Monday, February 2, 2009


A new feaure (maybe).

A relatively brief essay by me, though the subjects may be expanded on, or may be based on far longer essays which may appear in the future. This is more a writing exercise for me than for your benefit, dear reader, but enjoy it anyway.

Good things about science and our civilization:

A Recurring Topic

As we discover daily, the world, the universe, reality itself is far more complicated than we ever dreamed. As we advance, in communications, medical, and virtually all other technologies, we create an ever more complicated, and interconnected civilization. Due to the real, concrete advances we have given ourselves, more people than have ever lived enjoy longer, healthier, and generally happier lives.
Ascribe whatever moral motivator you will to the beneficial application of the advances of science, it’s irrelevant to me. Historically, it takes more people doing right by each other than not to form larger societies, no matter the cultural or religious influences. This bolsters my conviction that humans are innately good creatures, though flawed. Perfection is a pretty subjective concept anyway.
What makes the times we live in so wonderful above and beyond the marvels we almost daily create, is that as we increase the complexity of the world we live in, generally to the benefit of most people, we increase out interdependence on each other. For a society such as ours to function, it relies on increasing numbers of people being educated, and working together.
It takes a complicated hierarchy of individuals to mesh different levels of expertise into usable advantages. We laud Jenner for discovering vaccines, but think on the modern culmination of vaccination. It takes people smart in business (smart here denotes cultivated intelligence, by being both educated and trained, not natural Einstein genius. We’re ALL capable of cultivated intelligence) to secure resources to get a manufacturing business started, relying on the expertise of builders, designers of equipment, ad infinitum, to get the business physically established. Then specialists in certain diseases to research, and further specialists to design the usable vaccines. Even further, talented bureaucrats to design programs to disseminate the vaccines.
As we advance in just this area of expertise, which is predicated on huge numbers of people educated, and researching multiple branches of biology (microbiology, immunology, evolutionary biology [back off Creationists!]), the result is tens of millions of lives saved, which is deaths prevented (I feel I sometimes have to throw that perspective out there, the anti-vaccination crowd growing louder, and slowly making inroads, shame, shame, shame on them), every year.
Our civilization is built on the discoveries and methods of science. It also requires us to more deeply depend on each other to reap, and multiply the benefits. Science is a good thing ya’ll.

Random Act of Quotation!

"Science increases our power in proportion as it it lowers our pride"

Claude Bernard

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