Saturday, November 19, 2005

Science--A Major Disgrace

With everything else I should have read, I thumbed through John A. Keel's Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. Compared to most of the paranormal crowd, I've always thought Keel was one of the sanest of the bunch. Then he goes and ruins it with:

believing in mass suicide by lemming (and here)and "boa constrictors crush all the bones of their victims before swallowing them whole."

"There has been much speculation since then [1760] that the plant was somehow introduced to our world by a crashing meteor."

"There are creatures which can fly on wings too short to support their bulbous bodies. We call them bumblebees."

"Most newspaper reports are very reliable."

"Science, by and large, is a lot of bull." "Science has become a major disgrace."

Keel classifies scientists as Type A who "works for a large corporation or an important government agency" and Type B "usually a teacher at some university or small college."

Type A: The scientist who works for a tobacco company and proves that smoking is unrelated to cancer.

Type B: Pharyngula.

Type A are trustworthy; "Much of the scientific rubbish you read in your daily newspapers comes from the mouths of Type B." (Okay, if newspapers are reliable, how can they also be full of rubbish? The sad thing is that he makes these statements just pages apart.)

He later chides Type B scientists for claiming that Bigfoot sightings are escaped apes. I can believe that someone has at one time or another claimed that Bigfoot was an escaped ape but most believe this, this, this, and this.

In fairness to Keel's, his claims are no more outlandish and his views on science no more hostile than 90% of the world's religions have been but, when I checked this book out, I really wanted to like it. Keel has a strong writing style and crams a lot of info on a page but attacking scientists doesn't make Mothman sound more credible.

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