Monday, September 18, 2006


Do we want to “move away from oil as a building block in plastics, and to make plastics that are environmentally friendly”? Geoffrey Coates is a scientist who is working to achieve both those goals, according to the September/October, 2006 issue of Technology Review magazine.

Mr. Coates was selected in 1999 as one of 35 of the under 35 scientists and technologists whose work ought to be watched. TR, this year, checked back on a couple of those honored in 1999, the first year the honor, named TR35, was bestowed. Mr. Coates has gone a long way since then. Enlarge and read the accompanying article.

Here’s my challenge to the Republican Party and the fundamentalists among them who don’t believe in science. If the empirical methods work which discovered and developed every modern invention and understanding of our universe, why do you trust any modern science or employ any modern invention, yet argue with the same empirical methods which have yielded our current understanding of “natural selection”? In short, is the world really round? Are stars suns? Do you trust airplanes enough to fly in them? Do automobiles actually work? Have you driven one? Would you let your children receive a blood transfusion? How about a heart operation, based in the same biology that discovered evolution? Do you believe that an invisible gas called H2O exists? How about. . . etcetera? That’s right—everything that science uses and has produced in the modern world was brought into existence by empirical methods. Does the empirical method work? Okay! ‘Nough said. Start believing or go back two thousand years and start again. Do not pass GO.


Anonymous said...

"That’s right—everything that science uses and has produced in the modern world was brought into existence by empirical methods."
Please read this sentence again and think about it this time. The empirical method discovers new paradigms that are already in existence. To say, "something is brought into existence" implies creation.

Geo said...

Right. If I write an essay, I have brought it into existence, but since matter is eternal, nothing brought matter into existence. It was alway there. The processes of natural selection by which various species come into being are, however, creative processes because they are always making new beings and that creative process is adequately described by natural selection.

Shocked that I should say that matter is eternal? I have as much evidence to claim that matter is eternal as creationists have to say that spirit is eternal. So we just need to ignore that point and get back to my point, which is, that empirical methods have always been right in millions of ways, so why question the method when it comes to natural selection. If one does not accept the empirical method then, one does not live in this or any other recent century and should go back to before the empirical method yielded us so much good information about our world.

Geo said...

I've had second thoughts about my first response to the initial comment by 'anonymous'. I think his/her purpose may have been to be helpful rather than discrediting. And I must admit to sloppy use of language and syntax. I was careless.

Thinking later, I also recalled another thought I sometimes have. This whole idea of "creation" and of things "being made"—even further convinces me that the idea of god is an obvious anthropomorphizing of god by early humans. Since early beings, first becoming conscious, needed an idea to explain the O-so-much they didn't know, they'd naturally pattern their god after themselves, and their own tool creating act was an activity they could easily project onto god. Thus arose the idea that god was a creator like they were. Since some cognitive scientists believe that consciousness arose simultaeously with tool creating, that the two should be linked makes sense to me.

Geo said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for reflecting and using a softer tone. I am trying to build not tear down. I applaud your endeavors. It is not easy being mortal and not yet aware of the ineffable Being.