How many Dutch scientists do you know, or have even heard of? I can name only one - Christian Huygens, but then he was more a speculator than a scientist. When the Europeans and the Americans were busy discovering electricity, gravitation, photons, X-rays, black holes, vaccination, solar systems and automobiles, the Dutch largely remained quiet, occasionally breaking their technological silence with an odd invention like the device to slice beetroot or the paperweight. But just after the late 1980s, when the scientific community reached a more or less stable state and new inventions became increasingly hard to come by, it appeared as though we were finally exhausted from running hard in the African jungles, and had stopped for a breather only to find ourselves surrounded by cannibals armed with spears and poison darts. And just when we were staring at each other with open mouths in deathly silence, sweating, panting and without a clue as to how to escape from the awkward situation, the Dutch arrived accompanied by a loud din, crashing in sideways in a flurry of flying test tubes and slide rules, burying everyone neck deep in a pile of reseach papers. The next thing you'd expect them to do would be stand up and look around quickly, dust their coats and announce that they were alright.
The volume and quality of research output from The Netherlands has, in recent days rattled the whole scientific machinery, with such breathtaking revelations about the myriad workings of the universe as:
Friday the 13th is not unlucky.
Customers return the products that they can't use.
Children of lesbian couples are like other children.
When people play loud music, they are aware of it.
Drugs are good.
If you eat chocolate, you will live to be 140.
Drugs are good.
Even though twins look the same, they are different people.
When people don't want to quote the exact source of a stupid and obscure scientific finding, why do they always start with "Researchers in the Netherlands have found that..."? Who are these Researchers in Netherlands, and what else have they found out? Has anyone ever bothered to investigate? Do such people really exist, or are they just a stereotype? Short bespectacled men in white labcoats and miner's helmets, holding clipboards, hunched over a mouse cage, taking notes, pretending to be interested.
Look at that picture. Why do those people need labcoats, gloves, shower caps, safety glasses and gas masks to read what's written on a clipboard? Even if it was a sinister noxious-gas emitting clipboard, why is only one person wearing that gas-mask? Doesn't the older man care about his safety? Maybe he is a seasoned old veteran who has seen it all. Even if poisonous gases are emitted, does the scientist on the left really think that the flimsy piece of cloth can save him from the resulting slow and gruesome death? Why are they wearing shower caps? Because they don't want the hazardous clipboard to catch dandruff? Even if you concede that it is a fair thought, why is the man on the LEFT wearing it? He doesn't even have any hair!
Do these chimpanzees really think they can outwit the micro-organisms by wearing silly hats? Who are these people and what exactly are they doing in the picture? Are they even real scientists?
What are those clowns discussing, anyway? The effect of Korean hip-hop music on the embryo of a platypus? The correlation of a graph that links teenage pregnancy with political turmoil in Chechnya?Why do all laboratory accessories come only in white? Won't purple labcoats work just as well?
Recently a team of researchers in Netherlands found that Fluoride in drinking water increases the risk of hip fractures in women. A few months later, another study showed that the fluoridation/hip fracture link was not gender specific between high and low fluoride areas. Barely a few months later, another team from The Netherlands found that Fluoride has nothing absolutely to do with anything at all. A team of researchers studying the polar ice caps reported decreasing ice volumes. Another team of researchers studying the polar ice caps reported increasing ice volumes. Another study established that it is both increasing and decreasing. I am not kidding. The third, ground breaking study quoted "A change in one direction must be matched by a change in the opposite direction, in order to preserve physical harmony in the universe. The predicted result is that sea levels will both rise and fall, depending, of course, upon the perspective of the observer." Those are NOT my words. A scientific study found that fish oil is very beneficial for health. A Dutch study found that fish oil is not beneficial for health.
They really are kicking up some serious scientific dust in Netherlands, aren't they? (Doesn’t nether land mean hell or something?) They advise you to eat Brussels sprouts because it prevents cancer, and then they advise you against eating it because it causes DNA damage. They invent lithium batteries and Bluetooth headsets for cell phones and then warn you against the harmful effects of cell phone radiation. It always seems that research in The Netherlands is sponsored by two rival groups of corporate giants who want to prove each other's products unworthy. In fact scientific funding is so abundant in Netherlands, and the volume of research is so staggering that around 60% of the Dutch are scientists. The other 17 are drug peddlers and prostitutes.
What kind of questions do such findings answer? Who is asking those questions? What manner of scientific or intellectual thirst does it quench? Honestly, I cannot imagine the level of sheer desperation, or boredom that would drive a man towards a line of research such as that. What could it be? The belief that every other significant thing has already been discovered, and all that remains in the world to be done is establish beyond doubt that children who grow up with noisy neighbours tend to be socially inactive in their late 40s?
Please stop taking scientific research seriously. Don't believe anyone. Not especially those tarot-card readers and fortune tellers cleverly disguised as scientists in white labcoats. They are the scum of the scientific world, the disgusting creatures that live behind hinges and in dark corners. Never buy science from a person who seems to know what he is talking about. In science is sometimes wiser to trust a person who is clueless.
Seriously, if scientists hadn't fooled around with such useless research and focussed on the really important things, we might have already cured cancer, or eradicated hunger and poverty. The downside of it is that we might also have invented bigger, more powerful bombs...So maybe its good that the most resourceful minds in the world (not necessarily Dutch) are kept occupied with inventing ceramic cheese graters and talking coat-hangers. Maybe we can put off annihilation by a few more years.