TCA (my initials)

June 24, 2007

a man and his dream

Filed under: Doodling — TCA @ 5:49 pm

“More urgent I’d say, for science to take a very long, very hard look at itself. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m a creationist. Quite the opposite. Science has immeasurably deepened our understanding of the physical world and for some, vastly improved the quality of life. But as Terry Eagleton points out […], it isn’t religion that’s brought humanity to the brink of self-extermination, either the quick way (nuclear extinction) or the slow (an uninhabitable planet). Before we can find any genuinely new paths to peace, equality and tolerance, our finger-pointing physicians need to heal themselves.”

Tony Hendra has got to be trolling–unless he’s referring to the Native American Church. Maybe expat Brits like Tony Hendra should admit that the Indians were right about treading softly upon the land–and that the whole British colonization of North America has been a big 400 year long mistake. The intentions of the Brits were good, of course. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Remember the scene in the film Doctor Strangelove in which Gen. “Buck” Turgidson leads the War Room in a prayer? Isn’t it wonderful that the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb is a devout Muslim who handed out research data to other Muslim countries like party favors? Isn’t it wonderful that the Mullahs in Iran, led by the reincarnation of Hitler, will soon have nuclear weapons? Isn’t it nice that the Jewish state of Israel has got enough A-bombs to melt the entire Mideast–and very probably trigger World War 3?

Two thirds of the U.S. Republican party does not ascribe to the theory of evolution. Their finger is on the button. They could be the ultimate suicide bombers because they actually want to bring about Armageddon and bring on Judgment Day.

Most of the scientists in the West believe in the Almighty. Many scientists and technologists attend services regularly at a conventional church, synagogue or mosque. So I must ask Mr. Hendra: Who is to say that scientists haven’t taken a long, hard look at their profession? Who is to say that they aren’t doing so now?

In the United States, a scientist would have to be quiet about soul searching, or risk running afoul of our corporations and government. The current leader of the Free World is a Christian fundamentalist lunatic. He is being propped up at the helm of power by greedheads and vindictive control freaks like Karl Rove.

Have you been following the antics at NASA? The Department of the Interior? The FDA? President Bush’s stubborn opposition to stem cell research is the best thing that ever happened to British medical science. Major breakthroughs in stem cell research occur frequently in the United Kingdom these days. The U.S. is handicapped by the dead weight of Bush’s brain. Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden! Heaven help us all!

The Pope issued the Ten Commandments for Automobiles recently. Is that really what you want? Is it inconceivable that the Pope complainth too much?

The monarchy rules with the blessings of the church–be it the Church of England, Russian Orthodox or Roman Catholic. The ruling class invests in the military industrial complex. The government insists that research and development–subsidized by taxation–is vital to national security. The ruling class profits handsomely.

There will always be good-hearted parish priests like the fictitious Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H. There are decent people everywhere. In the sciences, even.

That said, I must concede Mr. Hendra has got a point. Here’s the proof: Psychologists Helped CIA Develop ‘Brutal’ Interrogation Tactics. I think that a good number of humanists have failed the Milgram Experiment as it pertains to conscience or lack thereof–if only they knew it–they should have known better.

However, it is possible to be a scientist and to be conscientious. Here’s the proof: A nanotechnology-powered electric SUV.

Science and technology are the only hope for the human race in the 21st century. Humanists must help clean up the toxic mess for which they are in large part culpable. These days, a career in the sciences more closely resembles a prison sentence than an adventure in the future.

Someday I’ll write a book titled Ethics for Sociopaths. The book will explain why anyone would be crazy enough to volunteer to save the planet. The explanation is really quite simple. You need to understand that there is no choice in the matter.

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