Bare Bones Biology 221F – Watchtower

“Are you proselytizing?”

“Well, not really.”

Of course they were. The big man was hiding the Watchtower magazine behind his leg. And why else would he and his companion get all dressed up in city shoes, drive 3.5 miles into the wilderness and stop in my yard. The dictionary defines proselytizing as: “trying to convert someone to beliefs or opinions.”

Watchtower Christians are past masters of the conversational bait and switch, but I am no slouch at keeping my logic on target, and the subject of the month is Climate Change. Good bait; I’m very pleased that the Watchtower people care about climate change. They should learn all they can about it.

130626-red truck-ASC_6366RsThe visitor might have thought me a tree-hugger, way out here in the boonies; probably was not expecting an ecologist/geneticist. I said: “I do not argue with anyone about science unless and until they are willing to take the trouble to understand the science.” He said they weren’t “arguing.” She said they couldn’t be expected to be experts in science; I said: “I didn’t say expert, I have enough expertise for us all, but there is no point talking about science with people who don’t understand what the words mean and aren’t interested in finding out.” They didn’t argue.

I said I would read the watchtower, and I gave them the web address of my blog. I have a whole series on climate change, was it a couple of years ago already? that would be easy to find by plugging in the key words (“climate change”).

I read the Watchtower article on Climate Change, which is entitled “Will Man Ruin the Earth Beyond Repair?” This article expresses an apparently genuine concern about climate change and gives an accurate summary of the basics. There is a sidebar with references to popular, reputable and apparently accurate sources. I will definitely quote their description of the Zone of Life, including the closing sentence from Jeremiah 10:12 “the One who established the productive land by his wisdom.” It’s a little behind times. The “zone of life” is not as narrow as we used to believe, and continues deep within the earth, including the area that is being devastated by fracking, but that is another discussion. This is about the Watchtower article itself. What do I, as an expert scientist, think of the article?

In fact, I recommend this article to all climate change deniers, and I agree with its summary of climate change. I have only two negative reactions to this article. First, among the Bible references that are scattered through the article are none that place responsibility upon you or me or us to make the necessary effort to maintain the viable (living) balance of the “productive land” that the Bible says God created. Second, the Watchtower people clearly do not understand how the “productive land” stays alive so that it can provide for and support the people. In the modern age, we do know how Life maintains itself – at least we understand the basics of the System. It’s odd, in this crisis, that we are encouraged to sit back and wait for God to fix it for us.

140909-peablossom_dsc0003RSs copyThe Bible is not the only thing that God created. He also created the wild things, plant and animal, and the entire living unit of the Biosystem, and as Jesus said about prophets (Matthew 7:16) “Ye shall know them by their works.” If this is true of prophets, how much more it must be true of God.

I think sitting around waiting for God to fix the mess we created in His Biosystem, rather than take a few hours ourselves to understand the basic laws of God and nature that permit the living earth to survive – as they are demonstrably manifested in His creation – well, I don’t think that approach will solve the problem, and since He kicked us out of the Garden of Eden once already, I expect he is still waiting for us (including the “good guys”) to grow up and take responsibility for the demonstrable consequences of our own behaviors.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1, Bryan Texas.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:

Bare Bones Biology 122B – Human Hands

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that played on KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The original audio podcast may be downloaded at:

In the current blog, the ending paragraphs have been updated and somewhat modified in honor of Earth Day.

120822-hand-asc_0018lss Hold up your hand flat open with your palm facing me. As though you were a policeman trying to stop an onrushing disaster.
Your four fingers and your thumb are all pointing in different directions.

Now let’s think of your four fingers and your thumb as problems or “actions” that you and other socially conscious people are promoting — spending your time, energy and money, using your life to benefit your family, the community and humankind in general. Every person using his/her best skills to address one or other of the major actions, trying to relieve the problems faced by humankind today.

Let’s say your first finger represents hunger, and all the people trying to reduce world hunger. The second finger can represent global warming. The third finger can represent conflict, for example war, politics, genocide, modern economics. And the fourth finger represents religion and spirituality. Your thumb represents overpopulation.

What I notice about this hand is that all five of the digits are pointing off toward different and separate goals. If you added together the five different problems, and the people who are working to address these problems. Well, they are not working together for a common goal – they are going off in five different directions. Often they fight or argue with each other or they simply ignore each other, rather than discussing common goals. For this reason the work of one group often cancels out the gains of one or more of the other groups.

For example, one group is working for compassion in the belief that a compassionate community will not fight. Another group tries to win because they believe that will solve all our problems. The climate change group, after a few hundred years of evidence, is finally beginning to recognize its problem is real and is trying to decide whether to adapt or deal with the root cause of climate change. The hunger group can’t possibly accomplish its goal in the face of climate change and excessive population growth. And the overpopulation group believes that no positive goals can be achieved by continuing the destructive path that caused these problems in the first place.

120822-hand-asc_0026lss We imagine if all the groups accomplished their goals they would all add up to a successful community. The reality, however, looks more like a mish-mash of confusing goals and conflicting interests. Efficient and effective problem solving does not jump out into the world in five different directions at once, with the different parts of itself fighting among themselves. Modern business practice has made many serious mistakes, but at least one good concept has come out of it, and that is goal setting. Good business defines its goals, sets its guidelines, and informs all parties involved.

Our basic human goal is to live in a community that is sustainable into the future. Surely it must be, and if it’s not we should ask each other why not, because we aren’t acting as though it were. We have all these five problems, and more, dashing off in all directions at the same time. Don’t you agree that we could organize ourselves in some way that would at least have a chance of growing a positive future? I think such a future is possible. If our primary goal really is the common welfare, then we can align our four fingers to represent of our commitment to the common goal of human sustainability on this earth, in good health, at least through the lifetimes of our grandchildren. If my genuine stated goal is the same as the stated goals of people working in different disciplines – then we will cease to be all working for different outcomes.

Next, we can recognize the physical facts: (1) that nobody can accomplish anything if there is not enough food for them to eat, (2) that all our food comes from the earth, and (3) the earth now has more people than it can feed. If you personally don’t believe these are real facts, then you, as we all do, have an obligation to the hungry humans in the world to fact-check our belief system.

120829-hand-asc_0296s So we then fold our thumb under at the roots of the four fingers, to represent represent the facts: (1) that overpopulation is at the root of all of the other problems. Yes we have had these problems in the past and we did not solve them before. Blame your heritage. Now is now and now we cannot solve them if a large part of the earth’s population is desperately struggling to make a living, and ; (2) therefore, that no other compassionate goal can be accomplished when there are more people than the earth can feed; and (3) therefore, the four other goals cannot be solved in the presence of overpopulation.

Therefore, if we genuinely want to accomplish our goals. If we want our behavior to reflect our commitment to the real goal, and regardless of our personal expertise or our primary interest — hunger, global warming, conflict resolution (community) or spirituality – then it is our obligation to spend a portion of our effort, every day, to help compassionately reverse human overpopulation, first informing ourselves about why it is a problem, and then addressing that problem as it relates to our own special skills and projects. I tend to judge people’s compassion by their behavior. When I see anyone brush off this obligation with a platitude or a blank look — we all do really know how important it is. Then I wonder why they don’t really want to know. Can it be they don’t want to help carry the burden of responsibility that goes with knowledge?

120822-hand-asc_0020ls And then – we all work together to accomplish both the root goal and the individual goals by enclosing all of life on earth within the fully informed, goal-oriented, responsible, compassionate hand of human kind.

And then we ask. (Everyone does.): “But it is such a big problem, what can I do?” The answer is –

1- Discuss the issues as a community. Sometimes I think many of us are pouting: “If I can’t have what I want, then I won’t talk about it at all.” This approach won’t work. Neither will war make things better, except temporarily for the profiteers. War is not discussion; debate is not discussion; passive-aggressive conflict in which neither side is willing to listen is not discussion. Anything that involves only two sides or a “winner” is not discussion. The goal of these discussions is not to “win” anything. The goal is to be prepared for what is going to happen.

We are letting the corposystem decide these issues for us. We are even letting our government and corporations decide what opinions we should have and what are the issues of our debates. Often we waste time arguing over who is to blame, instead of fixing things.

2-Educate yourself about how the ecosystem functions to maintain its balance and therefore its welfare and its life. The earth will not bow to human preferences; it is essential that we discuss ideas that will work within the natural laws that function to maintain Life. We are entering the biggest biological crisis in human history, and we are not giving it as much rational consideration as we would the purchase of a car. It’s time to get serious and work together to soften the blow for us all.

We are in a situation like an old-fashioned clock that doesn’t work properly because one of its wheels is missing. When we fail to discuss the issues with people who disagree with us, we cannot make wise decisions because part of the necessary information is missing from the discussion.

Because they hold half of the wisdom;
And we are making half of the mistakes.

If we want to “win” at the end, we must begin by discussing these issues with people who disagree with us.

To download the original podcast of this program go to:

Bare Bones Biology 114 – Great Aridness

Formula books, I have called them; I don’t read them. Sometimes I buy them, if I think the cause is worthy, and I skim through, or even give them to other people, but I do not sit down and read, like I would with a serious book, written well to illustrate factually and emotionally accurate truths.

Formula books may not lie, but they do not tell you the whole circle of truth, and of course that’s one reason they are so popular. Just like the rest of the corposystem, they tell you something that you want to hear, and try not to think about the parts you would rather believe don’t exist. For example there are formula books about organic farming that pretend we could save ourselves, very simply, if everyone would turn his or her hand to a backyard organic garden. Very simply, that is not true. And even though I believe strongly in organic gardening, and I do wish everyone would turn his or her hand and pocket book and political will to promoting organic gardening – I also think we need to hear the whole sorry truth about our human tragedy and our current biological dilemma. Otherwise, how can we deal with it?

The solutions are not simple, and even though the modern formula book may be meticulously honest and accurate, it cannot tell the true story if it is so closely focused on setting down facts in simple, precise, decisive, linear outline, in words of few syllables, that it fails to discuss background, repercussions, and long-term implications from the point of view both of human realities, comparative emotional perspectives, and of unchangeable facts. If I could do that – I can see it, but I can’t say it — but I don’t need to do it for this case study, nor could I do it as well as it has been done by William deBuys.

Recently I told you of a book that I have read cover to cover (or at least I will have by the time you read this. If all goes well.). A Great Aridness, by William deBuys.

Wm deBuys is an author and historian who addresses the reality of climate change without rancor, bias or hyperbole, as though it were just what it is, a complex story of human kind. A sad story of human compassion and frailty as well as heroism, dedication and responsibility. A story that has much to teach us. I heard his excellent talk at Upaya, and I thought: “This guy really gets it.” I mean both the human and the biological dilemmas.

And so, a few days later – I’m telling you a true story here — Bitsy and I really did climb into our old pickup to chug to the top of one of the highest occupied places in North America, and I really did take the above picture along the way, to interview Wm duBuys.

Following is an excerpt from our conversation. Someone else should interview this man, someone who has more than five minutes for talking. Oh, yes, fortunately Mrs. Green has done that, and the podcast is available. In Mrs. Green’s opinion:

“When you put (climate change) in the political arena I don’t understand why it polarizes people. It’s the one thing that could unite our country to focus on the planet and the health of the earth. There’s no down side to that, and it’s not political. Why are we fighting about this?” (www.MrsGreensWorld podcast 05-12-12_DuBuysMiraval.mp3)

I hope Alise will also catch Bill for an interview on Rethinking Green KEOS FM, 98.1 before he leaves the country to begin research on his next book. Here is Bare Bones Biology’s KEOS interview:

“(LL) The research in your book shows that there’s evidence of the impact of humans on the ecosystem for thousands of years in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. People have been influencing the climate for as long as we know about. So now we have a big deal about climate change. My question is, what’s the big deal?

“(WD) Well the big deal is that civilization has only known one climate, and that’s the climate that we’re losing now. The amount of temperature change predicted for this century is roughly equal to the temperature changes between the ice ages and the present. But when the transition from the ice ages took thousands of years to accomplish, we’re now embarking into a century that’s going to see the same amount of change in a tiny period of time. Basically, human civilization has only known the climate of the Holocene, the climate that has nourished earth for the past several thousand years. We’re on the verge of losing that bracket of conditions, and plunging into a new epoch which many geologists have termed the anthropocene because it is man shaped. So that’s a very, very scary prospect, if you value our way of life today, if you value the dependence of human society on existing agriculture and the systems that keep us going.

“(LL) Why is it scary?

“(WD) Well if you rachet up the heat, basically if people in Texas, say, didn’t feel that the intense heat wave and drought of last summer, if they didn’t feel that was a wakeup call, then they’re really not paying attention. What we’re talking about with climate change is moving into a period of time when that kind of heat wave, that kind of drought, becomes normal, and additional heat waves and additional droughts are superimposed on it. The drought in Texas and Oklahoma last summer was unprecedentedly severe. Climate scientists are now saying that drought, because it doesn’t have in its intensity, clear precedents in recent centuries, that drought was by all indications caused by anthropogenic climate change. So if you don’t mind living under those conditions, and watching what those conditions do to the landscape around you, climate change shouldn’t be scary for you, but if you didn’t like it that way, you should be concerned. The Texas Department of Forestry estimates that between 2% and 10% of all the trees in Texas died last summer. The range is pretty wide because the count is imprecise, but if dry conditions persist through this year, the cumulative effect of the drought will probably lead to an even greater die-off. So this is a very large portion of the ecosystem of the State of Texas that died off in one year.

“(LL) So what should be our take-away message if we want to react positively to this serious situation?

“(WD) Well, the take-away message is that we need to begin, with all the energy we can muster, to shift from a carbon based, fossil fuel economy. We probably need to have a carbon tax. Although that’s politically a very, very tall order, and we need to change how we structure the use of energy in our society. This will be a great transformation, and actually encompasses a lot of economic opportunities. It could be a positive thing. It would be a positive thing for the United States, and for the rest of the world.”

That’s the end of the transcript. Five minutes is so short, at least two questions remain to be explained. First, what has the carbon tax and the carbon-based economy got to do with climate change? If you want to understand why carbon is important, you will need to understand some basic biology that you might find in previous editions of Bare Bones Biology. You can read them by flipping back on this blog, or listen to them at The climate change series begins with Bare Bones Biology 093 and ends at Bare Bones Biology 100. Or for a small donation to cover costs I will send you a CD containing both the podcasts and the blog posts for each of these BBBs.

If you don’t want to do that, here’s the shortest possible version of the carbon message to all of life on earth. We can’t live without energy, because energy is the ability to do work. Work is basically anything that moves, and without that, of course, there would be no life and no us. On this earth, all of our energy for food and everything else that living things use to stay alive comes from burning organic molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, and all those organic molecules found in foods. Organic molecules are made on a base of carbon atoms. The plants make them using energy from the sun, we can’t do this, so we eat plants to get the energy for life. The energy for life on earth comes from eating plants. Or something else that ate plants. Then we burn (metabolize) the organic molecules, and the organic molecules release their metabolic energy in a form our bodies can use — and so we stay alive. When we burn anything (including in our metabolism) the organic molecules are taken apart, the energy is released, and the carbon (and other atoms) are released as waste products of the burning process. The whole earth ecosystem is a living thing, and to stay alive it needs to stay balanced. So it recycles the waste products (carbon dioxide in this case) by using them as ingredients to make more carbon-based organic molecules. The plants can do this, we cannot. Life has been doing this for millenia – life is based on this cycle staying in balance – but today we have unbalanced the life of the whole earth by burning more organic molecules than it can recycle.

The living earth is trying to rebalance, but we are also reducing the plants it needs to do this, so the earth is unbalanced. There is too much carbon dioxide in the air (and other places). Everything in the ecosystem is connected, so this imbalance has some effect on the other processes of life. In this case the effect is to raise the temperature by changing the interaction between the sun and our earth atmosphere.

The result is that the more people are breathing out carbon dioxide and the more machines also are breathing out more carbon dioxide as a waste product of burning carbon-based fuel – the harder the living earth must work to try to stay in balance. Now, after all these centuries – it has come to the time that it can’t keep up.

That’s the basic link between climate change and carbon compounds. As is true of everything it is a lot more complicated than that, but I do think it’s important to understand that there is an unchangeable, life-giving link, so we don’t fall for corposystem propaganda to the contrary. Check my facts – please.

The second question is about people who do NOT care what the climate change does to the environment because they live in cities and they honestly believe that the corposystem is providing everything they need to stay cool, well fed and clothed. This is just too sad to be real, but I think it is real. These people do not know that everything we need to stay alive comes from the healthy ecosystem. The corposystem cannot make earth, air, water or food for us without destroying the energy cycle of the ecosystem. The miracle behind life on earth is that it CAN do this process. People cannot. Not without using more energy than they generate and throwing us more out of balance. And there is no other source for life in the whole universe so far as we know.

If God made this beautiful living earth ecosystem, then he made it here. Not on the moon or Mars or anyplace else that we can reach. And he expected us to fulfill our responsibilities to not trash His Creation.

But we are trashing it, and so the outlook does look very grim. Here’s what Wm deBuys has to say about that.

“The outlook may be grim but the sunrise is always beautiful, and if you think about this blessed planet that we’re on – – – it is heartbreakingly beautiful, and there is so much beauty in the planet itself and in its creatures, and among its creatures are human beings, and our fellow human beings, that there is always and there will always be beauty to protect and defend, and the defense of beauty is a very high calling, and it’s great work, and great work is inherently optimistic. And so as long as there is that work to do, I think we should all be inspired to do it and all derive a lot of meaning for our lives from the act of doing it.” Wm deBuys, spoken at Upaya. (Look under dharma talks dp642_debuys_great-aridness-perspectives-on-environment_may-2012_dt.mp3)

Please read the book. It’s a good read and interesting, and it helps to answer the most common questions about what we can do to help ourselves and the living earth. The most important thing that we can do is to learn more about how the ecosystem functions to stay alive — including all the interacting stories that make up “A Great Aridness” — so we can discuss solutions that make good sense, and so that we will not be fooled by self-serving money-making schemers, who always abound in every crisis.

Bare Bones Biology 114 – A Great Aridness
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
You can download the audio portion of this post here
Or at

Recommended References:
A Great Aridness, Wm. deBuys:
Upaya Zen Center:
Mrs. Green’s World: http://www.MrsGreensWorld podcast 05-12-12_DuBuysMiraval.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 109 – Communication

In the past two Bare Bones Biologies, that’s 107 and 108, we tackled one of the most complex of human topics, communication. There are people who specialize in this area, and I probably should consult such an expert, because I confuses me. We so seldom use communication to communicate our reality, and then we have to translate, or guess, what people mean by what they say, and I’m not a good guesser. I finally did figure out the reason people don’t listen to what I say – that’s one of my biggest complaints – is because they’re listening instead to what they would have meant if they had said it.

This is not necessary by the way. If we did understand each other it would eliminate a lot of confusion, and it would only require asking a few questions. But now I find a generation or two of people who are offended by questions, because they equate questioning their meaning with – “dissing” them. (To diss = to disrespect.)

I can understand this, because so many people in our culture are addicted to – or afraid of – power. So we often use words as we would money, or expertise, or machismo or whatever we have at hand to reinforce our own sense of dominance or of defence. The result is not very useful.

I remember a time when expertise was envisioned as useful, not because it gave us an individual edge in a world of fearful competition, but because our individual expertise, whatever it is, can be used to contribute to the welfare of the community. There still exist communities, and some new ones growing, in which each person within the community supports the efforts of the other (even if by support we mean pointing out the flaws so together we can grow a better effort).

Every effort has value, and the values among the many can be discussed. They have worth. None is perfect and none is expected to be perfect. But all together, if the information is made available for solving problems, the community is in a position to deal with the real problems as a group, and so the community has more power than the individual to build a better future for the whole.

Generally, in our culture, we tend to view these communities a primitive, but let’s face it, primitive peoples lived sustainably for thousands of years until we came along with the so-called advanced cultures that are not sustainable within the factual reality of the earth ecosystem. Loving the ecosystem will not change this fact. Neither will technology. Until the spiritualists and the technologists are willing to learn about limiting factors, our advanced human cultures are on a fast track to destruction. Because we do have responsibilities to the earth itself, and unless we know what they are, and fulfill them, well, then our spiritual and technological good intentions are, and I quote St Bernard of Clairveux: “the road to hell, paved with good intentions.”

In a society of competition, where everyone is afraid of everyone else, we cannot use our expertise compassionately to benefit the whole, because the whole is composed of other people, most of whom are more concerned with their own physical or emotional survival.

The result is useless and fruitless power struggles rather than a compassionate intention to address real problems. And in a society where people are hooked on feeling good, or aspiring to feel good, there can be very little compassion, because in a crisis situation, compassion most often does not feel good. Doing what’s best to benefit the whole, often does not feel good. But that is what compassion is – doing what is best for the long-term interests of the other and the whole.

When a solution to a problem is well documented in fact, then it is the responsibility of compassion to study these facts and use them to promote the overall welfare, that is the least suffering, of the whole. For that, we must learn to listen and to discuss. Without listening and discussion of the impact of the facts on all the levels of life, from the individual through the ecosystem, there can be no deep, sustainable, compassion.

Bare Bones Biology 108 – Communication
KEOS 89.1 FM
This program can be downloaded here
Or at

Owl photo taken in New Mexico at
Discussion photo taken in California at the conference of:

Why People Don’t Understand (whatever it is that they don’t understand) – Part Four

10. Competition. I remember the year when we were trying to teach kindergarten children that “everyone can be a winner.” What normal kid would fall for that hogwash? If everyone were a winner, then everyone else would be a loser. You’d think the teachers could have figured that out.

Or, and I suppose that’s what they had to do, we could make-believe that the word winner is not about winning, or at least not about losing. But the fact is that is exactly what the word is about, and if anything it has become much more brutal since that time. And so here we are, in a culture where everyone is trying to be a winner because they believe it’s their “constitutional right,” though they haven’t read the constitution since 8th grade, and then they weren’t listening. Or were illiterate. I have some pocket editions if you want one.

And the people who you want to spend time with, because they share your interests, you can’t, either because you are trying so hard to be better than they are that you can’t share, or because it’s their profession and they can’t share. You have to spend money even to talk to them. OK, if you’re rich you can do anything you want, but I have had this experience many times, especially around horse-riding, but probably the most obvious was when I tried to share something with an attorney and she billed me for the phone call. Competition kills community in this and many other ways.

If you do try to share, rather than compete, you are likely to find yourself a stepping-stone on someone else’s road to winning, and this is fair only if it is honest, which – we wouldn’t say something like THAT to a person we are using for our own benefit. It does happen that two may be on the same road, but more often the result is very painful to one of them, because what we really crave is community, and real community is not compatible with a win-lose approach to life.

The other day someone who is more insightful than most people suggested to me that: “You are selling yourself short.” I’ll admit that I am trying to sell the fact that there are facts in this world, and we will ignore them to our peril, both personally and communally, if we try to change the meaning of the word fact. But that’s not short. It’s a real fact, and I gave up trying to sell myself. It’s an impossible and demeaning aspiration. It’s like cleaning house. You think you will get somewhere if you do all the “selling” that the culture tells you is necessary and you learn all the right ways to say things, and you do whatever else they tell you to become a winner, but you never end up winning, because mutual winning is only possible in the absence of competition. At least, cleaning house you end up with a clean house from time to time. Competition is all about the 0.01%. Everyone else loses.

Selling one’s self is basically impossible because nobody will listen anyhow (see part one of this series) unless you are better at something than they are and I don’t even want to do what they are doing. Selling myself is demeaning because it assumes there is something wrong with me that I need to hide behind a wall of propaganda; and because it requires me to gleefully participate in the immorality of our social system in which I would have to learn the whole complicated system of socially acceptable ways to “put down” everyone else so I can feel good about myself. Say that again? I’m not OK unless I can prove that other people are not OK?? That’s about it.

I know where that idea comes from, because I spent the whole first part of my life being told that I had the choice of being a secretary or a wife or a teacher. So I got a PhD in science. The PhD was easy, moving from California to Maine was not. Then I spent quite a long time being flown around to different places and interviewed for employment as a scientist.

I was finally hired because of the Rule of Law, which of course is why the corposystem is working so hard to destroy our Rule of Law. At that time they made a law called Title Nine that said they (the corposystem) couldn’t reject women applicants if their qualifications were higher than those of the male applicants. So I got hired.

Then the corposystem created “women’s positions.” Women would be hired and given a list of requirements for tenure and then they would be fired on the basis of not fulfilling a different list of requirements that they didn’t know about in the first place. And they would hire another woman into the same slot (because of Title Nine, they would have to) and do the same all over again. We didn’t know; we thought they wanted competence. It set the women competing against each other and relieved the pressure from the men. At least at first. But when I figured this out, I told the women who followed me, when I moved on, and the next time round we all made it in to the University, and the system of “women’s positions” started to break down. The corposystem hates tenure because people with tenure tend to not be slaves of the corposystem. That’s why the system was created in the first place. To carry the wisdom from one generation to the next so that the whole community could adapt to changes as they came down the pike.

So now the corposystem is resolving the problem by trying to make sure nobody gets tenure. It’s a part of their campaign to control the educational system – to use the experts for their competence, while at the same time keeping the real information inside the top ranks of the corposystem and not available to the general public.

But I had to take a few years off science to go the rule of law route. When I won, the EEOC put some requirements on the University, forcing them to hire some minimum number of other women. It’s true I would never have been able to do all those things if it were not for the some of the men who already were part of the corposystem, but nobody else did it. I thought I had changed the corposystem for the better. HA! By that time, the corposystem was turning out women for the jobs who were if anything worse than the men – oh, well, they were much better if the criteria have to do with toxic competition, rather than (or in addition to) good science. And then the women who came in after me started telling me I wouldn’t have had all those problems if I had been a competent scientist. (Read The Colors of Mice: A genetic network.” Wiley-Blackwell.)

So then I had a chance to actually do some science, after spending a few years getting over the trauma, and the whole next part of my life I actually got to do science. (Check out the genetic model I created that the government has preserved for future generations of scientists.) I am not selling myself short, dammit. Other people are happy to do that for me.

And now I am working full time trying to explain that competition is how the corposystem enslaves you. By making you believe that you should sell yourself on behalf of the corposystem. (Isn’t that known as pimping? I call it slavery.) I am able to do this now because of Social Security. That, of course, is why the corposystem, having nearly eliminated tenure, and co-opted the school system up to graduate school, now wants to eliminate Social Security and whole, intact communities. To separate the elders, the source of real wisdom in any community, from the uninformed, well-intended youth that the corposystem can easily control simply by getting them to compete with each other for prizes that do not exist, and getting them to explain to their elders that the same old process that didn’t work last time around, somehow will magically work this time because we have more technologies than we did before.

But if we do conform and compete, then nobody will be a winner, because everyone will be alone, surrounded by enemies, or at least surrounded by people who do not want what is in their best interests, and we cannot survive on that basis as human social creatures in an overcrowded world.

Now we are out in the streets stealing and killing, out across the oceans stealing and killing, because the corposystem tells us that these behaviors will solve the problems of our real, finite planet. That’s one way, and I can tell you, based on biological reality, that the result is most likely to be either our extinction as a species (that’s really how evolution works) or the perpetuation of a much smaller, much more Spartan and cruel human species.

A better way (defined as the least suffering) would be to recognize that life on earth is an interconnected reality that operates according to basic physical processes that we cannot change with ANY technology, and work together to resolve our problems by growing a more fact-based realistic humanity that understands that people do not really need or want to be better than each other, or to be better than all the other organisms on earth that create the air, water and rich soil. What we really need is to care about each other, and about the source of our life on earth. To be a significant part of that interconnected whole.

But we can’t become a significant part of that interconnected whole on the basis of fairy tales – there is nothing wrong with fairy tales. They are meant to explain and inspire. But they can’t change facts, and if we are using them to compete – to prove that we are better than other people or to make believe that we can control the whole of living nature so we don’t have to face up to our real responsibilities to life – it won’t work. Life on earth is an interconnected reality that operates according to basic physical laws. We do understand these laws quite well, and our current crises relate to our choice to try to compete with natural law rather than to fulfill our responsibilities to the community of the whole.

Bare Bones Biology 079-The Vision

Photo © Photos by Lynn From the upcoming book Ouside the Circle.

Many people agree that our human cultures have gone off track in a number of ways, and that we need a new vision of the future if we are to grow a better future for our grandchildren. And beyond. Many people disagree about the new vision. No need to argue, I’ve been studying this for about a decade and I’ll tell you. Then, if your ideas are better, please get in touch and we can try together to make a vision. For now, as we step out in our new direction, this is my belief.

The minimum requirement for a viable human social structure is that its citizens must be educated in the skills of practical compassion applied to problem solving, the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem, and a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human rights at the individual level and the level of the whole. That’s a big order, and the next question is how? How can we do this? But first let’s talk about why we should make the effort. Listen to a statement made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in he film Dalai Lama Rennaisance:

“As a result, nobody is taking care of the long term, I think for strategy or interest, and in the meantime many problems we are facing today are not just from superficial causes, but there are deeper causes. I think the crisis in the late 20th century, that we are facing, is due to negligence of the previous century. Of our previous generations.”

So our crisis is not due to superficial causes that we are addressing as symptoms, but is primarily due to negligence of the previous generations. I agree completely, and we were both here to see it happening. Well, we were both here for part of that, on opposite sides of the globe, and we both agree that doing more of what caused our problems in the first place will not cure our problems. So let’s forget about going backward, trying to grow a better culture, because what we did, it didn’t work. In fact, it caused our current challenges, and it’s easy to predict that if we continue as we are in this moment, the results will be even worse for our grandchildren than they have been for us. And for the fifth generation. Or the seventh generation.

“We are now. We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago those people were looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be here, I know, and so each generation makes sure that seventh generation is coming all the time. And that’s accountability. We’re accountable, and they’re going to call us. They’re going to say Why did you do this? Or Why did you not do this?”

That was Oren Lyons, Chief of the Native American Onondaga and Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, talking with Bill Moyers But you don’t need to be on the other side of the world. And you don’t need to sit in the council of a tribal chief. Just look at your own children, and their children, and you know we have an obligation to the future.

So then, the next question is How? How do we accomplish this enormous task. The answer must be for each of us to carry our own load of responsibility, regardless of whatever other people are doing. We can’t wait till we win something or convince someone. We have one moment in time to grow a better future, and that moment is now. We can’t change anything that happened yesterday, and we can’t do anything tomorrow because by the time we get to tomorrow it will be now, and we will have lost a whole day when we could have been living our ideals. And that’s our responsibility, to live what we believe, beginning with the Golden Rule, and I’ll talk more about that next time.

Bare Bones Biology 079 – The Vision
KEOS Radio 89.1 FM
Audio download available later this week at

Bare Bones Biology 068 – What to Do 02

Last time I outlined the basic requirements that I think are necessary if we are to build a better future for the children and grandchildren than what we’re building right now. This time I’ll give you a short list of general sort of activities that we can do or not do to head in that positive direction. Next time I have some specific suggestions for what to do at home.

Of the four points for today, the first is, as consumer citizens we need to stop fighting with each other over who is dominant. The questions of right/wrong, winners/losers, all of that dichotomous behavior, setting ourselves against each other to see who is king of the heap will not help us to address our situation with the real king of the heap, and that is the corposystem. We need to focus on our common goal, with whatever level of humility is necessary to go in that direction. And that direction is to grow a better future for the consumer citizens.

Alternatively, stop sitting back and waiting for someone else to solve the problem. Nobody can solve the problem because everyone is part of the cause. So instead of waiting for that to happen, do what you can to identify the root problem. Or just believe me when I tell you what the real root problem is that the mother earth can no longer provide enough food energy resources for all the growth that is happening on her body. And the secondary problem is that the corposystem instead of trying to cut back and reach a sustainable level that can be maintained over an indefinite period of time. Instead of doing that, is trying to promote more growth and yet more growth.

Now there is a good chance that quite a few people will disagree with me on this point. So in that case I will suggest that you do a good job of fact-checking and come back and let me know what you find out and I will give you as many of these Bare Bones Biology programs as you wish to explain it. That was number two. It was a kind of complicated number two.

Number three, refuse to participate in the corposystem’s promotion of growth, as far as that is possible. Unless of course the corposystem would actually re-define itself as having a goal of sustainability, I think we should avoid participating in its harmful activities. My suggestions for that is to pay off your debts so they don’t have control over you, cut up your credit cards, don’t vote for their candidates but do vote, even when you know you will lose. Don’t buy their stuff. You can shop at the Farmers’ Market, for example, and other local sources. Don’t let them take over the internet. Don’t watch their television.

We should learn every little bit that we can about the real true facts that relate to our goal. Our goal would be to understand more and more about, compassion, human rights, and the biological needs of the ecosystem. Everything we can learn that’s real and factual, because nobody knows everything, and the corposystem is projecting on the television and in their propaganda a fairytale life that is not sustainable.

Our job is to learn the facts and grow a sustainable culture. Live the sustainable life style now, that we need to grow a sustainable future; we who know what is happening will be the founders of our children’s future, carriers of the experience and the awareness and the wisdom and knowledge of reality that they will need. Human and economic growth on this planet can no longer be supported by the available resources. We each individually need to understand how the ecosystem functions. How it really functions, so we can prevent a few extremists from messing throwing wrenches into its functional works. But factual knowledge of our ecosystem is not enough.

Many people believe that a compassionate lifestyle will lead to a compassionate future, but compassion is not enough, because the ecosystem does not need compassion — and we can not survive without the ecosystem. What the ecosystem does require is balance, and we need to understand that WE do now know how to maintain that balance. We are not in charge of the ecosystem. As a biologist I assure you we don’t know enough about how it functions to micro-manage the ecosystem. But the ecosystem does work marvelously if we don’t mess it up. We must learn how to let it be, so that it can maintain it’s life and our lives.

I am guessing that most people believe human politics can resolve our problem, but politics is not enough, unless it is informed by an umbrella of compassion and factual knowledge of the ecosystem, and a useful rule of law. So the bottom line is that none of these three aspirations by itself can resolve our problem, but the three together, passed on from generation to generation, can grow a fine and modestly flourishing, sustainable future for human kind on this earth.

And in that light, the fourth suggestion is to learn how to tell the difference between hype and factual information. There is a lot of factual information available, thank goodness for the internet. Find the real information. Fact check. Check the logic. Check the sources. Check the qualifications of the sources. Find out if they are actually being paid by the corposystem to say whatever they are saying. Stop letting their propaganda into your head, no matter how nice it sounds. We can not grow the future on fairy tales, but we can grow a wonderful future based on honesty and real facts.

Bare Bones Biology 068 – What to Do 02
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at
Audio later this week at