Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Nominal Determinism theory of science vindicated again

Heavily pigmented subjects for twin study
In important recent research not from the Riddled Research Laboratory, it emerges that when Scottish people consume a few extra pieces of fruit or vegetable per day to break the monotony of their usual porridge-and-deep-fried-Mars-bars diet, then other Scottish people can detect the slightly less anemic, slightly yellower appearance of their skin, due to the carotene and such as. The effect is subtle but detectable as long as subjects do not include Scotspeople who spend time in the sunlight, of whom there are so many. This is good news for colour scientists looking for twin studies; not so good for the proprietors of tanning parlours. The first author's name is predictable:

The authors further claim that the vegetable eaters were also seen as healthier and more attractive. News reports have been focusing on this part of the study. Sadly, it turns out in the small print of the Methods section that Whitehead et al. built the assumption that yellower = sexier into their staircase scaling procedure, which would have gone all cattywumpus for subjects who leaned the other way and found albinism more of a turn-on.

Better mating potential
Needless to say there is an Evolutionary Psychology angle here, with the usual plonkers arguing that humans have evolved to detect slight differences in skin yellowness so we can see which members of the tribe have been eating more fruit & veges and are therefore more desirable as mates.

Decisions, decisions.
If the authors had done their job without the pre-assumed conclusions, and found (say) that yellower = less sexy, the same nimrods would have found a Evo-Psych just-so story for that instead (e.g. a less plant-based diet indicated better hunting skills or higher social status; while surviving despite the self-imposed health handicap of eating fewer vegetables was a sign of general fitness). If they had found no association between yellowness and TEH HAWT, this would once again have vindicated the premises of Evo-Psych (what with the bulk of human evolution taking place in Africa among ancestors with melanised skin -- yellowness not an issue -- before the recent mutation that turned some of us into partial albinos).

Potatoes were not counted as a vegetable.
Researchers were sponsored by the Unilever Corporation, manufacturers of fine ketchup-based products, which may or may not be a vegetable.

26 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I saw this fellow perform in Jamaica once.

Pretty good, was my rating.
~

Rachel said...

Deep fried pickles are amazing!

As for the skin colour of the Scots, this study didn't even mention the purply mottled tones that predominate all over the body all winter, nor did it factor in smoking as a cause of yellowness, nor the over-consumption of cream, butter and milk lending an added unhealthy puffed-up whiteness, nor the alcoholic facial redness that tints so many, nor the preponderance of skin tags on necks and armpits of the obese creating unsightly shadows... need I say more?

Once again you've shown us the perils of shoddy research - to have a people so ill-defined!

Smut Clyde said...

I saw this fellow perform in Jamaica once.
I thought of using an image of Yellowman. No, I said, no-one will know who he is.

Substance McGravitas said...

I shudder to think about the diet of Eek-A-Mouse.

el Manquécito said...

It wasn't until after I'd spent some time in Ireland that I appreciated Joyce's fine, detailed descriptions of the great variety of pink facial blooms of the country.

Saw Yellowman, meh. Crackhead misogynist. Really liked the Jolly Boys but the only yellow they had was the whites of their eyes.

Smut Clyde said...

Drinking Screwdrivers makes you attractive! You read it here first!

wiley said...

When are they going to explain the guy who would fuck a woodpile?

fish said...

Your data proves my theory that spray tanning is an evolutionary imperative.

vacuumslayer said...

I would think the relative thinness of people who eat lots of veggies would have a more significant effect on their perceived attractiveness more than any sort of skin tint, as we so idolize thinness these days.

Smut Clyde said...

In the'preference part of the study they started with a couple of 'reference faces', and photoshopped a whole spectrum of increasingly yellowised versions. Subjects had to look at two versions and decide which was healthier / more attractive. The idea was to see how small the difference had to be, to be noticeable.
Choosing the *less-yellow* version as healthier or more attractive was a Wrong Answer, and did not count... so the final conclusion, that people see the carotened version as healthier, is complete bullshit.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The authors further claim that the vegetable eaters were also seen as healthier and more attractive

This shows obvious anti-conservative bias.

subjects who leaned the other way and found albinism more of a turn-on.

Submitted without comment

vacuumslayer said...

Choosing the *less-yellow* version as healthier or more attractive was a Wrong Answer

Guh?

Substance McGravitas said...

Evidently I have evolved for more efficient ass-scratchingness.

tigris said...

If I ever re-enter the dating scene, I'll forgo make up and just develop jaundice.

Smut Clyde said...

Guh?
This up, I am not making it.

Submitted without comment
Plz excuse lack of Elric of Manlybone. Couldn't find the image that I had in my head.
Post also needs more Noi.

vacuumslayer said...

If I ever re-enter the dating scene, I'll forgo make up and just develop jaundice.



Hubba hubba!

No, AutoCorrect, I do not want to type "Hubbard Hubbard." thanks.

vacuumslayer said...

Evidently I have evolved for more efficient ass-scratchingness.



Is it getting hot in here or is it just the jaundice and ass-scratching?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

More often than not he cuts class to go to the local gas station, where he frequently breaks into the slot machine and rigs it for an assured jackpot.

VEGAS, BABY!

Truly an uplifting tail, S.C.
~

Another Kiwi said...

Also, porridge and deep fried Mars bars diet needs ketchup for veges.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

No, I said, no-one will know who he is.


you wound me, sir.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Either way, still hurtful.

exford legs said...

I heard about a guy who wanted to find out which of his housemates was stealing his food: He carefully defrosted his lasagne and put loads of beta carotene in it. Refroze the lasagne, and voila a few days later: 'oompa-loompa-coloured stoner housemate.'

Smut Clyde said...

Refroze the lasagne
HEALTH HAZARD!!

Scott Chansoder said...

Further to Rachel's comment, it should be noted that purply-blue is the normal skin-tone of the newborn Scot, which requires a quick five hour minimum blast of a sunbed set to stun to gain the familar translucent peely-wally tone seen on Amy Pond as she ably assists Dr Who.

Smut Clyde said...

peely-wally

Now there's a turn of phrase I haven't heard since Glasgae.

Kathleen said...

I shall 4ever refer to this post