Chapter 1: The Best of All Possible Scientists

    In a laboratory of one of the most prestigious Universities in all of America, worked a professor of science who nature had endowed with an especially unique genius. Being born with the last name Pangloss most assuredly played a part in molding the professor’s disposition because there was never a problem too difficult for him to tackle or a puzzle too hard for him to solve. Professor Pangloss was well known internationally for his scientific achievements and his peer reviewed body of work.

    The walls of his Stanford laboratory were adorned with many awards, press articles and pictures of him standing next to world renowned scientists and heads of state. His laboratory was equipped with the most advanced scientific instruments that the university could afford and his students always addressed him as “Professor” and complimented him on the results of his research.

    Professor Pangloss was a teacher of Pyromancy-transmuto-chrysopoeia. His life’s most important work was in the study of the effect of fire on metal and he was involved in many scientific studies including those involving the September 11th attacks of the world trade center. He proved time and time again that when fire was applied to metal the effect which took place would cause chemical changes in the metal leading to weakening or a change in form. He asserted that the fires that took place in the twin towers on September 11th should only be measured in Celsius to understand the true effect of their magnitude.

    He often called the conspiracy theories of the early 21st century “Preposterous, and in complete disregard for scientific thought!” He stated once that “You can observe that when office fires made up of things like burning books come in contact with metal they make metals act in ways they never should. Only under the supervision of a true scientist of Pyromancy should metals ever perform in such a manner. Those who say that the official story is the best logical explanation of the collapse of the twin towers are foolish because what they should have said is that the official story is the only possible logical explanation.”

    One day, not long after the September 11th attacks, professor Pangloss observed a meeting in the halls of their great university.  Some of the school’s finest professors were huddled together whispering with dried voices so softly you could almost hear the grass swaying in the wind. Pangloss knew by the sounds and tones of their voices that these were the illogical delusions of the conspiracy theorists who had infiltrated the Democratic party soon after 9/11. He listened as many of them spoke words which had the effect of making his mind feel woozy and disoriented. It was this feeling of uneasiness that made him realize he must put an end to this situation immediately.

    Professor Pangloss interrupted his colleagues and began to explain the cause of the collapse of the September 11th attacks in the same manner in which he had explained it in his book The Evidence is Clear: The 9/11 Attacks in the Light of Physics”which had been published and peer reviewed by the State Science Institute. “The State Science Institute found my explanation to not only be the best possible explanation, but the only possible explanation,” professor Pangloss stated to the group with confidence and pride. “They found it to be perfect in every way.”

    The scientists who were huddled together in the hallway looked at each other and shrugged then went back to their classrooms to teach to their students. Professor Pangloss was very concerned though and he decided to head immediately to the office of the Director of the science department, the Honorable Professor Perl. 

    Director Perl had been with the university for over 30 years and was a close friend of professor Pangloss. When he arrived at the Director’s door though, Pangloss was shocked to find that Director Perl had been replaced with a new department head – Professor Moore. Pangloss already knew who Professor Moore was because he had observed him in many interviews on the evening news spreading his pseudoscientific explanations for the collapse of the twin towers. Now, Director Moore would be in charge of overseeing the curriculum of the entire Stanford science department.

    “I object to these new conspiracy theories that are being taught by other professors” said Pangloss “and I think that we need to stick to the scientific method and observation rather than change the entire curriculum to match some skewed view of reality.”

    “The changes in curriculum which you are referring to,” replied the director “are merely the effect of instructions from members of the Democratic party who want to create an open environment for speculation and alternative explanations.” He paused and said “since President Wilson took power, the State Science Institute has been re-examining some of our previous conclusions and we are concerned that we may need to consult the philosophies of Socrates and Plato to help us decide what we should do. What is in our best interest is to make sure that these alternative explanations are made readily available to our students.”

    “How preposterous” replied professor Pangloss “you plan to teach pseudoscience in place of true science like Pyromancy-transmuto-chrysopoeia” he then turned to look the director right in the eyes and snarled “There is no way I will stand here and put the good name of Pangloss behind this department if you continue this idiocy!”

    “I understand Professor Pangloss. We expected as much. We no longer need your services here at Stanford” said Moore “I expect your resignation on my desk, by the end of the day. Clear out your laboratory of its awards and photos because security will be escorting you off of the premises at five p.m. sharp.”

    “Well I never…” cried Pangloss but he stopped without saying anything more, then turned around, swung open the door of the director’s office and made his way angrily to his lab.

    Professor Pangloss was then escorted from the Stanford campus at five p.m. sharp, and over the course of the next few weeks press articles were released in all major newspapers and evening reports. The rumors and lies spread by the news media about the disgraced professor felt to Pangloss like a barrage of proverbial kicks in the butt.