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Rogue scientist has own scientific method

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.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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