Classic EssaysRevilo P. Oliver

Zealous (Pseudo) Scientists

“Nessie,” as the slob press have named her: The New York Post used this artist’s conception to illustrate their 2018 story “Scotland’s plan for when the Loch Ness Monster is caught.”

by Revilo P. Oliver

ANGELS ARE creations of the imagination; such beings never existed and could not possibly exist. In the Cretaceous Period, near the end of the Mesozoic Age, and as recently as 64,000,000 years, the earth’s oceans swarmed with many species of plesiosaurs (elasmosauri, hydrotherosauri, etc)., but they, like the other dinosaurs, for reasons which are yet unascertained, became extinct at the end of the Mesozoic. It is not absolutely inconceivable, however, that a few of the huge creatures survived whatever force exterminated the rest, and left descendants, doubtless with some evolutionary changes, even to historical times, so that some of the innumerable reports about sea serpents may have had a basis in fact rather than in illusions and imagination. And when we remember that the coelacanth astonished the world a few decades ago by surviving from the Palaeozoic Age to the present in the ocean off South Africa and Madagascar, we must admit that it is not absolutely impossible, though highly improbable, that some descendant of the plesiosaurs could be alive today. Thus when it was reported in 1933 that such a creature had been sighted in Loch Ness in Glen More (northern Scotland), we could not be absolutely certain that the report was the product of an overheated imagination plus the human urge to make a good story better.

In a sane society, the report would have been received with scepticism by the inhabitants of the region and been forgotten when the supposititious plesiosaur gave no sign of its existence. But in a “democracy,” in which the only aim of human life is to cadge real or spurious money from suckers, newspapers are ever alert for some sensational tale to set their dim-witted readers agog, and the tourist trade itself could have been created for predators. So the monster was sighted often enough to sustain excitement in minds that were willing to believe in aquatic dinosaurs that miraculously did not have to eat. And the piffle-peddlers have kept nitwits excited for fifty years, while all sorts of technological gadgets have been employed to discover the creature, usually by “scientists” who were careful to render reports that would not blight the tourist trade.

It is a sad and discouraging commentary on our times that respected universities and research institutes have spent an inordinate amount of effort and money in serious efforts to investigate what had long since been an obvious hoax. Very elaborate sonar equipment was recently installed in the lake to detect any sounds that the coy plesiosaurs might make by swimming or otherwise, and, needless to say, the monster prudently gave no sign of its existence during the months the futile investigation lasted. A report of these results, with an analysis of the fallacies of earlier investigations, which are courteously assumed to have been inept rather than mendacious, appears in the Winter issue of the Skeptical Inquirer.

All this would call for no comment, except, perhaps, a line about the folly of scientific searches for mares’ nests, if there were not one more scientific datum. One of the earlier quests for traces of the monster was carried out by technicians with underwater cameras, and lo! wonder of wonders! they obtained a stroboscopic picture which they sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California for “enhancement” by a computer — an always dubious technique. They then published in a respected magazine, Nature, what they said was their picture thus “computer-enhanced.” It showed a lozenge-shaped object which they identified as a “flapper” of the monster. Presumably plesiosaurs are camera-shy and object to being photographed, but the zealous scientists with their advanced technologic equipment were able to photograph one of the monster’s “fins” as it tried to escape publicity. This inspired a paleontologist, eager to savor the bliss of seeing his name in newspapers, to produce a Linnaean classification of the animal that must have such flappers, so the biological record was in turn enhanced by the addition of a new species, learnedly named Nessiteras rhombopteryx.

The authors of the article in the Inquirer thought of going to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and obtaining a copy of the original of the “computer-enhanced” photograph. It shows only a meaningless spattering of dots, which are either grain in the film or bits of the organic matter that is in suspension in the water of all lakes. They politely say that the published picture must have been “retouched.” It may have been drawn on the genuine picture, but it is obviously and flatly a forgery and a hoax, perpetrated to deceive persons credulous enough to take it seriously.

We live in a time in which the Jews, thanks to their racial solidarity and the degradation of their Aryan prostitutes in the press and government, have cozened and cowed the multitude into accepting their enormous Holohoax, so why shouldn’t small-time pimps filch a few coppers from the stultified masses when they have a chance?

It is true that in our time a pickpocket (if not a nigger exercising his “civil rights”) can be arrested, if caught in the act, and even convicted, if he does not hire an expensive attorney, and even sent to prison, if he has no friends among politicians. It is odd, however, that in a society so given to endless legislation, no one seems to have suggested prosecution of persons guilty of the far more serious crime of perpetrating pseudo-scientific swindles.

In the same issue of the magazine, there is an article of four pages by Martin Gardner and one of twenty-one pages by Ray Hyman, all devoted to refutation of a bundle of drivel entitled Mind Race: Understanding and Using Psychic Abilities, by Russell Targ (a physicist who learned that Uri Geller can bend spoons by thinking about them) and Keith Harary (who, according to an article in the press that is photographically reproduced, is a straggly-bearded wonder who can project his mind to go through walls and visit any place on earth).

I respect the authors of those twenty-five pages, and I do not wish to depreciate their efforts to preserve some chances for intelligent life on earth, but I am dismayed that it should be necessary to publish for the readers of the magazine a painstaking refutation of the buncombe about “psi” powers and the like. A century ago, a great practical sociologist, Phineas T. Barnum, milked the multitude of suckers with clever humbugs (e.g., a mermaid produced by sewing the torso of a monkey onto the tail of a large fish), but he limited himself to entertaining yokels, who always need something at which to gawk. He made, so far as I know, no serious effort to deceive educated men, and I am sure that Louis Agassiz, who was his contemporary, never found it necessary to prove to intelligent readers that Barnum’s mermaid was a bit of crude taxidermy.

Barnum is remembered for his maxim that a sucker is born every minute, a rule that must be recognized as a fundamental contribution to sociology, even if he drastically underestimated the birth-rate. So if “parapsychologists” supercharged with “psi” power, astrologers, and gypsy women who practice chiromancy for a bit of silver (they have to accept scrap metal instead these days) make a living by exploiting the infinite gullibility of the ignorant, no real harm is done. What is alarming is that the ignorant masses now include persons who were not only graduated from institutions that claim to be colleges and universities, but even had the degree of Ph.D. or S.D. bestowed on them. That is surely a symptom of a society that is near its dissolution.

A writer for the Inquirer attended this years’ “Bible-Science Conference” near Cleveland and reported on some of the funnier shenanigans of the theological and professorial clowns who try to refute the wicked doctrines of Darwin and Copernicus, but he ends his brief report with the painfully true observation that the preposterous nonsense of “Bible-Science” is “gospel to millions of voters.” And that is all you need to know about “democracy” and its future.

Incidentally, ‘gospel truth’ is a convenient designation for a fiction that imposes on a large number of individuals.

* * *

Source: Liberty Bell magazine, February 1985

Previous post

Vile! Alan Dershowitz Smears Epstein Victim as "Anti-Semitic"

Next post

The Song of the Blackbird

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Truthweed
Truthweed
26 July, 2020 10:55 pm

And people believe that one human-produced CO2 molecule per 85,000 molecules in the atmosphere can influence the global climate.

Arvin N. Prebost
Arvin N. Prebost
27 July, 2020 9:32 am

I used to think that the paranormal researchers were dupes and fools, fooled by clever magicians, until I read about some of them and their methods. I am not sure what was going on, but something was, and these men were not stupid.

Hereward Carrington, psychical researcher, said that about 90% of the mediums that he investigated were frauds. I would apply the same percentage to clergymen, politicians, and financial advisors.

Julian
Julian
Reply to  Arvin N. Prebost
8 August, 2020 7:13 am

Not even a person of limited intelligence will deny the fact that there are many charlatans, fakes, frauds, and scheming twisted souls out there with various and sundry motives and objectives. However, far too many intelligent people have the tendency to reject the spiritual in Man and the Cosmos simply because they see certain obvious hypocrisy in their religious leadership, or because of their historical studies into the religious movements of the past, or even the unexpected death of a dear relative or friend. The healthy individual is one who has developed within himself the ability to look objectively upon what is before him with clarity of consciousness, and possesses the skill to differentiate between those persons and ideas which tend towards Truth and those which lean in the direction… Read more »

Arvin N. Prebost
Arvin N. Prebost
Reply to  Julian
9 August, 2020 10:11 am

Well stated, Julian.

I also can understand Dr. Oliver’s position; it would be easier to just toss the whole thing about spirituality, live this life to our utmost, and then die and exist only in the memory of our children. But when I read the accounts of the psychic researchers back in the time of the spiritualist heyday, I can only think that they were onto something.

Our European ancestors also had spiritual beliefs, even though they concentrated on this life.

I, myself, think that psychic events, such as after-death appearances, helped to start the Christian religion.

Grimork
Grimork
Reply to  Arvin N. Prebost
9 August, 2020 10:54 am

Arvin, are you familiar with Cosmotheism? https://nationalvanguard.org/2010/09/cosmotheism-the-path/ I also, feel that there is a grain of Truth in some psychic phenomenas such as remote viewing…which has been studied extensively by universities. I am not convinced on ghosts as intelligent entities, however I have also pondered if there is some truth in the “electromagnetic” type of recording of a past event. Such as seeing a person who has long passed for a brief moment. There’s many things unknown to the human condition. I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground these days spiritually, but because of these ponderings I have wondered about a universal consciousness in the universe which could in theory explain a lot of these phenomena, without ascribing to some mystical interpretation of a foreign God. Universal consciousness… Read more »

Arvin N. Prebost
Arvin N. Prebost
Reply to  Grimork
9 August, 2020 11:54 am

Thanks, Grimork. Looking into Cosmotheism is on my list for this Fall.

Grimork
Grimork
Reply to  Arvin N. Prebost
9 August, 2020 12:24 pm

Great Arvin, it may be something that resonates with you as it did with me. There’s lots of resources available here and in other places. We all must walk our own roads, but I felt it was a viewpoint that might interest you from your comment.

Best wishes

Julian
Julian
Reply to  Grimork
9 August, 2020 11:40 pm

I think it should be emphasized that Remote Viewing is a mental technique used by intelligence agencies for purposes of espionage, warfare, and intelligence gathering. It is neither a valid method for spiritual perception, nor something one should delve into without proper knowledge of its origins and effects upon the practitioner. Remote Viewing is, in fact, not where healthy people are drawn when searching for higher knowledge. Unfortunately, because of the sensationalism is arouses, the media tends to emphasize pseudo-scientific “paranormal” research into the higher worlds, rather than genuine spiritual-scientific research founded upon the inner development of the researcher himself. The former depend upon physical instruments to “pick up” information or phenomena from the “other side” of Reality, whereas the latter are wholly reliant upon the spiritual organs of perception… Read more »

Grimork
Grimork
Reply to  Julian
10 August, 2020 8:22 am

I don’t disagree with you Julian. When I am speaking of Remote Viewing I am talking about experiments where a person goes to a location and another (subject) is in the controlled environment being observed by another individual. Where the individual being the subject is able to describe the location through the perception of the first, without visiting the location themselves. To me, that shows potential for universal consciousness, and linking of the minds within the parts of the whole. Admittedly this technique is limited in its use for espionage and other factors, but the existence of such phenomena even on a “impractical” level is very interesting in my opinion. I never meant to refer to Remote Viewing as a spiritual tool, but I meant for it to show possible… Read more »

Julian
Julian
Reply to  Grimork
10 August, 2020 1:34 pm

I’m not so sure as to why it is you have a distaste for Theism, which is the idea that Man and the Cosmos, both seen and unseen, are the creation of spiritual beings which are higher than Man within the Cosmic Hierarchy. All peoples of the ancient world, most especially the European, understood this to be a fact, and not because they were ignorant primitives, but rather because they still possessed forms of instinctive clairvoyance. The ancients knew of the spiritual side of Reality as we know the trees and clouds today…as perceived fact. And yes, on a higher level, all points of Consciousness are one and linked as an organic whole, but within the physical world of duality all points of consciousness are isolate, distinct, and separate. One… Read more »

Grimork
Grimork
Reply to  Julian
10 August, 2020 8:11 pm

I was incorrect to say theism in general, I do believe in a form of theism, however the kinds I am against are the forms such as the Abrahamic religions. The omniscient, omnipotent, totalitarian, yet seperate type of God. I believe I did mispeak thank you for correcting me, Julian. There are all types of theism and I’m not opposed in general.

Julian
Julian
Reply to  Arvin N. Prebost
9 August, 2020 11:10 pm

The spiritual beliefs of the early European peoples were rooted in the Ancient Mystery Sanctuaries. The initiates of these Mystery Centers taught the common folk the so-called myths of the gods as educational tools for the uninitiated masses. Each myth was in fact a spiritual Truth represented in pictures and stories. Higher Truths were given symbolic imagery, and were spread by appointed officials. As time went onward, the sanctuaries were either destroyed in wars, closed, or the initiates slaughtered. By the time of Christ, most of the old Mystery Centers were gone or decadent to the point of falling into reprehensible practices.

Julian
Julian
10 August, 2020 12:47 pm

If we were to sum up the article above, it would be something like this:

  1. Modern Democracy breeds Idiots.
  2. Idiots are easily manipulated.
  3. Easily manipulated Idiots are putty in the hands of their Jewish masters.
  4. And, even smart people ( Scientists, etc. ) are now Idiots as well.

It is also interesting how Oliver opens and closes his brief article with a dagger thrust into Christianity.