Author Archives: Rachel Sara Anton

Sleep and Gender—Are Guys More Likely to Get a Better Night Sleep?

When I’m home from college, I notice very different sleep patterns when it comes to my mom and dad. For example, my mom will wake up to the slightest sound. She wears earplugs to sleep, has a white-noise machine, and shuts her bedroom door at night. She usually kicks my dad out of the room after about twenty minutes because of his incessant snoring. Meanwhile,snoring my dad moves into our guest bedroom and is able to fall asleep with all five of my cats clawing at his feet. When I came across an article relating gender to sleep cycles, I couldn’t help but think about my parents and wonder if they were a prime example of this phenomenon.

For example, women are twice as prone to insomnia than men. Could this be due to chance, or could gender be a factor?

In this case, the null hypothesis is that gender is not correlated with sleep cycles. The alternative hypothesis is that gender is correlated with sleep cycles.

Dr. Bovin of McGill University attempted to prove the alternative hypothesis through an experiment with 26 participants (15 men and 11 women). Bovin hypothesized that the body clocks of men and women affect sleep and attentiveness. The 11 women were studied during two stages of their menstrual cycle. This is because the research team believe that menstrual activity affects biological rhythms and therefore sleep cycles. They found no exhibition of sleep problems in both sexes. Their study solely found that women wake up more tired and are less alert at night. They did not find a correlation, nor a mechanism to support the alternative hypothesis.

I’m including this study in my blog for a different reason than I usually do. While I usually incorporate studies to help support the alternative hypothesis that I am researching, I included this study as an example that failed to do what I had hoped. This study only includes 26 people, which is far too small of a group to conclude anything about the alternative hypothesis even if substantial results had been found. On top of that, I think the researchers definitely should’ve had an equal number of men and women, because the number difference automatically jumped out at me.

Further in my research, I found a slightly more substantial study focusing on the circadian rhythms of men and women. A study done by Harvard University Biological Science specialist Jean Duffy and her team found that women’s body heats and melatonin levels are set to an earlier time in comparison to men. In this study, the scientists focused in on 57 women and 105 men. I still disagree with the difference in gender numbers, but the study did have interesting results. After studying sleep cycles for a month, they found that, on average, women had noticeably shorter intrinsic circadian cycles than men, which could be the reason for the fact that women tend to wake up earlier and have more cases of insomnia than men. Overall, they found that women’s circadian clocks are typically set to an earlier time than their male counterparts, and that their rhythms are also shorter. Still, the scientists even claim themselves in the article that they did not find a mechanism as a result of their studies. While you don’t need to find a mechanism to see significant correlations in science, the study still doesn’t prove much at all about sleep cycles in men versus women, in my opinion.

My final thoughts:

Although scientists are actively trying to prove the alternative hypothesis, their results aren’t convincing. None of the data found strikes me as groundbreaking, but I do think they have a tiny start in proving something significant. They would be better off focusing on a very large group of men and women with an equal number of both genders. They also would have to repeat the process many times to prove that women and men truly have different sleep patterns. In conclusion, I do not believe that my mom’s and dad’s different sleep patterns have anything to do with their genders. The null hypothesis stands…for now!


Psychology Today

McGill Study Study

Pic found here


Mom, Your Intuition is Lousy!

You know what they say: “Mama knows best.” But, how many things did our moms tell us as children that weren’t true, yet we listened anyway?

No swimming an hour after you eat! Don’t swallow watermelon seeds, or a watermelon will grow in your tummy! Stop cracking your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis! Don’t shave your legs, or the hair will grow back thick and black!

You might see a pattern here. Throughout the SIOW blog, you’ll see that our classmates have disproven mostly all of these myths. We realized that the things we were told are outrageous and decided to research them ourselves.

I have a unique situation that I am sure no one on the blog has researched. While your moms are telling you the classic “mom myths,” my mom recently hit me with the craziest one yet:

“Rachel, if you were in the same room as a bat, you have rabies.”

You’re probably wondering why my mom would even tell me this. On the second week of school, I was studying in a lounge when suddenly a bat flew out of the fireplace. The bat flew all around the room, but didn’t touch me or come anywhere near me. The whole thing was so crazy that I just had to call my mom and tell her. Big mistake.

My mom called up her nurse friend, and her nurse friend insisted that I go get a rabies shot. Even though I told my mom that the bat didn’t touch me, she would not leave me alone until I promised that I’d at least call the advice nurse.

rabies<— (my mom harassing me via Facebook messenger)

The “Mom” Hypothesis is that I contracted rabies from being in the same room as a bat.

I will now disprove this:

Before all else, it is important to note the fact that rabies is almost always spread through a bite. In very rare occurrences, the virus can be spread through infected saliva travelling to open wounds, eyes, or our mouths. However, considering I was completely conscious during the bat incident, I am positive that neither of these things occurred. But, as always in science, I have to prove myself through strong data and research. So, here’s the overkill:

In an experiment conducted by Unidad de Investigación Medica en Inmunologia, fourteen bats injected with a variant of rabies were evaluated through their saliva. The experimenters evaluated surviving bats every other day for a month, then weekly for the next two months, once one year later, and once one year after that. They found that rabies was not found in any of the eleven bats that died early on from the experiments. In the three surviving bats, rabies was detected only once early on and further salivary excretions were impossible—therefore, they were not carriers. The study’s conclusions did not show that bats are asymptomatic carriers of rabies.

In addition to the study I found, I also came across some currently-held beliefs in today’s world regarding bats.

First, most bats don’t even have rabies. In fact, among the bats that were sent into testing for specific suspicion of rabies, only 6% actually had the disease. Less than half of 1% of all bats contract rabies.

Second, there are typically only 1 or 2 cases of rabies in humans annually in the USA. Had my mom known this, she may have not assumed that I was ‘the chosen one.’

Worldwide, out of 300,000 rabies deaths per year, 99% of these deaths are contracted from rabid dogs, not rabid bats. I thought this fact was fascinating because of how comfortable our society is with dogs. Whether a dog is yours or not, your first instinct is to go pet it. That means you too, mom.

The most important message I found is that healthcare professionals and media personnel are often wrong about rabies and bats. Media distorts stories regarding cases of rabies, causing people like my mom to automatically assume that her daughter is rabid after she watches the news or reads an article online.

In conclusion, as we know, I do not have rabies from being in the same room as a bat. Even if the bat had bitten me, there would have been less than a one percent chance that I would’ve contracted rabies. Even in that case, I could get a rabies shot to take preventative measures. I decided to go in-depth on this topic to prove the point that we cannot trust eminent people in science. We also have lousy intuition. My mom thought I needed a rabies shot just because she confirmed her worries with a certified nurse. Had I not researched bats, I may have even gotten the shot because my mom told me to. Thanks for saving me from unnecessary mom drama, science.


Rabies info

Research explanation

Research primary source

I Hate the Sound of Chewing. Am I a Creative Genius?

Ever since I can remember, I have absolutely hated the sound of chewing. Even as a child, I would throw temper tantrums if I heard my parents chewing. Most of the fights in my household sparked around dinner time when I was forced to sit near the sound. In addition to chewing, I also cannot focus during class if I hear coughing. I can’t even focus if I hear nose-blowing. When I take tests in lecture halls, I wear earplugs.

Am I an oversensitive brat? Maybe. Am I a creative genius? Also, maybe.

I was absolutely shocked when I saw an article claiming that having Misophonia, the hatred of sound, could mean you are also some kind of inventive prodigy. Before I looked through the article, I tried to think of how this could possibly make any sense. How could hating the sound of chewing imply that I am creative?

What could this mean? Hatred of chewing causes heightened creativity? Hatred of chewing is positively correlated with creativity?

I could think of absolutely no mechanisms, no third variables, and simply no direct explanations for why my hatred of subtle sounds is in any way connected to creativity.

After researching, I have a clearer understanding of how this could be possible.

While it may not be my actual hatred for chewing that connects to creativity, it is the fact that I even notice the sound in the first place that indicates a difference in my brain. The heightened sensitivity may indicate that I am physically unable to block out extra sounds, indicating something about my brain’s filter of information.

All of this connects to an in-depth study called Neuropsychologia conducted by Northwestern University. The study focuses on sensory gating, a process in our brain that blocks out unnecessary stimuli from the environment. The study encompasses 97 participants between the ages of 18 and 30. Participants were tested to check for any brain issues, injuries, smoking, or drinking history.

The study even went as far as to clarify that all participants were right-handed Caucasians. I don’t really know why. I just find it was interesting that they shared this with the public when most studies wouldn’t care to mention subtle things that are most likely unrelated to the situation at hand. While this may be seen as a bad selection of participants considering it is not completely random, the study does not have to do with race or dominant hands. Although, one could argue that different races or lefties are more creative than the test group through studies. However, in this case, doesn’t that help the study’s control? This could be one possible flaw in the study, but I don’t see anything detrimentally wrong with it.

Participants were given a three-part divergent thinking test and a Creative Achievement Questionnaire. The tests together show results of both laboratory divergent thinking, and real world creativity.

After these assessments, participants were tested on their sensory gating. They were placed in a soundproof chamber while wearing a headset (in fancy words, an EEG cap). They then were played a series of clicking sounds. The clicks were often played in pairs, one right after the other. This is because the average person’s neural response to the second click is expected to be less psychologically stimulating due to the fact that it sounds the exact same as the first click.

The results:

The study found that people with higher real world creativity were not able to gate, or block out, as many sounds as the average person who is less creative. On the other hand, the divergent thinking test showed otherwise—people who had higher scores on the divergent thinking test typically had higher sensory gating than others. The study was trying to prove the opposite of this. The leaders note that this could be due to the untitledinstructions for the divergent thinking test, in which participants had a limited amount of time to come up with their answers. People who are quick to answer questions could be those with high sensory gating, and therefore not necessarily the creative geniuses that the test was designed to discover.


My final thoughts:

I believe that there is some sort of correlation between creative thinking and the inability to reduce intake of sensory information from the environment. They stated that this concept may be the mechanism for why the participants with a wider focus on a wide range of stimuli are able to connect distantly related ideas. I also think this study does a very good job at avoiding the Texas sharpshooter problem and the file drawer problem by releasing the results to both creativity tests and hypothesizing why the results may have been different. Their inclusion of all results helps boost credibility and show that the study was professionally conducted without bias. Although this is only one study with 97 people, I think they proved as far as they could by themselves that there is a correlation. Yes, their study group could have been larger and more randomized. But, other than that, their procedures were very precisely measured from beginning to end, as you can see here. Now it is up to other scientists to keep testing this hypothesis to rule out false positives and reduce the possibility that these results could be due to chance.

As for me, I will try to be less frustrated with my sensitivity to chewing. Maybe it’s not a bad thing after all!


IFL Science

Psychology Today

Science Direct (Primary Source)

Both Graphs Found Here

Do the Arts Make Us Depressed?

I came across an article claiming that teens involved in the arts harbor more feelings of depression than teens not in the arts. This grabbed my attention, because I have been taking art classes since 10th grade. Not only was art my favorite class in high school, but it became my escape from other stressors in my life. Doing art for hours a day absolutely heightened my mood and relieved my stress. I would stay after school for hours to do art because of the way it affected my mood and overall happiness. Because my personal reaction to art is nothing but positivity, I was absolutely shocked when I saw an article regarding how the arts are somehow linked with depression.crying-face-by-angeli7

Researchers, led by Laura N. Young, MA, looked at data regarding the extra-curricular activities of 2,482 students ranging from ages 15-16 from the United States Longitudinal Survey of Youth. They surveyed these students by first asking how often they participated in after school activities, and which activities they were involved in. The survey then asked how often the students felt gloomy, agitated, and other common symptoms of depression. The results showed that students involved in after school arts programs generally reported higher scores on the depression survey.

Although my initial reaction to the article title was that the arts cause depression, I realized this is most likely not the case.

The article discusses two possibilities, both of which are explained through confounding variables:

  1. Extra sensitivity to stimuli in the environment. While this could be a cause for depression, it could also be a cause for creativity. Creativity is correlated with artistic ability, thus drawing these types of people to the arts. This would mean that being in the arts has absolutely nothing to do with depression, and the cause for higher rates of depression is due to a common character trait among young artists. Therefore, this extra sensitivity would be a confounding variable.
  2. Introversion. Introversion is often more prevalent in people with depression. Introversion is also a trait of many people who enjoy art as an extra-curricular activity, because art does not demand that a person expresses himself or herself directly. Whether it be music, theater, drawing, or painting, none of these activities demand direct expression of emotion. All expressions can be displayed through in an indirect way. Therefore, introversion would be the confounding variable between the arts and depression.

This got me thinking about the types of people in my high school studio art class.

When we had critiques, many of them were nervous to speak. Many were reluctant to share their work with the class. These same kids often did their drawings and paintings on personal struggles in their lives. For example, one girl’s entire concentration was her progression through her chronic depression. In each piece, she would use less black and more light to portray her transformation to a stable state. These students always seemed happy during class time. They always seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves while they were working.

From this, I gathered some of my own explanations.

  1. Depression causes people to join the arts. The arts could be an outlet of relief, distraction, etc. Therefore, people who are depressed look to the arts to overcome these emotions. Could this be why the girl’s concentration showed a progression away from depression? Could drawing be causing her to overcome her mental illness? This would mean that my initial question would actually be backwards. Therefore, this would be reverse causation. I find the possibility of reverse causation in this case to be much more provable than my initial question.
  2. People who aren’t in the arts may not be properly addressing their feelings. These students may have filled out their surveys dishonestly (either intentionally or unintentionally depending on the situation) because they do not have the same ability to express themselves in their spare time. The arts give students the freedom and time to look deep within themselves, while sports players are not necessarily able to stop and think about themselves. This would mean that teenagers in general face depression, and maybe even more so the ones who don’t participate in the arts. This would completely botch the results of Young’s study. I really think this would be an interesting thing to study, but it would be nearly impossible to determine if students are telling the truth or not.

I believe that all four conclusions presented by both the authors’ and myself are viable possibilities for higher depression scores in art students. If anything, I think that the arts either positively affect students, or don’t affect them at all. After personal experience, observation of my classmates, and analyzation of this article, I do not believe that the arts have any direct hand in causing depression.



Science Daily



Does Going to the Doctor Make You Sick?

In the beginning of the semester, sicknesses were spreading through campus like wildfire. You still can’t sit through a lecture for 10 straight seconds without hearing at least one cough (seriously, try it). You probably know all of this, because you were probably a victim of one of these sicknesses.

I surprisingly was not…until I went to the doctor.

On week two of college, my friend told me she had mono. I absolutely panicked when I remembered that we had shared a plate of pasta, drank each other’s drinks, and hung out monopractically every day. In an effort to be extra cautious, I scheduled an appointment with University Health Services that same day. They asked me, “What are your symptoms?”. I responded, “My best friend has mono”.

Once I got to the doctor, they said I had the best throat they had seen all day. They said I had absolutely no symptoms of any sicknesses. They wouldn’t even test me for mono. So, I left.

Over the following week, I noticed myself starting to get symptoms of a sickness. I was coughing, sneezing, aching, and most importantly, still worrying that I had mono.

This whole situation had me retracing my steps in the doctor’s office. My healthy-self opened the door to University Health, checked-in at the touch-screen station, hit an elevator button, signed a paper, took about 200 breaths of air at this point, and sat in a chair before I got into my actual appointment. Could my friend have nothing to do with my sickness? Could it have been one of these steps that potentially made me sick?

Let’s look at some possibilities:

  1. The commonly held belief: Going to the doctor (putative causal) makes you better (putative response).
  2. Reverse causation: Feeling better (putative causal) makes you go to the doctor (putative response). Note: this probably doesn’t happen much unless you are me and you try to get rid of a sickness that you don’t have.
  3. Confounding variable: Going to the doctor and getting medicine and/or proper care (confounding variable) makes you better. Once you think about this one, you realize that #1 probably isn’t true unless you’re already getting better without medicine and don’t catch any nasty germs in the doctor’s office. Even in that case, the doctor’s office still wouldn’t be causing you to get better.

The actual act of going to a doctor’s office (#1 in the above list), in my opinion, does more harm than anything else. Owen Hendley, MD, did a study in which he gathered thirty adults who had symptoms of a cold. Out of the thirty, sixteen tested positive for rhinovirus, the virus responsible for the common cold. Hendley then took six of these remaining participants’ mucus and placed it onto commonly-touched surfaces. He and his team found that, after one hour, the virus was still infectious in 22% of the cases. After a full day, the virus was only found infectious in 3% of cases.

In most doctor’s officers (and especially in University Health on the second week of school), it’s basically unheard of that the office wouldn’t have patients coming in and out every hour. In fact, I got the absolute last appointment available until a week and a half later. Of these people coming in and out, it would be logical to expect a good majority of them to be there for a sickness; therefore, the germs that they are leaving on different surfaces are the germs that you went to the doctor to get rid of in the first place. The irony! waitingroom_533

My take-away from this is that maybe we should all go to the doctor on Monday because most offices are closed on Sunday’s, leaving 24 hours for bad germs to be practically gone. But even in that case, the people who get there before you on Monday will inevitably leave their germs on surfaces, and, according to this study, you’d have about a 1 out of 5 chance of being exposed to such germs.

So, I learned my lesson; unless I’m absolutely sure that I’m sick, I will not be scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Even then, I will be taking precautionary measures such as wearing a mask in the office and using hand sanitizer after I touch surfaces. A study done by University of Michigan during flu season showed that out of 1,000 students, the groups that were directed to wear masks and use hand sanitizer were 10-50% less likely to catch the flu. Even if there might only be a 10% chance of protection in some cases, it can’t hurt to take easy, effortless preventative measures.


Web MD studies

pic 1

pic 2

How 9/11 Changed Life as We Knew It

15 years later.

On this day, 15 years ago, almost 3,000 people were heinously killed in the terrorist attacks that took down the Twin Towers in New York City. With horrible attacks on our country, however, comes remarkable innovations and changes in the way we live our lives.

Let’s talk about robots. A robot called Packbot was in the middle of laboratory testing when our country was attacked on 9/11. Without hesitiation, the Packbot was sent in to help dig through the rubble to find survivors. Although the Packbot was not invented as a result of 9/11 disasters, its success during the tragedy caused robot technology to grow rapidly. This science is only expected to get stronger and wiser as a result of the tragedy. I find this to be interesting when talking about correlational and causation because, although disasters do not directly cause robot innovation, they cause the strength of the technology to improve; tragedies like 9/11, in my opinion, are correlated with the growth of robot technology in one way or another.

packbotpic found here

The physical breakdown of the Twin Towers led scientists to find better ways to design skyscrapers. For example, the One World Trade Center is designed with steel floor assemblies to prevent a domino effect if one floor fails. Science is also to thank for the invention of elevator lifeboats, or elevator-type vessels that can be used in emergencies such a 9/11 (as explained by the author hyperlinked above.) I think 9/11 is a direct cause of these modernizations considering they are located in the heart of New York in the building that stands to replace the Twin Towers.

Now let’s talk about some effects that aren’t as obvious as security and technology innovation.

This article claims that 9/11 is to blame for thousands of deaths due to car accidents. Because many Americans did not feel safe travelling by plane, they simply drove to their destinations. As logic would suggest, car accidents are already more common than plane accidents because most working Americans drive nearly every day. In the year following the terrorist attacks, air travel dropped by twenty percent; subsequently, according to this source, there were an extra 1,595 deaths by car accidents. In my personal opinion, this could potentially be causation, but one can’t automatically assume that all 1,595 people were choosing to not fly in planes and this was the cause of their deaths. I also think there could be other variables in play. Maybe alcohol prices went down. Maybe gas prices went down. Maybe this was a fluke.

Here’s the strangest thing I found—America got hotter. Why? Bare skies. This article states that, as a security precaution, our government grounded every last plane in the entire nation. The reason our country got hotter is due to something called contrails. Contrails are the trails of vapor that come out of planes; these trails have a hand in offsetting global warming. The author of this article discusses that these vapors acted as mirrors—therefore, when the skies were completely empty, the skies had virtually no defense against heat. As a result, the temperature in the US went up two degrees in three days. This article makes the comparison that global warming usually causes a .5 degree increase every year… that means the temperature increased 400 times the amount it usually increases in an entire year in just two days.

graph found here

I’m going to have to go with direct causation on that one!

My name isn’t Anna!

Earlier today, I made my first blog post. After a few hours, I was excited to see that a couple of people had commented their thoughts and opinions. When I went to read their comments, however, I got extremely confused. They both referred to me as Anna.

meeeemmme pic found here

My name is Rachel.

At first, I assumed that I somehow made a mistake and displayed my name as Anna. I went to check, and surely enough my name said Rachel Sara Anton. I came to the conclusion that the first person must have seen my last name, Anton, and confused it with Anna. But how does that explain the second comment? I called my friend who is also in Science 200 and told her leave a comment that started off with “Hi RACHEL” in all caps so that no one else would get confused. I check back an hour later, and get this: a fourth person left a comment: “Anna, this blog was very interesting.”


COME ON GUYS. How could three people make the mistake of calling me Anna after my friend commented my real name in all caps, and my blog has my name clearly displayed as Rachel?

Then it hit me—social psychology.

Social psychology is the umbrella term that includes informational social influence and conformity, two of the concepts that I suspect caused my name to be Anna for the day.

Let’s start with informational social influence. This is defined as the phenomenon where people adopt the actions of others in an effort to perform a behavior correctly for a given situation. In my blog situation, the second person most likely assumed that the first person was correct and therefore adopted the behavior of calling me Anna. In this article, splits social influence into two types: private acceptance and public compliance. In this situation, public compliance was used. Public compliance is when we copy our peers because we fear rejection if we behave otherwise. Most people would do just as the second person did in this situation. We as people often assume that if our peers do something, it is okay for us to do it as well. Think about your mom’s favorite quote to keep you out of trouble: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” This is especially prevalent in situations where the mission at hand is significant to us, such as a homework assignment this early in the school year.

Conformity also plays a role in my blog dilemma. Conformity is when we alter our own way of thinking in order to fit in with the group. Think about the fourth person who commented. He or she most likely saw two people call me Anna and only one person call me Rachel. In this case, the person most likely conformed to the majority, and the majority thought my name was Anna. Even if this person may have questioned if my name could be Rachel, he or she felt more comfortable calling me Anna because that’s what just about everyone else did. Although my blog post is a simple example, conformity is actually very complex and can be traced back to our brain (check out this article for a cool explanation).

I think this could all be related to the idea that science is not derived from eminent people, a concept we learned in class. Just as science is its own entity and cannot be claimed by “special” people, my name cannot be decided by my classmates. In the same way that we cannot simply trust observations and opinions about science, we cannot trust our peers just because they all trust each other.

This post was brought to you by RACHEL 🙂

Today’s Dinner Special: Your Pet Dog

We as a society see kittens and puppies and naturally think things like, “I want to pet it!” or “what’s her name”…but have you ever thought, “hmm.. that dog looks delicious” or “that cat would make a great entrée”…Well, of course you haven’t, because that would be absolutely ABSURD and HORRIBLE. But who decided this? Of course dogs and cats are adorable, fluffy, and lovable, but wouldn’t pigs be just as adorable if we domesticated them, got them groomed, and didn’t slaughter them? Now don’t get me wrong, I eat pig. I’m not a vegetarian. I just want to get to the bottom of how our society decided that we would take wolves and wild cats and put them on a pedestal consisting of treats, cuddles, and unconditional love.

Through research, I found that the history of humans and dogs is in fact a blurry one; at one point around fifteen to thirty thousand years ago, man began building his relationship with dog. Dogs most likely grew accustomed to humans after many years of manipulation into being protectors, companions, and hunters. While some believe that dogs came to be our best friends because people randomly decided to take wolf puppies and domesticate them, others believe in a process called passive domestication. Passive domestication is a process of natural relationship growth between animals and humans. I personally have no position on which of these is true and think both are viable possibilities. This still doesn’t totally explain the whole question of, “why isn’t it socially acceptable to eat a dog” though. How did things go from using dogs for labor and protection to dressing them up in Halloween costumes? (Below is a picture of my cat, Batman, in a Penn State jersey).


Passive domestication is more clearly explained in cats. In the article hyperlinked above, the author discusses evidence regarding the idea that cats most likely came onto people’s territory to catch prey and in turn were given scraps of food for protecting crops. Thus, a passive relationship was slowly built. Unlike dogs, cats were not manipulated into being our pals. Cat domestication actually stopped far earlier than dogs because instead of using cats for various things, we just didn’t mind their presence. I wonder if this explains the stereotype that cats don’t care about their owners. Is this because we never forced them into loving us? Either way, we still aren’t eating our cats. Why?

I came across a very riveting point in the article that brings everything together and may actually answer my question. Recent studies have shown that dogs have a sense of jealously and ethics. They know right from wrong. They enforce righteousness. Although cats are much harder to study in lab, scientists such as Darwin use everyday observations to prove that cats are just as intellectual as dogs. Darwin has discussed his observations regarding cats always hunting specific types of birds to prove that cats can distinguish different species from each other. Although this type of conclusion is often criticized because it is not as invasive and revealing as an experiment, cats have still prevailed over thousands of years as one of our favorite household companions.

The concern among scientists today is as follows: If we as a society claim dogs and cats as our property and give them special treatment, who is to say that farmers can’t do the same thing for cows and chickens? Who is to say that animal testers can’t decide that rats deserve rights and stop testing on them? If the cycle goes on, will all animals become our best buds? In my opinion, I think this will never happen. In class we learned about rationality; no one is telling us that we can’t eat dogs and cats, but as a society we have made this a clear social construct. We have made the decision as a society to keep dogs and cats as our pets. It would be irrational to eat our pets. Due to thousands of years of relationship building, a natural barrier between these two animals and the rest of the animals in the world has been built. In my opinion, the evolutionary history of dogs and cats has spoken, and other animals will never be able to reach the pedestal. Once we as people start comparing these animals to our children, I see no possibility that we will ever eat them. I believe now that we have put all our efforts toward dogs and cats as our most favorable companions, we are content. We don’t mind leaving our house and buying a pound of ham, because our love for our pets distracts us from the fate of other animals.

Note: When I reference “society” I am referring to the Western world. I have been getting comments about dogs and cats being food for certain countries, but I am focusing on the cultures that do not see this as an acceptable activity.

The Day I Broke Up With Science

Hi guys, I’m Rachel Anton, and I’d like to tell you about my ex, Science.

Science and I go way back. I remember having the best of times with science when I was in elementary school. Playing with bugs, making silly putty, and having those pet frogs that you couldn’t take out of water or else they would die (one of the biggest disappointments of my childhood). Everyone could see it; science and I were in the honeymoon stage. Every time I was asked my favorite subject, I’d say science. But, then we grew old together. High school came around and instead of playing with meal worms, I was learning about mitosis and meiosis. What is that? Who had science become? I never knew science would do me like that. I trusted science. We had so much fun together, and suddenly everything became definitions and equations. It was safe to say that the honeymoon stage was long gone, and my relationship with science was sinking. So, we broke up. It was tough because I still had to see science every day. Going to required high school science class was painful because I knew we would never be the same. So, why did I take Science 200? Well, I read the description that essentially said, “science for people who don’t like science.” Even though me and science had a terrible break up, I think it’s safe to say we will never get rid of each other. Science 200 seems like the perfect opportunity to bring back that honeymoon stage.


I am not planning on being a science major because some things just aren’t meant to be. Although I love some parts of science, I can’t see past the parts that I hate. Instead, I am an AD/PR major in the College of Comm. Writing and telling stories are two things that I absolutely love. I’ve always loved them but suppressed my feelings when I thought I wouldn’t make money if I followed my heart. Once science and I finally ended things, I let myself free. I realized that money doesn’t matter. I realized that following a passion will get you much further than anything else. Science, I hope you’re not jealous. This is for the best. This one is for you.