Long long ago in a galaxy far far away when I was a little undergraduate I found myself on the college JCR Executive Committee in a lowly capacity and a motion came up for consideration at the next JCR meeting. The motion called for the JCR to petition the SCR to admit no more natural scientists to the College on the grounds of their poor sartorial choices, inability to make intelligent conversation and general ignorance of anything other than their menial and myopic little disciplines. Rumour of the motion had swept through the undergraduate body and it enjoyed tremendous support. There was a serious chance that it might pass. The JCR President employed procedural devices and rule bending to avoid its ever being presented to the JCR for fear of the horrifically divisive consequences.

I often reflect fondly upon that Exec’ meeting. I was greatly edified by the groundswell of support for the motion. A few years earlier my first encounter with the allegory of the cave had instilled in me a powerful distain for matter. One of the great disasters on the road to ruin of western civilisation was the day that the hypothetico-inductive method and its fruits usurped the name of science. For by the nature of the case such reasoning is forever condemned to be not science but opinion. In essence, physicists, chemists and biologists are just glorified plumbers and electricians. Universities are places for the acquisition of knowledge and for the study of the liberal arts. “Every art is called liberal which is ordered to knowing; those which are ordered to some utility to be attained through action are called servile arts”. I’m sure institutions for these arts and their practitioners could be separately established at a safe distance where the inmates might fill their days torturing frogs with Bunsen burners and their nights watching Red Dwarf DVDs without causing further unnecessary distress to others.

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