How to bend a study to the will of the woo

I found this via Science Dump on Facebook and tsk tsk to them linking to this silly write up instead of the original article from Live Science (a proper link is in there, though). 

The LS article does not declare that beloved pets can see spirits but that doesn’t stop the author at from suggesting it:

Could our pets be seeing “spirits” or forces of some sort? I believe there is a strong chance there is something more to it. While this study itself was not on whether animals could see spirits or not it proved they do have much more going on in their eyes than we initially thought. It is obvious that animals are in tune with something we are not even without this evidence.

What’s going on in that last line? I can’t make sense of it. Also, a virtual cookie to the first person who knows what logical fallacy this might fall under. 

There’s also a link to a Pet MD rundown of the same research but don’t bother with it. Its click-bait headline “You Won’t Believe it!” is untrue. I do believe it because the research proves it. And also, some of this I already knew about from other sources so it’s hardly big news. Bigger news may be the number of animals they’ve discovered that could have this ability. Live Science reports that they used donated eyes from various animals (via zoos, slaughthouses, labs, etc) and —

The scientists measured how much light got through the lens of each animal’s eye to its retina.

The team found that many of the animals, including hedgehogs, dogs, cats, ferrets and okapis (relatives of giraffes that live in the central African rainforest), have lenses that allow some ultraviolet light through, suggesting these animals may see in the ultraviolet.

So, it turns out a lot of animals can and likely do use it, so this potentially helps people look at how that visual ability could affect behaviour and overall well being of these animals. The article uses the example that reindeer benefit from the ultra violet vision because otherwise the polar bears would be harder for them to see against the snow. And, bees see flowers in ultra violet and this helps guide them like landing strips to the pollen. I knew that before; it’s super cool. I envy bees now, actually, because of what it is we miss.

So, I ask you, mystery awareness author, why add spirits into this? The science is interesting enough without throwing some other-wordly mumbo jumbo into it. Is it about the expected audience? They expect some woo friendly content at this site so you have to couch real science reporting in a bunch of hazy mystical shit so they’ll read it? And then use their own anecdotes of their pets to corroborate the possible spirit realm and add another level of la la into their lives? Not the best use of one’s reporting skills, I don’t think.

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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