An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

September 17, 2010


Filed under: funny — Tags: , , — Radical Scientist @ 8:18 pm

There should really be a science-specific word that parallels Stephen Colbert’s truthiness. It’s not exactly falling for psudoscience (since that kind of ‘well it seems like it should work this way’ thinking might or might not lead to bullshit conclusions).  ‘Common sense’ lends an air of approval that’s not such a good idea, and ‘intuitive’ sounds too technical.

There was some essay I read as a kid on exobiology, purporting to explain that there’s a good chance life has to be carbon based,  because living systems need to be able to build a super wide variety of molecules, and nothing is as flexible as carbon while still being reasonably common anywhere in the universe. Maaaaybe silicone, they said, but it’s hard to get that much silicone together, even after a supernova event. I have no idea if that logic is even plausible, let alone based on any kind of evidence other than that we happen to be made of carbon, and it’s working out pretty well for us.

So, any nominations? Factish? Data-ey? Scienceful? What do y’all think?



  1. “Anecdote” doesn’t cover it? lol

    Comment by Emily S. — September 17, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

  2. hmm, I’ll think about it. I agree that there is a need for such a term.

    Comment by KC — September 18, 2010 @ 5:19 am

  3. Emily, I wasn’t exactly thinking of anecdotes (or their cousin, anecdata, though that’s closer). I was thinking more about extrapolation, guessing, and sciency urban legends.

    Comment by Radical Scientist — September 18, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  4. that being the case, maybe “scienceful” is a great idea. i liken it mentally with “artful.”

    Comment by Emily S. — September 18, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

  5. I like truthiness for science. Maybe technocrapical? Something involving “crap” would make me happy.

    Comment by Jac — September 20, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

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