Apr 272010

I have to confess that when I first heard about Boobquake, I wasn’t moved–boobs in your face as a form of protest, how un-feminist is that? But then I got to thinking that for all the times women are blamed for things because of what we wear, what we don’t wear, how we act, yada yada, maybe it is time once and for all to put all that to rest. So I clicked on over to Jen McCreight’s Blag Hag blog to read all about it, within 2 seconds I was on board.

So how did it go? You’re reading this aren’t you? Boobquake was organized to determine definitively whether women dressing immodestly caused earthquakes as an Iranian cleric recently claimed. McCreight details, quite scientifically, the surprising findings:

Not only did all of the earthquakes on boobquake fall within the normal range of magnitudes, but the mean magnitude actually decreased slightly!

Now, this change isn’t statistically significant, but it certainly doesn’t support the cleric’s claim. In fact, I think it develops an even more interesting alternative hypothesis: Maybe immodest women actually decrease the amount of earthquakes! Man, that would certainly be a fun way to provide disaster relief. Of course, before we can make any claims about that, we’d have to greatly increase our sample size. You know, I have this gut feeling that a lot of people would like to do our boobquake experiment again…

Obviously this study had its flaws. We didn’t have a large sample size, and we didn’t have a control planet where women were only wearing burkas. We didn’t have a good way to quantify how much we increased immodesty (what’s the unit of immodesty anyway? Intensity of red on blushing nuns?). Maybe women did dress immodestly, but we didn’t lead men astray enough. Maybe God really was pissed, but he couldn’t increase earthquakes for us because that would provide proof for his existence (or maybe it’s his existence that’s the problem).

Or of course, maybe God is just biding his time. If you hear a news report in the next couple weeks saying a bizarre Indiana earthquake killed a science blogger, well, then maybe we’ll have to rethink our conclusions a bit.

No word yet on further actions but if shaking it and showing it subverts the paradigm, count me in.

 April 27, 2010  Posted by on April 27, 2010

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