Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Boobquake -- results are in!

Science blogger Blag Hag performed a scientific experiment on April 26th, regarding an Iranian cleric's assertion that immodestly dressed women cause Earthquakes. So she, to challenge this, asked as many women as possible to dress as scantily as they felt comfortable doing on April 26ths, and measured earthquake frequency worldwide before, during, and after the event, which she has joking dubbed the "Boobquake," and has been reported even in mainstream media like CNN.
She now reports that statistically, immodest dressing prevents Earthquakes. Specifically, the maximum, mean, and median values were down. The minimum was up, possibly due to the small sample size. The null hypothesis, that immodest dress has nothing to do with earthquakes, has been upheld.
Blag hag's author, an advanced student and future PhD holder, named Jennifer McCreight, rightly points out flaws in the experiment, as all good scientists would. For one, she notes that having a control was impossible, as we don't have a second earth where everyone dressed perfectly modestly to compare to. She also notes small sample size, numerous possible sources of interference, and a possible error in tactic (based on the cleric's remarks, it may have been ogling, rather than low-cut shirts per say, that sets of the earthquake, and ogling was strictly avoided.)
In any case, an excellent study from Ms. McCreight, who we can expect great things from in the future. Ms. McCreight is a biologist by training.

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