Vampirical science (Freese!)

The word “vampirical” used as an un-admiring description of a scientific claim, has been credited to Jeremy Freese [pictured here], who wrote:

“Part of what makes the Trivers-Willard hypothesis perhaps more ‘vampirical’ than ’empirical’—unable to be killed by mere evidence—is that the hypothesis seems so logically compelling that it becomes easy to presume that it must be true, and to presume that the natural science literature on the hypothesis is an unproblematic avalanche of supporting findings. […]

In fact, the Trivers-Willard hypothesis of adaptive sex ratio variation is not at all well established…”

—”The problem of predictive promiscuity in deductive applications of evolutionary reasoning to intergenerational transfers: Three cautionary tales“, Jeremy Freese, in Alan Booth et al., eds., Intergenerational Caregiving, 2008.

(Thanks to investigator Bill Naismith for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS (not necessarily related): A soon-to-be-published paper by Professor Freese and Ig Nobel Prize winner Christopher (“did you see the gorilla?”) Chabris, and others:

“Most Published Genetic Associations with General Cognitive Ability are False Positives.” Chabris, Christopher, Benjamin M. Hebert, Daniel J. Benjamin, Jonathan Beauchamp, David Cesarini, Magnus Johanneson, Patrik K. E. Magnusson, Paul Lichtenstein, Craig S. Atwood, Jeremy Freese, Taissa S. Hauser, Robert M. Hauser, Nicholas Christakis, David I. Laibson. Forthcoming.  Psychological Science

BONUS (completely unrelated): Here are videos of two performances, by different people, in different eras, of the same song. Might one be called vampirical? Which one?