Information Is Ammunition: The Importance of Scientific Research

In the Age of Information, we have the answers to virtually any question at our fingertips. With the tap of a finger, we have access to more information at much faster speeds than at any other time in history. The downside, however, is that not all that information is the source of proper scientific research. What does constitute as proper scientific research, though?

In order for research to be considered proper scientific research, it has to follow the 8 steps of scientific research as defined by Aristotle. In addition, credible scientists who specialize in the field in question must also conduct it. It must also be tested and verified more than once; running an experiment once and calling it research isn’t enough! But why is this form of research important?

Knowledge

The base importance is of course, increasing our knowledge. Better understanding of things lead to breakthroughs and discoveries that can help benefit the entire planet. Scientific research is especially important here because jumping to conclusions based on haphazard research, or unsupported conjecture can actually do more harm to people than good.

Identifying Fake “Science”

From flat Earthers to anti-vaccers, we are plagued on all sides by people who are using either misinformation or information being spread by people who don’t specialize in the fields in question (and often times seem to have a poor understanding of the field). Proper scientific research generates the data that’s needed to help protect people from the misinformation being spread today.

Planning For The Future

One key element in scientific research is studying the effects of said research and discoveries. This means that responsibility is taken for the results of the research. Why is this important? Because scientific ethics should not stop at “can we”, but should extend to “should we”. Proper scientific research helps guide scientist in determining what next steps should be taken to benefit the world as a whole.

What practical applications have you found for scientific research in your life? It can be as simple as the step-by-step experimentation to getting the perfect ratio of ingredients for the perfect cookie, to the careful research done to determine the best way to get stains out of a shirt. Let us know!

The REAL Paleo Diet: Science Reveals What The World’s Oldest Mummy Had As A Last Meal

There are a lot of health fads today, and one such health fad is the so-called Paleo diet, which pushes for a low fat diet based on food that can be hunted or gathered. But is that really the way people used to eat in ancient times? A scientific analysis of The Iceman, the world’s oldest mummy, suggests that our ideas of what people ate back in those days may be somewhat off the mark.

Ötzi, the oldest natural mummy, discovered back in 1991 by tourists in the East Italian Almps, is believed to have lived around 5,300 years ago. Recently, researchers were able to locate his stomach and analyze its contents. Here’s what they found in his stomach:

meat

Lots of Meat

As a hunter-gatherer, it was expected that his diet would be high in meat. Most likely to be dried Ibex meat (probably a lot like beef jerky), this was believed to be a staple food source for hunter-gatherers. Drying the meat extended its lifespan and enhanced its flavor. Ibex should have been common and relatively easy to hunt as well, making it an ideal staple for the time period.

Cereals

Not breakfast cereals, of course, but rather einkorn, an ancient form of wheat. Higher in protein than most other wheat, einkorn is more filling. It also has a lot of other nutrients making it a solid food choice, especially for the highly active people of the time. Capable of surviving on poor, dry soil, it would have been an ideal food source for people before agriculture had become a proper science.

fats

Lots of Fat

That’s right. Fat, and lots of it. Fat is an excellent energy source for highly active people and the cold weather conditions of the Alps mean that the body would be burning lots of energy in order to keep warm. In this case, a high-fat diet would make a lot of sense, especially in the winter months, when more energy is needed and food is scarce.

Traces of Bracken

Bracken, a species of fern, can be poisonous if ingested in large doses. The presence of the Bracken in the stomach is rather odd, especially since it wasn’t determined to be the cause of death. At this point, its presence is purely speculation. One theory is that the leaves were used to wrap the food the Iceman had with him. Other theories suggest that the small amounts were ingested to help kill stomach parasites and cure indigestion.

What do you think of the Iceman’s diet? Do you think it’s a diet you’d consider trying?