jm + myths   2

Neurosexism: the myth that men and women have different brains
The history of sex-difference research is rife with innumeracy, misinterpretation, publication bias, weak statistical power, inadequate controls and worse. Rippon, a leading voice against the bad neuroscience of sex differences, uncovers so many examples in this ambitious book that she uses a whack-a-mole metaphor to evoke the eternal cycle. A brain study purports to discover a difference between men and women; it is publicized as, ‘At last, the truth!’, taunting political correctness; other researchers expose some hyped extrapolation or fatal design flaw; and, with luck, the faulty claim fades away — until the next post hoc analysis produces another ‘Aha!’ moment and the cycle repeats. As Rippon shows, this hunt for brain differences “has been vigorously pursued down the ages with all the techniques that science could muster”. And it has exploded in the past three decades, since MRI research joined the fray. Yet, as 'The Gendered Brain' reveals, conclusive findings about sex-linked brain differences have failed to materialize.
brain  men  nature  women  gender  sexism  neurology  neurosexism  myths  debunking 
22 days ago by jm
Europe Is Warmer Than Canada Because of the Gulf Stream, Right? Not So Fast
The common tale—the one bandied around for more than a hundred years—goes something like this: Warm water flowing to the northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico—the Gulf Stream—cuts across the North Atlantic ocean, bringing extra energy to the Isles and driving up temperatures relative to the comparatively-frigid North Americas. The only problem with this simple explanation, say Stephen Riser and Susan Lozier in Scientific American, is that it doesn’t actually account for the difference.
gulf-stream  myths  ireland  europe  science  currents  ocean  temperature  climate 
february 2013 by jm

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