I remember the first Earth Day celebration in the United States Of America. It was April 22, 1970. I was in High School. I and a couple of my friends made a movie featuring our local landfill. It was amazing how much garbage the small village of Fredonia, New York produced. We showed the video in the high school auditorium on Earth Day. We received applause. This was before you had to decide if you want a paper or plastic bag for your groceries, if you forgot to bring your own bag. It was a time when the hope of recycling our way to a restored Planet was in the air.
Forty seven years later, Marches for Science were held in over 600 municipalities in the USA ,as an add on to Earth Day celebrations. These were marches to proclaim that science knows best how to get us out of the big mess we are in.
Men have long been called to be the primary defenders against threats to the people. Man made molecules and man made over population, by all objective accounts, seem to have men out matched. Man made molecules now include organic compounds such as genetically modified organisms and clones. Nanotechnology can make tiny, tiny, robots. Who knows what they can do and what are already doing? The big robots keep getting smarter. Some say to smart for our own good. Science hasn’t lead to robots good enough to clean up radioactive spills, but progress is being made.
Marchers for Science often like to think of science, as being the thinking person’s religion. It is objective. It does not support thinking based on what people want to believe is so, but on what is so. Science doesn’t keep believing in something that isn’t supported by newly discovered evidence. Religion and morality like things the way the are or were. Science desires the thrill of change.
Science sees the world as a dark place, with science being the light. Science figures out what one thing looks like and proceeds to look at something else. Science likes to look at ever expanding big pictures and ever more magnified little pictures.
Science has nothing to hide. No secret initiation ceremonies needed to join the elite truth seeking clubs of science. Media is science’s friend teaching people to disbelieve in what they thing they know and see and believe in the scientific.
The scientific has come to be synonymous with “the truth.” The spiritual with superstitious nonsense.The personal experience with extreme basis and “wishful” thinking.
Scientists tend to want to distance themselves from how their findings are utilized. Morality can be observed by the social sciences, but it is up to the poets and philosophers to fool around with meaning.
The truth is that Science creates more mysteries than it solves. It also creates more pollution than it cleans up. It helps design more swords than plowshares. It aways has and it always will.
Many people don’t believe in the facts according to spiritual traditions, because the traditions are too complicated and they are based on things that aren’t things you can see, tough, hear, smell or hear. Many people believe in scientists and their interpreters because the science itself is way too complicated or way to specialized. Scientists break things down into pieces to be studied. It is up to politicians to use science to see how things go together. Political science isn’t.
Who really knows what is going at CERN in Switzerland and why and if it is a good or horrible idea? Who knows what NASA is telling us is true, what is partialy true and what are bold face, astronomical lies?
Science is big on Peer Review. That is they like when their friends agree with them. This helps them get more research grants. Scientist don’t like to think of themselves as choosing to study what people with money want them to study. They would prefer to believe that they study that which makes them curious. Scientist believe that failing to find what they think might cause something to happen probably did, is good. This is to some, is one of the greatest things about science. Its delight in being wrong. Yet what gets published and builds scientific careers is not in that direction very much. Scientists do amazing things with statistics to massage evidence for what funding sources want to hear. The less creative scientists just falsify their data.
One of my favorite sciences is Psychology, which includes the study of how people believe in science because it is popular to do so and how rational people can be manipulated into believing just about anything.
Science is for forever claiming to have discovered how things that were previously thought to be disconnected, aren’t. Spiritual teachings have been explaining that everything is connected since before there was science. That is also the case for time being an illusion and big stuff being made up of smaller stuff. Science coming so late to ecology is a good reason why science should stay away from Earth Day.
Many argue that religion is the primary cause of war. The argument that religion is more likely the primary cause of peace, with science being the primary cause of war seems worth pondering.
It was the Greek philosopher, Thucydides, c. 460 – c. 400 BC who is believe to have written, “The society that separates its scholars from it warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.” We live in a time here all the philosopher kings are dead and the work of scholars is informed by the desires of the greedy and the violent.
It is very unlikely that the scientists are going to get marched out of town ever and most will not see the cliff edge in time to avoid going off it.
We could be living in time, where the felt sense of the individual, well educated or not, is the most to be trusted. There are many now pretending to march to science’s drum beat, while actually following the drumming of their own heart. There are some that are no longer even pretending to march. Many of these endure scorn and worse, in oder to be made free by their own experience.
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