It’s almost been a year since The-Dwarf-Planet-Formerly-Known- As-Planet-Pluto was exposed as a fraud. On August 24 2006, 2 500 scientists congregated on a convention centre in Prague, the Czech Republic, and voted on Pluto’s planetary status. Yes, you read correct: THEY VOTED.

And now it’s a done deal. Pluto is not a planet. And that’s a scientific fact. Did I mention that they voted on it? How much lobbying do you think happened over there. “Okay Dr. Freakynstein, I’ll support you on your The Earth Revolves Around The Moon theory.”

In case it’s not already clear, I think that scientists are full of it. They use words such as “empirical evidence”, “experimentation”, “objective” and “scientific methodology” to describe how it is that they arrive at scientific “facts”. And then they pull stunts like going to the ballot box in Prague.

The words that come to mind when I think about scientific research are “assumption”, “hypothesis”, “theory”, “conjecture” and “gas works” … er, that would be guesswork.

I dare anybody who thinks I’m a nitwit to perform this “scientific experiment”. The next time you’re ill, go to at least eight doctors. Doctors are scientists, right? Then come back and tell me how many diagnoses you got.

Doctor #1: It’s a rare gastrointestinal syndrome that causes the kidneys to gang-bang the pancreas. No need to be concerned, though. It’s non-penetrative sex, so you don’t have to worry about little pancreases running around your abdomen.

Doctor #2: You’ve got the flu. Here’s Panado.

Scientists are all over the place in their opinions that they parade as scientific fact. And they are far more hysterical than that other perpetually squabbling lot, the politicians, when it comes to defending their hocus-pocus. One of the esteemed men of science who went to Prague is a bloke named Professor Iwan Williams who quipped;

“I have a slight tear in my eye today, yes; but at the end of the day we have to describe the solar system as it really is, not as we would like it to be.”

I suppose the exertions of remaining “objective” would squeeze at my own tear glands too.

And that’s not even getting into all the dumb scientific research conducted. The other day I read about some “exhaustive study” that proves conclusively that eating well is a tad overrated when one is trying to stay healthy. I’m not making it up: click_id=125&art_id=vn20070822034716613C573983

We all know what that one is really about, don’t we? This is the height of “objectivity”, of course. Is it difficult to see how this is inevitably going to lead to some high-calibre individual having Fritos for breakfast, lunch and supper — “it doesn’t matter, I got ARVs”?

And some of them are groundbreaking too — “Stress may increase risk of stroke, new study reveals”: stress_may_increase_risk_of_stroke.html

You lie! Maybe sexual intercourse increases the risk of pregnancy too? You think? Let’s commission a study on this.

I don’t trust scientists any more. And because I’m an unashamed ignoramus, I’m going to share with you some of my suspicions. I don’t believe that Mark Shuttleworth ever went to space. I do think that Mark really believed he was going to space when he put down a deposit for his space cruise.

But I think that when he got there, there was a conversation between the Russian “astronauts” that went like this:

Yuri: OK, so who should tell him?
Sergei: Hey! It’s your turn. I told the last guy!

Mock me if you want to. An American TV network aired a programme entitled Did We Really Land on the Moon? a few years ago. It was really convincing. What if Nasa really did fake that whole “giant leap for mankind” thingy? With the help of Hollywood, anything is possible. And remember; these are scientists — and I believe I’ve proved that they are an irrational, serially voting bunch.

But think about the whole Mark Shuttleworth thing. It’s got “hoax” written all over it. Mark Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth. Shuttle. Space shuttle. Isn’t this a little too convenient? Especially when we are told that the guy was born in Welkom, in the heart of the Free State. Riiight. How many Shuttleworths from Welkom have you come across in your life?

And apparently he got shuttled up to space on April 25 2002. Why April?

“Happy April Fool’s!”
“But that was 24 days ago!”
“Not when you are travelling at the square root of the speed of sound raised to the eighth power.” (Scientists can make up bullshit almost at will, remember?)

Concede the fact that I could be right. Give me that at least. I don’t think Mark Shuttleworth is liar. In fact, I’ll vote for him when he’s canvassing to be the first post-apartheid white president (you just know that’s coming, don’t you?). But when you’ve paid as much money as he did and you’ve told the whole world you’re off to space, it’s a bit difficult to come back and confess that you were the victim of a Russian con job.

I would have been too embarrassed to own up too.

Ndumiso Ngcobo is the author of the recently released book Some of My Best Friends are White. (Two Dogs, ISBN 978-1-92013-718-2) go_product.php?ISBN=9781920137182&cid=struik


  • Once upon a time, Ndumiso Ngcobo used to be an intelligent, relevant man with a respectable (read: boring-as-crap) job which funded his extensive beer habit. One day he woke up and discovered that he had lost his mind, quit his well-paying job, penned a collection of hallucinations. A bunch of racist white guys published the collection just to make him look more ridiculous and called it 'Some of my best friends are white'. (Two Dogs, ISBN 978-1-92013-718-2). Nowadays he spends his days wandering the earth like Kwai Chang Caine, munching locusts, mumbling to himself like John the Baptist and searching for the meaning of life at the bottom of beer mugs. The racist publishers have reared their ugly heads again and dangled money in his face to pen yet another collection of hallucinations entitled 'Is It Coz 'm Black'. He will take cash, major credit cards and will perform a strip tease for contributions to his beer fund.


Ndumiso Ngcobo

Once upon a time, Ndumiso Ngcobo used to be an intelligent, relevant man with a respectable (read: boring-as-crap) job which funded his extensive beer habit. One day he woke up and discovered that he...

Leave a comment