Tag Archives: isaiah 2:22

Wisdom: ‘The Fright Peddlars’

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R.J. Rushdoony wrote this short essay in 1976 for The California Farmer. We’ll never need its wisdom more than we need it right now.


Just last year we were all gonna die from Climate Change, or measles, or whatevvuh. Rushdoony wrote, “It exalts some scientific plannedrs as the only ones with the answers, and it makes the rest of us a herd of cattle headed for the stockyards, unless we listen to them.” Sound familiar?

When Rushdoony was a schoolboy they were “teaching” kids that the world would run out of everything in 20 years or so, and that the Kellogg-Briand Pact would surely prevent another world war from starting. It’d be funny if the punchline weren’t World War II.

I remember what the Lord said to Isaiah: “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22)

Science Ethics Crumbling, Investigators Say

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America’s top scientists are falling like tenpins over newly-disclosed ethics violations (https://www.yahoo.com/news/fall-top-us-scientists-points-ethics-gap-research-045350389.html), Yahoo News reports. Payola ain’t just for disc jockeys anymore.

Just to name three:

*A scientist who has authored “hundreds of articles on cancer research” has taken “millions of dollars” from pharmaceutical and medical supplies companies.

*Cornell has demanded the resignation of a top food scientist who reported “surprisingly positive results in dozens of his articles,” thirteen of which have already been pulled from the journals.

*A public health professor at Dartmouth has been credibly accused of rather a lot of plagiarism.

The scientific establishment has been reluctant to discuss these incidents, said one source, for fear “it would aid and abet anti-science forces,” whoever they might be. Well, we can’t have people being anti-science, can we? They might turn into Climate Change deniers. And everybody must believe in Evolution!

To those of us who grew up in the Fifties, in the Sputnik generation, Science was presented as the unimpeachable be-all and end-all of human endeavor. Sooner or later, Science would solve all our problems. Suddenly all the TV commercials featured actors in white lab coats: “Scientific studies say our product is the best!” We were expected to believe them, because Science never lies; and most of us did.

“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” says the Bible (Isaiah 2:22). Right on.

Scientists are sinners like the rest of us. They are not unimpeachable fountains of pure truth. I suppose they might still be more honest than journalists, but that’s setting the bar about as low as you can set it without laying it on the ground.

A Good Idea Gone Bad

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As long as we’re on the subject of cereal box prizes, let’s go just a little ways down Memory Lane, back into the 1980s.

How do you get people to try a new cereal? Well, the advertisers of Almond Delight came up with a swell idea: offer “Free Cash in Every Box.” Consumers had a chance to find either real legal tender–$1, $5, $50, or $500–inside the box, or else a bit of foreign  currency. Now if that wasn’t going to make the product fly off the shelves, what would?

They didn’t calculate for Original Sin.

Imagine our disappointment when we brought home a box of Almond Delight and found that someone had already slit it open with a box-cutter and removed whatever money was inside. We were even more disappointed when we went back to the store and found every Almond Delight box on the shelf similarly treated. Every last one of ’em had already been slit open. I need hardly add that we didn’t buy it again.

Maybe  “Free Cash in Every Box” wasn’t such a good idea, after all.

The thing to remember, though, is that this was the brainchild of highly-paid professionals who supposedly knew what they were doing.

Or, as Isaiah once put it, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22)

Settled Science: Radioactivity is Good for You!


According to Professor Bertram Boltwood of Yale University, radioactivity introduced into a human body is “carrying electrical energy into the depths of the body and there subjecting the juices, protoplasm, and nuclei of the cells to an immediate bombardment by explosions of electrical atoms,” and that it stimulates “cell activity, arousing all secretory and excretory organs… causing the system to throw off waste products” and is, among other things, “an agent for the destruction of bacteria” ( http://www.cultofweird.com/medical/eben-byers-radithor-poisoning/ ).

Indeed,  Prof. Boltwood’s scientific colleagues believe the consumption of radium has positive health benefits; so in 1912 (your first hint!) they invented a device called a “Revigator”–a jar made of radium-containing ore. The instructions included, “Fill jar every night. Drink freely… when thirsty and upon arising and retiring, average six or more glasses daily.” (same source)

Such was the Settled Science of the Nineteen-teens and twenties. If you want to be healthy, consume radioactive materials. The science is settled, the debate is over–radium is good for you! Anyone who says it isn’t ought to be punished for the crime of Radium Benefit Denial–trying to withhold this great boon from a beleaguered human race just waiting to be raised up to greatness by radium added to their salves, beauty creams, toothpaste, ear plugs, soap, butter, chocolate candy bars, suppositories (ugh!) and contraceptives.

This particular Settled Science kind of came unsettled in the 1930s, when people who had been using radium in the 1920s began to die from various forms of radiation poisoning. They weren’t nice deaths, either.

It’s not that Big Science always gets it wrong. It’s just that when they do get it wrong, it can kill you. Or destroy your agriculture. Or take away your liberty.

Just last week, we were advised that “science” tells us the Bible is all dead wrong about morality and we’ve got to celebrate “gay marriage.” ‘Cause Science says so.

These days it’s  hard to pick the science out of the crowd of pseudo-science all around it.

When all is said and done, science is the work of the human mind, and human hands. God’s word is eternal; man’s word is not. God’s truth is true forever; man’s truth has a limited shelf life.

The “truth” that radioactivity is good for you didn’t last too long.

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22)

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