For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 13, 2004
10:27 A.M. (EST)
FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH'S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING SO-CALLED STEM CELL RESEARCH AND OTHER KINDS OF PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC FLAPDOODLE
Hello there. I'm Laura Bush. Call me a fussbudget, but as one of the world's great readers of stuff, I make it a point to stay current on all the issues
that matter in today's complicated, perverted, and frightening world. Yes indeedy, even with my demanding schedule as a stay-at-home mom for
two college graduates, I'm never too busy to keep up on my reading – whether it's spending hours upon lonely hours gazing at the cracked plaster
above my antique bed to find Spanglish words hidden in the ceiling, or reading aloud from pop-up books salty enough to retain the attention of a
roomful of colored kindergarden urchins. Not surprisingly, all that reading has made me quite the crackerjack science expert over the years, too.
Yessirooni it has! And now all the world can benefit from my smartness when it comes to understanding all sorts of
complicated stuff that is beyond the grasp of our spouses!
Here are some examples:
POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Stem cell research has the potential
to revolutionize the treatment of illness and reduce human suffering throughout the world.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "
"That's ridiculous! We don't even know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything — much less that it's very close!
If that bossy French woman Madame Curie had been smart enough to see things my way, she would have enjoyed a lot more quality time
with her incorrigible children instead of wasting time in lab surrounded by rats and fungus. "
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Studying a newly discovered species
helps us better understand other organisms within its genus.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "What nonsense! We don't even know that learning
about something will teach us anything – much less that it ever can! Besides, I don't know about you all, but I get
to the point where my brain just says, 'Hold your horses, Laura! That's enough information and ideas for this month.'"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Sending new rockets into space will lead to a
greater understanding of our planet and solar system.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "Jiminy Cricket, I don't understand why folks are
so eager to let Martians know we are here. Don't we have enough trouble with foreign trash sneaking over the border as it is?
Besides, we don't even know that new rockets will rocketize properly — much less that the round earth theory will prove out!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: New inventions currently under development may
one day dramatically impact the way we live our daily lives.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "That's absurd! After my hubby fell off of that
doggone Segway three or four times, I decided the world simply doesn't need any more newfangled inventions!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Experimental drugs need to be tested in order
to determine their efficacy and subsequently save lives.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "That is just ludicrous! We don't know that
giving drugs to people will have any effect — much less that they'll be anywhere near as good as Xanax.
Besides, as far as I'm concerned, there has been quite enough experimentation with drugs in this household to last a millennium!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: The way to test a theory is to submit predictions
to comprehensive and rigorous experimentation.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "That's preposterous! Use your heads people: how in the
word can a theory sit down and take a test? Besides, even if they could, we don't even know that they'll score high
enough to be legacied into Yale!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to
remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "How silly! Anyone who has thrown, with great force
I might add, as many shot glasses and Fiestaware plates across rooms as I have knows only too well that stuff flying through
space stops when it hits a wall — or your hubby's noggin."
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Initiating an archaeological excavation is a wonderful
way to unearth lost cultures and better understand human history.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "Poppycock!
If my hubby's long string of failed oil drilling ventures proved one thing it is this: digging holes in the ground is
a just a waste of money!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: The practice of conservationism enables society
to manage natural resources so as to maximize benefits over a long period of time.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "Pshaw! We don't even know that conserving things
results in conservation — much less that conserved things last longer and leave you with a house full of extra stuff you
don't have any space for!"
- POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Legitimate scientific findings must be reproducible,
based upon logical and/or mathematical reasoning, and maintain rigorous standards for honesty and accuracy.
DR. LAURA SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: "Oh boy, that's a corker! We don't even know that that modern science
stuff is even real — much less that it supports all the HARD scientific truths about the origins of the universe that are spelled out
clear as day in Jesus Christ's best-selling biography The Holy Bible!"