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OKAY, SCIENCE PEOPLE, IT’S PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME!

Word out of Washington is that it is no longer official policy to consider science to be some sort of voodoo religion. Which means… well, who knows what it means? That depends on the scientists, doesn’t it? It just might be that they have to go through a period of adjustment like the comedy industry is now experiencing after 8 years of growing lazy from government handouts. Our nation’s comics were given a free ride by the Bush The Younger Administration with its socialist policy of providing them with their raw material for nothing. Few comics were prepared to start writing their own jokes again and the new administration won’t play ball and act ridiculous. While the handwriting was on the wall for some time now, many in the comedy industry refused to believe that the government would stop giving them handouts, figuring to be permanently bailed out like they were for 8 glorious years.

All good things must come to an end however, and the comedians’ loss looks to be our scientists’ gain. Will they step up and get productive again? Can they on such short notice? They are in the opposite position of the comedy sector, far out of practice after being banished to society’s wilderness with nary a government bone thrown their way, while the comedians are suffering from too much government largesse. Many of our scientists have spent their years in exile pursuing one frivolous project after another, from shilling for giant pharmaceutical corporations inventing drugs for imaginary mental conditions to debating whether the dinosaurs died out from getting whacked by an asteroid or by early mammal hit squads. None of which has helped mankind deal with some very severe problems that were only made worse by 8 years of comedy-oriented government.

It seems that their scientific skills have been so blunted that these people claim they have invented the wind! Everybody knows the Dutch invented the wind back in the Middle Ages when they started building all those wind mills. And as far as the sun, wasn’t that an Egyptian discovery? How else can one explain all those temples to the sun god Aten and the fact that most of Egypt is one of the most sunburnt wastelands on this planet? Maybe when you spend 8 years debating over whether Pluto is a real planet or just another icy rock that’s what happens, you start grasping at straws. You keep jabbering about how great life would be if only someone would let us do some stem cell research. Okay, you’re allowed to do that now. Please don’t tell us you’ve come up with a revolutionary new stem cell skin moisturizer or we’re going to have to put some better people on the job.

And nobody gives a rat’s ass about Restless Leg Syndrome, that’s just a byproduct of being 9 years old and bored out of your skull by a teacher with a small imagination and smaller talent for teaching. The kid does not need to be drugged into a pint-sized zombie. Don’t tell us about one more insect or anything further about the personal habits of gophers. We’d sort of like our scientists to tell us something we don’t know, like maybe how to propel our vehicles and heat our homes without burning a giant hole in the sky and making tyrants rich. Or maybe curing a disease or two. What are you guys, like 0 for 50 since Polio? Talk about a slump! Those numbers will get you sent back to the minors. You haven’t made much of a dent in cancer, diabetes or the new kid on the block, AIDS. Even malaria and cholera are making comebacks! What’s next, leprosy? The Black Plague?

Just maybe in the near future the Discovery Channel and National Geographic can air some shows about scientists who haven’t been dead for 50 years or more. Those cushy jobs narrating stuff abut Newton, Einstein, Curie and Galileo don’t seem to have inspired similar efforts. Instead of talking about black holes, why don’t we just send some people back into space? And not just in the neighborhood installing cable TV satellites either, deep space where cool and useful stuff can be discovered. The last bunch of scientific advances grew out of the space program, the fiber optics and the computers and whatnot. Let’s see what else we can find. There will be no shortage of volunteers to go where no man has gone before if the scientists can get their act together and decide that the Moon is not the limit of either mankind or our imaginations

Feeding the hungry would be a neat trick, too. On an incredibly bountiful planet, 36,000 people die every single day from starvation. Anybody working on that one besides Sally Struthers? There’s a reason why poor people are chopping down the rain forests (our planet’s lungs) like beavers on steroids and that’s because they have ruined their existing farmland with Bronze Age farming methods. Any research underway to change that reality or do we have to rely on Sting and Bono, they of the single names? The choppers are only going to ruin the new farms in a couple of seasons and keep chopping and people will still be dying in droves. Here’s a clue: the rock & roll stars haven’t come up with any scientific solutions, they are just keeping the seat warm and the issue alive until some of you people decide to make a career change from measuring the wing spans of hummingbirds and creating computer models of dinosaurs fighting each other like a bunch of 7-year olds claiming “My Tyrannosaurus can beat up your Stegosaurus!” Who cares?

Well, we can’t burn the rotten remains of your computer generated behemoths and your efforts on behalf people with short attention spans have proven pretty fruitless outside of the fun drugs you keep creating. What else have you got beside a long white lab coat and a bunch of letters after your name? If you get busy now, real busy, maybe someday you’ll have a list of accomplishments to go along with that PhD. And if your laboratory happens to be on the waterfront, it’s not like you have a ton of time, either. Once those ice caps start to melt you’ll have to switch to Oceanography or drown with the rest of us who didn’t see fit to move to the new seacoasts of Pennsylvania and Utah. Science people, it’s time to put up or shut up. We’re watching you!

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