By Douglas Becker


John G. Cramer presented “The Retarding of Science” in The Alternate View in the October 2015 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact:

The Mark Gable Foundation achieved this goal by creating, for each major field of scientific investigation, a panel of distinguished scientists that would meet monthly to award prizes and grants for the best recent scientific work. (The Foundation, as Szilard pointed out, bears some resemblance to the U.S. National Science Foundation.) This plan , it was explained, would keep the best of the older scientists away from their laboratories and busy with unproductive travel, meetings, and report writing and would cause the younger scientists in need of funds to go for the “sure thing” that would be certain to lead to publishable results, thereby filling the scientific journals with trivial results and channeling research in the direction of the safe, the fashionable, and the obvious, and away from the more risky innovations and break-throughs at the frontiers of knowledge.

Inspired by this concept, in 1984, I announced the creation of the American Association for the Retardation of Science and Engineering (acronym: AARSE), dedicated to the retardation of scientific progress wherever it may occur, in whatever field, in whatever place. AARSE is created for the specific purpose of encouraging the retardation of scientific progress and giving appropriate recognition to those who have done the most in recent times to further this goal.

All of this because Science, Engineering and Technology are advancing too fast for everyone to keep up. Training is obsolete by the time the courses are completed. There’s no way to keep up.

In the first incarnation of AARSE, the 1984 Gold-Plated AARSE AWards went to Senator William Proxmire, to the administrators of Columbia University and Catholic University, to the Institute for Creation Research of El Cajon, California and to the State Legislatures of Arkansas and Louisiana. However, many other awards were presented privately by active AARSE members.

However, there was a lapse in the awards for reasons Dr. Cramer elaborated in the article, but now they have resumed:

The first 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the Boston Patriots Coach Bill Belchick for the press conference in which he provided a “scientific explanation” of how 11 out of 12 Patriot footballs and zero out of 12 Colts footballs became deflated during their playoff game. Belichick set a new standard for “baffle ’em with BS” in his pseudo-scientific explanation of the deflate gate phenomenon, which should strongly promote the retardation of science. The “scientific experts” quoted by the media, and reaching a variety of conflicting conclusions, did not do much better and also deserve Gold-Plated AARSE Awards.

There were two other awards.

The second 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the 56% of Congressional Republicans who deny the existence of climate change of human origin. This group has done an outstanding job of ignoring the views of the roughly 98% of climate scientists who have a consensus agreement that anthropogenic warming is real and serious, while quoting profusely from fringe sources and the 1-2% of climate scientists that have expressed other opinions.

The next award of the year has particular relevance to Armstrongists.

The third 2015 Gold-lated AARSE Award goes to the many anti-vax parents of children in the U.S.A. and U.K. who have wisely protected their children from autism by preventing their vaccinations for measles and other childhood diseases. They have bravely resisted the heavy handed prompting and requirements of government agencies and health authorities, who think that just because a link between vaccination and autism has been overwhelmingly rejected by a long series of scientific studies, all children should be vaccinated. These parents instead prefer to be “on the safe side” by accepting the validity of an autism-vaccination link originally suggested in 1998 in a paper by British gastroenerologist Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s publication has since been discredited and retracted by the publishing journal, and he has lost his medical license. These thoughtful parents cover a broad range of ideologies from Oklahoma redneck libertarians to California alternative medicine liberals, and they have done an outstanding job in confusing the distinction between medical science and uniformed opinion.

Now it is true that Herbert Armstrong often made it seem that he supported science, engineering and technology, but he made it clear that he only supported them under the condition that they be used for his religion. If they were not, they were “bad” and of the “Devil”, destroying not just faith, but the world at large which was going to hell in a handbasket because of them. Of course, it was obvious in retrospect that the real reason the Herbert Armstrong rejected science, engineering and technology is that he lacked structural visualization which would have given him the ability to understand them. As it was, his father was a craftsman and inventor in the structural field which created a huge rift between them, possibly resulting in Herbert Armstrong’s narcissism. It also didn’t help that Herbert Armstrong never finished high school and did not value education because he lacked the inherited aptitude of foresight.

Herbert Armstrong established any number of antiscientific stances now embraced by his hireling successors who have established a few of their own. He didn’t let members go to doctors for treatment, opposed vaccines and held other views which retarded science, engineering and technology, particularly when they interfered in the advertising efforts to draw more people to his cult. Actually, it was not a bad strategy because 75% of those in the United States don’t really understand science anyway (the statistics of scientific ignorance is appalling). His world was filled with religious magic rather than rational observation and process.

Folks like Robert Thiel have helped advance the antiscience nonsense by proposing that sin — particularly homosexuality — causes earthquakes, natural disasters and drought.

Armstrongists live in a world they cannot possibly understand and science, engineering and technology are unfathomable mysteries for which they create creative explanations, such as gap theory with Intelligent Design not far behind.

This doesn’t even begin to address the issues of British Israelism.

And so it is that we here at The Painful Truth now issue our very own 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE to honor the Armstrongists:




    If you have anything you would like to submit to this site,
    or any comments, email me at:



    Back to Painful Truth menu




      The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2015 by
      The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.

      Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without prior written consent.