An Idea To Help Science! SCIENCE!

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

In this article on “quack cancer cures,” Xeni Jardin quotes this beautiful nugget that will help us to change the face of science forever.

“It’s true that alt-med apologists dress up their beliefs in language that sounds scientific, but when you scratch the patina of scientific language off, it doesn’t take long to find the religious imagery, often facilitated by the more conventional religious beliefs (i.e, Christianity) of the believer.”

This sort of shenaniganery works because if you dress nonsense up in things that other people don’t understand, they’ll buy it.  I know!  I’m a computer programmer!  I have a magic number: the power of 2.  If I tell you, “You can only have 200 entries in your phone book,” people will whine and bitch and moan that it’s unfair.  But if I tell them, “You can have a maximum of 256 entries,” then people go, “256!  That’s like 16-bit, and 32-bit!  It’s a magic number!  It must be hard-wired!”
And they leave me alone and I get coffee.  It’s brilliant.
But then I read this fantastically entertaining cartoon on what would happen if we treated history like it was biology, and I thought: We’re doing it backward.
If idiots can use scientific language to gull over desperate people, then why don’t we use arcane religious language to placate the religious?
Look, you can say, “The theory of evolution demonstrates that a population of organisms that interbreeds and has fertile offspring will grow modifications in their genes, some of which will prove beneficial.”
Or…. you could say, “Our priests tell us that our understanding of God’s thinking shows that a population of beloved creatures that begets will cause God-inspired innovations!  Some of which cause animals to be damned to the fires of extinction!  And others which uplift them to the apex of predation!”
Look, we don’t have to believe it, any more than any number of the charlatans selling killer nostrums do.  But we just change the language a little bit to ensure that it works for us!  Watch!

Old, Controversial Word New, Praise-Be-To-The-Heavens Word
Scientific Theory God’s word made flesh
Experiment An Exploration of the Mystical, Wonderful Laws that God Hath Given Us
Hypothesis The glory of God shines in this direction
Inference God whispered this to us in the dead of the night after we prayed really, really hard, but my pride may get in the way here
Procedure The Holy Rituals
Observation I have seen with Thine eyes, Lord, and have returned to tell thee
Control In The Garden Of Eden
Repeated Trials Tribulations
Conclusion God said so

It’ll take a bit to get properly formulated, of course.  And when people start going, “But that’s not what it says in the Bible!” then we’ll just have to get down and dirty, sinking into Leviticus and talking about the Metatron and the Holy Ghost, and then saying, “The will of God is very complex.”
Meanwhile, all in the background, we’re doing science, bitches.  Under cover.  And eventually, we’ll pass collection plates for stem cell research, and people will fucking praise it.

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