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The gay squid makes the front page of the New York Times. And the faster-than-light neutrinos do not. Which means what?


Recently, we looked at James Barham’s “The Apotheosis of Richard Dawkins in the Age of Bunga Bunga” (The Best Schools, September 28, 2011). One interesting point he raises is the curious case of the gay squid:

What are gay squid? They are small creatures, less than six inches long, that live half a mile down in the Pacific Ocean. Belonging to the species Octopoteuthis deletron, these diminutive molluscs lead a solitary existence in the dark.

One consequence is that the males shoot packets of sperm against any member of their species, make or female, hoping, one supposes, for the best. Hence the “gay” label.

A more thoughtful person than feature writer James Gorman might wonder whether it will turn out (the vast majority of the ocean being unexplored) that – in addition to its other troubles – the squid is plagued by a predator that mimics a receptive female? Predatory fireflies have been known to play this “fast date = last date” trick on the males of prey firefly species … If so, shoot first and ask questions later would seem wise, not wasteful. In any event, Barham asks,

But what is this article doing on page one? Why was it given more prominence than the incomparably more consequential article on Friday about the apparent evidence that neutrinos may—in direct contradiction to one of the hitherto best confirmed scientific theories überhaupt, i.e., Einsteinian relativity—be capable of traveling faster than the speed of light, which was relegated to page six? (The longer feature article on Saturday on the same subject—similar in scope to the O. deletron article—was buried on page 10.)

Well, as he notes, the author of the article more or less tells us:

. . . [O. deletron] is the latest addition to the hundreds of species that are know to engage in same-sex sex. Over the years, scientists have added one creature after another to the list, making it clear that although Nature may abhor a vacuum, it seems to be fine with just about everything else.

In other words, the purpose of the article is explicitly to promote the gay lifestyle (even thought the scientist interviewed didn’t like the term “gay squid” – because, of course, they aren’t, really.

Does anyone really believe that the O. deletron story would have appeared on the front page of the Times if we were not intended to understand that it was about gay squid?

No, and that’s part of the reason that the Times’ circulation has been tanking for years.

And there is a realistic concern that they – along with similar media – will want a government bailout, and control over the Internet – for social justice reasons, of course. (We tell people what they ought to hear.) What other motive could there be?

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I'm really enjoying all the "just-so" stories that purport to explain the motives of the NY Times - e.g., It's about promoting the gay lifestyle, it's all an ideological collusion etc. For a group that despises just-so stories they seem quite good at devising their own. I've actually no real idea why one story was on page 1 and one is on page 6. We would have to ask the editors of the NY Times for their reasons. Or we could make stuff up. Of course I could come up with my own just-so stories - e.g., people are more likely to have heard of squids rather than neutrinos etc. Who knows, and frankly is it really that important? woodford
And some people may like it when science has to backtrack, because if Einstein is wrong, then maybe that guy Darwin was wrong too about people evolving from apes, right? I don't know why, but comparing Einstein (even with his possible errors) to Darwin seems really creepy! gpuccio
Also Dr.Rec neither has it been confirmed that the squid are actually gay! Nuetrenos are definately way more interesting. PeterJ
Its more of a collusion than a formal conspiracy. They can't actually bury, so they contain and control the flow of scientific information. A) September 21, Page A1: Gay Squid B) September 23, Page A8: Neutrinos And if you don't believe me, here is direct evidence of the underlying worry from Joel Achenbach of the Washington post:
"And some people may like it when science has to backtrack, because if Einstein is wrong, then maybe that guy Darwin was wrong too about people evolving from apes, right?"
Ahhh. The truth doth manifestith. Exactly as I said, it is about maintaining at all costs science as a foundation of assigned authority to anchor a specific ideology. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/post/cern-neutrinos-dont-disprove-einstein/2011/09/23/gIQAmehHrK_blog.html So based on the observed evidence, I infer that the Washington post and the New york times are involved in ideological collusion. junkdnaforlife
The grand conspiracy to bury a "challenge to foundational laws" that would "be a blow to the authority of science as the *end all be all* source for knowledge and understanding of the universe and everything in it" resulted in the NYT publishing TWO articles, one on page 6 and one on page 10 about the supposed faster than light neutrinos, which are hardly confirmed. DrREC
FTL neutrinos is a lot harder for non-geeky readers to follow. I'm puzzled that you think editorial decisions made by NYT somehow are a basis for criticizing Darwinists. Maybe the NYT just wants to sell more newspapers. Neil Rickert
The reason that the faster-than-light-neutrinos did not make the front page of NYT is because *any* challenge to foundational laws would appear to be a blow to the authority of science as the *end all be all* source for knowledge and understanding of the universe and everything in it. Therefore a secular ideology based on this premise, (the ideology the NYT pushes) would then be struck in the knees, loosing some of the leverage illusion-ed by their assigned authority. It follows then that an argument in favor of their world view looses a few teeth. This can not happen. Better go with the gay squid. junkdnaforlife
And the faster than light neutrinos were not? Come on, Darwinists, you're going to have to come up with something better than this. As the cop said when he caught the fellow stuck in a narrow window of a house where nobody knew him ... When we put up posts re the FTL neutrinos, stats show we got FTL attention. We wouldn't get anything like that for gay squid or stick insects that don't have sex. Or furtive ants that do. We didn't happen to cover the gay sex squid, but we did the others, so we have some basis for measuring interest. News
Perhaps it made page one because it is independently interesting to science fans. Neil Rickert
You wouldn't care to explain why the article made page one? It's nothing much EXCEPT for that. As everyone really knows. News
I think the reason the faster-then-light neutrinos aren't prime time yet is that the scientists themselves are seeking verification. It is an observation in need of some serious backing. As opposed to this actual, kinda interesting, documented find. I thought the NYT article was fairly even handed: "Dr. Hoving ,.... was ready for people to conflate squid and human behavior and announce the discovery of gay squid. He fended off that notion, reiterating that the squid has no discernible sexual orientation, and that a tentacled invertebrate that shoots sperm into its mate’s flesh really has nothing to do with human behavior." vs. "the purpose of the article is explicitly to promote the gay lifestyle" DrREC

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