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Bigfoot, Bitcoin, And Time Travel: The Pseudoscientific Credentials Of Trump's New Attorney General

author

Dr. Katie Spalding

Freelance Writer

clockNov 15 2018, 10:33 UTC

Acting Attorney General Matthew G Whitaker. Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Once upon a time, it would have been noteworthy, unusual even, for one news story to surface linking one of the highest offices in the land to a gigantic mythical ape-creature. Only in 2018 could we bring you two within three months.

In case you missed it, there’s a new Attorney General in town, and his name is Matthew Whitaker. Like so many in the Trump administration, he has a somewhat sketchy relationship with science, thanks mostly to his involvement with World Patent Marketing (WPM) – a company famous for a bizarre hot tub scam that eventually got it shut down.

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So in finest IFLScience tradition, here’s a short rundown of some of the new Trump appointee’s scientific credentials. Buckle up kiddos, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

Bigfoot Lives!

We promised Bigfoot, and here it is: per the Washington Post, WPM claimed “DNA evidence collected in 2013 proves that Bigfoot does exist,” and Bigfoot is no more a myth than the (real, existing) giant squid.

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In an admirable misunderstanding of the scientific method, the company asked: “How can it be possible that a creature who is described in so many different places from prehistory to the modern-day Sasquatch sightings does not exist?... There have been too many sightings over too many centuries for it to be a mere myth.”

How indeed?

Bitcoin-Based Time Travel

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Yes, you read that right. Although waltzing to and fro along the timeline is theoretically possible, most scientists agree that fundamental physical laws get in its way.

But Dr Ronald Mallett is not most scientists. For nearly two decades, he has, apparently earnestly, been making headlines with claims about the feasibility of time travel and plans to build time machines.

Undeterred by criticisms such as “that’s not how physics works” and “this laser isn’t even on,” WPM welcomed him to their ranks in 2015 and swiftly started asking marks investors to fund his research with the planet-destroying and ever-shady cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

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Extra-Manly Toilets For Extra-Manly Men

Dudes! Ever feel like you’re just too well-endowed for a normal toilet? No? Well, WPM wants to sell you their “masculine toilet” anyway – an extra-deep potty to make room for extra-long schlongs.

The invention apparently offers space for up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) of manhood, though “an ‘extra long’ version can always be created if needed.”

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(The average North American penis is less than 15 centimeters/6 inches, since you asked.)

Climate Change Chicanery

Less amusing and more serious is Whitaker’s history on environmental issues. When ExxonMobil, the largest of the Big Oil companies, was being investigated for misleading the public about climate change and the effects of fossil fuels – a charge they were eventually found very, very guilty of – Whitaker slammed efforts to uncover evidence of the cover-up as “unconstitutional,” “unethical,“ and an “outright assault on the First Amendment.”

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As noted by the Washington Post, these “crackpot” pseudoscience connections make Whitaker a perfect fit for the current administration. Trump – despite his “natural instinct” – denies so many scientific consensuses that we had to write two separate articles about his oddball beliefs. Meanwhile, Vice President Pence has been keeping up his own brand of science denial, saying that there’s no link between smoking and cancer (there is), climate change isn't an issue (it is), creationism is science (it’s not), and widely used and highly effective abortion drugs are dangerous (they’re not – in fact, they're also used to treat traumatic miscarriage complications).

The good news is, Whitaker's appointment is due to expire in under 210 days, at which point we'll no doubt get a whole new range of federal-employee-promoted pseudoscience to boggle at.

Hmm. Perhaps it's time for a new list.

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[H/T: Washington Post]


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