The major problem I have with science reporting (and there are more than a few issues!) is that they treat everything as "new". New study confirms/finds/discovers the following EXCLUSIVE. Except the following had been proved a million times before and it really shouldn't come as a surprise.
Take this news story: Homosexual behaviour widespread in animals according to new study. Anyone with a vague interest in science will know this is not a new thing!!! It goes on to suggest the study has found evolutionary advantages to homosexual behaviour, which the article treats as a revelation. Sorry guys, this too is OLD news.
I mean really if you have half a brain you'd think "Hmm... all these gay animals, it can't just be random." It's not. Each species involved has got to that point for various reasons. In a few it'll have no advantages, but in most it will and the advantage will be individually tailored to the species involved (like gay black swans, who find a female, breed with her, then drive her away and bring up the chick. With two males looking after the chick it has a higher likelihood of survival hence the evolutionary benefits). It's a no brainer. There's even a very extensive study published in 2006 on the evolution of homosexuality (here).
If only studies were reported with this in mind.
Maybe it's because I spend hours listening to sceptic/science podcasts every week, but the state of science reporting is something to be sad about (thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Ben Goldacre)
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