Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. Original image here
Many news outlets will be trying to pull the wool over your eyes this April Fool’s Day, and we here at Science Friday are no exception. This Friday on the show, we’re talking to Zach Weinersmith, webcomic artist and founder of BAHFest, the annual festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (or “BAHs”). Held every October, this satirical festival brings together bona fide scientists and science groupies to present well-argued, thoroughly researched, but completely incorrect evolutionary hypotheses. How incorrect? Consider this hypothesis, presented by BAHFest 2014 winner Michael Anderson, which attempts to scientifically explain the existence of middle-aged men’s “spare-tires”:
Don’t quite buy Anderson’s argument? That’s a sign of a BS-detector in working order. But just how good are you at detecting Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses? We cooked up an April Fool’s Day quiz to put your BS-detecting abilities to the test.
Each question below presents three possible evolutionary hypotheses. One of these is a REAL hypothesis that scientists are considering, and that we’ve covered here on Science Friday. The remaining two hypotheses are complete fictions made up by our SciFri staff.
Your Task: Spot the real hypothesis amid the BAHs.
Which of these is a REAL hypothesis scientists are considering?
(1) That long flap of skin that hangs off of a male turkey’s beak is called a “snood.” (Now you know!)
The story you just read is freely available and accessible to everyone because readers like you support The World financially.
Thank you all for helping us reach our goal of 1,000 donors. We couldn’t have done it without your support. Your donation directly supported the critical reporting you rely on, the consistent reporting you believe in, and the deep reporting you want to ensure survives.