In the name of science

By Kelli Stevens

There are many ways of looking at the world, but scientific knowledge seems to reign supreme. Society seems to have a need for everything to fit a theory. Nothing goes uncategorized. There’s a reason for everything and, more likely than not, these reasons stem from rigorous testing.

At university, scientific laws surround us–even if we aren’t "science students." You would be hard-pressed to find someone on this or any campus that hasn’t had to delve into research to prove or disprove an academic theory of some kind.

It’s no surprise, then, that even in our leisure hours we are often occupied by science. I’m not sure whether this phenomenon extends outside of residence, but over the last four years of my university career, I have seen many tests and experiments done "for science."

Want to do something outrageous? Have a new theory to test about funnelling beer? Interested to see what happens if you mix a number of Dining Centre foods? Do it for science!

When combined with society’s history of paying homage to science, innocent university experimentation has seen a number of hypotheses brought forth. Take a look at a couple.

Hypothesis One: There must be some way to estimate the size of a guy’s "package." The thumb to fingertip estimation doesn’t hold true, nor does the correlation between hand/foot size.

At a recent brunch, my friend Alison decided the key to length is a tall, lanky guy with brown hair. This theory was quickly disputed. Later, at the Den, the hypothesis was put to a number of peers. Lengthy debate ensued and there were soon graphs on napkins and flow charts on cups.

Unfortunately, we never came up with a concrete answer, deciding that someone would have to do extensive fieldwork. We have yet to determine who that person will be.

Hypothesis Two: Ugly people are better in bed.

While eating a friend’s birthday cake (many female philosophies about the world seem to be formulated over food–perhaps that is an area for study all in itself) Kara announced "because hot guys know they’re hot, they don’t try as hard. Uglier guys probably do better to make up for the fact that they are ugly."

As is the custom with new scientific theories, this idea circled the table and everyone threw in their two cents. We noted this experiment would require a number of controls. For example, different people view ugliness in different ways. There are also different ideas about what makes someone "good in bed."

In the end, we were again no closer to a conclusion, save for the fact that someone would have to be the guinea pig and make certain sacrifices "for science."

As you may imagine, there are many other hypotheses in this genre. While I don’t have the space to get into them here, I want to point out the following: whether you realize it or not, science has had a profound effect on all aspects of your life. The need to categorize, predict and theorize about everyday phenomena extends to areas you would never expect. Experimentation isn’t just about laboratories.

And while you may look down on my application of science to the silly ideas posed above, it’s not the first time these connections have been made, and it won’t be the last. Science–for all walks of life, for all conversations and for all moods–is here to stay.

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