Wednesday, 14 July 2010

This is terrible reporting and doesn't even make sense. Also, Gillian McKeith.

MSNBC and the Daily Mail are both reporting a 'science story' (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*cough*) about whether the chicken or the egg came first. Their answer: the chicken. And apparently some scientists said that. Riiight.

Let's have another look at this, shall we? First of all, the Mail quotes a Dr Colin Freeman as saying
It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first.

Now, this guy is not just fucking wrong, he isn't even qualified to say stuff like that in the first place. He's not a biologist at all, he works in engineering.

And then MSNBC report the Mail article like the Daily Mail is a reliable news source. I've noticed US sites doing that a lot, actually. I mean, I know it's not something that's well-known in their country but you'd think they'd recognise this type of reporting from things like Fox News, which has a similar level of ignorant middle-class-white-guy fear-based bullshit.

Thing is, all birds lay eggs. These articles are written as if the only animal that ever laid an egg was a chicken, which is clearly not true at all. Not only are there thousands of other bird species out there, reptiles were laying eggs with shells for millions of years before birds even evolved. So no, mainstream media, the fucking chicken did not come first, the egg did.

Luckily PZ Myers at Pharyngula is already on the case. He has a great post up explaining what the shell protein actually is, rather than ZOMFG CHIKIN CAME FURST LOL.

Science reporting makes me rage so, so hard. It's rare that science articles ever get written by anyone who is even interested in the subject, let alone qualified to write about it. I could have done a better fucking job of this when I was doing my GCSEs- that's not blowing my own trumpet, just saying that a 15-year-old with no qualifications can write better science journalism than the people who get paid to do it now.

As usual, totally going to plug the Guardian. Some of their science stories are total balls too, but they have enough good stuff to make up for it, and the comment threads are always good if you like telling people they're Wrong On The Internet. And yeah, they have Ben Goldacre with his swearing and amazing anti-gravity hair. I have developed a bit of a crush on him, even though (probably because) he's really manic and odd.

On that note, just to finish off on a humorous note: Gillian McKeith, the poo lady, is trending on Twitter and trying to cover up the fact that she was rude to people over her (total lack of) qualifications. Fantastic. I cannot stand her, she is dangerous, and I hope this leads to even more people realising that her 'health' advice is coming from an unqualified quack who thinks photosynthesis can happen inside the human digestive system.

I'll just link one last thing for you:

Dara O Briain talks about Gilliam McKeith.


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