SANITY IN SPACE

by Professor Revilo P. Oliver

January 1986

The "Scientific American" for January 1986 contains a highly significant article by Professor James A. Van Allen of the University of Iowa, who is famous for his discovery of the Van Allen Belt of radiation about the earth, which profoundly changed our conceptions of the perimeter of our planet above its atmosphere, thereby augmenting the sciences of geology, hylology, and astronomy. In this article, Professor Van Allen considers the current craze for building manned "space stations," including the one on which work is now in progress and for which the estimated cost of eight billion dollars is but a small down payment. Three more such devices are projected, including one that is to be placed in orbit around mars, with suggestions of one that is to gyrate about the inner part of the solar system, encompassing both Mars and the earth.

These undertakings and projects move the distinguished author to remark, "The acceptance of such grandiose proposals by otherwise rational individuals stems from the mystique of space flight, as nurtured over many centuries(1) by early writers of science fiction and their present-day counterparts. Indeed, to the ordinary person space flight is synonymous with the flight of human beings. The simple taste for adventure and fantasy expressed in that sentiment has been elevated in some quarters to the quasi-religious belief that space is a natural habitat of human beings. According to this belief, the real goal of the space program is to establish 'man's permanent presence in space,' a slogan that does not respond to the simple question: 'For what purpose?'"

The article documents another of the deleterious effects of "science fiction" on rational scientific research, on which I commented in "Is there Intelligent Life on Earth?," pp. 43-55, and elsewhere. The present craze to put men into outer space is drastically impeding the accumulation of scientific knowledge and even some merely utilitarian projects.

Professor Van Allen lists sixteen projects of the highest scientific importance and one that is merely utilitarian which were aborted or crippled by the National "Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1981 so that funds for them could be diverted to the construction of the "space shuttle," which, at enormous expense, chiefly benefited newsmen and the operators of boob-tubes, and produced virtually no increment of either scientific knowledge or usable technology. One has only to look at the list to see that a vast amount of highly important knowledge about the solar system, the universe, and even the earth itself was prevented or indefinitely postponed, just to give a few men an adventurous and exciting joy ride and to fascinate the audience that stares at television screens in a semi-hypnotic trance.

Of the present budget of the Space Administration, only fifteen percent goes for scientific research and technological applications of it, while billions of our counterfeit dollars are being squandered on more "men in space" projects, which, as Professor Van Allen clearly shows, have in themselves little value except for publicity, and in any case cannot be expected, even imaginatively, to accomplish anything that could not be done much better and at far less cost by devices sent into space and controlled from the earth, bearing instruments that make observations that no human being could make with his own eyes and other faculties.

Rational beings make a rational use of their resources. Contrary to the faith of "Liberal intellectuals," the amount of work that can be extorted from the taxpaying animals in the United States is not infinite, so it would be silly to suggest that we can please the devotees of "science fiction" and still do everything of scientific value by just squeezing more blood out of the Americans who threw away their freedom to please their enemies and their own "do-gooding" nitwits. There are abundant indications that the vampires are already sucking so much blood that they are gradually killing their victims, and the law of diminishing returns is already in operation.

After Americans have toiled four months out of each year to pay for such holy work as helping the Jews exterminate Semites who have land or property they want (i.e., eventually all of the Semitic states of the Near East and Northern Africa), inciting terror, massacre, and chaos throughout the world, trying to sate the insatiable maws of international usurers, accelerating the multiplication of biological refuse in the United States to hasten the liquidation of the White population that pays taxes, and increasing the crime rate to make the lives of that population hazardous pending the final extermination – after Americans have shown their Christian imbecility by financing such projects, there is only a very limited amount left for useful purposes.

One of the sixteen projects abandoned in 1981 was a spacecraft to meet Halley's comet and investigate its composition and electrodynamic characteristics. I submit that that one project would have been worth much more to us than fifty "space shuttles" floating around the globe and landing to please readers of "science fiction" and amuse addicts of the boob-tube.

I cannot assure you that the increase of scientific knowledge will have any "permanent" value. Scientific thought is a product of the Aryan mentality, from its first recorded appearance in Greece in the seventh century B.C. to the present time, a fact that is not in the least impaired by the ancillary fact that we have been able to train a few selected members of other superior races to follow our methods and emulate our devotion to knowledge for its own sake. There has also been a considerable and ominous effort by other races to appropriate our technology for use as a weapon against us. The only people who have done so with conspicuous success thus far are the Japanese, who have now attained a technological superiority over us, but who, so far as I can see, have no instinct that would drive them to ascertain, as we have done, what lies on the surface of Mars, or, as we are about to do, the exact size and nature of Uranus.

Now at present everything except hope seems to indicate that our race has lost the will to live and to conquer, and, its collective mentality hebetated by poisonous superstitions and proletarian rancors, is headed for extinction by the immutable biological law that the fit survive and the unfit perish. It is likely therefore that with the disappearance of our race, not only will truly scientific investigation of nature cease, but the vast body of knowledge we have accumulated will gradually wane away or suddenly be extinguished. When that happens, it is not unlikely that our technology will be partly discarded or totally repudiated. One could weigh the relative probability of the numerous projections that could be made from the present, but frankly, if our race destroys itself, I don't give a damn about what may happen on this planet thereafter.

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(1) In the interests of strict accuracy, I must note that Professor Van Allen>s "many centuries" is an exaggeration. Before the last third of the Nineteenth Century, tales of travel to other worlds were satirical (e.g., Lucian's "Vera historia" or Cyrano's "Voyages") or humorous (e.g., Poe's "Hans Pfaall"); they suggested to no one romantic dreams of journeys through space to other planets. Verne's "De la terre a la lune," published in 1865, was a description of the moon's uninviting surface as it might have been seen from a vehicle in parabolic flight about it, seasoned with a burlesque satire on the manners of Americans. The outburst of fantasies about visits to other inhabited planets was evidently triggered by the observation of lines, imagined to be rectilinear, on Mars by Schiaparelli, who called them "canals," in 1877. Percival Lowell's "Mars" was published in 1885, and H. G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" in 1898. That released a flood of realistic fantasies that were more or less plausible and within the bounds of possibility until our spacecraft photographed the surface of Mars and ascertained the climate on Venus. Now we are again alone in the universe, denizens of the only known planet on which organic life is possible.