Mythbusters Experiment on Talking and Music Effects on

Cereus-validus... fashizzle.yourself at spam.net
Wed Dec 15 09:19:25 EST 2004



How sad that is. More meathead pseudoscience for the masses.

The boys at Mythbusters should stick with what they know 
best..................blowing things up!!!!



"David R. Hershey" <dh321 at excite.com> wrote in message 
news:cpoa52$q4k$1 at mercury.rfcgr.mrc.ac.uk...
>I posted earlier about a then upcoming episode of the Discovery Channel
> TV series, Mythbusters, that did an experiment to determine if music
> and talking had an effect on plants. I saw the episode, and it
> concluded that is was "plausible" that music and recorded talking
> improved plant growth. They got a benefit with both nice and nasty
> talking and both classical and heavy metal music. Their control plants
> did the worst.
>
> Unfortunately, Mythbusters consulted no trained botanists on camera,
> just a garden center employee who thought that supposed benefits of
> talking and music on plant growth was an old wive's tale.
>
> Among the problems in the Mythbusters experiment were the following:
>
> 1. No statistical analysis.
>
> 2. There was only one small greenhouse per treatment so no real
> replication to take differing environments into account. A plus was
> that there were ten pots with one seed per pot in each greenhouse.
>
> 3. One seed per pot was an unwise technique because some of the pots
> ended up with no plants due to germination failure. The usual technique
> for an experiment of this type would have been to plant three seeds per
> pot and then thin to one seedling per pot.
>
> 4. Not all greenhouses were oriented in the same direction so light
> patterns within the shaded structures could have differed and affected
> the results.
>
> 5. An LA rooftop in mid-summer provided poor growing conditions for
> plants, especially for peas, a cool season crop.
>
> 6. The control greenhouse was in the center of the roof. The treatment
> greenhouses were closer to the edges. That could have resulted in
> significant temperature differences.
>
> 7. The automated irrigation system failed midway through the experiment
> so plants were harvested early and fresh weights measured. Plants in
> some treatments were clearly affected by lack of water more than others
> so that skewed the results. It would have been more logical to measure
> plant dry weights because about half the leaves on some plants were
> dead and dry.
>
> 8. There was no attempt to determine a mechanism that would explain why
> plants would grow better with sound.
>
> Their experimental errors indicated how easy it is for students to do
> experiments on plants and sound incorrectly and reach wrong
> conclusions.
>
> The episode was titled "Exploding House."
> .
>
> David R. Hershey
> dh321 at excite.com
> 





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