"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Sexy Brains 

Research is all about context, external validity, etc. If your new super-antibiotic only works in people with red hair who live above 30,000 ft and drink kangaroo milk daily, you don't have much of a product, and if you've discovered a solution for a problem that may or may not develop in 50 years if and only if nothing is done about it in the next 49, it's a waste of time. And the best kind of context of all is, of course, social controversy.

Earlier this week, Harvard president Larry Summers gave a rather poorly considered talk in which he (rather sloppily) outlined research indicating that women and men are inherently good at different things. Yes, I agree: women at are inherently better at producing eggs than men; men are inherently better at producing semen than women. This talk of course pissed some people off.

But wait! A study released yesterday by the UC-Irvine shows that men and women achieve equal intelligence using markedly different brain regions. I don't think you have to be a neuroscience person to realize how unbefuckingleavably cool this study is. It even makes sense in terms of previous studies that showed women and men being slightly better at different things than each other. It also poses some really amazing questions about the evolution of intelligence: evolution is usually not this inefficient! Why would it 'invent the wheel' twice in the same species?!?!? I can only think of a couple other things that evolved more than once separately (winged flight being the big one), and those in entirely different classes and phyla!

I have too much to say here, because this is SO FRIKKIN COOL! Discuss.

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