of no fixed subtitle
September 21, 2009
Scanning Dead Salmon in fMRI Machine Highlights Risk of Red Herrings.
12 years ago
This must be a zombie fish. Kill the brain, and you kill the zombie!
Isn't it possible that there was still some brain activity in the dead fish? If I were a scientist instead of writing about false readings from the fMRI I would want to repeat the experiment but with the fish's vision obstructed, as a control. This would either lead to an interesting paper called "Brain death versus heart death in salmonidae" or could start a meme like Schrödinger's Cat... "as insightful as a blindfolded dead salmon".
"Isn't it possible that there was still some brain activity in the dead fish?"
more brain activity than in some Republicans
If you connect a 9 volt battery to a volt meter (to see if it's dead yet) and the meter reads 18 volts what would you do? - An engineer would throw the battery away because it is out of range and therefore defective. - A journalist could publish a "Cold fusion re-discovered?" story ("and the risks for your family!") . - A religious person might worship the new super battery. - But a scientist (if they are a
scientist) will (1) Get very excited! (2) Try the reading again to make sure it is repeatable (3) Get another meter to see if the meter is broken/different (4) Get another battery and hook it to the first meter (5) Find out what is different about that battery (which was stored below a jug of bleach and right beside the charger for a cell phone) by doing some more experiments.
(with apologies to any offended journalists, religious people and fake scientists)
Now if an experiment (or control or calibration) shows a dead fish appearing to see and think then the wrong thing to do is to say "well that must be a wrong result because we all know that dead fish don't think". The scientific thing to do is to put a blindfold on that dead fish and run it again. The more unexpected the result the greater the need to investigate.
No, I don't really think the zombie fish was thinking either. But my point here is about the discipline needed to do science. Or it's no penicillin for you!
The salmon was just pining for the fjords?
A dead salmon has rigor. Science demands rigor. What two things go together? Dead salmon and science! TA DA!!
Not sure if he was thinking of a dead fish, but... "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is." - Dan Quail
Nice quote... though Dan Quayle might be distressed to hear it was repeated by a game bird.