Scientists announce the latest in a long line of obvious conclusions

Scientists investigating why birds fly in a v-formation have completed a long and expensive study, before coming to a conclusion that was obvious to everybody else in the first place.  The news that birds do this to utilise slipstreams to make flying less tiring has, in fact, been known for decades and has advanced scientific knowledge in no way whatsoever.

Interestingly, this isn’t a new phenomenon in the scientific world; many studies have been carried out which have resulted in announcements that could only be described as absolutely bleedin’ obvious.  A recent investigation, for example, has concluded that drinking alcohol every day can lead to memory loss in middle-aged men.  With no further investigation whatsoever, I can confirm that this would also apply to young or old men and, indeed, to women.  In spite of the fact that I have just saved the scientific community a large sum of money and a considerable amount of time, I can confidently predict that they will not be thanking me for providing this information.  The sad truth is that they enjoy making these completely predictable announcements and enjoying the brief limelight that accompanies them.

While the current glut of scientific information regarding the shocking revelation that sugar is bad for us is omnipresent throughout the media, in spite of the fact that losing teeth, gaining weight and developing diabetes were all adequate clues, scientists are beginning to panic about where to turn next in order to maximise attention.  I have some suggestions for research proposals:

  • Study to determine whether cats like sleeping
  • Investigation into the correlation between insomnia and tiredness
  • Mapping the extent of woody flora in bears’ preferred defecating sites
  • The religion and denomination of popes since Peter the First

Of course, I could tell them the answers, but I wouldn’t want to spoil their fun.

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4 thoughts on “Scientists announce the latest in a long line of obvious conclusions

  1. Nicely put, there was one scientific study which shocked me when it was published and that was the study of bee behaviour. They came up with one obvious fact, the dance indicates the location of sweet nectar which everyone knew anyway. The less obvious result was that bees cannot fly. I mean really, what do they do then? Walk in the air?

  2. Hehe. I remember that discussion. they’re not aerodynamic enough for flight!! I should collect a load more of these. Can’t count the times I’ve said ‘Well – obviously! to scientific announcements. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. Scientists go out and methodically collect the data to prove (or disprove) their hypotheses, rather than just rely on ‘common sense’, which is unreliable, & in practice means whatever happens to agree with your particular prejudices. Actual facts are often counter-intuitive – for centuries people thought it was obvious the sun went around the earth, until science proved otherwise. There is a hell of a difference for instance,between simply asserting that drinking causes memory loss, and having a reliable peer-reviewed set of data that actually proves this. Don’t belittle the scientific method – it has dragged us out of the dark and bought tremendous advances. Most of the studies you mock so readily were actually undergraduate projects designed specifically to challenge students rather than advance human knowledge.

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