Neil deGrasse Tyson is a pseudo-intellectual

Death runs after - at a maximum of 1.36 meters per second

I beg your pardon? Who comes up with that? Well, the British Medical Journal has proven it in a paper: In a study of 1705 men over 70 years in Sydney, Australian scientists were able to find that men who move at an average speed of 0.82 meters per second (measured at two Runs of six meters each) on foot, most likely to die, while no study participant who was still able to walk faster than 1.36 meters per second (which corresponds to an hourly pace of almost five kilometers) died - from which the authors sharply conclude:

The Grim Reaper’s (for example: the Grim Reaper) preferred walking speed is 0.82 m / s (2 miles (about 3 km) per hour) under working conditions. As none of the men in the study with walking speeds of 1.36 m / s (3 miles (about 5 km) per hour) or greater had contact with Death, this seems to be the Grim Reaper’s most likely maximum speed; for those wishing to avoid their allotted fate, this would be the advised walking speed.


One commentator has even suggested that all life-threatening operations in the future should be literally taken into account outpatient, so to be carried out while walking and at least three km / h ... By now everyone has probably noticed: The article is a spoof, a joke article that we ScienceBloggers like to publish on April 1st, for example - the BMJ, on the other hand, traditionally prefers to make its joke articles as a Christmas present itself. Why, of all times, at Christmas time, which is generally described as “contemplative”, I can't say. but I suppose that a question about possible fun rules would be against the British understanding of humor anyway.

But I don't want to miss the opportunity, a little bit about them Spoofs and ponder their side effects. Because I'm pretty sure that many - and of course most of the Genas-led (which will certainly be the exception in the post linked above - the irresponsibility was too obvious) - at least internally, because who would like to be considered humorless, about such “abuse” on the part of a reputable journal outrage. Doesn't that undermine trust in science? Or even worse: Doesn't the scientific method itself make a fool of itself by using the same roughly satirizing obvious nonsense and thereby insinuating that a lot of other things that are done with it are just as nonsense?

Perhaps, even if I myself disagree with these concerns (ultimately everyone makes this decision for themselves and in accordance with his / her understanding of humor). But I think the main benefit of such pranks is that they allow the senses for potential Nonsense to be sharpened. And yes, even if you strictly follow the scientific method, nonsense comes out from time to time, according to the old IT input-output rule GIGO, which basically states, “if you start with garbage, you get garbage out too”. And the authors or reviewers don't always notice that it was rubbish. What can be a consequence of operational blindness. It can't hurt if instinctual (but also intellectual) doubts are repeatedly tested for operational capability, as in disaster control maneuvers.

Image: Wilhelm Busch, “Julchen” (via Wikimedia Commons)
Thanks to Joseph Kuhn / health check