The Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious (DOPOTO) has once again been reminded that scientists are out to horn in our turf, the pointing out of the readily apparent. Tired of the pressure to do the hard work necessary to bring new and delightful scientific advances to humanity, many scientists have resorted to providing scientific data to support things that everybody already knows, as if their confirmation that the sky is indeed blue will be a relief to many of us who were wondering whether or not we were hallucinating. For example, this week they have announced that in Spain many people in the population cary the DNA of Moors and Sephardic Jews. Well, when one considers that those two ethnic types inhabited the Iberian Peninsula for many centuries, this revelation doesn’t exactly come as a news flash to anybody remotely familiar with humanity’s predisposition to have sex with one another, whether or not the neighbors approve.
A casual glance at the diverse appearance of native Spaniards bears this out, with their skin color ranging from milky white to deep olive, and their varied facial features displaying the rich history of the different people who have lived there over their multi-thousand year history. Expect to hear anytime soon that this former Roman colony has many people bearing the DNA of ancient Romans, with a healthy serving of Carthaginians, Greeks and Gauls too. The Department figures these scientists have gotten their hands on some history books and decided they were scientific manuals.
As long as they insist on treading on DOPOTO’s turf, we at the Department with our long years of experience in pointing out the the nose on your face suggest they pursue some other avenues of Glaringly Obvious Scientific Revelations. They could let everybody know that a lot of Irish people have freckles and sunburn quite easily. Maybe stun the world with their discovery that the Chinese eat lots of rice. When pointing out the obvious, whole worlds of seemingly ordinary information can be announced as revelations, which is not the point of the whole thing. Rather, the idea is to peel back the layers of camouflage people have applied to truth. Such as the fact that many scientists are abandoning their quest for the new and challenging for the safety of the banal and easily explicable while pretending otherwise. Here’s a flash for them: The long white lab coat impresses no one when you have nothing new to say. There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
We here at DOPOTO frankly resent the fact that our domain is being invaded by people with doctorates in complicated scientific fields abandoning their posts for the seemingly simple job of truth telling. We beg to differ. Pointing out the obvious is far from easy in a world where many people go to great lengths to put lipstick on pigs. Revealing the obvious is not always so obvious. It requires common sense, a commodity that scientists, for all their training and knowledge, do not possess in abundance, otherwise they wouldn’t act as if noticing the truth is the same as creating the truth. Which probably explains their ham-handed efforts to convince humanity that their proposed use of wind power is some sort of stroke of genius on their part, ignoring thousands of years of sailing ships and wind mills. Weren’t those things mentioned in their history books?
This is not altogether a new trend. The very inexact science of psychology has long been mining the rich fields of common knowledge and claiming to have “discovered” that some people are ill at ease, others are aggressive and some are stark raving mad. Then they get all huffy when a grateful public doesn’t line up to thank them for their brilliant revelations of what we already knew from experience. We here at The Department could have told them that ours is a thankless task. Now if they would ever possibly get around to curing anybody’s mental afflictions they’ll get plenty of grateful thank-yous, but so far that hasn’t happened other than keeping troubled people drugged and disoriented, not really an optimal solution for anyone but highly paid analysts and the manufacturers of these expensive drugs. But if they actually cured anybody, there would go their lucrative livelihoods, so don’t anticipate any breakthroughs on the mental health front in the foreseeable future.
So let us look forward to “scientists” explaining that rainy days can be depressing, teenagers are maladjusted, hormone-denched pains in the ass, living near active volcanos is dangerous and nobody loves you like Mom. Expect voluminous reports, meticulously researched and annotated, about the phenomenon of Winter turning into Spring on a regular basis, the reasons why the lack of rainfall produces deserts and why lots of things taste like chicken. Papers will be published about old people moving slower than young ones, explaining it in arcane scientific language and complex technical terms which will basically boil down to this: They are old. Which won’t stop these lazy oafs from hoping (in vain) for recognition from the Nobel Prize committee.
Do not expect any cures for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, malaria, dengue fever or any other fatal diseases anytime soon, or the announcement of the invention of the 150 miles-per-gallon clean burning auto engine, or any breakthroughs in methods of alleviating the mass starvation that claims 36,000 lives every single day in this world. Those things will take real scientific work, and no one knows better than DOPOTO that pointing out the obvious is not exactly a recognized branch of science, but rather a pursuit of clarifying what people like them are trying so hard to obscure; the truth. If you can open a few eyes here and there, so much the better, but that’s not essential. Unlike scientists, this Department never claimed credit where none was due. What is, is. That’s our only motto, and seeking the truth for it’s own sake is all we care about. And if we can step on a few blowhards’ toes along the way, better still.