Myths debunked in mission to explain science validation | PhysOrg

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Sugar is not the cause of hyperactivity in children, nor does classical music make babies smarter but some scientific evidence does exist supporting the popular notions that mobile phones, tight underwear and bike riding really could reduce sperm health.

These are the 'verdicts' prominent WA autism researcher and UWA Winthrop Professor Andrew Whitehouse reaches in his new book Will Mozart Make My Baby Smart.

In it Prof Whitehouse has taken some of the world's most common myths around pregnancy and childbirth and tested their validity using worldwide scientific research around them.

And while some of the myths have a basis in , Prof Whitehouse warns one scientific study does not make a conclusion.

"It is entirely possible that a research team may design the most rigorous study that includes all the necessary checks and control, and the result is still a fluke," he says.

"Replication of the study findings is just as important as the initial result."

The Mozart  and intelligence study is an example. A 1993 study of 33 college students at the University of California found Mozart's music had made the students smarter; each participant's IQ was eight to nine points higher after listening to the  than when measured after students had sat in silence or listened to a relaxation tape instead.

Written By: Kerry Faulkner
continue to source article at phys.org

6 COMMENTS

  1. That’s a nicely concise description of what science is and does; what a contrast with what blind faith is and can lead to.

    I’d plump for frustration and disappointment over the phoney quick fix any day.

    After all, the former are the rough, of the rough and the smooth that life brings; small price for having been born in the first place!

    • You stole my thoughts nearly completely with your first and second sentence.
      In reply to #1 by Stafford Gordon:

      That’s a nicely concise description of what science is and does; what a contrast with what blind faith is and can lead to.

      I’d plump for frustration and disappointment over the phoney quick fix any day.

      After all, the former are the rough, of the rough and the smooth that life brings; small price…

  2. The way this article speaks of “Mozart’s Music” suggests that all of it is of equal quality. Actually, like most classical composers, he wrote a handful of works that are memorable, and a helluva lot more that aren’t. Most people with any education at all are familiar with his 39th symphony, which in recent years has become a popular ringtone. However, I’ve never met anybody who could hum a few bars of the 38 that came before it. Two more even more extreme examples: Everybody is familiar with Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies. Nobody is familiar with his 4th or 8th symphonies.

  3. According to my experience no one is more gullible than an expecting mother… so he sure has chosen a tough issue for his book :) Yes, I have first hand experience many cases where seemingly reasonable women turn into lunatics when they get pregnant. With regard to what’s best for their future child that is. I’m not saying that these women are stupid or that it’s in any way their fault. I’m just saying that being pregnant is a very big change in their lives psychologically and then you have all those hormones running around in your body. An expecting mother is an easy prey and that is why many crackpots target them with whatever snake oil of choice they are selling. I mean, what caring mother could resist the phrase: “don’t you want what’s best for your child” (which is of course whatever they are selling)…

  4. A 1993 study of 33 college students at the University of California found Mozart’s music had made the students smarter; each participant’s IQ was eight to nine points higher after listening to the classical music than when measured after students had sat in silence or listened to a relaxation tape instead.

    Sitting in prolonged silence without stimulation temporarily slows the brain – a bit like a footballer coming off the bench without a warm up!

  5. Come on IDLERACER, EVERYBODY knows Mozart’s ‘Prague’ symphony. You should meet more people. As for Beethoven, well I think you are going to EXTREMES there. Next you’ll be telling us that nobody knows Bruckner’s 1st, or Nielsen’s 5th! Good listening.

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