(Roughly) Daily

Caveat Lector!…




A July 2011 hoax study correlated Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage, specifically asserting that Microsoft Internet Explorer users had a significantly lower I.Q. than other users. The study was reported by over 30 news outlets including NPR, Forbes, CBS News, San Francisco Chronicle, The Inquirer, and CNN. The perpetrator made little effort to conceal the deception by publishing it on a freshly created domain name with a parking lot as the corporate address, and was surprised that so many reputable outlets did no fact checking.  [source]

From Nature, help:  “Twenty Tips For Interpreting Scientific Claims.”


As we marshall our grains of salt, we might spare a thought for Herbert Spencer; he died on this date in 1903. A prominent philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era, Spencer was an early champion of evolutionary theory; it was he who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” (some scholars suggest, before Darwin published).  Spencer’s enthusiasm for evolution spread to what has become known as Social Darwinism, the belief that society is governed by the same principles of natural selection as species (though Spencer also stirred in a measure of Lamarckism).

Spencer’s work was widely-known and discussed; he was probably the first, and possibly the only, philosopher in history to sell over a million copies of his works during his own lifetime.  Indeed authors ranging from Eliot and Hardy, through Tolstoy and Shaw, to Lawrence and Borges have cited his influence.




Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 8, 2013 at 1:01 am

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