From “Bateman’s Sexual Selection: Another Darwinian Pillar Falls” (Evolution News & Views June 18, 2012), we learn:
Angus John Bateman, working on fruit flies in 1948, published his findings which became known as Bateman’s Principle: the idea that males tend to be promiscuous (because sperm is cheap) while females tend to be choosy (because eggs are expensive). This principle, so impressive with its math, jargon, and presumed application of the scientific method, seemed to support Darwin’s theory of sexual selection.
It took on a life of its own, especially after R. L. Trivers in 1972 and S. J. Arnold in 1994 brought attention to it. According to Gowaty, Kim and Anderson, who decided to test it, citations soared and “Bateman’s Principle” took on paradigmatic status. They note that “legions of graduate students” have read the paper since it was published.
Then, on examination, it all collapsed, leaving the authors of the open access paper asking,
… why earlier readers failed to spot the inferential problems with Bateman’s original study. The main implication we take from the present study is one earlier critics made: The paradigmatic power of the world-view captured in Bateman’s conclusions and the phrase “Bateman’s Principles” may dazzle readers, obscuring from view methodological weaknesses and reasonable alternative hypotheses….
To say nothing of loss of a chance at tenure if doubt is expressed.
But at this point, why even be surprised? Almost all research into Darwinism these days is done in order to triumphantly announce some confirmation that is either imaginary (how music spreads selfish genes) or far too trivial to demonstrate the Darwinist’s theory of how new species form (the prevalence of one pigment colour over another, in a moth species, due to selective predation).
Darwin’s true believers don’t care if research is shoddy; they busy themselves trying to get papers that question their beliefs blocked from journals.
It would be fun to be in Texas when the next round of textbook approvals comes up, to hear the Darwin lobby demand that Bateman be given top billing anyway, for the same sorts of reasons as they don’t want the fact of stasis to be taught.