I have to say I'm pretty skeptical of the stork/baby causation. A lot of the sciencey types decry the N=1 results that many of us lesser bloggers like to bring up, but I'm loathe to simply abandon my own empirical experience. I was present throughout the entire birthing process when my son was born and I can say with confidence (p < .05) that there were no storks present. However, adults blink, on average, ten times a minute, so I am willing to keep an open mind, because that's what science is all about, amiright?
To be fair, Mr Jaminet seems to favor a hybrid theory that encompasses both storks and the theory of sexual reproduction (ThoSR), which should really be called hypothesis of sexual reproduction, in my opinion. Although ThoSR is now considered quaint by most of the cutting edge researchers in the field, there are still many who find merit in its approach.
But where Paul goes wrong, in my opinion, is in his proposed experiment to test ThoS. I dropped a comment at PHD to highlight some of my concerns with his proposed experiment. While I applaud Mr Jaminet's proposal for a blind study, I don't think he goes far enough in isolating confounding variables.
Paul Jaminet would like to place couples on stork farms and chicken farms and fit the chickens with stork beaks to act as a blind control. As I pointed out, I don't think this experiment qualifies as real science. Paul's experiment simply doesn't take into account many of the important factors:
- Epigenetics - what sort of epigenetic effects will a stork bill have on a chicken?
- Genes vs Environment - Is stork behavior really 100% genetic? What about cultural/environmental influences? What's to stop chickens from acting like storks once they are equipped with stork bills? I propose a lengthy set of identical twins vs fraternal twins studies to resolve this burning question.
- Blind? Why not double-blind? - I propose that everyone taking part in the study wear blindfolds. It's the only way to be sure.