It seems that being a scientist for the wrong countries has become an increasingly dangerous job. But why? Is there really a conspiracy afoot, or just a string of tragic coincidences?
By Gordon Bonnet via Skeptophilia
I bet you think you know what science is for.
I bet you subscribe to such ideas as “science is a means for understanding the universe” or “science provides a method for the betterment of humankind.” And I bet that you think that, by and large, scientists are working to elucidate the actual mechanisms by which nature works, and telling us the truth about what they find.
Ha. A lot you know.
Yesterday I found out that scientists are actually all in cahoots to pull the wool over our eyes, and are actively lying to us about what they find out. They work to stamp out the findings of any dissenters (and, if that doesn’t work, the dissenters themselves), and to buoy up a worldview that is factually incorrect.
Why would they do this, you may ask?
I… um. Let’s see. That’s a good question.
Well, because they’re that evil, that’s why. And you know, that’s how conspiracies work. They just cover stuff up, sometimes for the sheer fun of doing it. Even the scientists gotta get their jollies somehow, right? I mean, at the end of the day, rubbing your hands together and cackling maniacally only gets you so far.
I came to this rather alarming realization due to a website I ran into called, “Is Gravity a Pulling or a Pushing Force?” wherein we find out that what we learned in high school physics, to wit, that gravity is attractive, is actually backwards. Gravity isn’t pulling us toward the center of mass of the Earth, like your physics teacher told you. It’s more that… space is pushing you down.
It’s a little like my wife’s theory that light bulbs don’t illuminate a room by emitting light, they do it by sucking up dark. She has been known to say, “Gordon, when you get a chance, can you replace the Dark Sucker in the downstairs bathroom?” Presumably when the filaments in the bulb become saturated with dark, they become incapable of doing their job any more and need to be replaced.
But unlike my wife, the people on this website are serious. Here is one representative section from the website . . .
A magician will instantly see the truth behind any colleague’s illusion. But we have a bit of an advantage: We know we are being fooled. Scientists are instinctive doubters who employ a rigorous method to zero in on the truth, but they aren’t necessarily trained to expect deception by subjects and collaborators.
We can’t make magicians out of scientists — we wouldn’t want to — but we can help scientists “think in the groove” — think like a magician. And we should.
For most of my life I’ve pecked away at a certain type of swindler: faith-healers, mystics, mind-readers. Those of a certain age may remember my appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson — a skilled amateur magician himself who introduced my exposure of flummery to a huge television audience.
Mine was a lonely voice back then, but I’m not alone anymore. The immensely talented and popular Penn & Teller long ago joined me as foes of harmful deception, along with other magicians; the president of my foundation, D.J. Grothe, has a background in magic, and many of our associates are professional magicians, as well. They all agree with me that the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians should re-establish their once very active investigations of the fakers who claim supernatural powers.
It’s not something that is generally done, or maybe at all – I’d love to see one funding grant that has a line item for the services of a magician, if somebody out there has one. But it is long overdue that my peers in the conjuring profession try to take a more active role in the elimination of nonsense science by joining forces with scientists, and that scientists be open to the proposition.
Please bear with me while I offer you a peek behind the curtain, a cursory glance at what we magicians are — and aren’t. First, we’re entertainers, actors, showbiz people who have as our primary objective the delight of our audiences. We’re deceivers, yes, taking on roles and characters to express our art, just as any actor does.
We are not scientists — with a few rare but important exceptions, like Ray Hyman and Richard Wiseman. But our highly specific expertise comes from knowledge of the ways in which our audiences can be led to quite false conclusions by calculated means — psychological, physical and especially sensory, visual being rather paramount since it has such a range of variety.
This may seem like something out of a science fiction movie: researchers have designed microparticles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate your body, even if you can’t breathe anymore. It’s one of the best medical breakthroughs in recent years, and one that could save millions of lives every year.