matandis, as they say, the more you sleep, the less you eat!

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3 thoughts on “This week in “I already knew this, no thanks scientists”

  1. Change less to fewer 🙂
    And lest to less.

    The less calories you consume, the lest you weigh.

  2. Your process: take an experimentally proven hypothesis that agrees with common intuition (they “seem” or “feel” as if they are true), and then present a fallacious argument in an attempt to prove it yourself.
    For (1), what you used doesn’t have anything to do with Newton at all. You just said that for a system, the total weight is the sum of all the weight in the system, which just basic intuition. It doesn’t prove that heavier women have heavier babies. Hypothetically speaking, a woman weighing 200 pounds could have a 4 pound baby inside of her, and the mass would add up to 204 pounds. While a 100 woman could have a 10 pound baby, and the mass would add up to 110 pounds. Nothing about that violates your proof. If there happened to be no statistical correlation between baby birth weight and the mother’s weight, nothing would violate your proof. Even without your “proof” it does seem to be reasonable that heavier woman have heavier babies. However, one cannot just say, “It seems about right, so therefore it is true. We already knew that, science!!” because many times, things that “feel” like they are true, aren’t really true at all. That’s why they need to be tested.
    Number (2), clear misapplication of Newton’s first law. While it is quite a cute analogy, what works for objects does not necessarily work for the human psyche. You’re saying: “Newton’s laws works for the objects. Therefore it is proven to work for psychology as well!”
    Number (3): you are confusing your variables. The scientist who did the experiment probably made sure to control the variable of calorie intake. That is, all of the participants in the experiment were required to eat the same amount of calories each day, to make sure that the variables other than sleep were controlled. In the meantime, all you do is assume that people who sleep less spend the extra time chugging down food. The hypothesis does not question the effects of lifestyle on obesity: rather it questions the effects of sleep and ONLY sleep on obesity.

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