Respectful Insolence

Via The Onion (where else):

TALLAHASSEE, FL–Only months after abandoning a tenured position at Lehigh University, maverick chemist Theodore Hapner managed to disprove two of the three laws of thermodynamics and show that gold is a noxious gas, turning the world of science–defined for centuries by exhaustive research, painstaking observation, and hard-won theories–completely on its head.

The brash chemist, who conducts independent research from his houseboat, has infuriated peers by refusing to “play by the rules of Socrates, Bacon, and Galileo,” calling test results as he sees them, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

“If you’re looking for some button-down traditionalist who relies on so-called induction, conventional logic, and verification to arrive at what the scientific community calls ‘proof,’ then I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong guy,” said the intrepid 44-year-old rebel, who last month unveiled a revolutionary new model of atomic structure that contradicted 300 years of precedent. “But if you want your results fast and with some flair, then come with me and I’ll prove that the boiling point of water is actually 547 degrees Fahrenheit.”


And, of course, like any good “maverick” scientist:

Despite his innumerable achievements, Hapner faces many experts who remain skeptical and have even declared his findings corrupt, irrational, irresponsible, and unscientific.

“It’s true that I’ve been condemned and ridiculed by the world’s most prominent chemists, as well as by a good number of amateur hobbyists,” Hapner said as he rubbed a balloon on his head to demonstrate a basic principle of hydrodynamics. “But then, wasn’t Einstein ridiculed when he unveiled his theory of relativity, or Copernicus when he posited that the Earth revolved around the sun? True, I have since proved them both wrong, but at least they took risks.”

Sounds like The Onion‘s heard of the Galileo Gambit. It also sounds as though The Onion’s angling to get a piece in this week’s Skeptics’ Circle.

Comments

  1. #1 llewelly
    June 5, 2006

    I think I’ve heard of this guy before … didn’t he work with Singer, Seitz, and Michaels?

  2. #2 Don S
    June 6, 2006

    And remember, they laughed at Tesla.

    No reason.

    He just looked funny whenever he got all mad about Edison.

  3. #3 Deacon Barry
    June 6, 2006

    They all laughed when Edison discovered sound.
    But who, who, who, who’s got the last laugh now?

  4. #4 outeast
    June 7, 2006

    Edison discovered sound?