Written by walter
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Tags: Research

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Once I was taught a good hypothesis was that which could be properly tested. In the past, critical thinking was the essence of a well-developed dissertation.

While browsing, I, incidentally, ran into the following title: 'Dissertation Acceptance Certificate' by a very prestigious school. The Ph. D. candidate said his 'research was funded in part by summer grants'. The researcher claimed to have examined all uncertainties about the supernatural! A sample:

"He (an interviewee?) proceeds to enumerate,… the ills and vices that plague (…) society, cheating and lying among merchants, bribery in the bureaucracies, corruption in every aspect of social life, the weakening of friendships, and the ubiquity of deceit, hypocrisy, and profiteering…"

The Ph. D. candidate avoids any direct reference to the fact that the country is run by a cult. He does not give any hint at all that, under such rulers, supernatural mentality has skyrocketed.

The Ph. D. candidate simply gives a detailed account of what papers or a few people he claims to have interviewed have said. Ironically, it happens that the student's field of education is anthropology. As such we expect of him to know a little about anthropology, culture and specifically religion.

For instance he is supposed to know that sometimes the available techniques become unpredictable, or ordinary people, sometimes, fall into inexplicable rage. A faithful wife deserts her good husband. Apparently, a healthy person dies suddenly for no reason. The stone-aged man despite his skills failed to cut a tool out of a piece of stone for no reason. Even today, despite state-of-the-art technologies, an important project may fail to perform at a very crucial moment. This is called 'the uncertainties'.

Well, then, each and every society has developed certain patterns of behavior in order to guard itself against such unpredictabilities. This effort is called religion. And religion has various forms: Magic, religion (No sharp distinction found between the preceding two), astrology, augury (studying the flight of birds), dowsing, extispicy (using animal entrails to predict future events), fortune telling, geomancy (interpreting markings on the ground formed by tossed soil ), omens, scrying, and tarot reading (cards); spirits, demons, deities, priests (various forms), shamans, magicians, sorcerers etc.

I am sure the Ph. D. candidate knows where to find hundreds of books, frequently reprinted under the auspicious of the ruling cult. However, the Ph. D. candidate may add the following to his collection of he-said-she-said dissertation:

An excerpt, of course, translated, from a book much older than the history of USA.
Kidney Stones: The name of this compound is 'Yadollah' meaning the hands of Allah. Recipe: Find a 4-year old he-goat. Timing: when grapes begin turning sweet. Cut off the goat's jugulars and let the first portion of the blood spill away. Then collect the middle portion, but again do not use the last portion! Find a stone pot! Cover the stone pot with a cloth to keep dust particles away. Leave it there in the sun until it dries out. Now take one Mesqal, (5 grams) of the stuff and dilute it with wild celery juice. Take it. Bon Appéti! N.B.: If stone pot unavailable, you may use a clay pot as well!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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