Human Women To Bear Intelligent Mouse Babies?

Regular readers know how much we love scientists here at Boggart Blog. There is seldom a week goes by in which their weird and whacky research projects and the surreal conclusions they draw from the results do not give us at least one story.

The latest such science story has the added distinction of being the first of a new decade. It concerns science and that eternal obsession of Daily Mail readers, how to guarantee their offspring are child prodigies.

A new scientific study published this week reports in its findings that if women eat plenty of fry – ups during pregnancy they will give birth to brighter children. Now you must remember this stuff is coming from the profession that likes to tell us homeopathy is a load of bollocks. So there you have it, fried foods, for so long demonised by nutritionists are the key to making sure your child is a genius. There’s no guarantee you will live to see them grow up and go on to see great things of course but I’m sure a remedy for clogged arteries is “just around the corner” as they like to say in the world of speculative research.

There are bound to be drawbacks of course, as there are with all medical advances. We foresee the boys down at the local greasy spoon being a tad but out when they cannot get their favourite all day breakfast because the caff is full of pregnant Daily Mail readers stuffing their faces with bacon, two sausages, egg, beans and fried slice in the sure and certain hope they will give birth to a genius while their disappointed looking spouses survey a bowl of museli with trepidation.

Enough of real world stuff though, we must focus on the science. It turns out the fry – up diet for creating little polymaths has only been tested on mice. So will it only work on mice? And how can anyone know if a baby mouse will grow up to be a Mouszart or an Einstein. While the thought of Daily Mail readers giving birth to intelligent, talking mice might explain the paper’s decision to give away free DVDs of Stuart Little last year is amusing, the study once again calls into question of the sanity of science. Like the work on autistic fruit flies and the research project involving mice with Parkinson’s disease one must, must one not, ask how can mouse intelligence be assessed?

They can be trained to poke buttons with their noses to earn a snack, that’s about it. Hardly a qualification for MENSA membership is it. Can you imagine the letter of acceptance:

To Mr Mausus Mus,
Dear Mr. Mus,
We are delighted to tell you that although you failed on mathematics, logic, language and comprehension, spatial relationships tests and critical analysis your score on pushing buttons with your nose to earn a snack was so high you have qualified for MENSA.

We can no more assess mouse intelligence in human terms that we can know it the wee cowering sleekit, tim’rous beasties are suffering from Parkinson’s disease or if a fruit fly is autistic. Just ask yourself how these things can be measured. Go on, ask yourself.

Because if you ask a scientist its odd on they will reply with the usual cop out, “You just don’t understand science.

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22 Responses to “Human Women To Bear Intelligent Mouse Babies?”

  1. The_Walrus Says:

    Now you must remember this stuff is coming from the profession that likes to tell us homeopathy is a load of bollocks.

    Actually, homeopathy is more like a single cell from a bollock, on a planet in a galaxy on the opposite side of the Universe from our galaxy. πŸ™‚

    • ianrthorpe Says:

      Actually I have a mate who suffered from sinus problems all his life. He also has M.E. and last year a change of medication gave him the chronic squitters, His business partner’s wife who’s always been a bit of a flake persuaded him go go to a homeopath. Graham was sceptical, he’s a down to earth guy, but the doctors had failed so he though, “well it’s only water, what harm can it do.”

      Within two weeks the homepoath had sorted his guts and cleared up the lifelong sinus problem.

      Now that doesn’t convince me about homeopathy, on the other hand if I was desperate as Graham was, I might be willing to give it a go.

      Without resorting to the usual scientific bullshit and cop outs can you explain what happened? You’re not allowed to say it’s coincidence because for a problem to disappear within days of a treatment after over 50 years is just too much of a coincidence to be easily dismissed.

      And you can’t say Graham is deluded or gullible because he’s my best mate and I know he isn’t.

      So come on, let’s have the sciientific proof homeopathy does not in some cases give better results than conventional medicine. Then you can explain the UTP phenomenon, why when two insulated conductors in a multicore cable run side by side the data is degraded by crosstalk but if the two cores are twisted around each other the integrity of the data is maintained. Or tell us how giant magneto resistance works. How can all those tiny currents at different frequencies remain discrete as they run through the coating of a computer’s hard disk?

      Just accept there is a lot more that is beyond understanding than there is that we will ever understand.

      You know Walrus, scientists would piss off a lot less people if they admtted as the rest of us can that just because there is no scientific explanation for something it cannot be happening.

      Now that rant was payback for the anticipated knee jerk reaction to all mentions of homeopathy because despite Graham’s experience I think homeopathy is PROBABLY a load of bollocks but I also think this scientific claim about eating fry ups during pegnancy produces more intelligent babies is a load of bollocks. I was merely reminding people that scientists hate non scientific bollocks but are always happy to peddle bollocks that has been produced scientifically by scientists. So where is the difference between these people and the homeopaths?

      • The_Walrus Says:

        You’re not allowed to say it’s coincidence

        …and yet long term conditions really do sometimes go away without any treatment at all.

        Then you can explain the UTP phenomenon, why when two insulated conductors in a multicore cable run side by side the data is degraded by crosstalk but if the two cores are twisted around each other the integrity of the data is maintained

        IIRC it has to do with the induction cancelling the capacitance.

        Or tell us how giant magneto resistance works

        No idea; never heard of it. Your unfavourite source says giant magnetoresistance is a recently discovered quantum effect, whereas I have not had a physics lesson in over forty years, so be fair!

        There’s more out there than we understand, but the amount is reducing. Homeopathy is definitely bollocks unless there is a god, and the thing about fry-ups sounds idiotic, but just might have something to do with the brain being constructed out of surprisingly large amounts of fat.

        By the way, happy new year!

      • ianrthorpe Says:

        Happy New Year.

        You know nothing about giant magneto resistance? You should not have put your computer science books on e-bay. It is thanks to that phenomonon that we can now have 200 gbyte disks where a hundred meg was big not so long ago.

        On the twisted pair thing, even Belkin, a leading makers of high performance cables do not understand how the twist eliminates signal degradation from inducted environmental EMI and side emissions from within the cable. We have to be satisfied with the answer Edison gave when asked hom electricity works. “It works.”

        I’ll ask Dr. Sweetiekins about the fat thing but I’ve a pretty good idea what she will say.

      • The_Walrus Says:

        My computer science books are all quite old, apart from the stuff I’m currently learning about, LAMP and such-like fun. I haven’t even thought about implementing a language for yonks, though I did a couple that people used to buy. Pilot on the Z80, anyone? Thought not… M5? The interpreter and the program fitted in 1K… Some days I miss being able to have the time for that sort of thing so much. These days I don’t even count backwards in hex from 0xFB when going down stairs.

      • ianrthorpe Says:

        Good grief, how many steps are there on your staircase.

        My first computer at home was a Commodore by my IT career started on a Powers Samas tabulator, not really a computer more an HR Geiger movie set prop. Then I moved to a LEO 2.

      • The_Walrus Says:

        OxFB is where to start counting bytes to make a relative jump back to where you are, in Z80… I think I saw a Leo 2 in an OU programme once.

        My first program was punched on paper tape for a small ICL machine, and had a bug in it that got me about fifteen feet of printout off the line printer before it could be stopped.

        Now you are supposed to say that it were luxury having ones and zeros, and claim you wrote a whole database using only zeros…

      • ianrthorpe Says:

        One an’ zeros lad, luxury. Our programmes ran by tipping a thimbleful of water into an eggcup the adding another thinmbleful so the eggcup tipped over into an esspresso cup and so on.
        Medieval water clocks had a resilient OS. They are still running after 500 years, somehow I doubt any Pentium 4s will be even if they have a Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl environment implemented.

  2. luckystar2591 Says:

    hmmmm do you think that means that if they start serving fry ups at the house of commons we might get smarter labour back benchers?????

    • ianrthorpe Says:

      I think their mothers would have to eat the fry ups. And I’m sure they have plenty of wee cowering sleekit tim’rous backbenchers on both sides of the house already.

  3. deleted user Says:

    Sir,

    pushing buttons with your nose to earn a snack might indeed be the most valuable talent one can have in the competition for snacks(read: survival), if snacks are only available when buttons will be pushed WITH THE NOSE.

    I can imagine it will be of no help for all other competitors with great mathematics, logic, language and comprehension, and spatial relationships skills to survive, if they don’t know that snacks are only available when ‘pushing buttons with nose’. In fact, to successfully survive, everyone needs only to know that buttons have to be pushed with nose. This is what science has demonstrated after long and expensive research with mice. You can’t deny the success of said research. :>

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  5. fatsally Says:

    Perhaps it’s vomiting that will give you brighter babies?
    Casting my mind back twenty years even the mere mention of a fry up would have me running, retching, to the loo.

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