Science is vital
Look around you. Look at the toys that we have, the way we live, how we do business and what we expect in the future. Each and every last one of them is the product of one and only one thing, and that is science.
Science has, for the past 500 years, been the only thing that has brought us to this level, taken us out of a mostly harsh and unforgiving existence, where plagues and predators ran free. It wasn’t religion, debate, rhetoric, incantations, superstition, alchemy or soothsaying that allowed us to rise above the battle for natural survival. It was science. In medicine, agriculture. In physics and astronomy. In chemistry, mathematics and engineering. The development of each of these scientific offshoots is what made us masters of our own fates and gave us almost godlike powers to rise above the fray of natural selection.
Yet everywhere we look today, we see science under assault. Religious zealots, vested interests, hackneyed media types, and a host of pseudo science rhetoricians have convinced us that science is boring, unworthy of study and that it is the “bad guy” that you cannot trust. Fewer students choose to study science at the advanced and elite levels, science is disappearing from our media, especially TV, where broadcasters like Discovery eschew any real science, for spectacle, stereotype and hyperbole that skews and distorts what science is.
We live in a sea of bounty directly brought about by science, yet revel in horoscopes, astrology, homeopathy, UFOs, dowsing, faith healing, Creationism, religious short-sightedness, vested interests and science illiteracy from our media. We live at the pinnacle of society, on top of the loftiest plateau humans have ever experienced, and yet forget the greatest efforts and sacrifices of the early science pioneers, who fought against superstition and vicious religious repression, often imprisoned and even murdered for their studies that took us kicking and screaming out of the dark ages.
In spite of science and its fruits being evident from every corner we look to, the crescendo of pseudo science quackery and its cousins, anti-science and anti-intellectual bias, is muzzling and distorting. Climatologists, literally thousands of researchers, are being threatened daily from mainstream media such as Fox News and headline grabbing Republican fundamentalist Luddites. Provincially, we are talking about shuttering education and medicine at the grassroots levels to balance fiscal irresponsibility brought about by business interests and pork-barreling politicians. Federally, we ignore scientific research, and muzzle those scientists who would speak out against fundamentalist blitherings and rationalizations.
Meanwhile, we merrily march on, expecting to forever be entitled to the marvels we increasing take for granted, without safeguarding the sanctity of science. Fewer and fewer of us place any priority at all in science, believing that we are now so far advanced that we can ignore it. Our media and politicians echo and reflect, ad nauseum, that perilous perspective.
The divide between living in caves and being hunter gatherers looking furtively over our shoulders at the drinking hole for the hungry predator, and sitting in our plush and self indulgent McMansions replete with SUVs and overstuffed furniture is smaller than you might image. What bridges that chasm is science and only science. Ignore it at your peril. The day of reckoning is not far off. Happy New Year.
One Response to “ Science is vital ”
Add New Comment