Friday, October 22, 2010

Experimental Error: Electile Dysfunction

But if [Christine O’Donnell] and her friends win influence in November, our world will change. What will a Tea Party victory mean for the future of science and scientists? Here are some possibilities:

- The first author on every published paper will be God.

- Personal protective equipment will include safety goggles, a lab coat, and an American flag lapel pin.

- You will save time by generating both your hypothesis and your conclusion before beginning the experiment.

- Despite all evidence to the contrary, 15% of evolutionary biologists will believe that Barack Obama is a Lamarckian.

- The requirement for statistical significance, often p <>

- will be accepted as a peer-reviewed journal.

- All chemical equilibria will shift to the right.

- An emboldened National Rifle Association will insist on the rights of every American to own and conceal scientific equipment. Remember, if Large Hadron Colliders are outlawed, only outlaws will own Large Hadron Colliders.

- All difficulties, especially budgetary issues, will be blamed angrily on the principal investigator, even if the previous principal investigator set the lab on fire before leaving office.

- Scientists, never the most physically commanding people, will have to adopt a variation on the Tea Party's favorite "Don't Tread on Me" flag. Perhaps: "Please Don't Tread on Me, as You'll Break My Glasses."

- Randomized, double-blind clinical trials will be replaced with séances.

- Our species will be renamed Hetero sapiens.


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