Trust the science…

a macro shot of a cockroach
Photo by Egor Kamelev on

It’s a phrase we hear often. First, I don’t believe science is static. As we know more, science changes. The Scientific Method is something that is defined and can be practiced by anyone. This is a story about someone who did everything right but maybe the results were not as expected.

There was an entomologist who had a cockroach that would respond to voice commands. Simple commands like sit, stay, run, jump, and the like. It was unusual the say the least, but it was true.

The entomologist got prepared to do some experiments. He had a stopwatch, a tape measure, some obstacles, and a notebook. Carefully, he got the cockroach out of the container where he was kept.

He did several experiments involving running, how fast it could go, how far it could run and recovery time required, etc. Finally, he set up a hurdle to see how well it could jump.

He told the cockroach to jump and it did. It cleared the hurdle with ease. He measured how high it jumped, how far it jumped, and how fast it jumped. He then picked up the cockroach and pulled the front two legs off.

Placing the cockroach in front of the hurdle, he told it to jump. This time it did not jump as high, it did not jump as far, and it took longer. Making notes, he wrote it all down, and then he picked up the cockroach and pulled off the two middle legs.

Again, the cockroach was placed in front of the hurdle and was told to jump. Now the cockroach struggled to comply and it got over the hurdle but it had to climb rather than jump and it took a lot longer. Notes were made at the completion of the task and again the cockroach was picked up and the back two legs were pulled off.

Placed in front of the hurdle, the command was given. “Jump”.

Noting the cockroach’s response, again the command was given. “Jump”.

Finally, a third command was given and it was noted the cockroach remained motionless.

The entomologist made notes and at the end, he wrote “Pulling the back two legs off the cockroach makes it deaf” and he closed the book.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about this experiment. Be careful what you believe or the conclusions you come to.

My mentor said it best. “Be careful, don’t believe everything you think”.