ORIGINS SYMPOSIUM: THE ‘BURNING MAN’ FESTIVAL OF THE INTELLECTUALS?

If you like intellectual weirdorama, here’s a good one: The upcoming ORIGINS Symposium at the Arizona State University. It is going to be a star-studded gala event, bringing together “the origin of the universe, origins of stars and planet, the origins of life, human origins, origins of consciousness and culture.” Got it all? Naturally, the stars who will be there will cover, between themselves, all these angles

The ASU faculty organizer describes himself modestly as “an internationally known theoretical physicist, a bestselling author, a frequent editorialist, a sought-after lecturer, a radio commentator, moderately photogenic, a profiled persona….” So now you know that he is a co-equal peer to all the luminaries that he is going to be rubbing shoulders with. When it comes to fielding celebrities, ASU is no slouch.

Origins is a profound subject, and a good topic for a conference. But what does that have to do with celebrities, Nobel Panels and such ridiculous posturing? Why spend great moneys to display the Hawking types and then charge people ticket prices to attend the shindig? What is the real agenda here? It seems that this whole business is about Narcissism.

And who are these luminaries? If you look at the list of attendees, you will not disagree that this is a select group of the highest stratospheric intellectuals the World has purportedly produced. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Nobeled.

John C. Mather*: Posited as the greatest discoverer of all times, he is actually the greatest science fraud in human history. Note that even though he has his official NASA homepage, this is not what turns up when you click on his name in the Symposium announcement. Instead, a Wikipedia item comes up! So, may be NASA is distancing itself from Mather’s participation?

George Smoot*: This grand Nobel-winning discoverer actually has no discovery. It vanished from under him.

Stephen Hawking: He promoted the aforementioned science fraud with his international stature, and introduced the fraud to the World as the greatest discoverer. Hawking never retracted this falsehood, or apologized for misleading those who look up to him. Is this someone you want to adulate?

Brian Greene: Promoted by the media as an important physicist, he has made no contributions worth anything to physics. He says he has made “discoveries” within String Theory. Now, String Theory itself is a pastime for idle navel contemplators. To say that you have made a discovery within String Theory is like claiming that you hold a Knighthood from Fredonia. However, Greene would be a good entrepreneurial example of how to make money off physics. He seems to be raking it in.

Frank Wilczek*: He made a bogus discovery that Nobeled.

David Gross*: Same as above.

Steven Weinberg*: An early proponent of the bogus Big Bang Cosmology. He probably made good money at it from book royalties.

So there you have it: The sexy groovefest of the intellectuals – some star-bellied, some not. Sorry, no chilams there, only fine wines. To be held in the fine desert country under the bright Arizona sun.

PS – Tickets $16 to $128.50.

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