um, why do you think they call them “sloths”?

As much as I love doing scientific research as a profession, I’ve always needed to believe that what I’m doing had a real purpose, and benefit. In this case, I think I would have given up after 6 months. If it was a government project, 3 years would just be considered the “Proof of concept” phase, with an expanded study waiting in the wings.

(AP) — Scientists in the eastern German city of Jena said Wednesday they have finally given up after three years of failed attempts to entice a sloth into budging as part of an experiment in animal movement.

Scientists Can’t Get Sloth to Move

Exerpts from their lab notebooks:

  • 6 months, 21 days: still hasn’t moved
  • 13 months, 6 days: still no movement
  • 22 months, 19 days: thought he moved for a second, but on re-examination of the video… he still hasn’t
  • 36 months: WTF?!???

Of course the basis of scientific discovery is that your experimental results have to be reproducible in order for them to become generally accepted, so I’m waiting for the repeat experiment before I believe it.

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~ by Dave on 01/24/07.

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