Every night before bed, I ask God to protect us from scientists.
Apparently I haven't been praying hard enough, as I awoke the other morning to this headline: "Scientists revive giant 30,000-year-old virus from Siberian permafrost."
I read on and learned that French and Russian researchers dug deep into the Siberian ice and uncovered a long-dormant virus. Having apparently never seen a movie about how viral outbreaks turn humans into flesh-hungry zombies, the scientists proceeded to revive the virus by waving a fat, juicy amoeba in its face.
The virus infected the amoeba and the scientists celebrated by giving the virus a terrible name. They dubbed it "Pithovirus," after the Greek word pithos, which was the type of jar that Pandora opened. If you recall your Greek mythology, that jar contained not one, not two, but all the evils in the world.
So that's reassuring.
The researchers said the Pithovirus is harmless to humans, but they believe it shows that viruses from long ago -- including dangerous ones -- can be rereleased if the ice covering them melts due to global warming or human excavation.
Great. As if I didn't have enough to worry about already.
Sure, the researchers say learning about these viruses can help humans prepare for future outbreaks.
But I say if there's some deadly humongo-virus hidden deep under the ice in Siberia, maybe the best course of action would be to LEAVE IT ALONE BEFORE IT GETS MAD AT US!!
This is just the latest example of science ruining everything.
Thanks to curious lab nerds, I now know it's unhealthy to eat an entire cake in one sitting. I can't smoke, because that's bad. Depending on which study you believe, my life will be shortened by: too much sitting, not enough sleeping, not enough running, too much running, not enough fish oil (blech), too much fish oil, eating red meat, eating any meat, trying to hunt my own meat, overcooking the aforementioned meat, undercooking the aforementioned meat and worrying too much about how I cook my meat.
Science has stressed me out over bird flu and then stressed me out again over bird flu shots. It has made me both fear global warming and think global warming is a myth, and now, by giving a newly discovered virus a scary mythical name, science has made me worry that at any moment a clumsy French researcher will drop a petri dish full of the FaceMeltovirus, shout "Sacre bleu!" and pretty much stick a fork in humanity.
There is only one logical response to this tidal wave of uncomfortable news: I'm calling for an end to science. Let's just stop where we are and call it good.
I recall the wise words of Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee who said in 2012: "All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell."
Excellent point, sir. Science is dumb, quite possibly satanic, and it's high time we did away with the whole practice.
Looking at Broun's Twitter page, I could see he's busy criticizing Obamacare and demanding answers about the consulate attack in Benghazi, but I shot him a tweet to get his take on all this: "Hey Paul, I think science is dum and I want to get rid of it. Your thoughts? #PitOfHell #classic."
Didn't hear back, but I'm going to assume his answer is "Yes."
With the backing of a pragmatic life-scholar like Broun, there's nothing we can't accomplish. And that means if you're a practitioner of science, you'd better start looking for work.
We're coming after you like a Pithovirus going after an amoeba. I don't know what that means, but it sure sounds scary.
Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a noted hypocrisy enthusiast. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter at @RexHuppke.
By REX HUPPKE