Irony

Don’t suppose the term “ultimate irony” has any meaning, let alone significant meaning; kinda like the word “news”. What is today’s “must know” is relegated to the Trash Bin (either the old metal kind, or the modern computer kind) tomorrow. So, it’s entirely possible that today’s “ultimate irony” won’t stay on the top of heap, or on the front page very long.

But, I am having a hard time replacing what has been termed “natural law” with anything more significant.

A friend recently wrote:

“It simply indicates that every material creature has a specific purpose and that this purpose is assigned to it by its nature. So a mud hen is different than a cow or a human being. The eye has a different function than the ear. These all involve nature. Science is constantly indicating the nature, that is the purpose, of a particular organ in an animal or human being. However we live in a culture of extreme individualism where the individual, especially a human, is seen as being able to determine one’s own nature and purpose. This is how our culture, philosophies, government, education system, media and most churches today accept and even advocate abortion, euthanasia, divorce, in vitro fertilization, same gender marriages, etc.”

I can’t improve on that, but I’ll try to add something: like how ironic this all is.

Not being a rocket scientist, I always thought the purpose/aim/goal/reason of science was to explain things (or, try to) (Brother Guy Consolmagno says it better: “Science describes, it doesn’t prove.”; see http://fora.tv/2008/03/02/Brother_Guy_Consolmagno_God_s_Mechanics, slightly after the 12 minute mark – but don’t skip the entire interview). So, science exists to describe? And if it doesn’t, then what am I to do with all that genus, species, family stuff I still remember from 9th grade biology? (I told you I wasn’t a rocket scientist.) If science does its job, then engineers can do theirs (now I can relate), and the rest of the world can enjoy the fruits of the ubiquitous computer (et al.).

So, we have all these scientists, and all the money that is thrown at science (that would be OUR taxpayer money; Cray computers, and the Tevatron come with a
hefty price tag), on the one hand; and then we have what, Congress, redefining the purpose of things? (Let’s ignore the cost of Congress for a moment, shall we? No point in throwing good money after bad.) What did the Race to the Moon, and the shuttle program cost? Somehow, we thought that was worth our resources. We are pumping millions of dollars into finding a cure for HIV/AIDS; millions of dollars into the hands of scientists, not politicians. Why doesn’t the president just call a special session of Congress and demand that it redefine, say, a virus? Something along the lines of: “The Ebolla Virus is now benign.” Politicians all over the country have, with no more than a stroke of a pen (quite literally with no more than) redefined scores of things that, frankly, fly in the face of science (ignorance can be such bliss, can’t it? especially when you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about).

I know what you’re thinking: You’re thinking that, on the one hand we provide mega millions of dollars in subsidies to the tobacco industry, and on the other
hand, meager millions to finding a cure for cancer. So, why should politicians be any more consistent when it comes to science? Like I said, “ultimate irony.”

But to take it a step further (and there are many special interest groups that have hijacked Capitol Hill), those that so virulently espouse individualism are
demanding that the law of the land be changed just for them. A few (percentage-wise, very, very few) are ensuring that to get the law on their side, my legal rights are usurped or morphed into something I cannot countenance. They want rights, and they are willing to take mine away from me. Thank you very much. As we used to say in boot camp: BOHICA (no, don’t ask). “Protect the individual” applies only to those who choose to belong to their own little club. And, if you don’t belong; well, Hitler, Stalin and Mao had the answer to that one.

These here United States of America was founded – even from the very beginning, when the Pilgrims started grabbing land from the natives – on the basic,
fundamental premise that we didn’t want to be just like the people in the Old World (the invasion of this continent by Europeans proved – ironically enough – that the trip across the Atlantic didn’t actually change the pioneers very much at all). Fast forward 200 years (yeah, I know: more like 400) and there are groups that are trying to make us a colony of Europe again (I bet King George III is loving this). If I wanted to be European, I’d move there. (Yes, I have lived in Europe.)

We here are supposed to be all about protecting the individual – EVERY individual. That means life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – for everyone. That does not mean conformity at all costs. It means I can swing my fist; just so long as I make sure your nose is not in the trajectory. It does not mean I can’t be me.

But, that is what is happening here.

One of the most popular movies of late, “Jurassic Park,” answered a question about Natural Law, tho it was well hidden. The scientists (what, no politicians?) who cloned the dinosaurs in the “amusement park” made a point to ensure they couldn’t reproduce (that would be the dinosaurs, not the scientists). A built in safeguard against the experiment getting out of control. There was a scene where the head game-keeper discovers eggs that have obviously hatched – clear proof that the safeguard had, um, excuse me, failed. I think his line was something like “Nature will find a way.” That line could have come out of an ad for a butter substitute commercial that was popular back in the days when I watched tv (“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”; don’t remember the product, tho. Sorry.)

The pen might be mightier than the sword. Maybe. But, ignore Mother Nature at your peril.

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