Written by Select Distinct

Saturday, 2 October 2004

ZARAGOZA, SPAIN. Researchers at the Istituto di Patafisica Clandestino have made an exciting, though insignificant discovery that imaginary objects, dreamt-up dreams, ruminations, hallucinations, metaphors, abstractions and delusions are actually real-- and that they should "matter" to science. The discovery is "no more interesting or important than any half-baked hogwash a child could come up with" says British critic Pritchard Crawson. The members of the 8-person research team couldn't agree more. "Children, unimpeded by the shackles of learning and scientific methodology can make very important and useful findings with much less effort than adults," says Ricardo Sánchez.

The findings reported by the Zaragoza-based research team questioned the previously widely held consensus in science that while imagination and conceptualization are a fundamental part of human cognitive functioning and healthy meaningful existence, empirical observation, and independent verification of sensory data must be the ultimate arbiter of what is sensible and true. The study pokes holes in this argument by dismantling its fundamental assumptions and by presenting experiments that experimenters operating within traditional scientific paradigms would find impossible, or at least distasteful, and possibly even stupid.

Lead experimenter Joaquín Barbón said of the discovery, "We were having trouble comprehending the behavior of a particle we were observing. It was obvious what the thing was doing-- it was relaying messages from a distant star. The inhabitants are a species of giant reptiles who work closely with the Masons here on Earth. It's the so-called significance tests and the rules about independent replication of results that kept getting in our way." As a result, Barbón and the team have decided to ditch statistics and rely on naked perception.

The problem with independent replication says Pablo Ramallo who has been vital to some of the group's most groundhog-washing work, is that it "totally neglects the issue of what kinds of chemicals the secret government has been putting into water supplies, which could easily result in an utterly confusing situation in which different individuals may make entirely different observations." The "secret government", he then went on to clarify is the global joint Solarian-Starian (space aliens) alliance that was allegedly formed in the 1950s to address the problem of nuclear proliferation, and to establish transparent mind control over the purportedly rancorous masses. The Zaragoza team has regimented themselves to exclusively and daily imbibing a custom-synthesized liquid chemical cocktail to avoid the pitfalls of potentially tainted public and private water supplies.

Among other methodologies abandoned by the Zaragoza researchers is the 13th Century dictum known as Occam's Razor, the notion that any and all complexity in a hypothesis should be motivated by complexity in the data. "Not all data comes from the senses," Ramallo explains, "Sometimes you just know things." He then got out of his seat and pointed to an indeterminate point beyond the ceiling. "Ramses cando flux gemina basbat ram gipgip" is our best guess at what he intoned. "A rival group may be trying to thwart our work on particle-based interstellar communication," he explained.

This work has yet to be fully embraced by the scientific community at large. However they have found a captive audience in U.S. Politics. Effectively Lame Duck President George W. Bush has called the research "intriguing." Bush has previously been criticized extensively by several coalitions of renowned scientists, including a large group of Nobel Prize-winners, for impeding research on stem cells, and denying the existence of global warming.

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

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Topics: Spain, Discovery

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