Thank you for the entertaining read Chris! While I do agree with many of your sentiments, (“…there are plenty of adults walking around out there in the world and functioning — without any brains at all.” still baffles me!) I disagree with the notion that the Salmon study invalidates Neuro science. Really, what that study show is the importance of correcting for chance, right?
From the paper you linked: “Can we conclude from this data that the salmon is engaging in the perspective-taking task? Certainly not. What we can determine is that random noise in the EPI timeseries may yield spurious results if multiple comparisons are not controlled for. Adaptive methods for controlling the FDR and FWER are excellent options and are widely available in all major fMRI analysis packages. We argue that relying on standard statistical thresholds (p < 0.001) and low minimum cluster sizes (k > 8) is an ineffective control for multiple comparisons. We further argue that the vast majority of fMRI studies should be utilizing multiple comparisons correction as standard practice in the computation of their statistics.”
I also think there is a lot of value to exploratory research, such as, “what will happen if we put up a sign in the street”, provided that you use it to generate hypothesis that you study further.