What gives, eScience News?

A recent article on Knight Science Journalism Tracker warned against taking sites like Science Daily as “news” services, since they really just echo institution press releases. However, in some cases it’s worse than just repetition.

Here’s an example.

From the University of Utah:

Tibetans Evolved Genes to Live at High Elevations

Obviously, a more accurate headline would have been “Adaptations to high elevations have evolved in Tibetan populations”, but the existing title isn’t so bad. However, look how e!Science News chose to reword it:

Tibetans developed genes to help them adapt to life at high elevations

Does e!Science News have a problem with the word “evolution”? Or, in an effort to change the story ever so slightly to seem original, did they think “evolution” and “development” could be used interchangeably? What gives?

3 comments to What gives, eScience News?

  • Lycopersicon

    Yes, truly shocking! The anti-evolution conspiracy at work. Another fine example is found <a  href=”http://richarddawkins.net/articles/470278-tibetans-developed-genes-to-help-them-adapt-to-life-at-high-elevations”> here.</a> This Dawkins guy must have some problems with evolution, too.
    BTW, e!sciencenews does not have any original content. As far as I understand, it is just a script that browses the web for relevant press releases and presents the material in a more flashy layout


    • I linked to the original press release, which does not have this title. Maybe they changed it after eScience News echoed it. And you’re right, I was disappointed to see it re-posted uncritically at RD.net.


  • Lani Friend

    I know this is a weird question, but I don’t know very many evolutionary biiologists that I can ask this of.

    I am a freelance writer interested in evolutionary biology and its implications for understanding everyday human behavior (that is, if anyone can).

    Can you shed any light at all on why teenagers fight with their parents, particularly girls against their mothers?  I have this at home and see it in most of the other families I know who have daughters.  It’s incredible.  It’s pervasive, insidious, destructive to the parents and the girls themselves.

    What possible benefit did this dynamic confer in evolution?  Are they trying to kill off the mothers in order to have the alpha male (Dad) to themselves and have all the resources he provides for themselves?

    Weary Mom in Florida,

    Lani Friend


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