[FoRK] Brownback defines science

Elias Sinderson <elias at soe.ucsc.edu> on Fri Jun 1 15:53:04 PDT 2007

Lion Kimbro wrote:
> On 6/1/07, Jim Whitehead <ejw at soe.ucsc.edu> wrote:
>> >    "...reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order."
>>
>> The same can be said for almost any creature. Dolphins reflect a 
>> unique image and likeness, as do ants, mosquitos, cockroaches, 
>> spiders, scarab beetles, and, for that matter, dung beetles. I take 
>> away from this that all living creatures are unique and amazing, in 
>> their own way.
>
> Nope! Humans are uniquely amazing.  Never saw a dolphin driving a car 
> around, or writing a book, or anything like that.  No ignoring the 
> obvious. 

Bzzzt! Butterflies are uniquely amazing. Never saw a human transform 
themselves from a caterpillar, or subsist off of milkweed, or encode 
migration details into their DNA so that they can unerringly find the 
wintering sites of their ancestors, generations past, or anything like 
that. No ignoring the obvious.

Bzzzt! Giant Redwoods are uniquely amazing ...

Bzzzt! Dolphins are ...

Bzzzt! Jellyfish ...

Bzzzt! ...

Rinse, repeat.   ;)

What is uniquely amazing is the mind-bogglingly short-termed 
anthropocentric view that somehow whatever makes humans different from 
other animals equates to a divine right of dominion over the Earth -- to 
the point of endangering our own survival as a species.

So, yes, we are uniquely amazing, but lets' not allow that fact to 
somehow denigrate how uniquely amazing, and uniquely /vital/, all of 
life is ... I.e., it's a fat lot of good our densely ramified 
informational processing structures are going to be when the entire 
ecosystem collapses around us. Positing a 'special' place for humans 
above all else, and at the expense of our own survival is an especially 
dangerous and stupid game to enjoin - unfortunately it is a game that 
religion, writ large, both encourages and foments by its' very nature.


Food for thought,
Elias

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