Humor from on High

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Science is Sacrilicious

As some readers know, I have rather geekish tendencies. Being employed as a scientist doesn't help. Sometimes when I hear myself tell people what I do, I can't even believe that I'm saying it. It sounds like I'm a 4-yr old kid who is talking about what they want to do when they grow up and the only options they have to choose from are those way over generalized job categories they saw in a Curious George or Clifford the Dog book. Such as:

Forensic Paleontologist

Anyhoo, once in awhile I'm proud of my fellow pocket-protectored, white tape on the glasses, differential equation solving, bretheren. And this is one of those moments.

"Drinking coffee cuts alcohol's harmful effects" -- Just a cup a day helps prevent cirrhosis of the liver, researchers say

Booyah. I knew it. I love when studies give me an excuse to continue all the behavior that I was already engaging in.

I also ran across this newsletter recently, which I may or may not be admitting to subscribing to and poring over each time I get it (see earlier geek comment). The third item down concerns scientists at Harvard, who are undertaking a huge project to try and successfully clone a human embryonic stem cell, which will have the potential to cure (read: not just TREAT, but CURE) countless human diseases. As an aside, we really are at a hugely important time in human history, where we can understand diseases at a level in which we can actually repair them at their root cause. That is so bitchin. Anyway, this part of the snippet (snippet-ette?) stood out to me:

"Science has to recognize that it has a huge power in our day and age, and that power, if it goes off the rails, will become a very exploitative and dangerous power in our midst," Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, told the Boston Globe. "This is an example of moving directly toward that end."

First of all, I totally agree with the good Reverend, advances in science sometimes come without careful thought for the ethics and morality involved. Even if you as a researcher don't personally agree that some things are sacred, a lot of people do. A lot of scientists have almost as much zeal for the religion of the scientific method as religious wacko types do about biting snakes or strapping dynamite to their midsections. But the humor of the existence of the National Catholic Bioethics Center has still not escaped my satirically inclined synaptic radars. I love that whenever a big science issue gets into more mainstream (read: clueless) press outlets, some crackpot organization is always given a chance to comment (I mean "crackpot" in the nicest possible way Reverend -- it's not that I don't question your knowledge of science issues -- but I think you might be somewhat biased -- not that I'm not -- too many digressions -- okay back to our regularly scheduled prose) Therefore, I have decided to form my own crackpot organization that will comment on all new church-related issues that come out, for example when those scrolls came out that showed that maybe Judas wasn't that bad of a dude after all. Who knew? Next thing you know they'll be telling us that Jonah was actually swallowed by a really big mackerel. Now all I need for my organization is a catchy name.

A few candidates:
Holy Cow Hindu Comission
Dead Sea Scroll Oversight Committee

You think you've got a better one?


At 3:59 PM, Blogger SethG said...

Is it too trite (or Congressional) to ensure a parodic acronym? Something like

Society for Ethical Theology and the Holy Institute for Countering Science?

If you need a titular figurehead to throw people off or jazz up some quotes, the Reverend Doctor is at your service.


At 5:10 PM, Blogger MillerTime said...

I should start chasing my beer with coffee...or just pour the beer in the coffee. Wait, isn't that Guiness?

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Kaiser said...

I don't know about the Guinness and coffee, but what I can tell you is that a frosty Newcastle with a shot of espresso in it is mighty fine. It's like the sophisticated vodka red bull.


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