Scientists Reveal What They Wish Society Would Better Understand[rebelmouse-image 18359569 is_animated_gif=
It's no secret that scientific literacy is on the decline in the United States, and this has resulted in many people failing to grasp some really basic concepts, like what peer reviewed studies are. Or how statistics work. Or that the Earth is round and goes around the Sun. We need to ramp up science education so we can have a brighter future. Our survival depends on it.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Papers that are peer-reviewed are more credible than one-off reports.[rebelmouse-image 18359570 is_animated_gif=
Just because it's a paper it doesn't mean it's credible. The idea behind peer reviewed articles vs non. Along with small sample size studies are generally not a good representation of the entire population.
Anecdotes are not evidence of anything because personal experience can't be replicated.[rebelmouse-image 18359571 is_animated_gif=
Averages and Sample Size.
So we can get rid of anecdotal evidence, as often seen in the media.
This makes sense, which in science is not usually necessary.[rebelmouse-image 18359572 is_animated_gif=
99% of all accidents happen close to home. BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE YOU ARE MOST OF THE TIME.
We learned this in what, fourth grade?[rebelmouse-image 18359573 is_animated_gif=
Also the difference between mean, median and mode.
Read beyond the headlines, especially for science reported in the media.[rebelmouse-image 18359575 is_animated_gif=
When mainstream media reports something like "a new study shows that...." the conclusion is either exaggerated or taken out of context to make the news article more attractive.
Scientific discovery leading to understanding is not a quick process.[rebelmouse-image 18359576 is_animated_gif=
How long the scientific process actually takes and is accepted by our peers.
I dreamt it would rain, and it rained. Therefore it rained because I dreamt it. NO.[rebelmouse-image 18359577 is_animated_gif=
The difference between causation and correlation.
A scientific theory is supported by evidence and accepted as fact - like evolution, or gravity, and heliocentrism.[rebelmouse-image 18359578 is_animated_gif=
The word "theory". It doesn't mean the same thing colloquially as it does in science. A scientific theory has an overwhelming amount of evidence to support it.
This.[rebelmouse-image 18359579 is_animated_gif=
Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. A lot of people are under the impression they're a magical pill that will cure a lot of symptoms or diseases, when they are only effective against a handful of bacterial infections. Which means your common cold or flu are not treatable with them. So demanding your doctor to give you unnecessary antibiotics when you're sick is unhelpful and possibly even dangerous, as it may lead to increases in antibiotic resistance. This could make the most basic drugs we have completely useless, and return to a Victorian era of common infections leading to death.
This ties into anecdote not counting as evidence for or against anything.[rebelmouse-image 18347126 is_animated_gif=
Sometimes changes are significant. Sometimes they're just random noise. Differentiating between the two is VERY important. See: "Global warming is a hoax cause it was cold yesterday"
Science is a diverse field and not all disciplines are interrelated.[rebelmouse-image 18359580 is_animated_gif=
One that bugs me is that science!=engineering. An astronomer does not build rockets. An aerospace engineer doesn't study expansion of the universe. Both are awesome but they are fundamentally different.
Inertia is real.[rebelmouse-image 18354333 is_animated_gif=
An object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
So remember to wear your seatbelt and drive safely.
GMOs are safe. GMOs are safe. GMOs are safe.[rebelmouse-image 18352527 is_animated_gif=
Genetically modified foods, it is not what you think.
Darwinian evolution explains our physiology. Cultural evolution explains our psychology. Both are real and quantifiable.[rebelmouse-image 18359581 is_animated_gif=
I get a lot of heat when I say this here for some reason, but as an evolutionary biologist with a background in anthropology, I wish people understood that almost all of the behaviors we see in humans around us are due to cultural evolution and not biological evolution.
Cultural evolution is so much faster than biological evolution that these traits we see never had time to develop biologically or to be "hard wired" in. Also, people far too often think that what they see in their culture around them is a universal. One thing I learned as an anthropologist is that for everything we find desirable or natural, another culture finds repulsive or taboo (or vice versa). People are always saying things like, "we do XYZ because back when we were cave men you needed to do it to survive being eaten by a tiger/get more mates" or some such.
Physics explains the how, not the why. At least, for now.[rebelmouse-image 18359582 is_animated_gif=
Physics doesnt know why most things work, we just know that they do work, and we work backwards from what we observe.
Also just because we have small computers does not mean the rest of science is at Star Trek levels.
There is no absolute certainty in science.[rebelmouse-image 18359583 is_animated_gif=
Scientists are the type of person who do not like saying they're 100% certain of anything (we've been hurt too many times before). So if a scientist says "I'm 99.9% sure it will work," another scientist hears "this is worth betting on working, but we live in a universe where there's always a chance of failure." But a non-scientist hears "this isn't something that's absolutely proven and therefore isn't always true."
For example, there has never been a recorded instance of someone becoming infected with HIV while properly taking Truvada (to my knowledge). But still, any advertisement for it says that it has a 99.9% chance success rate.
Though the takeaway here isn't just to round up and consider a 99.9=100. The takeaway is to realize that it's very hard to be 100% certain about anything, and to understand that
It's been proven as fact, time and again, yet people still deny it. It's not even that hard to grasp.[rebelmouse-image 18359584 is_animated_gif=
Science is based on evidence, not opinion or belief.[rebelmouse-image 18359585 is_animated_gif=
Applied scientist here (engineer).
Science is NOT a belief system. Attempting to dismiss something studied and supported using science by saying "well, I just believe something different. How can you expect me to respect your beliefs if you won't respect mine?" isn't valid. Further, science should NEVER set out to prove something is true. It should only find out what is supported by evidence, even if it's contrary to your hypothesis (and possibly desires). Honestly, I wish more scientists respected this.
DNA is the most efficient data storage system known to science.[rebelmouse-image 18359586 is_animated_gif=
Speaking from my little corner of the scientific community, I wish people understood DNA evidence better.
DNA analysis is a fantastic tool! We can detect very minute amounts of DNA, so in some cases we could tell if you've even just touched something. In the past 20 years, the capabilities of analysis have just gotten better and better. You used to need enormous amounts of stain to produce a profile.
This of course has led to DNA evidence being collected for more than just murder. And that's fine -- we're here to catch the perpetrators. (Though it does mean crime labs suffer backlogs as more and more evidence gets sent to us to test.)
The proliferation of the technology and its recent entrenchment in popular culture, however, has led to a courtroom expectation that it will be present in every case, and that there's some sort of failure of legitimacy if it isn't there. They really do call this "the CSI effect," and while it affects the whole forensic community, nowhere is it worse than in DNA.
What DNA can tell you:
- a profile that can be compared to a known standard and a probability of a match can be assigned
What DNA can't tell you:
- how that DNA got there
- when that DNA got there
- whether it's probative to the crime (whether it really means anything)
- whether it means someone is guilty or not
You need more than DNA evidence to convict, and merely having DNA evidence is not indicative of guilt! It needs to be considered as a whole case, not just one piece of evidence.
Please, if you ever get placed on a jury, give your fellow man the proper consideration he's due, and listen to the impartial experts. (Yes, defense lawyers can hire experts to say whatever they want, too, so be careful!)
Listen up, paranoid parents.[rebelmouse-image 18359587 is_animated_gif=
Drugs are expensive so I'm not going to put them in your kids Halloween candy.
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
WHERE TO BEGIN?!
The list is endless.
Half the time all it takes to be better is a little effort.
RedditorMidoriSpicewanted to hear about the lack of skills some people really need to acquire when it comes to sexy time. They asked:
"What makes someone bad in bed?"
I love sex. But it can be stressful. I've always found connection to be one of the best lessons.
CommunicationsGIF by HULUGiphy
"Assuming they already know what their partner wants/likes and doesn't communicate or take any instructions."
Take it Slow
"No foreplay and not caring if your partner is enjoying it."
"I had an ex who literally never wanted to do any kind of foreplay. He just wanted basically sex of any kind for him. He said oral on women was gross."
"Proposing mid intercourse."
"Honestly? With the partner I have, I'd think it was pretty hot and romantic lmao. I'd check in after the deed to make sure he was serious but our relationship is already very serious so it wouldn't be a big deal."
Talk to Me
"Not talking or making any noises. We don't have to dirty talk the whole time or even at all but you gotta let me know you're enjoying it at least."
"I think there's some balance between having some small talk, silence, and dirty talk while being in bed with someone. Or maybe that's just been my experience. I don't know--I think there's some fun in trying to carry a side conversation while having sex lol."
"Friction isn’t always a good thing."
YuckBored Larry Bird GIF by SB NationGiphy
"To this you can add unclipped fingernails."
"And dirty fingernails. Nah, ma'am. I’m betting this is not worth the infection. Thanks."
‘good at sex’
"I have a feeling most men will say 'lack of enthusiasm' and that most women will say 'being selfish about pleasure.'"
"I’m a woman and my first thought was lack of enthusiasm, but my own lack of enthusiasm. The only bad sex I’ve had is when I don’t genuinely want to be there. I’ve had sex with guys who weren’t ‘good at sex’ but still enjoyed it because I was really into them."
"They are convinced they know more about what works for you than you know yourself. Just cause your ex-lover Pat liked technique X doesn't mean everyone does."
"Have experienced this, it sucks. He wouldn’t listen to what I enjoyed, didn’t want me to say ANYTHING even if it hurt or wasn’t working, and would just say something along the lines of 'every other woman I’ve been with liked it.' I’m thinking, all you’ve had are one-night stands, really, so they probably didn’t say anything."
"I’ve had numerous partners and love sex. Crashed and burned with this one and he really crushed my self-esteem and sexual confidence."
"The biggest thing is always going to be selfishness and the inability/refusal to communicate and listen to your partner. I've seriously had a guy yell 'I KNOW HOW TO DO IT!' when I was trying to tell him how I liked whatever he was doing. He then got even more upset when I said 'did you just f**king yell at me? Alright, off, I'm done.'"
FlavorsAmanda Seales Wow GIF by truTVGiphy
"Lack of variety. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean crazy kinks or positions from the karma sutra, but more when it's really predicable. I has an ex that had this weird routine of positions, it was exactly the same every single f**king time in exactly the same order."
Sex. Let's be better at it.
Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Love is so elusive these days isn't it?
Who knows what anyone is looking for in the relationship department anymore.
It's all too exhausting.
But people we keep trying.
RedditorProblemNice5257wanted to hear why so many people are still on the hunt for that perfect one. They asked:
"Why are you single right now?"
I'm single because I've given up. And I'm good. For now.
PeaceSnoop Dogg Reaction GIFGiphy
"I put absolutely no effort into meeting someone."
"Same! Also it's extremely difficult when you feel so at peace being by yourself. The fact that I have to find someone whose presence outweighs my level of comfort being alone seems impossible."
"Hard to meet people when you are a hermit."
"Yeah, I describe myself as a shut-in, lol. I leave my apartment to work, I leave my apartment to buy food, and occasionally I’ll bring out the trash, otherwise I just watch Hulu, play online chess, surf Reddit."
"Same. I've spent months trying to find an apartment I can afford without a roommate and finally settled on a small studio apartment for $1100 a month because I'd rather living in a tiny space and be left the hell alone than share a much nicer place even with a good friend."
"I have too many unsolved issues, i can't in good conscience bring someone else into them."
"Idk your issues but everyone's got some crap. Not sure how unique yours are but everyone's got some crap. It's good to share some of your struggles with other people. Just don't open with it haha."
"Issues unresolved or not, (in my case) only makes it worse when you feel like you could open up to them, and they just take those to use it against yourself afterwards."
"I hardly go out and expose myself to people. I'm uncomfortable with the notion of myself being in a relationship at this point. Also, I'm very dry in terms of personality."
"I spent a year entirely isolated due to covid and now I can't handle physical contact. It makes me really uncomfortable and a hug is enough to make my body shut down. I'm hopeless."
truthCaptain America Lol GIF by mtvGiphy
"Supply chain issue."
"Best answer here."
That's funny. But it feels oddly true.
Ahhh...Think Winnie The Pooh GIFGiphy
"I'm attracted to many, and unattractive to all."
"Last relationship was so toxic, I've sworn off dating, at least for awhile. I haven't had this much free time in ages. It's nice."
"Edit: Hey, it's really great hearing from so many people with similar experiences. Like many of you, I've been taking it in stride and focusing on bettering myself, both physically and mentally. It's done wonders for my health and I feel a whole lot better. I wish y'all the very best. Stay excellent, my friends."
"I'm 35yr old single father to a 5yr old and I work nights. It's hard to find free time to meet someone, especially in my area. If I do have free time to myself, I like staying home and ordering a pizza while drinking some beers and playing video games. I pretty much faced the fact that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life."
"I was in an 8 year relationship (married for two) to my high school sweetheart. Exactly this same time last year, we got divorced because I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend. The best friend I had known LONGER than him and was friends with since fourth grade."
"She was living with us to try to get back on her feet. Yeah lol. So I lost my best friend and the man I had been with for 8 years within the same night. So I moved to another state, got an apartment by myself, and am now single and divorced all by 26. Not really looking unless the right person comes along."
"It’s pretty happy and peaceful now that they’re both out of my life though honestly. You realize people’s toxicity and flaws the most once you get space away from them."
Bad LoopSeth Meyers Whatever GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"Because my relationships end before they even begin."
"This is my story right here."
Alright. Now that we've laid out all the excuses, let's get to matching with some people.
There is no bigger mystery than what happens to us after we die.
But even those who don't practice an organized religion tend to believe that there is a Heaven, a happy joyful place where our souls will remain for eternity.
No two people share the same idea of what heaven would be like, but everyone who believes in it probably has an idea of the first thing they'd do after entering the pearly gates.
Redditor WeDidItGuyz was curious to hear what would be top on everyone's list upon entering the afterlife, leading them to ask:
"If heaven exists, what’s the first thing you’d do?"
Overcome with joy
"In all reality?"
"Probably cry for about 30 minutes because the biggest existential fear at the very core my humanity has now been lifted."
"If Heaven exists, like 50% of the awesomeness is just the very fact that it exists."heaven gate GIF by South Park Giphy
A re-match long in the making
"Ask my childhood friend Kevon for a race."
"He used to beat me handily when were younger (9-13) and he’d always brag."
"When I got older and faster I moved away so I was never able to race him again."
"We arranged for a race but he was shot multiple times and bound to a wheelchair until he passed a few years ago."
"I wanna race him both in our prime."- Abethegreat1
Reunite with loved ones
"Find my husband, give him a huge hug and never let go again."
"Live our forever together."
"I f*cking love him and miss him so much."- jessdfrench
"Embrace my sweet wife and tell her how proud I am of the kids."- RifleShower
"Try to find my brother."
"Man, I miss him."
"He died in 2020 at age 34."- grummlinds1
"Give my mum and dad a big hug."- goonerjack007Miss U GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
Achieve the "firsts" we never got to do
"Find my son and have a beer with him."
"Something we never got to do in real life."- tanukis_parachute
Hone new skills
"Try to play Smoke on the water on my harp."- Ashtar-the-Squid
The joy of doing nothing
"Rest."- BanzaikoowaidCare Free Black Girls GIF by AuroraDrawsGiphy
Live on without pain
"Enjoy my healthy back without pain."- Knackbein_
Who knows what's in store for us after our lives come to an end.
But living with the idea that something wonderful awaits when our time has come is all people need to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and treat others with the respect and kindness they deserve.
"Fun facts" generally refers to a tidbit of information about a specific topic which the general public might not have otherwise known about.
But the first word in that term can be misleading.
Indeed, some "fun facts" reveal information that isn't remotely "fun" in the slightes.
Redditor Alternative_kachocho was curious to hear some "fun facts" which were anything but fun, leading them to ask:
What's a 'fun fact' that isn’t fun at all?"
Ironically, something you likely don't think about...
"Your brain blocks you from feeling your organs moving around inside you."- Aydengeist06
Try watching Finding Nemonow...
"Only one in a thousand sea turtles born actually make it to adulthood."- Sebs_123
Shocking new light on an age old classic
"In the books, Stuart Little was never explicitly called a mouse."
"He's pretty much described as a deformed mouse-esque person born form human parents."- Red_Beard47stuart little mouse GIF by VIASAT3Giphy
Nature running it's course...
"There's a bird that feeds its younger offspring to the eldest."- Teacup_Cult
I have no allergies... yet
"Speaking from personal experience here, but your body can randomly decide to become allergic to damn near everything edible at any time."
"Not very fun."- smallemochick
Those poor, innocent creatures.
"In some regions of Australia, 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia, which poses a threat to the species' extinction unless a vaccine is created or widespread koala culling takes place."- tiffanyjcrusekoalas kiss GIFGiphy
They'd still be here if they weren't so delicious...
"The giant tortoise was so delicious, it caused not only itself to be hunted to extinction, but also the dodo."
"Giant tortoise meat was supposedly better tasting than chicken."
"It's fat tasted better spread on bread than butter."
"Also, it was the perfect food for sailors at the time, as their bladders stored 1 litre of purified water, and they could survive without food in hibernation for almost a whole year in the hull of a ship."
"Not to mention, because they evolved without humans, they were easy to hunt."
"You could tie one to your back, and roll another to the ship and they would just let you."
"It was so delicious, they went unrecorded for a long time because expeditions to bring living samples of wildlife to Europe kept eating them on the way."
"Conversely, the dodo, while as easily captured by sailors, tasted awful."
"It was completely unpalatable."
"HOWEVER, one day, someone discovered if you cooked dodo meat in the more delicious tortoise fat, it tasted just like chicken."
"So now, sailors were hunting a few tortoises at a time for their fat and water, storing them, and then hunting dodos on the daily."
"Overhunting, plus the introduction of rats to the environment (because sailors) which would eat eggs, led go the population to decline at a rate they could not breed to keep up, leading to both animals going extinct."- Kyhan
Don't forget the nose plugs
"Antarctica smells like penguin poop."
"Antarctica is a desert, it is too cold for bacteria to live."
"Nothing there to clean up penguin droppings."
"If you are close enough to see penguins, you will also smell them."- gummby8
Makes those long lines so worth it...
"The TSA missed 96% of contraband during an inspection in 2015."- omegasix321All Falls Down Tsa GIF by Kanye WestGiphy
"The person who had the first facial transplant had her face chewed up by her Labrador dog while asleep due to sleeping pill overdose." - User Deleted
It's hard not to read some of these "fun facts" and wonder if there should be an alternative term for the facts which aren't fun.
Oh yeah, probably not....