Saturday, February 22, 2014


My son, Tim, called me yesterday on my birthday and before long we were chatting philosophical stuff. He asked me if I planned on posting any more things like I did about Darwin. So, we talked about science and technology a bit and I came up with this: 

Science toys with us, as though within it, we will eventually discover the Holy Grail. Always, since even before Francis Bacon, we believed that because science might provide for us enough food and water access to feed the planet and provide for everyone, or through it, we would be able to talk to one another in a common language, see our common humanity, science would eventually eradicate war. Science didn’t eradicate war, it perfected it. In the twentieth century, wars were first fought with total scientific detachment.  Open a trap door, press a button and vaporize a quarter of a million people.  Those who would place their faith primarily in science and would turn a deaf ear to the dualist/theists will regret the lessons learned from the past. Remember the difference between “knowledge” and “wisdom”. It takes knowledge to build the “big one”, but “wisdom” to keep that sonofabitch away from the kids. 

Is science finally “settled”? Is it settled regarding global warming or ape-to-man evolution (see my Darwin posting)? Arising out of the first agricultural civilizations appearing after the close of the last ice age, man’s intellectual hunger has no limit and its capacity has no end.  It often gambles on the attempt to observe some discernible pattern in the events of history. Well, how about this musing of Loren Eiseley in his 1971 Invisible Pyramid: “Beginning on some winter night, the snow will fall steadily for a thousand years and hush in it’s fallings … the cities. The delicate traceries of the frost will slowly dim the glass in the observatories and all will be as it had been before … The long trail of Halley’s comet, once more returning, will pass like a ghostly matchflame over the unwatched grave of the cities.”?  Will Chicago be one huge block of ice, and in it, the forlorn and echo-empty “Carbon Exchange”? Don’t ask me. I don’t attempt answers, I just post questions. It’s much safer. But I will say, “It’s not… ‘settled’”.  Look, if the Vikings who about 1,000 A.D. traveled from Norway to Greenland (so named because it was lush in the hospitable balmy climate), then on to Newfoundland where they luxuriated and built settlements which they occupied for about 500 years, decided to “bag it”, and go back home, it wasn’t because of a minor nip in the air. Fur-wrapped Vikings could deal with a little chill. That mini ice age was punishing. If the crops won’t grow and the fishing spots are frozen over, it’s time to bag it. Another indicator can be found in the woods where the wood for Stradivarius violins were initially taken. That quality of wood has disappeared because the changing climate has made the tree growing season so radically different. So, if Nero is going to play the fiddle while we freeze, it won’t be a “Strad”.  However, if we really warm up, you won’t hear any complaints from me. I’m already in Alaska. So, you’ll find me eating locally-grown bananas on the beach in Nome. More stuff later… I’m getting tired of writing.

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