A part of the on-going reality check of Science(tm) reporting, we here look at today’s Google News science headlines:
One little word would have made this accurate: ‘yet’. Or one might eagerly read on to see what inconceivable breakthrough allows men looking through telescopes to become assured that what they’re looking at is the oldest spiral galaxy, and that it isn’t even possible that there could be an older one out there among the trillions of galaxies that we haven’t really looked at yet.
Trivial, yes, but characteristic of the subtle incompetence or dishonesty that infects virtually all science reporting.
How does such a mishmash of conditionals – archeologists have discovered what may be the skeleton of a woman who may have been the model for Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in the ruins of a convent which may have been where this woman was buried – become a science headline? I think the line between science and barely tethered speculation is a few blocks back in the rear-view mirror.