The Daily Dose: The stale Eurocentric worldview takes another body blow

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Causation or correlation? They’re often linked at the hip and confused for one another. They’re also albatross around the epidemiologist’s neck. Lately, a genetic hack has allowed scientists to discern one from the other. According to Nature,”genetics has transformed how people untangle correlation from causation. But it has come to raise epidemiology, not bury it. Genetic differences, it turns out, can help remove confounding variables from analyses, by standing in as proxies for environmental exposure. The technique is called Mendelian randomization.”

Predatory journals represent a major problem in science. Not only does the research community pay the price (literally) but so does Science. Now Nature reports, a consensus appears to have been reached. “Leading scholars and publishers from ten countries have agreed to a definition of predatory publishing that can protect scholarship. It took 12 hours of discussion, 18 questions and 3 rounds to reach.” Now, if only institutions could lighten up on the “publish at all costs” incentivization.

The Eurocentric worldview that still dominates so much thought continues to take hits. A cave painting discovered in Indonesia is forcing researchers to rethink theories about the origins of figurative painting among humans. In this case, the artwork is roughly 44,000 years old, much older than anything currently known in Europe. As per Science, “That would make the cave scene at least 4000 years older than other instances of figurative ancient rock art found in Indonesia and Europe, and some 20,000 years older than the oldest depictions of hunting scenes in Europe. In 2018, scientists dated some examples of disks and abstract designs from caves in Spain to 65,000 years ago, but these were attributed to Neanderthals, and some scientists have challenged the dating.” This probably won’t be the last time an old school of thought is torn down unceremoniously.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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