Links for 21st January 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The neuroscience of screwing up

    "The reason we're so resistant to anomalous information — the real reason researchers automatically assume that every unexpected result is a stupid mistake — is rooted in the way the human brain works. Over the past few decades, psychologists have dismantled the myth of objectivity. The fact is, we edit our reality, searching for evidence that confirms what we already believe. Although we pretend we're empiricists — our views dictated by nothing but the facts — we're actually blinkered when it comes to information that contradicts our theories. The problem with science, then, isn't that most experiments fail — it's that most failures are ignored."

    Tagged with: sciencescientific-methodexperimentationneurosciencecognitionanomaly

  2. Giant cattle to be bred back from extinction

    ""We've already made our first round of crosses between three breeds native to Britain, Spain and Italy. Now we just have to wait and see how the calves turn out."

    The last [auroch] disappeared from the British Isles in the Iron Age and the breed was declared extinct in 1627 after a female died in the forests of Poland.

    […]

    The last time there was an attempt to recreate the animal was on the express orders of Hitler. The Nazis ordered a pair of German zoologists to recreate the auroch as part of the Third Reich's belief in racial superiority and eugenics.

    Herman Goering hoped to use the aurochs to populate a vast hunting reserve which he planned to create in the conquered territories of Eastern Europe."

    Tagged with: sciencebiologyextinctiongeneticsbreedingauroch

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