Some of the reporting on science these days has been odd, to say the least. Some articles try to sensationalize what is, to be kind, a wilde-ass-guess (that’s a technical term). Some are reporting facts as if, ZOMG, nobody has ever known these facts (or theories, or hypotheses, etc.) have never seen the light of day (or Katy Perry) in the history of mankind (or, to go back even further, McDonalds).
Case in point - Saint Patrick and the snakes:
If Ireland never had snakes, why make such a big deal about St. Patrick? Many think the snake legend is symbolic. Several pagan religions in and around Ireland used serpent imagery. So when stories say that St. Patrick cast out the snakes, they actually mean that Christians cast out the pagans.
News flash, folks: this has been known for a long time. But that won’t stop the Catholic church, as Galileo found out (posthumously).
Next, let’s take a bunch of measurements, mash them together, fold-spindle-mutilate, and come up with something that might, someday, inspire a half-assed hypothesis:
The whale (Ziphiidae) lived when the East African plateau was substantially lower and covered by dense forests, the researchers said. Scientists have long tried to figure out when the uplift occurred, because when it did, the moisture from the Indian Ocean could no longer reach the trees and vegetation, and the area turned into a savannah, research suggests.
So, a whale skull of uncertain providence will tell us when the plateau was uplifted (nothing to do with David Brin, sorry), which will tell us when humans started walking upright?
You’re more likely to figure out when the first snow day happened.
Got more to add? (Please keep the conspiracy theories and faith-vs-science false dichotomy to a dull, outraged, foaming-at-the-mouth roar)