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May 27, 2024

Spilling the Beans

By Dan H. Woods

Dateline Geneva: In a surprising announcement, Marcel Perdito, spokesperson for the Worldwide Federation of Scientists, admitted that all scientific "discoveries" since 1972 have been a hoax.

"Science has always had a dark side: The Piltdown Man, phrenology, Cold Fusion, breast augmentation," said Perdito, as he ticked off some infamous examples of science run amok. "When you're pushing the envelope of human knowledge, sometimes you just push too hard. You do things, you say things that you know are wrong. A lot of us felt it was time the world knew the truth."

When asked why the sudden revelation, Perdito explained, "At first we did it, you know, for the attention. So chicks would talk to us at parties. But it got to be too much. We were out of control. I mean, "second hand smoke". You can't light up in California anymore. That's... that's just wrong. And then the whole global climate change thing. People actually believed that polar bears were drowning..."

"Well, anyway. We're in a 10 step program now and the first step is to admit that you have a problem. That's what this press conference is for."

Perdito opened the floor to questions from the audience.

What happened to the research grant money? "Online video games, porn, iTunes downloads. Lots of iTunes downloads... An oscilloscope once. A couple of copies of Photoshop to fake some pictures of stem cell research results. It all adds up. I don't know exactly. We didn't actually keep records or anything."

Did he have a personal favorite "discovery"? "Quarks. I mean, it's a particle that no one has ever seen that's named after a nonsense word from a book no one has ever read. I thought it was too obvious. And then when Fritzsch started saying they had 'flavors' like 'up', 'down', and 'charm' we all thought for sure people would figure out we'd made the whole thing up. But we got TONS of research money for that one. I'd have say that, in general, particle physics was a gold mine. The money just poured in."

Why didn't peer reviewed journals catch the fraud? "Dude, get real. I mean, seriously. It's the whole 'fox guarding the henhouse' thing and all that."

What about Nobel prizes? "It's fixed. Just like professional wrestling."

Did mankind really land on the moon? "Beats the heck outta me. All I can say is that none of the rocket scientists I know are 'rocket scientists', if you catch my drift."

What's the last real scientific discovery? "Velcro."

What's next? "We've got a book tour planned and then Oprah. Maybe Disney World? I don't know. A lot of the guys are talking about learning some math -- you know, for real. Maybe actually doing some science. We're still taking it one day at a time."

Dan writes a weekly humor column called Tomfoolery & Codswallop. You can visit Dan's website where he welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.

Article © Dan H. Woods. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-05-18
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