Friday, December 01, 2006

Mad Scientist of the Month

It’s been a close-run contest but my coveted Mad Scientist of the Month award has to go to...

Professor Stephen Hawking

For starters, looking like the inventor of the Daleks always gives him an inherent advantage in any mad scientist contest. Plus he said some radically original things in an interview he recently gave before receiving the UK's top science award, the Royal Society's Copley Medal…

He told the BBC that life could be wiped out by a nuclear disaster or an asteroid hitting the planet.

The human race must move to a planet beyond our Solar System to protect the future of the species, physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.

He said there were no similar planets to Earth in our Solar System so humans would "have to go to another star"

The saddest part of the interview came towards the end when he said, rather plaintively…

"My next goal is to go into space; maybe Richard Branson will help me."

I'm sure that the timing of his interview so close to Christmas is entirely coincidental.

Fans of classic 1950s sci-fi movies will note that Professor Hawking, lauded as one of the finest scientific minds in the country, is now trying to recycle the plot of When World’s Collide and hoping that no-one will notice.

Runners up include:

James Lovelock, the man who came up with the concept of Gaia, proving once again that a fair few environmentalists out there are not so secretly harbouring a hard-on for 90% of humanity being wiped out

The earth has a fever that could boost temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius making large parts of the surface uninhabitable and threatening billions of peoples' lives,

"We are not all doomed. An awful lot of people will die, but I don't see the species dying out," he told a news conference. "A hot earth couldn't support much over 500 million."

That would be the plot to the most excellent The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

Then there’s a retro-Darwinian basket-case called Dr Oliver Curry who spent 'two months investigating the ascent and descent of man over the next 100 millennia', rescuing some key elements of Nazi racial science from the dustbin of history along the way, and concluded

The logical outcome would be two sub-species, "gracile" and "robust" humans.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative.

Physically, they would start to appear more juvenile. Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food.

Men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women will develop lighter skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, even features and smooth hairless skin.

They would be a far cry from the "underclass" humans, who will have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

Now, admittedly, Dr Curry is not an Evolutionary Biologist but his fucked-up perception of how evolution is supposed to work is perfectly in tune with popularly-held, popularly-promoted misconceptions about the theory. His predictions also sound just a teensy weensy bit like the plot of The Time Machine, except for the part about the big penises and pert breasts which was probably ripped off from another movie that Dr Curry had seen. Though, as I recall, the Morlocks kicked, or rather ate, Eloi arse in the original work. Yay! Go Morlocks!

The Six Times a Night Machine ... Big meets Pert...

It’s a depressing fact of life these days that an increasing proportion of popular science is a shameless rip-off of 1950s creature features and old episodes of the Twilight Zone. So, hats off to one group of scientists who have really tried to bite into some genuinely original research...

Researchers find link between teeth and memory loss

There may be more meaning to the word "wisdom teeth" then previously thought. Dentists, psychologists and neurologists in Stockholm and Umea in Sweden and Tromso have been trying to determine why there is a link between tooth loss and memory loss...

Researchers in Japan reached similar conclusions in tests with mice and monkeys, with mice learning to find food in labyrinths without difficulty, but losing this ability when their teeth were pulled.

You sick wee fucks

Obviously, their findings are completely at odds with whole War on Terror/ Abu Ghraib/ Extraordinary Rendition thing where, apparently, pulling people's teeth out actually helps them to remember things.


And for a little balance and to demonstrate that I’m not some kind of closet religious fundamentalist, and because I currently have nowhere else to put it, here’s a link to a Manic Street Preacher video - are you going to be a sinner or a winner?


de said...

Hawking is Dr Strangelove

Shutter said...

Curiously there IS a connection between teeth FLOSSING and Heart disease - apparently the teeth gunge that builds up is a pre-cursor for the stuff that clogs your arteries - and heart attacks / strokes.

The cost - I learn to my cost - is that such work done by a dentist to clean the gunge can lead to streptococcal blood infections which result in bacterial endocarditis - which leads to heart attacks / strokes.