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by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

From the editorial of last week’s New Scientist:

The Ig Noble awards are a wonderful send-up of science’s most presitious prizes…

The ceremony comes as a welcome diverstion from a different event unfolding in a Pennsylvania courtroom. While the Ig Nobels are increbily silly, they are founded on the serious idea that uninhibited curiosty is an engine of discouver. In the case of Kitzmiller et al vs Dover Area School Disctrict, the serious formalities of a court of law are being applied to a silly idea – the teaching in science classes of intelligent design, a thinly disguised veriosn of creationism that replaces the hard road of scientific discovery with a supernatural designer.

As ridiculous as the Ig Nobles may seem, they carry a deeper message. What makes science so powerful is that it permits people to ask questions that some in authority, and even our own common sense, tell us not to bother with. Often the results are unimportant, but sometimes they change the way we see the worl – as evolution has. It make ssense to reward people who are courages enough to keep asking questions, even at the expense of a little professional dignity.

Statements like the above, an article I read on Salon.com, and a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago help remind me that even in today’s modernity, things aren’t as most claim.

Journalism is still biased. Only the slant of its bias has shifted. Challenging the status quo is still not acceptable. It just rests on different shoulders. And don’t even thinka about suggesting that evolution is wrong. Just ask Michael Behe what happens when you do that.

The Longest Winter
Pedro the Lion
From the album, It’s Hard To Find A Friend

Spring comes slowly
To this old frame
Still I’m frozen
I still live alone

In time memories fade
Sense numb
One forgets how it feels
To have loved
Completely

Love well young man
While you still can
Once your leaves turn
You won’t love again

Is it special when you’re lonely?
Will you spend your whole life
In a studio apartment
With a cat for a wife?
The seasons, when they call you
Do you barricade the door?
Are you stubborn stubborn
Stubborn to the core?
Is it your way or the highway?

Then the longest winter is on her way
You called her without knowing it
And now it’s too late