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It's a Disestablished Fact

By Bob Woodiwiss · July 13th, 2000 · Pseudoquasiesque
So, you're all excited about the big breakthrough in the mapping of the human genome, huh? Well, don't bother. Because the absolute answers science provides today will very likely be rescinded by science tomorrow.

Example: Some recently discovered bird feather fossils are so old they totally shit-can the heretofore incontrovertible scientific evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Or: We now know that, contrary to previously 100 percent dead-certain astronomers and other space brainiacs, muckety-mucks and whizzes, liquid water once flowed on Mars, which means these same brainiacs, muckety-mucks and whizzes must completely re-evaluate their conclusions regarding the possibility of life on the red planet.

And those are only the two most recent ­ though also rather removed ­ illustrations. For everyday scientific "I take it back"s, choose from "safe" nuclear power; "therapeutic" lobotomies; "killer" caffeine, eggs, saccharine, ad nauseum; "planet" Pluto; "cool" Popular Science; et cetera.

Given such a track record, surely more "facts" will fall. But which ones? What other generally accepted scientific theories and absolutes will be stood on their heads? What else is there for us to unknow? Or reknow? Determined to be ahead of the recantation curve on any upcoming data retreat, I scoured the Internet for clues as to what the next de-solved mystery might be. I found more than I bargained for.

The Law of Gravity: We've long known that below the equator the seasons are reversed and water drains counter-clockwise.

But now scientists have re-examined their data and assert that, because the people "down there" are technically upside-down, objects in the southern latitudes actually fall "up." This re-evaluation has had far-reaching implications, not the least of which is whether South Hemispheric Christians should pray "down" to heaven and fear going "up" to hell.

Black holes: Previous theories surrounding black holes might soon be discarded in favor of the Fashion Thesis which states "black holes serve no useful purpose other than to make the universe look much thinner than it really is." Dr. Werner Schwarz, the scientist who first discovered the slimming effects of black on the universe, states that the holes may vanish in the not-too-distant future if the universe "manages to take off a few light years around the middle."

Plate tectonics: Though no explanation has been advanced in its place, the theory that, over billions of years, the continents have shifted position around the globe has lost credibility, as no one who's ever relocated even a short distance can believe that, with all that stuff being moved, not more of the world's valuables were lost or broken.

Cholesterol and heart disease: First it was LDL levels. Then HDL levels. Next came the ratio between HDL and LDL. For decades, researchers have been investigating and reinvestigating the role of "bad" and/or "good" cholesterol in the development of heart and arterial disease. Recent discoveries, however, point to a third type of cholesterol, RDL, which stands for Righteous & Devout Lipoprotein. Simply put, RDLs course through the bloodstream trying to convert the bad cholesterol to good. Unfortunately, too much RDL -- a condition called "born again blood," by medical researchers -- accelerates coronary failure because it causes the heart to lose its will to live.

The Speed of light: For years, scientists asserted the impossibility of traveling faster than the speed of light. Now, it would seem they're ready to amend that assumption. New computer models make it increasingly apparent that, someday, mankind will, indeed, travel faster than the speed of light -- it's just that it'll be dark when we get to wherever we're going.

Stonehenge: Long thought to be an ancient place of worship, a temple, a celestial calendar or astronomical device, archeologists have lately unearthed evidence inconsistent with those assumptions. Soon-to-be-conventional wisdom states that the irregular, asymmetrical, chipped, gaping gray uprights of Stonehenge are in reality a monumental representation of the average British citizen's teeth, circa 1951.

Big Bang Theory: This one will soon be no more widely accepted as the earth being flat, leech cures or creationism. Perhaps as early as next week, scientists will reveal previously unimaginable data proving that the entire universe and all of us in it exist only as figments of David E. Kelley's imagination. ©



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