Science is a subject which deserves our limitless respect. It's probably the closest thing to a fully functioning intellectual Democracy our species will ever achieve. It has been steadily climbing out of the social ooze for the last two millennia (at least).
To be a dingbat about science in the 21st Century is criminally foolish. It's also suicidal, since arguably ONLY science has the capacity, organization, and raw intelligence to save our desperately endangered human race.
Science has become the rationality supertanker of civilization. From galaxies to quarks, DNA to evolution, paleontology to embryonic stem cell research, the world of science continues to expand exponentially.
Pretty much any nut it puts its disciplined, international mind to, gets cracked.
OK, enough accolades. Now to the irresponsibility's of science.
A traditional distinction exists between pure and applied science, something like the literary distinction between syntax and poetry.
Pure science revels in abstraction and theory. And Godspeed to such research as the spin-off is as unpredictable as it can be life saving.
However, the time has come for science to not only push the envelope, but to break out of the envelope which insulates it from the "real world" of mortally threatened humanity.
This superstructure has to spend less time in deep space and academic hide outs and come back to here and now, life and death human necessities, because our species clearly needs all the help it can get to avoid extinction.
Interestingly and ironically, the dangers are less biological or random, than they are financial, religious, and political.
So, scientists, stay in your humanity-transcending towers if you wish, but be warned, here on the ground is a horizon to horizon conflagration.
So may we tell you what's really going on down here?
The first and most lethal fact is that the Earth (with very minor exceptions) is a planet wide Dictatorship of the Rich. This is the number one critical variable of our species! Less than one percent of the population is now and always has been controlling effectively all of the planetary wealth. This is nothing to debate or argue about. Not to see this lose/lose reality is not to see the sun.
Another survival critical variable is that billions of humans are mentally ill religious fanatics. These are the people who never quite evolved out of primate-hood, and over the millennia they have been the crushing dead weight of civilization. They worship gods of fear and unhesitatingly murder the children of their neighbors if they think it will assuage their pitiful fear of life (or death). For them, this planet is merely a motel on which to work out their salvation/damnation sitcoms.
Typically, religious fanatics see themselves as the elect, the Ubermench, and the "chosen" and their horrific righteousness justifies in their minds (or lack thereof) literal genocide -- always, of course, in the name of their variable and hate mongering gods.
A third (and interrelated) cancer of human civilization is political fascism. Fascism has many faces, but its essence is institutionalized violence and greed. Might makes right is its war cry and fascists are the mortal enemy's of cultural change. But since the very soul of human existence IS change, fascism has always been an engine of death, forever trampling creativity, intelligence, and freedom.
Obviously, even more correlated variables could be treated, but these three (i.e., the vampire rich, religious fanatics, and Nazi-like fascists) are more than sufficient to destroy not only the human species, but also much of the biosphere of the Earth.
So, scientific ivory tower folk, are you hearing this? You better be, because it's only a matter of time before your towers crumble along with the going-down-for-the-third-time human adventure.
In short, HUMANITY NEEDS YOUR HELP. Specifically, the year 2000 criminally stolen Presidential election (i.e., the Bush/Republican coup d'etat) was a veritable heart attack or stroke for Mother Nature and our Constitutional Republic. It totally opened America's Pandora's Box, and out poured vile clouds of greed vampires, murderously righteous (and brain dead) religious fanatics, and Republican style neo-Nazi fascists.
It should be added that 2000 was also the year George Bush sold America's soul to the neocon lobby (but lobbying for what country?). From the moment Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and company took possession of our foreign policy, America became a tail wagged by a dog whose core agendas have nothing to do with the well being and national security of the United States of America.
In short, that year was a "tipping point", not only for the American Dream, but also for world wide civilization, and the infinitely vulnerable, interlocking infrastructure of Mother Nature.
To cut to the chase with this, the Bush/Republicans "revolution" has moved our country and planet about five standard deviations away from survival homeostasis. Even Hitler and Stalin were less dangerous than George Bush (and the scientifically illiterate Bush Royal Family), because they didn't have the power, perhaps not even the will, to kill the planet.
Bush, however, DOES have this power and is wielding it like a madman. Life and death windows of opportunity are slamming shut as we speak to work with, not insanely against, the checks and balances necessary for the existence of, say, mammal life forms on this planet.
Make no mistake, we are going the way of the dinosaurs, and FAST! But not because of random meteors (if that theory is correct), but because a pinhead president with an Armageddon death wish (even Hitler and Stalin didn't have that), is DOING EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to kill the Earth.
But why? Who knows. Maybe he's got a 73 IQ (or less) and he wants to "lifted up" into a designer, religioso Disney Land. And of course, his psychosis is supported (alas) by millions of equally duh-brained Christian fundamentalists.
Of course the fascists, as usual, are playing everyone against the middle, since their god is less fear, than corporate greed and sadistic power.
OK, time for bottom line talk.
Science is probably the ONLY thing which can actually stop this juggernaut of greed, psychosis, and murder. Let's face it, politics typically simply reshuffles the deck, plus there's just as many Democratic multimillionaires and billionaires as there are Republican multimillionaires and billionaires -- and a plague on ALL their houses!
So what can science do? You tell me. You tell us. The main thing is to get off you academic butts, and help us to save America, Civilization, and the Earth.
But what about your research, blah, blah, blah? Hey, no one's going to give a rat's ass about your "research" when the climate goes even more ballistic than it already has, or when the world's port cities get submerged by rising oceans, or when we have to wear breathing masks every time we go outside. And not to forget the ever widening ozone holes which freely admit cancerous radiation, and the diseased and hormone contaminated meat we routinely eat because our monitoring agencies have been under funded out of existence, and, and, and, and, and, . . .
So, sorry to interfere with your ivory tower monographs, but WE NEED SOME HELP DOWN HERE and it's life and death time for the scientific supertanker to apply its awesome technologies and brains to the horrific after effects of the year 2000 Bush/Republican presidential desecration..
Hint, candyass committee reports ain't going to cut it. This needs to be approached like the first moon shot or (to use a sad example) the first atomic bomb. In short, the commitment must be equal to the size of the danger. And that means, humanity is fighting for its life against religious crazies, Greek God like elites, and out-of-the-closet Republican neo-Nazis (and un-American neocons).
And you know what, we're losing.
England rose to the challenge of the Third Reich in WW2; now we have a different Heart of Darkness, but we absolutely can't beat it back without the passionate help of the scientific community.
Make no mistake; the Bush/Republican coup d'etat is the worst survival threat to human existence in recorded history.
W. Christopher Epler (Bill)
more from Bill . . .
The Liberation of Realism