Owls Aren’t Wise & Bats Aren’t Blind: A Naturalist Debunks Our Favorite Fallacies About Wildlife by Warner Shedd, with illustratins by Trudy Nicholson, is a pretty good book on fallacies in nature, things people believe that are not true. I.e., that owls are wise or that bats are blind. Continue reading Owls Are Not Wise
It is generally thought that life expectancy in the past was less that it is today for our species as a whole and in the case of industrialized countries in particular. However, this belief counts as a falsehood not because it is untrue (it is, in fact, true) but because many people get this idea wrong in a few different ways. People often:
1) confuse life expectancy with lifespan;
2) underestimate the life expectancy of many past populations; and
3) think of the past compared to the present as a dichotomy, the present being one way, the past being the other way, failing to recognize diversity and variation in life history variables across our species and across time … life expectancy is seen as a measure of quality of life (which it may well be) that has tracked the one way progress of the human condition from a widespread past condition of short-lived misery to the present and much improved condition of living long and prospering.
Continue reading Falsehood: “If this was the Stone Age, I’d be dead by now”