Friday, June 25, 2010

Fail Quote of the Day: Vox Day bashes scientists, makes ass of himself (redux ×56)

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Hippopotamus yawning
An appropriate sentiment

I just knew that I shouldn’t dedicate the day’s Fail Quote segment to Rep. Louie “baby-terrorists” Gohmert (R-TX), no matter how ridiculous his fear-mongering was. I just knew that if I waited a little longer, I’d find something even more idiotic. And who woulda guessed it: It’s Vox Day with some brand-new anti-science nonsense:

"Yawning is a sign of sexual attraction, scientists claim."

Right, guys. And when a woman doesn't laugh at a scientist's bon mot, it's a sign she thinks he's really charming. Given that the average scientist couldn't score at a convention of nymphomaniacs with daddy issues, I should think they would be among the least credible people on the subject.

And that’s the entirety of his post. Right … So, Vox quotes a single little sentence, without any hint of its original source or proper context, obviously expecting us to take it completely at face value – and then goes ahead with a mindless attack against scientists without presenting a shred of evidence to support his own silly claim. Yes, his derision is very convincing. I even checked the post’s comments (something I usually try to abstain from doing for my own mental health) in the vague hopes that someone would demand to know where the quote came from – but of course, that was being too generous towards their critical thinking abilities.

Now, for the record, I don’t know whether certain types of yawning can, in certain cases, be a sign of sexual attraction in one way or another (elaborated I to compensate for more-than-likely oversimplification by whichever journalist wrote the piece Vox got that quote from). And honestly, I’m not really interested enough to dig around and find out for myself. But the fact that Vox just uses that little quote with no attributive link or indication of its context pretty much instantly voids anything he may have to say about it. Also, you’d think that someone like Vox, who claims to possess a college degree in sciences (can’t be arsed to remember what, exactly), would know some of the very basics of what it is that social scientists do. Such as, say, the fact that researchers who study love and relationships in humans don’t claim to be love-doctors or dating role-models. They merely study love and emotional relationships between people on a bio-neuro-chemical level, and then try to explain these findings coherently to laypeople. Vox’s misrepresentation of this is as blatant as it is dumbass.

Do people really take this moron seriously? I would hope that they were just humoring his delusions, but I’m afraid I’m not that optimistic.