“There is no Justice without the Monarch
no Monarch without the Army
no Army without Taxes
no Taxes without Wealth
no Wealth without Justice.”
Philosopher and Historian
“On 13 May 1953, twenty F-84s of the Fifty-eighth Fighter Bomber Wing attacked the Toksan Dam, producing a flood that destroyed seven hundred buildings in Pyongyang and thousands of acres of rice. On 15-16 May, two groups of F-84s attacked the Chasan Dam. The flood from the destruction of the Toksan dam "scooped clean" 27 miles (43 km) of river valley. The attacks were followed by the bombing of the Kuwonga Dam, the Namsi Dam and the Taechon Dam. The bombing of these five dams and ensuing floods threatened several million North Koreans with starvation; according to Charles K. Armstrong, "only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine."
The aftermath, from this “successful” bombing campaign, is so horrendous, that it sent that portion of the country back to the stone age, which apparently is evidence that capitalism is better than communism?
In the late 60’s:
“The United States dropped upwards of 2.7 million tons of bombs on Cambodia, exceeding the amount it had dropped on Japan during WWII (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki) by almost a million tons. During this time, about 30 per cent of the country's population was internally displaced.”
The aftermath is unspeakable, having been fuelled by even more bullets and guns from the Americans, sent to unstable groups, with unclear objectives and futures in their freshly scorched, razed and decimated countryside. To even recount the events in summary distracts the mind from thinking of clear solutions to prevent this from happening again.
The same is true with a whole host of other grievous war crimes perpetrated by certain power structures that have come and gone since the second world war, including military, business, and (more to the point) American-style faiths, in certain leaders, at certain times, often setting the tone for decades, like Born Again Christian George Bush speaking of “Gog and Magog” to Jacque Chirac, in order to entice France into the Iraq war, in order to bring about the second coming, as prophesied in Revelations; thereby embroiling the entire world in a pointless tit-for-tat without any clear objectives.
These malicious power structures heavily resort to the work of scientists, whether civilian, or government-funded like at NASA or fermilab, or outright directly funded by the military for new imaginative ways of killing each other; while skewing the results of these Science studies in their favour and manipulating the public perception of Science wholesale, excluding other Scientists who disagree with the official cosmology, and, most importantly, controlling what is taught in schools, especially in History and Science courses, with some probably thinking they are defending national security in so doing. “what you don’t know makes you safer” For example, surely it was thought by some in the post-war administrations, that now with the bomb at play, basic physics is no longer neutral, to be divulged in full, so that every student can merrily learn the correct way that quantum bits bounce around in the atom. With this, Science is no longer neutral, and it should be popularly redefined as such, because Science has most definitely become part of the problem, while inspiring 0 fundamentalist creationists to donate their gun collections to charitable causes. Have you ever heard a creationist specifically complain about Big Bang?
Is a Military Scientist an actual true Scientist, as it is popularly defined and promoted?
This may seem like a trivial question with an easy answer, but the need to address this question in-depth has been pushed on us, whether we like it or not, because, Science has already become heavily involved in the business of war and the business of business. This question is even more pressing, seeing as now, many are decrying the Dangers of Science Denial, in the same manner and tone that the early Church decried “heretical” “pagan” thinking.
If you think there’s no problem here to fix, with the current American-centered system of military-science-industrial-creationist shock-and-awe counter-shock-and-awe campaigning, then just imagine:
Arabs, with guns, in Texas, in Humvees, with highly advanced communications and body-armour material and night-vision goggles and automatic weapons, with sophisticated robots flying overhead, and guided missiles ready to launch from boats miles away in the Gulf coast; these invading Arabs are yelling in Arabic, shit you don’t understand, and going door to door at 2 am, and hooding and escorting away the men of fighting age on charges you are not informed of by your aggressive captors, whose intentions you do not understand, whose powers and ties to chain of command you are not sure of, while unsure if you will be treated humanely or sent to one of those new torture camps you’ve been hearing all about in Dallas, in the depths of the new heavily fortified Iraqi base; in a war promoted by a Born-Again-Muslim and his business associates and his entourage of mercenaries – openly self-professed “Muslim-Warriors” at GreenWater inc. headed by Arik Dyn the crown Prince of the house of Davos, in a war instigated in order to depose an American president/despot that was in fact installed and armed by the same Iraqi forces decades prior, and armed with poison gas to kill Canadians in a long protracted war, where the same regime in Iraq also sold arms to the Canadians at the very same time as they sold arms to the American despot, all during the American/Canadian war throughout the 1980’s!
Sitting on a comfortable couch in Texas, sipping on a coffee, watching the bombs drop, on CNN, it is easy for us to sit back and keep everything in their separate boxes, like the business people profiting from the televised scene of carnage are all separately motivated folks; and the scientists that discovered the property of materials and the nature of EM waves for communications and how to build the bomb, and the engineers that applied all this to design the drones and communications tech, and the religious leaders who lobby congress and take office to send armies to the middle east, and all the other players that put their effort into making the scene of carnage, with all manner of ordinance being dropped on city centers. It is easy for us to keep everything in its distinct class, working in isolation.
That’s not what Arabs, and others around the world, see.
They see a single, combined, juggernaut, with science and religion and business and soldiery being heavily integrated.
Others can often have a better, more objective, sense of who you are from afar, than you do yourself.
How can we avoid this?
How can we come to understand the conditions and triggers that went into making these atrocities occur?
What are the conditions we can avoid or create, right now?
What are the principles we can tackle or adopt?
What sort of understanding will lead us out of this barbaric behaviour?
For example, take the fighting in Sudan, which is reported as (partly, but significantly) a conflict between Christians and Muslims.
There are plenty of Christians and Muslims living in peace together, in plenty of multi-cultural cities, all over the world, where there is plenty of food and water and shelter. Sudan is different. Resources are scarce. They are living in a part of the world that used to be green and lush thousands of years ago, and societies there have been struggling ever since. Nothing new. Perfectly understandable, in the big picture.
So then. Resources?
Do we simply ensure that everybody has ample resources?
Will this prevent war?
Well, in America, with incessant boatloads inundating American households with essentially free gadgets and free rice from China (with Americans even complaining about these Treasure Ships, curiously!), with essentially free labour coming in from Mexico to work the fields and gardens, with every technological wonder you can imagine, now super-cheap; with advanced, well-established cities and states running advanced economies, with unprecedented access to information and a generally free press, and a reasonably good enough opportunity to get into office of some sort if you really really really wanted to.
Then, boom, a whole generation of over-fed children, with 3 gaming consoles each, early-onset diabetes, “ADHD”, with limitless amounts of drugs available on the street, with both parents working hard to bring home the newest bicycle, the newest car, the biggest house, etc… Well-fed, ample opportunity, and then we find these kids joining, by their voluntary will, an army with an egregious human-rights track record, more appalling than most in history, without a clear objective, proclaiming horrendous things about Arabs, with a top general calling Iraqis “Hajjis”, setting the tone for all these kids to follow suit. The same kids were asked to manage a base that conducted regular torture. Just imagine, again, the reverse situation, in Texas, with Muslim children conducting torture on Texans, to try to glean some information, because the invading Muslim army in Texas barely speaks English and doesn’t have a clear objective, and doesn’t have a target to aim their automatic weapons toward, so they need a target, any target, even if it was obtained under the duress of torture, when anybody will say anything to make it stop.
Sudan = too few of resources. Result = war.
U.S. = too much resources. Result = still war.
Therefore, we cannot simply rely on feeding everybody, alone, to avoid war.
That’s just one example. Imagine, as an experiment, right now, any condition which you think triggers war, and, you can probably put it into a different context and see it not trigger war (or vice versa).
But, does that mean that we shouldn’t work to understand those conditions, or to work our hardest to make conditions conducive to peace a reality in our time?
What’s the point of all this talk, you wonder?
War is inevitable, you say?
Sure, you know, 24,000 years from now, when civilizations will have forgotten all about us, and most people will laugh at the idea of a great super-power that once existed in the Atlantic, with all of our technological marvels; and they are working from a similar mindset and within similar conditions, sure, yes, War is, technically, inevitable. In an infinite universe, you cannot prevent all infinite creatures from conducting themselves like this, or settling disputes like this, or enforcing economic systems like this, or enforcing religious doctrines in this manner, forevermore.
But, within our lifespan, within a few generations of our generation, even for a few thousand years, depending on how well we avoid cataclysms and ekpyrosisms and keep the spirit of Jesus alive, we can certainly achieve a state well beyond the need or even desire for war. Just as you can imagine an individual being at peace his/her whole life, or a whole family being at peace for a whole generation, or a whole village persisting in peace for multiple generations, with even some nations pulling it off for centuries; so too should it be possible, with effective tools, techniques, and golden nuggets of understanding, to have a situation where everybody instinctively knows why and how to avoid conflict – conflict within themselves, conflict in the work-place, in the family, in the city, in the nation, between peoples of different bloodlines, between peoples of different faiths, between peoples with different political views, and between nations.
Does Tolerance, in of itself, avoid war?
What if you were to be tolerant of extremely intolerant people? In this case, if you are tolerant of the significantly intolerant, are you not increasing the total greater amount of Intolerance in the world?
A Jehovah’s Witness faithful from South Africa once bragged that he stayed out of the conflict, during Apartheid. He was boastful about the neutral position he and his church took. Is that really a healthy form of tolerance?
Does seeking Peace, in of itself, avoid war?
What if peace is imposed on a situation that has not resolved itself yet, and there are still grumblings and rumours of re-arming and revolt. One person’s idea of peace might be another person’s defeat from tyrannical oppressors, returning to a violent and unjust situation, maybe inducing even greater retaliation later.
Howbout Peace, through strong offense?
“A good offense is the best defense”?
Sure, unless the other side still has a ton of bullets and plenty of backup soldiers in reserve, and even more hatred for you now! In this case, you are just slaughtering yourselves with greater efficiency, with ever more intense waves of violence.
Goodwill, good information and a good plan, to preserve life. That’s the best defense!
Can you legislate goodwill toward others?
Can you legislate racism away?
Can you legislate crazy away?
Can you legislate against fundamentalist faith?
Can you even separate faith from the legislative assembly in the first place?
The number of causes and antidotes to war are as numerous as the temperaments of people and conditions that societies find themselves immersed within, which all come and go. Over the years, conditions change, history changes (re-written, often), interpretations of scripture change (very significantly), power-structures change, and Science changes. Grievances change. Oppressors can become the oppressed, and vice-versa, within just a couple generations. Classes of power change. Some rich kids are useless and squander their opportunities. Some poor kids roll up their sleeves and wind up running mega-corporations. Generations and power structures turn over, change hands, or redefine themselves, all the time. So then, the business of avoiding war changes accordingly. Therefore there is no single solution. Each generation has to learn the specifics of the world in their time.
What the authors of Semitic scripture were trying to accomplish (among a whole host of other objectives), was to try to describe an incredible array of situations, an incredible Mosaic of what earthly life can and will offer, in different conditions. It even clearly details the storms of water and the storms of fire, as recurring conditions to prepare for (not specific historical events, but recurring events). Within this narrative, and especially in a select number of books, like the book of Isaiah, the books of Jesus, and the chapters of the Qur’an, the authors were trying to get us all to focus on a single objective: help all of earthly life. The keyword is all. Black, brown, yellow, red, green, purple, white. All of humanity, along with all the creeping things, and all the fowl of the air, and all the fishes of the sea, along with all the single-celled critters in the soil and in the waters, essential to all others.
Now, many of you reading this are probably, rightly, wary of anybody claiming to have a brilliant idea to help all of humanity. Many a revolution, economic system, and religious doctrine, were known to set out with the benevolent intention of saving everybody with their master plan, whether it be a 5-year economic plan, or a 1000-year jubilee at End Times for everybody to prepare their souls for.
What, then, best represents the spirit of Jesus, in this day and age?
Is it being a doctor? Well, if the doctor is treating a soldier that will kill more people, nope.
Is it being a civil servant? Well, if what is being served is a malicious militia state, then, nope.
Is it being a religious leader? Well, if what is being preached is hatred toward other religions, then, nope.
Whatever your craft may be, the spirit of Jesus (spirit here meaning, the essence of his name), can inform and guide you in whatever you do, and you can endeavour, in every action you take, and every breath you breathe, and every plan you dream up, to help all others that you are aware of, even down to the slugs on the sidewalk and the spiders in the kitchen. As you carry on with what you believe to be best for all of earthly life, with the means at your disposal, you might notice that what you are doing is not helping another group that you had not foreseen or understood. If, at this point, you can imagine a creative solution to keep doing what you’re doing, and also now address the new needs, of new peoples or critters, then you can still count yourself as carrying on in the true spirit of Jesus.
For example, the Venezuelan populist government of Hugo Chavez excluded skilled statespeople and economic advisors (along with political opponents) some of whom understood the nuts and bolts of complicated diversified economic systems and how Venezuela was inter-related with international markets. “Utopia for all! (except those we dislike).” “We want to hear solutions and ideas from everybody! (except our opponents)”
For another example, when the Justice Democrats were being promoted by Cenk Uygur (blessings be upon his name), he was calling the new revolution “Just Us” Democrats. Get it? The value of such a good pun is well-overshadowed by the fact that even the 1-percent should be included in the policy objectives of the country.
Like Marlon Brando asking for a list of names at the end of Viva Zapata – once a revolution wins over tyranny, it often takes on much of the exclusionary measures previously endured, with the only change being the cast of characters.
To exclude anybody, even the worst of the worst (look at Norway’s prison system experiment, for example), from a vision of a civilized polity, is to act in a manner that we complain so much about in the elite: exclusivism.
The authors of Semitic scripture were not naïve. They understood all this very well, and much more. They understood this more comprehensively and systematically than we do, by very far. They weren’t just simple-minded communists or simple-minded capitalists with an unworkable and naïve utopian vision. That’s one reason they attempted to weave a comprehensive Mosaic of as many significant recurring conditions, both within the hearts of men and women, and in their approach to the outside world. They assembled this Mosaic precisely for those interested in preventing war, saving everybody and saving all of earthly life – to help them understand and contemplate on all of the various and complex situations they may find themselves, in order to more effectively achieve the ultimate goal of Jesus, without resorting to or devolving into the unfortunate state of Judah, which is the principle of struggling/fighting/breaking-from/splintering/resisting the will of the group, in order to help protect a struggling or oppressed minority (or majority). The authors are not taking sides in any specific conflict here – they in fact use fictional nations, fictional grievances and fictional battles to brilliantly convey a storyline that one can grasp with ease, and then loaded them with enormous amounts of detail to ponder upon, in the letters of the vocabulary, and then tied these narratives together with narratives throughout all of the rest of Semitic scripture, thereby putting things like the avoidance of war in context with all of the rest of what life has to offer, like more pleasant things, which can convey a sense of how all these elements inter-relate in different ways, under different conditions, over immense stretches of time.
How economics can affect the outbreak of war, and how war can affect economics.
How faith can affect the outbreak of war, and how war can affect faith.
How peace can lead to an outbreak of war, and how war can lead to peace (with an entire generation sick of the bloodshed, for example).
How Science and technology can lead to an outbreak of war, and how war feeds upon and can control and direct Science and technology.
These are the sorts of intricate complicated convoluted questions that Semitic scripture, by its very design, attempts to address. Even though the objective of avoiding war is specifically detailed only in a few books explicitly, the fact that all of Semitic scripture is tightly woven as an integrated comprehensive meditation, makes it so that the study of the entire canon of Semitic scripture can be put toward the objective of avoiding war, or, if you prefer, promoting peace.
What might bring about a will, in people, to embody Jesus, flesh and blood?
What string of words can somebody piece together, to convince another human being, to devote their lives to helping as many people and critters as they can, within their means? What carrots, and what sticks are available?
That question alone, probably occupied the better part of the attention of the authors, probably forced them to choose their words carefully, probably forced them to order the books in a certain way, and is probably the reason why the books of Jesus and Muhammad were set apart as seemingly separate religions, promoted separately, being much more of opinionated requests on behalf of the authors, rather than being just an objective, dry, boring, technical study of the infinite universe (although the study of Jesus and Muhammad does indeed inform the view of the entire infinite universe, and vice-versa).
Semitic scripture does not differentiate between an “internal” struggle between your living cells, and an “external” struggle between humans. Isaiah, Muhammad and Jesus can all be found inside as well as outside. Same with every other process/principle/symbol in Semitic scripture. That’s where it can get confusing, but this is precisely the same reason why Semitic scripture is so rewarding to study.
Your internal “wars” are just as important – can be just as intractable and tricky to resolve, and just as damaging on large scales (large – earthly – external world – global scales). Many wars are instigated by unstable people at war within their own selves. War, on the outside, is not “larger” or necessarily “more important” than wars on the inside, if the universe is infinitely complex, with each cell being just as large and important as any other creature.
If you are at war with your liver over the mixing of strong drink at the “new moons” (regular parties), or if your lungs are coughing in persistent protest from your excessive “burnt offerings” (cigars and fat filterless joints), and you seek to avoid Judah (that liver pang or that hiccup fit or that coughing bonanza or that morning of vomiting or that splitting headache or that feeling of dread or that lack of will to do anything); if you don’t hearken to the cry of Isaiah (that small voice inside you asking you to do good, and to “wash you”, and “make you clean”, and “eat the green herbage to heal open sores” (eat salad to mineralize and alkalize and heal), etc…), if you don’t hearken to this angry bitter oppressed voice, you might end up with “gnashing of teeth” and “shaking of the earth” (shivering after vomiting, or like withdrawing from some nasty opioid addiction, quivering in agony while grinding your teeth).
Whereas Isaiah puts all this in context with external or internal revolts and struggles, with Isaiah specifically being the fresh, vibrant, often angry, voice within you or within an oppressed group in society, crying out, demanding that the constituent cells or citizens be treated with respect (“voice” meaning signals from your cells, so not necessarily “speech”, so it could be dreams, even without any visuals or audio of note); Jesus, by comparison, is what Isaiah is specifically calling for - the act of doing that very same good that Isaiah demands – to heal and make healthy – to help everybody within means. Isaiah is the vibrant call somewhere within a group, for the group to help the oppressed and see to the needs of all members. Jesus is the actual act or success of looking after all those in that group or population. Tackling the matter from yet another vantage point, the name Muhammad and the Qur’an as a whole, is a meditation on the act of checking one’s heat, calming one’s desires, tempering one’s temperament, cooling one’s anger, quieting down fiery situations, avoiding temptation, avoiding conflict, avoiding war, and securing peace. More of a stick, like Isaiah and Judah, rather than a carrot, like Jesus; but with the same precise intent.
As you can see, each is an attempt to get to the state of: every known creature being saved (with “saved” simply meaning “helped”, literally, in the text). The creativity and ingenuity of the authors of Semitic scripture is only matched by their veritable concern for the state of affairs in our time, and any other time since theirs; which is evidenced by them placing this objective as a central focus, even going so far as promoting two more (seemingly) distinct religions on the side, to make sure that whichever 3 of the Semitic religions you choose, you, or your descendants, are eventually going to confront the common objective of the combined set of integrated texts.
The authors knew very well that even if you attempt to save every living creature you know from every calamity or disease or distress; in an infinite universe, with infinitely complex creatures inside and outside you constantly changing, with changing needs; with your limited understanding, limited awareness, and limited means; this is simply not possible. But, it doesn’t mean that this is not an ideal to aspire to. You can still aim, wholeheartedly for Jesus, even if you miss. The Bible and the Qur’an are aids and guides to help you get as close to Jesus as possible, by immersing you in the complexity that is human and earthly life, preparing you for tricky business such as peace-keeping or justice-seeking or soil-building or emergency-response work or heart-operating or substance-abuse rehabilitation or soul-introspection or internal exuberance-building.
In order to understand ourselves, in a deep and significant way, and in order to understand our societies, in a deep and significant way, before even attempting to employ the Bible and the Qur’an to do things like avoid war and promote peace and prosperity, we must first disabuse ourselves of the countless fabrications that modern Science has imposed, with unjustified authority, on the minds of men and women, because: the Bible and the Qur’an refer to very fundamental things, at their core. and the symbols employed can only organize our thoughts if we free our minds of stagnant fictions first, such as all those derived from the assumption of a finite universe, which are not few in number. If the Bible were to have a term like “living cell”, and we define a “living cell” as a lifeless chemical robot-zombie-machine, then the rest of the text cannot possibly make any sense, or be of any value to us, and it will be up to another generation to enjoy the fruits of the labours of countless ancient authors.
No student mind full of Einsteinian space-time curvature equations, will ever get it.
No 1-dimensional-string-theorist will ever benefit from the Bible and Qur’an. Nor will his students.
The Infinite, and the ever-recurring processes of finite things within the Infinite, can only be conveyed if the reader isn’t already full of narrow pre-conceived notions about things like how to define terms such as Life and Mind.
Imagine a farmer in the Sahara, 8000 years ago, tending to his cattle, hunting hippos, or chopping timbers; then all of a sudden, a cellphone drops from the sky from a UFO. He would have no context – he would not understand the symbols, or even its general function. The Gods Must be Crazy for sending this thing down here!
The Bible and the Qur’an cannot speak from antiquity, and carry knowledge and understanding forward, unless we start to respect our ancestors who wrote it, cease belittling them with our unflattering caricaturizations of them in loin cloths, and give them enough credit for being able to do things like make a microscope or a telescope, and intelligently interpret the spectacles beheld through those spectacles.
It is simpler to think of human existence in isolated compartments, and to focus on a single thing in life. Especially when there are lots of people around, there is more opportunity for division of labour. You’re no longer alone, on a farm, with a few distant neighbours, where you need to figure out water supply, house construction, wagon maintenance, clothing mending, hunting, coppicing, mushroom growing, etc… all by yourself, without anybody else having specialized and made themselves available for hire or help.
Nowadays, with billions of us, you might choose to devote your entire waking existence to one single pursuit, like coppicing alone, and hire electricians and carpenters and mechanics and just buy your food from the store; or you might even devote yourself to something super-specific, like working to discover how a single molecule interacts with other molecules. With billions of us around, a Scientist is now a different creature. Long gone are the days of the Natural Philosophers.
There’s no problem with this, except for one crucial thing: Science has now become interconnected with major power structures, major sources of wealth, major standing armies, major agricultural conglomerations; and now, even popular culture and popular thinking, and common discussions, seem dominated by a particular view of Science. Some power structures even use the term Science, only to seem objective, impartial, non-profit, or some other branding scheme. Some claim that we should not even speak of regulating the technologies developed by certain companies, because, they say it is Dangerous to Deny Science! Some trained scientists even assert that the debate is over on some very complex and convoluted hypotheses, drawing upon limited evidence (ice cores only, for example, rather than ground-based measurements).
Most still perceive Scientists as the Natural Philosophers of old – broad-minded, open-hearted, objective, intrepid pioneers, roaming the earth, braving icy winds through inhospitable lands in frock coats, combing the landscape for clues to the workings of Nature, pushing through sea ice to the Arctic, trying to discern cold hard Truth, publishing and sharing their ideas with peers all over the world, and fighting the Church with passionately debated well-formed and well-articulated arguments in well-attended lecture halls, with riotous cheers and jeers.
That time has long long long passed.
Science and Philosophy writer, Fritjof Capra, in The Tao of Physics (a comparison of the ridiculous notions found in modern quantum mechanics, with ancient literal eastern mystical traditions), in this work Capra offered this form of argument:
“There is a difference between a Scientist and a Technician.”
Before complaining about Science in this sense, maybe this logic can actually first help to redefine Science, praise it for what it can do, and limit its overarching ego and political influence and financial greed at the same time. A sort of healthy re-examination of what Science claims to be, and what it could be instead, as a pursuit understandably limited in objectivity and heavily woven into politics, agriculture, war, and nearly every other Earthly pursuit you can think of nowadays.
What is Science?
Is Science a public, commonly-shared pursuit for, and repository of knowledge, datasets, well-developed theories, logic sequences proving facts or disproving facts; a commonly shared body of knowledge, with all of the findings and principles derived being made publicly available, in order for the findings and principles to be open to scrutiny, examination, and improved upon, and fact-checked, by anybody, especially qualified peers, and inspire coordination of further research with anybody willing and qualified and available, depending on means?
I think this is what most people believe.
I would have loved for this to actually be true.
Much of how Science describes itself makes it seem true.
Maybe I simply expect too much from Science!
Maybe we are not entitled to this? Eh?
Maybe this is wishful thinking?
But, if this is so, then we need to stop over-promoting Science, and redefine it as being truly and significantly exclusivist, and maybe reassess how Science interacts with the public, and gets our taxdollars.
When a patient joins a clinical trial for some new drug, and risks adverse events, and donates time and maybe even hard resources to be part of the study, which, they believe, might help with their illness; most of these patients are probably under the impression that all the available doctors and experts and staff are working on this, to try to alleviate this specific condition, and that the findings will of course be made available to all trained specialists in the field, which might be very few in number, depending on the rarity of the condition. If Science needs to be significantly redefined, patients participating in for-profit studies, especially when just toying with copy-cat molecules, should be well-informed of the entire research effort, and how it is limited by business needs and desires, and who, in the world, other than company staff, will be privy to the results!
Maybe people would be fine with this, if the for-profit company would be upfront about this.
Note that this is specifically those individuals within big pharma that think and act like this. There are certainly some well-intentioned individuals within these massive institutions, who yearn to make meaningful discoveries, regardless of financial reward, but this sentiment was much more prominent in the earlier days of pharmaceuticals. Things have changed, with companies now being bought, and the researchers fired, in droves. Many studies used to be government-funded, like before Reagan, as a contrast to today, where it is basically all private. This changes the nature of studies, the availability of the results, not to mention the sale price of the remedy.
Is Science always conducted to get to the hard truth of how Nature works, regardless of opinions on politics, ethnicity, culture, and independent of profit motives?
Does Science = Reason?
Is every scientist reasonable and logical, and vigorously self-correcting?
Is every scientist atheist?!
Did Science beat all the Churches and Religions?
This is what they claim repeatedly and boastfully.
It is the calling card of the modern Pharisees (literally – “dividers” – or reductionists).
We are now (allegedly) in the “age of reason”, or the “age of enlightenment”, because (allegedly) it is specifically progress in Science, and Science alone, that has done away for our need for silly superstitions! It wasn’t things like Hippie movement philosophy, or civil rights movement philosophy, or social contract philosophy like that which developed under FDR, or even Humanist philosophy or Naturalist philosophy? No, the age of reason, is credited fully to Science alone. But, is the actual core claim even true? Is Religion gone?
There are 225 million Muslims in Indonesia alone, surely mostly reading the Qur’an literally.
There is a bland Jehovah’s Witness box at every other street corner now.
Farm country is thick with Christian schools, in every city or town center.
Billionaires are in office working to transfer public education funds to Christian schools.
Where is the hard evidence that Science beat Religion?
Where is your scientific proof of this?
Modern Science has in fact adopted and promoted many central tenets of not just “Judeo-Christian”, not just Judeo-Christian-Islamic, but even principles from Eastern philosophies read literally! In fact, Fritjof Capra was able to write The Tao of Physics precisely because the principles of quantum physics are so outrageously nonsensical! He found not a few commonalities between eastern mystic notions (read literally), and modern quantum mechanics!
The only thing “entangled” is the logic of the claim that Science brought humanity out of the spiritual stone age!
Science could easily be in the business of providing good questions, with all the details of the current known mysteries, rather than just providing answers. We could creatively write textbooks as an opening of the mind to unanswered mysteries, rather than trying to front that we have all the answers, and conjuring wild explanations instead of saying “we just don’t know”:
When something is just a hypothesis, without observational backing, the full sequence of logic and data that the hypothesis is built upon, should at least be summarized thoroughly. We assume kids can’t handle such long-winded explanations. It would even shed light on the process of Science, and the current mysteries at play in the minds of (true) scientists. It would demonstrate to a student what the life of a scientist would be like. It could inspire careers with tantalizing questions, instead of confusing the mind with ridiculous answers, like “Dark Energy” (invoked to explain an erroneous interpretation of distant redshift values).
When things that have never ever been observed are reported in a textbook, like Dark Energy, it should also have a clear, prominent, large, and colourful stamp of “Never Observed”. Or just “N.O.”! Gravitational lensing around a “black hole”? “N.O.”! Parallel universes? “N.O.”! Pure Energy? “N.O.”! 12-dimensional entities occupying your room, as you experience your room in 4-dimensional space-time only? Hell-“N.O.”!!!
Computer Generated Imagery should be well-labeled as such (where models from a theory were fed into a computer without being tied to actual observations). This one has become increasingly problematic these days, to the point of not knowing what is Truth any longer, when reading science publications. A great example of this is the computer-generated Non-Cosmic-Microwave-Background images you see. Oy! Scandal! The microwaves are obviously from the galaxy! Artificers of illusion! Conjurers of falsehood! How is a student supposed to know that the original observations were significantly altered, almost unrecognizably, or that they are not consistent between samplings, or that the satellite was not shielded from microwaves from Earth itself! This one has become really insidious nowadays (CGI has). It is harder today to discern science fact from science fiction, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Our textbooks could be a joy to read, with concepts laid our clearly and logically, using common sense principles, and inspire younglings to the sciences. Textbooks don’t have to be boring old “textbooks”. In order to make a textbook more interesting, we don’t need to wow, stupefy and bedazzle student’s eyes with conjured imaginings fronted as reality, with bright flashy colours.
Imagine you are Barack Obama, you walk into office on your first day, you’ve got a lot on your mind, with tens of meetings and information briefings, right? Then, a high-level long-time military scientific research manager/advisor walks into the oval office, and he knows about all the research projects conducted during the cold war, and knows all of the unique findings that US military scientists have produced regarding unique high-tech, like how atoms work; and this advisor informs the president what they’re working on now, and discusses the future of military and government-funded scientific research in his term.
Would you insist that allll this scientifically-derived information be made public, of allll of the unique Pentagon studies or Los Alamos nuclear studies, and basic physics research, providing every man and woman details on how to build atom bombs, from Timbuktu to Kathmandu?
So, we rightfully expect the commander in chief to keep hush-hush on these basic Science findings, in a militaristic context.
So, Military Science – is that a commonly-shared, publicly scrutinized, broadly co-ordinated form of Science?
Put yourself in the shoes of Harry Truman or FDR, would you want these guys to have educated the public on the full correct interpretation of physical processes at the nuclear level or below, or of correct cosmological workings, like how the sun works? Eh?
Is making raw Science findings and understanding publicly available, more important than national security?
Maybe we simply expect too much from Science! But, if so, we need to re-define and de-throne it!
What would you rather have, any joe-bloe with a wallet, a shop, a toolkit, and a grudge, anywhere the world, readily understanding nuclear power, and able to cook up ghastly plans? Or, would you rather impede Science (significantly), by limiting the publication of test results, and obfuscating the public’s understanding of basic science, with such fairy-tales as a Beginning to the universe, parallel universes, or space-time fabrication from pure energy residing in nothingness, or wormholes?
So, maybe a Science Smokescreen is in fact inevitable, in some situations, but then unfortunately confuses generations of textbook writers, with untenable notions in cosmology, quantum mechanics, and gravitation theory, allowing time travel, entanglement of particles, wormholes, and the rest of the host of what might have been initially serious work by quirky scientists, but were obviously dug up out of the loony-bin of science papers and promoted so forcefully, for some very good reason, all specifically during 2 intense world wars! Surely Science (as a shared, common, broad-based effort, with global peer-review) took a hit during those wretched 30 years, with 2 global conflagrations, with only a bowl full of dust between them! Oy!
Maybe big bang creationism has in fact saved lives!
When a GMO company develops and patents a living organism, and doesn’t share how they went about it with anybody, keeps the process secret, and keeps control on the actual propagation of the new organism over vast tracts of land, taking up more water and nutrients from the plant to fight pests biochemically, taking farmers to court for having their seed grow without permission; this is simply not Science. It is simply technical work, for profit, which might absorb the fruits of the labours of proper scientists, who had initially shared their work openly to society.
To be anti-GMO is not necessarily to deny Science (unless, again, we re-define the term openly and honestly).
When an insulin-selling drug company gets caught funding chefs on insane diabetic-emergency cook-shows, with deep-fried cheesecakes on a bed of icing sugar, this reveals that, at least this portion of their business, did not conduct any proper science.
When all you do, as a venture capitalist, is buy up drug companies, fire the research staff, and then raise the price of a niche drug to scandalous levels, this reveals that these particular companies have nothing at all to do with science (any longer, after firing the talent).
To be suspicious of drug companies is not to deny Science, no matter how we go about defining Science.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum is like, an individual, say, having gone through some personal tragedy, like a friend dying of cancer, and then endeavours to truly figure out the workings of that particular strain of cancer, goes to school, works hard, begs for funding to conduct studies, then works openly with other scientists, and shares all results, and vigorously employs imagination in order to reach the specific cancer patients that might benefit, and tries to deploy the remedy to as wide a population that is possible within means…
See, now we’re having a conversation!
Now that’s the Science that I thought I knew and loved!
Storing away artefacts from controversial digs, like at Table Mountain, important ancient human artefacts, contradicting the official story of human evolution, stored away forever, not ever put on display, with nobody allowed to analyse them. This does not constitute Science. It in fact impedes it.
Dusty filing cabinets full of secret plans on how to understand and make gizmos and thingamabobs, shelved away in the back room of the General Electric lab, even if the scientific method was employed, this does not constitute Science, unless we redefine Science.
Most discoveries nowadays are in private hands, developing things for profit.
Not everybody is as compassionate, insightful, open, or hard working as Jane Goodall.
When powerful voices in society start proclaiming things like “you must blindingly support our troops” or “you must blindingly support our for-profit science-based business conglomerations” or “you must support our global economic system, because it enables freedom and democracy”, it is a slippery slope to (among many other things) risk having Science and Society along with it, descend into regimentation and stagnation of innovation.
For some veritable fanatics out there, Science has truly become a new Religion, and they get mad and defensive about protecting their cloth. But, Science is now Politics. Science is now War. Science is now Agriculture. Science is not at all neutral! It now represents, informs, is involved with, large conglomerations of wealth and power, with some individual scientists even being personally heavily financially invested in their results, or even running the companies themselves. The cloak of objectivity and neutrality, which the Science brand offers, has been heavily capitalized upon, and abused, by many who couldn’t care less about Science or Society, or even objectivity and neutrality.
Dune, the science-fiction masterpiece by Frank Herbert, has an excellent line that goes something like:
“When Religion and Politics combine, a whirlwind ensues.”
A similar sentiment could be formulated for the combination of other institutions of power, like Science and Business, or Science and War, or even Science and Religion. There is nothing particularly insidious with these associations of power, unless the Science goes unquestioned and festers for generations, and never gets called out, and rips telescope time away from people like Halton Arp, who had proof the Big Bang is Big Bologna decades ago, and then siphon off billions of taxpayer dollars to look for “The God Particle”!!!
We have been governed, for the better part of 2000 years, not by the Church alone, but by the combination of state, military, business, church, academic, and many other forms of power, coming and going in various combinations of balance of powers. These were powerful combinations, mixing together emotionally-charged ecstatic experiences, at times, with deeply held beliefs, combined with processes and procedures like law-making, or going to school and learning about the world. A good example is the Knights Templar: “Warrior-Monk-Bankers”. Triple-Power-Combo! The whirlwind that these Warrior-Monk-Bankers induced was more like a hurricane, and came to an end with as much fanfare. So, these particular power-combinations don’t really last that long, the characters change, the weather changes, and generations turn over, new things are discovered (or re-buried), and people move onto other things.
But, if you think religions have no sway in politics today, you must have had your cable disconnected many moons ago. We just went through a time of having Reagan, then a Born Again Christian, lead the nation down a path so vile, with many a self-proclaimed Christian warrior in the president’s employ, with the resulting sour feelings toward us, from the middle east and beyond, probably festering for a few generations to come. Even if this is a small factor, it set the tone for how our “civilization” inevitably had to “clash” with theirs in our overturning of their leaders (which we had initially installed). It set the tone, for the last 40+ years, for how our troops have been treating Muslims and even non-Muslim Arabs, Afgans, Persians, and others that are mistaken as Muslim by looks and association alone.
You see, the “church”, although fractioned these days, is still alive and well, in the minds of politicians, soldiers, business leaders, many scientists, and private offensive contractors like Blackwater, billionaires with private forces who are governed from what they truly believe is their righteous calling, who also want to transform public education to Christian education. If Mitt Romney had won, this perceived “clash” would have escalated to insane ideological fundamentalist proportions, entrenching ourselves into a severely protracted standoff. A devout Mormon with a modern sophistically army and arsenal? Oy! Many a dead would need baptizing indeed. This man was incessantly preaching hatred toward Islam, politely, in a suit, on national TV, and people listened, and many even voted for him. Separation of Church and State? Sure. Right.
We must guard against any combination of fervent belief (whether it be in the form of a Big Bang, or a Creator-God), mixed in with military situations, business workings, lawmaking, or massive public funding, or massive re-diversion of wealth (even from greedy oil companies). In other words, if we are warned, in the morbid tones that a preacher would employ, of The Dangers of Science Denial, and Science has now significantly combined with military, political and other societal institutions, and most especially getting mixed up with business interests, we must guard from the same regimentation of power, the same oligarchies of thought and Orthodoxy – “right thinking” – “correct science belief”.
If you want to believe in the creation of the universe from “pure energy”, 15 billion years ago, that’s fine. You do you Boo. But don’t do things like kick Halton Arp off his telescope, if his impressive, thorough, and well-thought-out experiments and results don’t agree with your Big Bang Creationism, and in fact, completely invalidated your childish creation myth, decades ago.
If a pale-skinned patient, with bags under his eyes, walks into a medical clinic, smoking nervously, looking unsettled and agitated, feeling like somebody is following him, looking over his shoulder when anything moves, with a twitch in his eye, and starts whispering to the doctor that he can: see parallel universes, travel through time, go through “wormholes” through the very fabric of space and time, and that time is a separate physical dimension, and that the universe will have a grandiose final End Day to it, and that his electrons are entangled with other electrons with creatures on other planets, and that a cat in a closed box is both dead and alive until you open the lid to observe it, and that he can interact with unseen forces that permeate the whole universe – a very dark matter indeed, for which he has no evidence to present to the doctor, and then he says that there exists an even greater power in the cosmos than this, and to respect its will, because it occupies 75 percent of the density of the whole universe – in “the power of the vacuum of empty space”, which is accelerating everything apart from everything else - the patient, the doctor, and all the furniture in the office, apart from each other, and might be the cause for the final demise of the entire universe, being torn to bits in a Big Rip!
As a trained medical doctor, what would you do? Straight jacket? Drugs? Psychotherapy? Pat on the back? Glass of cold water splashed on the face? Complimentary stick of deodorant?
A trained physicist, on the other hand, would look at the same individual, and would hire him on the spot, praising him for his vast correct understanding of Science and Nature, and offered the seat at the telescope!
Modern proud “educated” people dismiss and ignore ancient mythology as pure invented fantasy, and dismiss advanced symbolic ancient scripture as borne from the minds of the weak and superstitious and inept; while at the very same time forcibly promoting a truly incomprehensible, incongruous, fantastical, certifiably insane (time travel, for example), and wildly illogical view of the universe, which is in fact more outrageous than the themes and notions described in ancient mythology or high-level works of symbolic scripture, all over the world, read literally.
It is also a sad spiritual state of affairs, among scientists themselves, with one documentary, the Time Lords, telling the story of a tragic attempt by one physicist, out of many trying to achieve time-travel; seeking to go back in time to meet his deceased father! You are breaking your own heart while twisting your own mind!
This feels more like alchemy, with lab flasks and bubblers and beakers, and some grand char-encrusted cauldron, in some deep castle chamber, in an attempt to forge a secret potion for immortality; or some shamanic ritual to try to contact ancestors. Scientists, using accepted mainstream cosmology, looking for Shangri-La! Oy!
In this, Scientists themselves don’t seem to be well-served by modern cosmology. Nobody should be told that their loved ones that have passed away, or distant ancestors, are all still alive and well, but just waiting for you “in another dimension” or waiting for you in “the past”. That is a heart-wrenching thought, and unnecessarily cruel, a waste of effort, is heavily reminiscent of standard religious practices that try to satisfy the soul during times of grief, and a general shame all-‘round.
If you seek to devote yourself to a worthy vocation that applies science, or conducts science, or is dependent on science in a significant way, trust in subject matter, notions, theories, and raw equations and such, of things close to your size.
We know nothing much worth knowing about inter-galactic astronomy, or even galactic astronomy, or even about the insides our own Astro; and we know nothing much worth reporting concerning tiny microscopic entities like electrons and such. But, we know tons of solid things, solid facts, worth studying, concerning things like how terrestrial biology works, and we know tons about chemistry, and we know tons of useful things about near-surface geology and oceanography. Going out further to macroscopic or microscopic realms, or out to distant areas at our size-level, or way back in time or way forward in time; weakens our ability to conduct experiments.
So, if you’re looking for the most straightforward and effective path to take for a career, don’t bother reading how the insides of the sun works, and basing a career on something like sucking out some hydrogen to power smart cars. Study things like medicine! It (mostly) makes sense, and it (mostly) works. Study electronics and electric engineering! That is all (pretty much) in the bag (not the details of electron life itself, but just how to harness and use it in our size-level). Study geology, climatology, botany, mycology, coppicing, etc… Science is powered by experiment. Without experiment, it’s just philosophy. Where experiment is limited (distance, reach, time), Science runs blind and is pretty much rendered useless.
Scientists would be much more helpful, if they were to pause to reflect way deeper, before making definite assertions about deep time, and about the super-small and the super-large, and about human antiquity, and most importantly, about the nature of Life and the minds of living organisms, including animals, plants, single cells, and below… and above…
E = mc?
The term “universe” means: all that there was, is, and ever will be.
The whole shebang!
The whole kit and caboodle.
Lock, stock, and barrel.
There cannot be more than one “whole shebang”.
You cannot have parallel “whole shebangs”.
You cannot have a succession of “whole shebangs”.
And the whole shebang most definitely cannot wrap around itself!
The fact that this needs to be articulated in this day and age, is just… it’s just soooooooo …. Oy!
Our modern 21st-century view of the entire universe is based most fundamentally on Einstein’s explanation of gravity, light-waves, and time. Einstein’s work was initially formulated and published in a time when the galaxies had yet to be discovered, quasars had yet to be discovered, the atomic nucleus had just started to be observed, things like neutrons had not yet been theorized, and protons were just beginning to be theorized. Plate tectonics had not yet even been proposed seriously. Electricity coming from the sun and interacting with our magnetosphere was considered a ridiculous proposition. We didn’t even know about the Van Allen radiation belts around the Earth. We had yet to find out what was on the moon or if we should prepare for a Martian invasion. Venus was still considered a potential hospitable vacation planet.
Then, two world-wars derailed any serious-minded reflection and debate about official physics and cosmology. Science became political overnight, before any real effort was made to falsify Einstein’s claims. The bomb changed everything, especially Science, and how the military and governments treat and direct and publicize and teach Science and how they conduct basic research and what findings would be made public.
Just because a theory predicts an observation, does not necessarily mean that if you then make that observation, it proves your theory!
I can claim, let’s say, that the gravity of the sun is caused by variously-sized sentient fairy-like energy-globule-like creatures, flying around, collectively constituting the soul of the sun, that try to fish for passing electromagnetic foodstuffs and therefore drag them toward the center of the sun as they move near the sun. I can plot a mathematical algorithm, and predict the rate of the bending of the stream of lightwaves.
Now, if we then measure this bending of the stream of lightwaves, and we find the precise predicted mathematical value – the rate of pull of light around the sun, it does not prove that sentient fairy-like energy-globule-creatures exist! Your math might be accurate, and the prediction that the light waves will bend because of the gravitational pull of the sun might be accurate, but it does not prove that time exists as a “dimension” separate from space, much less does it prove that this magical “space-time” can be “warped” in the strange way described.
To begin to understand the history of Big Bang creationism and its relationship with Science, and its falsification by Halton Arp and others, I highly recommend two videos on the youtube:
Universe: Cosmology Quest – 2 parts.
Halton Arp’s Intrinsic Redshift
Whereas Cosmology Quest offers a historical layout of how Big Bang Creationism came to be dominant in the halls of academia and during science-TV-dinners, Intrinsic Redshift provides truly stunning basic observations of galaxies and quasars and offers delicious food for thought. His X-Ray maps of quasar regions alone is worth the hour. I find that these basic observations – and more of their ilk, would be soooo much more engaging for students, rather than pre-packaged theories full of assumptions and “epicycles” added to make them function. Even if you disagree with Arp’s interpretation of mass, it doesn’t matter, his basic observations are worth their weight in neutron-star material (which turns out was Never Observed).
What we are in desperate need of is new avenues of thought, new approaches to existing theories, and fresh insight into confused Sciences.
What we are in desperate need of, is imaginative questions to open answers.