Do you think a million *drunken* monkeys with typwriters would still come up with "Hamlet"? Or would it be more probable that they produce "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"?
Posts: 866 | Registered: Dec 2003
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quote:I'm going to start compiling a list of useless research studies.
quote:People get paid to research the stupidest things.
Yes, because research that could provide incites into treating and preventing alcoholism are stupid .
If Brian had presented this article differently, these sorts of comments wouldn't be brought up.
"Hey check this out, scientists are studying the affects of alcohol in other primates to better understand the social and genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism in order to better understand the factors which contribute to human alcoholism."
Would people still come in, and by reading a blurb, dismiss these peoples' work with half a thought?
For the record, my comment of "What a great job to have" was not because I think the research is pointless. It's because I'd like to hang out with monkeys all day, and what better monkeys than monkeys that know how to party?
Yep, just me and the monkeys, doing some shots. No harm could possibly come from that.
quote:Would people still come in, and by reading a blurb, dismiss these peoples' work with half a thought?
The article wasn't actually about treating or preventing alcoholism- it did not seem to suggest to me anything that we do not already know about humans and their likelyhood to turn to alcoholism. It was about the effects of alcohol on primates at the simplest level:
quote:The fact that different animals consume very different amounts of ethanol suggests that the neural systems in the brain that govern alcohol consumption differ in macaques as they do in humans.
The article is perhaps more of the problem than the actual study. It reports nothing.
On the other hand, I do see your point, Xavier, and I was a little harsh- we do not know the results of a study until we have completed it. Something in the study could have revealed something very important indeed about alcoholism in humans.
However, upon reading this article again I still wonder what exactly the researchers were looking for. Nothing listed, from when the monkeys use alcohol to when they appeared to show withdrawal symptoms seems to be particularly ambitious on the part of the scientists. It is a pretty well historically established fact that most animals react to alcohol in the same way that humans do. It could be that the article is focusing on the drunk-monkey side rather than any really interesting discoveries.
Or perhaps this is the sort of basic study that goes on all the time before the deep stuff (you know, like "water is wet") and the only reason this particular one gets an article is because it includes drunk monkeys- a misguided attempt at humor- misguided because the article does not read as being deliberately amusing. In this case it is the article that makes a minor study seem like it was attempting to do something important, when in fact it is the following studies (as hinted at by the last sentence) that deserve the attention.
If someone approached me and asked for money to do the research as it is presented by the article my response would probably me that this is a rather odd thing to research. Are we researching the monkeys and their likeness to humans or the alcohol?
So yes, I still say there is something silly about this study.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003
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Ha! I just noticed this article linked on the sidebar of that first one: Monkeys Pay to View Sexy Photos! It's not enough that scientists are getting monkeys drunk, they're selling them porno now too!
quote: Camerer said it was "no surprise" that male monkeys "really like looking at female posteriors."