Friday, November 7, 2014

"Adorable" Science

                Well, so much for the vaunted ethos of “scientific detachment and objectivity.” The headline (in many, many major newspapers, on-line, etc.) of an article about a newly discovered animal species recently read, “Adorable New Mammal Species Found ‘In Plain Sight’.” The article stated that the discovery of a new species was a rarity ( as opposed to how many are disappearing do to man’s evil ways). It went on to state that this new species eats fruit and weighs about two pounds, lives in Ecuador and Columbia and swings through trees at night. Oh, and it has a “teddy bear” face.

                When a legitimately significant scientific finding such as this is announced, the first word in the headline of an article reporting the finding shouldn’t be “Adorable.” The dictionary meaning of the word adorable is: “very attractive or delightful; charming; worthy of being adored.” So let’s go now to the Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary definition of adore: to regard with the utmost esteem, love and respect; honor; to pay divine honor to; worship. No subjectivity here! No feelings or bias!

                Are we logically to consider this animal “charming” when we’ve just discovered him/her? Does it speak French, say we’re beautiful and buy us a drink? And worship? Many of the intelligentsia, the enlightened, don’t worship God anymore, but the newly presented- and “adorable”- Olinguito is worthy of our divine approbation?

                I don’t recall scientific findings being presented like this in the past. I thought they were to be conveyed in a sober, clinical, factual manner.

                Upon inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell did not say (during the first ever “call”) to his assistant “Mr. Watson…come here…I want you and your cute little chubby cheeks to see my amazing invention. It’s way cool!”

                Perhaps I missed the headline stating “Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Gives Scientists Confirmation of One Hell of a Sexy Big Bang… Creating Universe.”

                I don’t think “discovery” of the buffalo in 1804 prompted headlines such as “Adorable , Fuzzy, New Wild Oxen Species Discovered on Plains…’in Plain Sight’.”

                Oh, well. At least I can finish this post with a peerlessly reasoned, clinical statement of fact born of the strictest scientific methodology and purest motives: “Unprecedented Man-Caused Climate Change  To Kill Us All!”

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