Magic chef

I’m not a scientist, but I imagine that if I were a scientist I’d hate science reporting in mainstream news even more than I already do. Take, for instance, this recent study conducted around whether chimpanzees would trade in a piece of raw sweet potato and wait to receive a piece of cooked sweet potato in return rather than eat the raw bit immediately.

This study was intended to test a few hypotheses about human evolution and patience and understanding of how a tool or device can transform something else, I guess. It was hard to tell what exactly the scientists were looking for and what they concluded because in the hands of the NY Times the story, much like the sweet potato bit in the scientists’ shake-and-bake device, transformed into:

  • CHIMPANZEES WOULD COOK IF GIVEN THE CHANCE
  • CHIMPANZEES CAN COOK A MEAN POTATO, RESEARCH SAYS
  • CHIMPANZEES ARE LIKE TEENAGERS COOKING POT PIES IN THE MICROWAVE

After watching the video, I felt like CHIMPANZEES ENJOY A GOOD CUPS-N-BALLS MAGIC TRICK ESPECIALLY WHEN PROVIDED WITH SNACKS would have been just as accurate a headline.

So yes, I’m annoyed with the current state of science reporting. And yes, I have to admit I’m mainly annoyed because I was expecting to see a monkey chef preparing a delicious dish. Thankfully, YouTube provides what the New York Times cannot.

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