Hey, it was probably meant as a year-end joke, in the tradition of Twelfth Night, but—as The Atlantic tells the story,
One joke study from 2007 on the energy expenditure of adolescents playing video games has been cited about 400 times since then, according to a Google Scholar estimate. In 2010 a paper called “Effect on gastric function and symptoms of drinking wine, black tea, or schnapps with a Swiss cheese fondue: randomised controlled crossover trial” that examined just how good or bad it is to drink alcohol with fondue was cited later in studies about wine and heart health, children with ADHD, and gastrointestinal gallbladder emptying. A study called “sex, aggression, and humor: responses to unicycling” was cited in 2012 as evidence for “the evolution of humor from male aggression” and appears in a book called The Male Brain.
In fact, that unicycle study wasn’t just cited by other scientists, it was picked up by the BBC for a story with the headline “Humour ‘comes from testosterone.’” And here is a good example of another issue with these parody pieces. They often fail a basic premise of comedy: Punch up, not down. Using big science words to make fun of women and those who believe in prayer, even if it’s a parody, isn’t funny, it’s sexist and elitist. And formalizing those jokes in a scientific journal such that only those intimately familiar with the schedule that journal keeps (Christmas is for comedy papers, didn’t you know?) is a nice, formalized way to exclude people.
Yes, but if they punched up, they would be dealing with naturalists and Darwinians. Not only do they not wish to brave the fight, it is not a fight they could possibly want to be in, because they largely or totally agree with them. So they go back to punching down.
Follow UD News at Twitter!