Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Git Your Science-based Dog Theory


Open access until February 6th to Behavioural Processes, New Directions in Canine Behavior, (Vol 110, Pages 1-13):

3 comments:

jeffrey thurston said...

Maybe two of these are valid scientific questions- MAYBE... as for the rest- (eg. "Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris) prefer petting to vocal... etc.) these are problems made up by leering middle-aged professors who need grants with which to attract underpaid preferably female undergrad assistants! Anyone with common sense can answer these questions (errr-ah-duuuhhh-Why do dogs play?) yet here we have $100,000 to $200,000 a year professional educators laughing all the way to the bank!

PBurns said...

The good news is that they are free. The bad news is that you would have to pay me to read them. Agreed, that most of these are questions no one has ever asked in the real world and no one is waiting to listen to the answers, even if there are any.

jeffrey thurston said...

I guess it's good that they are free- but really- aren't they just the "publish" part of our "publish or perish" way of doing science here? The made-up sciences (psychology for example) kill millions of trees a year publishing fantastical theories backed up by self-fulfilling biased data. Even "hard" science has a lot of BS involved when expert speculation is involved. I used to be interested in the mysterious giant squid (Architeuthis Dux) - I always though how cool if it was like the one in "1,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Verne. The squid experts in the 1990s all said it was nothing like that- it was a supposedly phlegmatic floating creature eating sinking debris- barely able to move. Then one was filmed and WOW! - a writhing aggressive devil of a squid just like in the book! So even actual scientists are sometimes wrong when they speculate. The mushy sciences like canine behavior or psychology or "neuroscience" are pure puffery... IMO