By Daniel Walmsley
Representing the Andrew Bolt Institute for the Repression of Institutes for the Advancement of Science
When I first began writing this talk, when all I had was the title, I naturally asked the following questions:
- What do you know and love?
- How is Science destroying it
And then I realised that I was not qualified to answer them, because I’m not a scientist and it’s not my job to prove or disprove things. With this idea fresh in my mind, I reformulated the problem so that I could take it to Scientists:
- Prove to me that science isn’t destroying everything we know and love.
As you can see, this requires a lot less effort on my part, but unfortunately the scientists refused to have anything to do with it.
I think this effectively makes my first point: Science may be destroying everything you know and love, but until there’s a way to measure it, scientists will refuse to acknowledge that the problem might even exist.
Nevertheless, today my thesis is simple. To show that the greatest threat to our way of life, and our peace of mind, comes from those who put bald facts before a shaggy dog story, naked reason before blind faith, and the unfashionable truth before a good yarn.
Science is the wooden spoon that you use to stir the cake-mix of society. It’s the stiff breeze blowing off the toupees of archaic belief systems. It’s a woman slowly undressing before me in my hotel room that I charged to the company account as a tour guide. Actually, maybe it’s not that last thing. But nevertheless, I say to you: Hasn’t the world changed enough? When will you be done reshaping society, so I can get back to believing the same thing for more than a month?
Tonight I will examine four areas of human existence that I know and love, and which science has spoiled for everyone. Let us begin.
Who said the following?
“The budget must be balanced, government indebtedness must be reduced, the arrogant authorities must be moderated and controlled, people should learn to work again instead of living off the public dole.”
- Marcus Cicero, 106 BC – 43 BC
For those of you infected by the idea that modern scientific thinking has changed society, this quote is your antidote.
Particle Physics is the study of the structure and behaviour of the building blocks of the universe.
Much research in the field of particle physics is done using particle accelerators, otherwise known as atom-smashers. If you know and love tiny particles, then science is certainly destroying plenty of those. But what are the benefits of particle accelerators?
[graph: expenditure on particle colliders, compare with human happiness (flat), then compare with subatomic particle happiness (steep drop)]
Here we see the number of particle accelerators, from Lawrence’s atom-smashing Cyclotron in 1929, through the large Hadron and relativistic heavy ion colliders of today, projected to the year 2020. As you can see, the number of accelerators is accelerating. A worrying trend. Incidentally, it should come as little surprise to you that a project has already begun at Berkeley to build the world’s first particle accelerator accelerator. If you think the rides at the Royal Melbourne Show look unsafe, try watching a 15 kilometre torus of concrete being swung around at the end of a giant steel arm.
Now, let’s compare the number of particle accelerators to human happiness. Since 1929, average human happiness has hardly changed at all. It turns out that, as you approach particle energies that replicate the conditions of the early Universe, the percentage of children living in poverty, for example, remains constant.
But there’s another, even more worrying trend. Since the invention of particle colliders, the average happiness of atomic and subatomic particles has plummeted. As a result, many in the current generation of particles exist in a probabilistic cloud of depression, refusing to form strong or even weak nuclear bonds. I’ll never forget the day I visited the sanitarium and met a young atom of Copper. He had dreamed one day of being a famous conductor, but countless picoseconds of abuse in the Synchrotron at Monash University left him feeling oxidized and alone.
How many more atoms have to suffer at the cruel hands of science? Here are just some of the torture devices we have devised to torture particles until they give us the information we need. [flick through slides of atoms being abused, a la monkeys] My God, people, we treat MONKEYS better than we treat atoms!
And it’s not just atoms that suffer. Many on the fringe of the scientific community believe that the latest generation of particle colliders could destroy the Earth itself.
The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider caused a storm of controversy on its opening because Scientists couldn’t prove that it wouldn’t create a black hole. They claimed that the probability of such an event occurring is very low. But let me ask you, is there a probability of having the Earth sucked into a dot that you feel comfortable with? How many zeroes do you have to squeeze between that number and the decimal point before you’re happy pressing the On-switch? What about the probability of creating strange matter that is more stable than normal matter, which would effectively be like turning the Universe inside out? If you were brushing your teeth, and you went to turn on the tap, and I said “If you do that, there’s a tiny but real chance the Universe will turn inside out“, would you still turn on the tap?
Then, of course, there’s the big one. The CERN Large Hadron Collider, or as I like to call it, the 26 kilometer tunnel of hate. This compounds the possible doomsday scenarios by creating energies even closer to those at the beginning of the Universe. With this we get the possible induction of magnetic monopoles, which could catalyze proton decay and effectively tear the Universe a new one. Or it could trigger a transition into a different quantum mechanical vacuum, which is a lot like a normal vacuum except that it’s big enough to suck up the entire earth and probably eat the moon for dessert.
If we decide to continue toying with the fabric of existence by experimenting with high-energy particle collision, I see only one possible way of dealing with it: We must freeze every scientist on Earth in Liquid Nitrogen until the rest of us have either come to terms with our possible destruction, or moved
to another galaxy.
When we talk about the environment, it’s hard to go past Global Warming as the issue du jour.
Global Warming is mostly caused by the massive overuse of fossil fuels for energy production. It is the greatest challenge facing life on this planet. It threatens our very existence. The north and south poles are melting at an alarming rate, but as usual ordinary people will do nothing until the icy poles in their hands start melting at an alarming rate. Or perhaps if they work in the fake tan industry. So it’s up to those of us who understand the seriousness of the problem to do something about it.
Now, before we examine the solutions, let’s quickly look at the status quo. The distribution of fossil fuels such as oil and coal around the planet.
- [diagram of fossil fuels moving from oil/coal producing countries to consuming countries, and money going from those countries to oil/coal companies]
Fossil fuels move from producing countries to consuming countries along a complex, refined transportation network, and then money, always US Dollars, moves from consuming countries to producing countries. And a little bit of extra money goes to the people who own the oil companies, wherever they happen to be. This is a stable system that employs millions of people. It’s important to note at this stage, the enormous value of these companies is not based on what they carry, but on the fact that it gets there, and there’s money waiting for them at the other end. In other words, it’s the distribution network, stupid.
Also, the fact that it’s based on US Dollars is very important. Because this means that most countries hoard US currency in order to pay for their energy. To cut a long story short, this effectively gives the United States a license to print itself blank cheques, and go into infinitely ballooning debt without consequences, because other countries are unlikely to ask the US government to convert their money back into something of actual value. Like gold. Or food.
So yes, we have this system that’s destroying the environment. It’s got to go. As usual, the Scientists have put their bloated elitist lefty brains together and come up with the following completely untenable solution:
- Don’t be so wasteful with energy
- Use alternative, sustainable methods of energy production
What a pie-in-the-sky fantasy.
Sure, if this were implemented, it would certainly save the environment. It would probably also save individuals a lot of money, create new cottage industries like wind, solar and tidal farms, reduce disease by eliminating atmospheric pollution, and create thousands of jobs in the automotive industry producing quiet, efficient electric vehicles. And yes, it may also solve the problems in the middle east caused by the constant bickering over who controls the oil fields, and in the process save countless lives.
But it doesn’t use any parts of the structure I just described. Not only would all the value disappear from the distibution network – putting the fossil fuel companies in serious financial trouble – It would probably also destabilise the US economy as the other countries found their US currency wasn’t needed anymore, and decided to ask for their 9 trillion dollars back thankyouverymuch. This would lead to an increase in US domestic interest rates and a decrease in consumer spending in the US as the populace found that their record personal debt is getting a lot harder to pay off. Now, US consumer spending accounts for 20% of WORLD GDP. So if suddenly their currency is worthless AND they’re spending less, other countries who service the US consumer gluttony bubble would find themselves in serious trouble too, like Australia, and the UK. So thanks for your suggestion, Science, you can put that in the green bin over there in the corner, right next to all the other ideas that would lead to the collapse of Western Civilisation.
No, as usual, to get to a truly practical solution we have to turn to the politicians. What have John Howard and George Bush proposed? Safe, clean, green Nuclear Energy!
- Go Nuclear!
Hey, it solves Global Warming. And as long as nobody’s complaining about Global Irradiation, it keeps the voters happy. Plus, with a third arm I can sip my tea while holding a newspaper.
What’s more, going Nuclear reuses all the existing infrastructure. The Nuclear fuel is pulled out of the ground by machines, just like coal and oil, and transported physically to its destination. And the money moves back along the same financial channels and, in almost every instance, goes back to the same people! Talk about minimal impact! Wow, won’t the oil companies be pleased! Somebody call the criminal cartel of energy robber-barons who run the world! They’re going to blow cognac out their nose!
Now, I know some of you “scientists” are going to say “but wait, Nuclear Energy is not sustainable – it’s going to run out. And not only does it still produce waste, but it’s even more dangerous to life than Carbon Dioxide”. To you I say, “Look out! Behind you! A terrorist threatening your children! I’ll save you!”
When it comes to the environment, one thing’s for sure: With smart people like John Howard making the decisions, the economy will outlive us all.
This is the big one.
I know this is going to sound counter-intuitive, but before Science came along, everything could be explained through mysticism, mythology, and blatantly invented histories of creation. If you asked a mystic or religious leader why some phenomenon occurred, and they couldn’t didn’t know, they would just make something up. Ask a Scientist something they don’t know, and they’ll just complain about a lack of funding for 2 hours. Not very satisfying.
Science has not explained the Universe. It has, by refusing to accept any explanations that can’t be proven, unexplained it. It has made the Universe inexplicable, irrational, vast, cold and heartless. It has sucked the very humanity out of existence and, as much as you may protest that the Universe doesn’t and shouldn’t revolve around us, each of us lives inside a human body and we ARE the centre of our Universe. Our personal Universe. And Science has taken that away and told us that it’s wrong to think that way. We’re infinitesimally small and insignificant, just a self-perpetuating chemical reaction, and we should get used to it.
And where Science does have an explanation for something, it is usually deeply unsatisfying. A farmer may ask, “Why did my crops fail this year?”. You answer, “Well, a periodic weather event called El Nino caused by a weakening of the Easterly trade winds allowed warmer water to pass the north coast, which resulted in less moisture in the air over your part of the Australia, and therefore less rain”. Who can the farmer blame? Nobody. What can he do about it? Nothing.
In ancient times, phenomena that were beyond human control or understanding were explained through a glorious pantheon of Gods. But why? Why, when faced with the question of where lightning comes from, didn’t they just say “I dunno!”. Because the Gods are more than an explanation. They’re a level of accountability. The fact that they don’t exist is secondary to the benefits of believing they exist. I know intellectually that if I tried to call someone in the Federal Government to stop them from detaining innocent refugees in inhuman and degrading conditions, nothing would happen. Statistics show the vast majority of Australians would agree with me, so things should change. But the reality is, asking the government to do what we want actually has no effect. But we’ve created this amazing mythology, this illusion, that says we have a democracy.
Now, we’re all smart people here, so I think I can speak plainly. We all know that democracy doesn’t actually exist in Australia, or in other great so-called Democracies like the United States. If it did, then parliament would be full of real people who care about us rather than stuffed to the gills with self-righteous, cock-sucking career politicians whose umbilical connection to reality was severed the moment they subscribed to the intellectually-insulting two-party system. It’s not democracy, it’s a ruling class. But we allow ourselves to feel that it’s a democracy, because it’s comforting to know that someone is theoretically accountable for these gross violations of human dignity, and that some system exists that is supposed to correct this behaviour. And so it was with the Gods of ancient Greece and Rome.
So, just as our distant ancestors periodically sacrificed goats, or virgins, or food, so once every four years we sacrifice half a day of our time to pay homage to the Gods, to engage in a meaningless ritual that defies logic. And until such time as we run out of food or water, or people we actually care about start getting tortured or killed, that’s good enough for most people.
This brings us to the end of the talk. In conclusion, I would like to say that Science is knowledge without understanding. It’s focus without vision. Science may yet save the world, but in the process it will destroy Big Oil, Transnational Cartels, and the Politics of Fear. And those are thing I know and love. So, on behalf of the Andrew Bolt Institute for the Suppression of Institutes for the Advancement of Science, please stop. And, buy my book, “A world full of hippies isn’t worth saving”.
Thank you and goodnight.