Award

I hate science
I hate science

John G. Cramer presented “The Retarding of Science” in The Alternate View in the October 2015 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact:

The Mark Gable Foundation achieved this goal by creating, for each major field of scientific investigation, a panel of distinguished scientists that would meet monthly to award prizes and grants for the best recent scientific work. (The Foundation, as Szilard pointed out, bears some resemblance to the U.S. National Science Foundation.) This plan , it was explained, would keep the best of the older scientists away from their laboratories and busy with unproductive travel, meetings, and report writing and would cause the younger scientists in need of funds to go for the “sure thing” that would be certain to lead to publishable results, thereby filling the scientific journals with trivial results and channeling research in the direction of the safe, the fashionable, and the obvious, and away from the more risky innovations and break-throughs at the frontiers of knowledge.

Inspired by this concept, in 1984, I announced the creation of the American Association for the Retardation of Science and Engineering (acronym: AARSE), dedicated to the retardation of scientific progress wherever it may occur, in whatever field, in whatever place. AARSE is created for the specific purpose of encouraging the retardation of scientific progress and giving appropriate recognition to those who have done the most in recent times to further this goal.

All of this because Science, Engineering and Technology are advancing too fast for everyone to keep up. Training is obsolete by the time the courses are completed. There’s no way to keep up.

In the first incarnation of AARSE, the 1984 Gold-Plated AARSE AWards went to Senator William Proxmire, to the administrators of Columbia University and Catholic University, to the Institute for Creation Research of El Cajon, California and to the State Legislatures of Arkansas and Louisiana. However, many other awards were presented privately by active AARSE members.

However, there was a lapse in the awards for reasons Dr. Cramer elaborated in the article, but now they have resumed:

The first 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the Boston Patriots Coach Bill Belchick for the press conference in which he provided a “scientific explanation” of how 11 out of 12 Patriot footballs and zero out of 12 Colts footballs became deflated during their playoff game. Belichick set a new standard for “baffle ’em with BS” in his pseudo-scientific explanation of the deflate gate phenomenon, which should strongly promote the retardation of science. The “scientific experts” quoted by the media, and reaching a variety of conflicting conclusions, did not do much better and also deserve Gold-Plated AARSE Awards.

There were two other awards.

The second 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the 56% of Congressional Republicans who deny the existence of climate change of human origin. This group has done an outstanding job of ignoring the views of the roughly 98% of climate scientists who have a consensus agreement that anthropogenic warming is real and serious, while quoting profusely from fringe sources and the 1-2% of climate scientists that have expressed other opinions.

The next award of the year has particular relevance to Armstrongists.

The third 2015 Gold-lated AARSE Award goes to the many anti-vax parents of children in the U.S.A. and U.K. who have wisely protected their children from autism by preventing their vaccinations for measles and other childhood diseases. They have bravely resisted the heavy handed prompting and requirements of government agencies and health authorities, who think that just because a link between vaccination and autism has been overwhelmingly rejected by a long series of scientific studies, all children should be vaccinated. These parents instead prefer to be “on the safe side” by accepting the validity of an autism-vaccination link originally suggested in 1998 in a paper by British gastroenerologist Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s publication has since been discredited and retracted by the publishing journal, and he has lost his medical license. These thoughtful parents cover a broad range of ideologies from Oklahoma redneck libertarians to California alternative medicine liberals, and they have done an outstanding job in confusing the distinction between medical science and uniformed opinion.

Now it is true that Herbert Armstrong often made it seem that he supported science, engineering and technology, but he made it clear that he only supported them under the condition that they be used for his religion. If they were not, they were “bad” and of the “Devil”, destroying not just faith, but the world at large which was going to hell in a handbasket because of them. Of course, it was obvious in retrospect that the real reason the Herbert Armstrong rejected science, engineering and technology is that he lacked structural visualization which would have given him the ability to understand them. As it was, his father was a craftsman and inventor in the structural field which created a huge rift between them, possibly resulting in Herbert Armstrong’s narcissism. It also didn’t help that Herbert Armstrong never finished high school and did not value education because he lacked the inherited aptitude of foresight.

Herbert Armstrong established any number of antiscientific stances now embraced by his hireling successors who have established a few of their own. He didn’t let members go to doctors for treatment, opposed vaccines and held other views which retarded science, engineering and technology, particularly when they interfered in the advertising efforts to draw more people to his cult. Actually, it was not a bad strategy because 75% of those in the United States don’t really understand science anyway (the statistics of scientific ignorance is appalling). His world was filled with religious magic rather than rational observation and process.

Folks like Robert Thiel have helped advance the antiscience nonsense by proposing that sin — particularly homosexuality — causes earthquakes, natural disasters and drought.

Armstrongists live in a world they cannot possibly understand and science, engineering and technology are unfathomable mysteries for which they create creative explanations, such as gap theory with Intelligent Design not far behind.

This doesn’t even begin to address the issues of British Israelism.

And so it is that we here at The Painful Truth now issue our very own 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE to honor the Armstrongists:

The 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Certificate of Meritorious Effort
The 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Certificate of Meritorious Effort

5 Replies to “Award”

  1. Just so everyone knows how bad it is, here are the results of the National Science Foundation survey of 2012.

    An appalling 26% of Americans think the sun orbits around the earth. Apparently the South Koreans know better (although there was no really outstanding country with a leadership in the correct answers). Malaysia flunked a lot more questions over all.

    It would be entertaining to have the survey administered to the Armstrongists. Would they do better? Or do they think the earth is the center of the universe?

    In the end, it may not matter. If you don’t get that British Israelism is rubbish, what’s the point of further testing?

  2. Actually, this retardation of science could become an existential threat in and of itself. In biology, an organism which ceases to grow is said to be in the process of dying.

    The existential threat from which it would be impossible to recover is the one which takes mankind so far backwards, so rapidly and so completely, that we do not have the ability to respond to or treat symptoms or effects in the time frame required for survivability. At that point, we’re not just talking about a Noachian allegory. We’re talking about a modern day Noah and his family emerging to an inhospitable, toxic, disease-ridden earth, and no tools to combat the new realities. Not just needing to move inland to escape rising seas, or taking a vaccine. This would spell the extinction of mankind, as it was with the dinosaurs, with a new evolution not being possible because the earth has joined the rest of the planets in our solar system in being uninhabitable.
    Science is the one defense against this type of scenario, provided that people listen to the scientists.

    The problem HWA had with science is that he was not willing to allow their credibility to take precedence over his own, or to overshadow his “vision”.

    BB

    1. “Science is the one defense against this type of scenario, provided that people listen to the scientists.”

      And that’s why it will fail. They will never listen to scientists. So, just reconvince them to listen to God.
      You will get more bang for your buck if you tell them that scientists are better listeners to God’s will. Also, scientists are better at prayer! They ask God a ? and lo and behold they actually listen and adapt their ‘model’ or map. It’s also fun to point out things like the “gutenberg press.” The people that built it didn’t use the instructions of Eligah or Moses. Yet the FUNdees or FUNdies(they can be a real killjoy) will praise God for it, for helping to spread the ‘gospel’, even though Elijah and Moses couldn’t build one for themselves. The fallout and their claptraps can be quite amusing even if still dangerous

      drive-by-philosopher

  3. Bob,
    The problem with science now days is that it has become a political tool for political purposes. Not all scientist sell themselves out. There are those with integrity.

  4. “The problem with science now days is that it has become a political tool for political purposes.”

    And to be clear here, this is true for scientists not just connected to government (or academia), but those especially employed by multinational corporations, such as Monsanto. The corporate environment becomes highly political and scientists often compromise their integrity by being a part of the social framework of the bureaucracy. It is also the case that there has been a corresponding decline in integrity across the board as societies evolve from the agrarian to the industrial and beyond.

    The topic of where the Armstrongists fit in all this should be the center of our attention. Simply put, science (engineering and technology) are not any kind of priority for them because their focus is in the reward system of their closed hierarchical social order: They will do almost anything to maintain their position within the social hierarchy, including compromising their principles, and, yes, embracing delusions at odds with science in order to keep their ‘friends’. The emotional extortion works well and is leveraged by the leadership of the cult to keep the ‘members’ captive. It is especially effective when a person’s family is embedded in the cult. Few have the strength and courage to act in accordance with the truth: They would rather accept the evil cult environment rather than give up to embrace true freedom.

    Science is based on observation, often supported by experimentation to insure consistent results. This is something anathema to cult leaders who find that science can ruin their pet hypotheses. They obfuscate as much as they can and claim (in effect) that MAGIC triumphs over science. Say the right rites and apply the appropriate potions and you will achieve your heart’s desire (think ‘anointed cloths’). Think wizards and muggles at Hogwart’s although, in this case, it’s hard to determine which is which.

    In the end, Armstrongists prefer social order and magic to science and objectivity because they understand the social order and magic. The science and objectivity is beyond their ken and attempting to engage them in it is like trying to explain rainbows to earthworms. The worms, after all, would rather remain in the dirt where it’s comfortable and, besides, they’re blind.

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