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Physics-Bio Memo War Escalates

Physics Chair Calls Rival Field 'A Haven For Lab-Coated Pre-Meds'

By William H. Bachman, With Wire Dispatches

CAMBRIDGE--The war of memos between the Physics and Biology Department raged on yesterday as Acting Chair of the Physics Department Quan-Tum Spin accused Biology of being "a powerhouse of pre-medical preparation," and "a sloppy, poor excuse for an academic discipline."

Spin's internal memorandum, obtained by a sneaky Crimson reporter eager for a byline, was directed at Physics graduate students who "disloyally" teach in the Biology Department.

The Biology Department promptly launched a counterattack as head tutor Sye T. Plasm said of Physics, "Those weenies think they're so cool just because they study quantum mechanics. Whoop-de-friggin-do."

"They wouldn't understand evolution if a Drisophagulus naturally selected right in front of their eyes and Steven J. Gould himself was there to explain the process in its socio-historical context," Plasm said.

Hollis Professor of Rabbit Studies and Christian Aesthetics Peter N.D. Wolf '64 said, "I'm not really involved in the debate since I'm not really a science professor, but I agree that [Plasm] is a bonehead."

'Antiquarian Exegesis'

Drawing a battle line halfway up the hill, while sending evolutionists in a right flanking movement and deploying geneticists in a crosswise deceptive maneuver, the biologists exchanged volleys with the Jefferson and Lyman Battalions.

"Saved any lives lately, you beancounters?" challenged a junior Biology professor.

"Comprehended Schroedinger's equation, you dweebs?" responded a Physics graduate student.

"We don't need to be bogged down by antiquarian exegesis of outdated mathematics, you geeks," returned a molecular biologist. "Those equations were discovered in, like, the 17th century. We study the present, not the nerdy doodlings of some longdecomposed apple-dropper."

"You're a lab-coated phalanx of pathetic pre-meds," retorted Spin.

"Am not!" said the biologist.

"Am too!" said Spin.

"I'm like rubber, you're like glue. What you say bounces off of me and sticks to you," said the biologist.

Bok Intervenes

President Bok said he hoped to convince both parties to agree to a cease-fire until talks could be held in the neutral territory of Boylston Hall. But because none of the scientists could find the building, the fighting continued.

"You guys in Biology think you're so quantitative. Bah. When's the last time you made a trigonometric substitution to solve a Gaussian wave packet without resorting to numerical methods?" said Weld Professor of Very Large Objects Barry Ahnn '57.

"Physics is a dead end professionally, you whiners," retorted Cabot Professor of Formaldehyde Arthur O. Pod '49. "It's the graveyard of academic careers."

Pod added, "The Physics Department is Der Spiegel Biology, because it confuses excellence with things German in the same manner as people who buy Der Spiegel from Out of Town News, although admittedly with less unction."

"What are your graduate students going to do when all the forces get unified, huh? I hear there's some openings at McDonalds for people who don't mind daydreaming for eight hours while engaged in sweaty and unimportant labor," shouted Wigglesworth Professor of Wiggly Animals Mike O'Kondria '63.

In a recent letter to The Crimson, a noted Sociology professor commented on the conflict: "You would think that Harvard professors would have something better to do than engage in this trivial interdepartmental bickering. We cultural relativists in the social sciences are much too mature for such banal jealousies. We recognize that all academic disciplines have their proper place in this institution."

Cease-Fire Arranged

After sustaining heavy casualties, the two warring departments finally agreed to an uneasy cease-fire when they realized the flare-up might drive impressionable first-years into a humanities field or--worse yet--chemistry.

Professors from both departments offered public apologies. Plasm and Spin issued a joint statement which read: "Hey, after you get tenure, it gets kind of monotonous around here. We were just trying to liven the place up."

Although William H. Bachman '92 concentrates in Physics, he feels no personal animosity toward Biology concentrators--except for the gradegrubbing pre-meds who screwed up the curve in Physics 15a.

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