Settled Science: Radioactivity is Good for You!
According to Professor Bertram Boltwood of Yale University, radioactivity introduced into a human body is “carrying electrical energy into the depths of the body and there subjecting the juices, protoplasm, and nuclei of the cells to an immediate bombardment by explosions of electrical atoms,” and that it stimulates “cell activity, arousing all secretory and excretory organs… causing the system to throw off waste products” and is, among other things, “an agent for the destruction of bacteria.”
Indeed, Prof. Boltwood’s scientific colleagues believe the consumption of radium has positive health benefits; so in 1912 (your first hint!) they invented a device called a “Revigator”–a jar made of radium-containing ore. The instructions included, “Fill jar every night. Drink freely… when thirsty and upon arising and retiring, average six or more glasses daily.” (same source)
Such was the Settled Science of the Nineteen-teens and twenties. If you want to be healthy, consume radioactive materials. The science is settled, the debate is over–radium is good for you! Anyone who says it isn’t ought to be punished for the crime of Radium Benefit Denial–trying to withhold this great boon from a beleaguered human race just waiting to be raised up to greatness by radium added to their salves, beauty creams, toothpaste, ear plugs, soap, butter, chocolate candy bars, suppositories (ugh!) and contraceptives.
This particular Settled Science kind of came unsettled in the 1930s, when people who had been using radium in the 1920s began to die from various forms of radiation poisoning. They weren’t nice deaths, either.
It’s not that Big Science always gets it wrong. It’s just that when they do get it wrong, it can kill you. Or destroy your agriculture. Or take away your liberty.
Just last week, we were advised that “science” tells us the Bible is all dead wrong about morality and we’ve got to celebrate “gay marriage.” ‘Cause Science says so.
These days it’s hard to pick the science out of the crowd of pseudo-science all around it.
When all is said and done, science is the work of the human mind, and human hands. God’s word is eternal; man’s word is not. God’s truth is true forever; man’s truth has a limited shelf life.
The “truth” that radioactivity is good for you didn’t last too long.
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22)
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