Polls and Replication

News stories tend to have certain features which don’t reflect reality particularly well. Firstly, they have to be stories. They have to abstract something from the mish-mash of daily events and turn it into a tale, often with a sensationalist climax. They also tend to be negative, with a few exceptions such as ‘Positive News’. That said, there are problems with the idea of positive news because not everyone will agree on what’s positive.

Scientific reports and research also have their share of problems, partly due to journalistic impingement. For instance, I find it more than a bit suspicious that the genus Homo apparently has so many species compared to other primate genera and wonder if it’s to do with the kudos which “discovering” a new species of human carries with it, along with publicity for the associated institution. There are now said to be seventeen species and subspecies, which given that there are two species of chimp, three of gorilla, two of orangutan and so on, seems a bit excessive.

The rest of this post has been lost. Sorry.

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