Sunday, July 29, 2007

5-Second Rule

It's amazing the things that scientists get paid to test - like the 5-second rule for dropped food. A Washington Post article has quotes from three different scientists about the rule. Doesn't everyone (including scientists) know that the rule isn't scientific? That it is simply an ackowledgement that "yeah, it's dirty, but I don't think this dirt is going to hurt me"? The part of the article that makes the most sense is the comments (from non-scientists) about social norms and how people use the rule to fend off the disgust of other people. The scientists are undoubtedly right in their results, but they are completely beside the point. Confusing science and culture can result in some pretty silly-looking science!

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