Atanu Dey On India's Development

Crackergate — Part 2

I really don’t have much to add to what insanity I had reported on the post titled “Crackergate“. This follow up highlights a comment made by one “/ehj2″ in a Cosmic Variance thread (also titled “Crackergate.”) Every once in a while I come across something that I wish I had written. This comment is one of those. Here it is, for the record.

Just so that you know the context in which the comment was made, here’s a short synopsis. PZ Myers was outraged by the reaction of some Catholics when it was reported that a student may have disrespected a communion wafer. PZ wrote a blog post in which he threatened to do awful things to a wafer. Sean at CV wrote saying that he disagreed with PZ’s post generally. The comment below is a reaction to Sean’s reaction to PZ’s reaction.

In a world running out of cheap energy and clean water and farmable land and harvestable oceans, the stakes are too high to accord any respect to intellectual and moral laziness in any realm of knowledge.

Sure, we all believe in a wafer of some kind to make sense and meaning of the world, and I’m incredibly fortunate that my bulwark against the darkness is science.

I thank you for writing this post, because it’s impossible not to be part of this conversation (although many mistakenly imagine they are “above” it), as it is the invisible undercurrent of every conversation and touches every public and private decision.

This is the principle conflict of our time, and we better figure out that this is the real enemy (not teenage terrorists in pajamas in a desert 12,000 miles away) before the lights start going out.

The recent New Yorker cartoon lampooning the right-wing’s portrayal of the Obama’s as secret revolutionaries and closet Muslims — should be shocking in its accurate portrayal of the right-wing as utterly un-American in its values, let alone un-human. But this isn’t what the current conversation on the cartoon is remotely about.

Even in its simple-minded mythology of broad-brush homilies, America was built by revolutionaries seeking religious freedom who had no respect for nationalist impulses, standing armies, aristocratic exceptionalism, corporatist thugs, or a specific flavor of god. For a while we were those ingenious Yanks.

I’m beyond tired of the inroads made by right-wing and religious fanatics who can’t perform basic human functions, like write a song, solve a quadratic equation, tend a garden, love a partner, steward even their own small portion of the world without utterly savaging it, and raise children to do the same.

I have revolution in my blood and I think you should, too. I’m not going to give the world to thugs in uniforms (police state or church) with wafers and magically-written texts who’ve spent the last decades (I’m thinking of Jimmy Carter’s 1979 speech) ensuring that the basic science we needed to be doing to get to energy independence, with efficient solar cells and fuel algaes and fusion, would be here now. [Edit: The last sentence is garbled but the idea comes across that had the science been done, by now the US would have had energy independence.]

It’s not merely that these people are not on our side. They’re committed to a path that destroys the enlightened parts of the world and impoverishes what’s left. They send women home. They kill gays. They burn libraries. They close schools. They believe god should be in government, shellfish are an abomination, and anybody who disagrees should be stoned.

Jung wrote a great deal about the religious function. It’s time you scientists started to understand, as the economists are finally beginning to understand, that we are not a rational species, and absent considerable assistance, we make lousy decisions.

PZ Meyers gets this, and is willing to step outside the ivory tower of soft-toned elitist disagreement and go toe-to-toe, on an almost daily basis, with these ignorant creeps in the language they understand. Somebody has to fight the slime mold in the basement or it takes over.

Both of your voices are needed, but please do not add your voice to those who hit him from the rear.

Comments are closed.