Bare Bones Biology 328 – Los Alamos

Here we are finally able to relax with no people pounding by on the busy road or stirring up fumes of various kinds, but of course nothing is easy in life and getting here was a bit of an adventure.


First, the people I have encountered in Los Alamos are very nice – all of them. They even let Bitsy lick their faces, which is something I don’t, but they give the most confusing directions imaginable. We came over the bridge and through the entry guard because I already knew where that is. It did not occur to me they would want to search my little travel trailer, or I would probably have spiffied it up yesterday, but yesterday I was exhausted from listening to people who want the same things I want but are not prepared to do what it would take to get them. Just wishing – just fairy tales floating around the fuzzy edges when the facts are clear and simple and focused on target.
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It makes as much sense to me now as it did 15 years ago when I began this trail of tears. The facts haven’t changed. Facts don’t change. That is why we call them facts. I wonder if these people believe God will change his mind about the facts? After all, if God created the Living Earth, then obviously these are God’s facts. We certainly didn’t make them. I don’t believe God will change His mind. Not after 11 billion years along this road. And all we can think to do is more of what caused the problem in the first place – with prayer.


Anyhow, they searched my trailer. I can’t imagine why they didn’t search the truck, which looks a lot more threatening to me, but also overwhelming and people were lining up behind us. “Do you have any weapons?”   I almost answered “bear spray” but in time remembered: NEVER JOKE WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SEARCHING YOUR TRAILER!.


So they let me through and I immediately got lost in Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is where we are not supposed to be, and why they searched us. But there are plenty of uniforms, including military, and they guided me on through.


Last time I was here I was photographing people being arrested, and the place was quite different. They have rerouted the whole thing, completely moved a road, and it appears there is a gate that is different. I don’t know if they added it last time, or took it away this time, or if it was part of rebuilding the road, but this one takes us to Bandalier.
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And off we went, me and Bitsy, to Bandalier National Monument, where my senior pass gets me in FREE! And half off for overnight stay. Just think, I spent $40 a night in Santa Fe for the privilege of being sick from whatever it is they put in their septic system that permeates the air. Here they just tell me to keep my wheels on the pavement, which I very elegantly managed to do and squeezed us into a little space meant for a tent camper, with a built-in bear box for our dog food, and clean air again finally after a week away! And water but no electricity and my phone battery is dead, and there is just enough left in the computer to download the pictures and maybe play with them a little.


Bitsy and I were here before, in the tourism area they were very anti-dog, so I figured we couldn’t stay. In the camping area, however, the ranger gave Bitsy a pat and nothing was said. I had to learn how to use some kind of computerized machine that was not working properly, but for that I give up and scream for help and here we are. A whole day of relaxation before us, and tomorrow morning we will go back to the coffee place and plug in my computer, back to the center of the whirlpool of unnecessary stress that is caused, primarily, by our human denial of the overt nature of God’s reality that is “spread out before us but men do not see*,” will not see in our dominater social system.


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*This is supposed to be a quote of Jesus reported in the gospel of Thomas: “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread out before us but men do not see it.” The gospel of Thomas was removed from the New Testament about at the time the “dominator” social system took control over Christianity. It seems, according to some authors, that Chrisianity (or Jesus’ vision) was, before that, an attempt to restore the “partnership” style of social relationships. Those terms, dominator and partnership, reference Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade, available from Amazon. The reference to Gospel of Thomas is from Joseph Campbell, interviewed by Bill Moyers, in Campbell, Joseph and Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, DVD


-Eisler, Riane. 1987. The Chalice and the Blade. Harper Collins.



Bare Bones Biology 194 – Active Non-Violence

This past weekend, I attended a retreat led by Father John Dear and Roshi Joan Halifax. It was a blessing. A set of blessings that give us “something we can do” for human kind on earth. Something positive and sustainable, if we do it right this time.

“Be who you are.” “Be the humane, nonviolent, compassionate child of God that you were born to be.” That is an enormous blessing in this culture. But I took it further: “On top of that, who am I? How can I serve?”

140303-NM-ASC_8250RSsMy professional career as a woman in science at a recently all-male, Southern, military university, taught me to think like an activist, so I am (surprise) an activist. My scientific career taught me (no surprise) to think like a scientist, for me, to think about genetics and evolution, the Language of Life on earth. And I will repeat (as often as necessary) that I am not a technologist. Our human technologies are today being used by our human corposystem as weapons in its war against the Biosystem. Science, basic science, is not war – it is inquiry. It is the effort to understand the processes that make Life possible on Earth. This distinction is very important, because we cannot survive a fight against the Biosystem.

And so, about ten years ago I realized I must also learn to think like the Biosystem if my activism is to serve we-the-people. The Biosystem – the system of Life — is NOT primarily about survival of the fittest, nor nature study; it is not emotional. It is not responsive to human wishes, it does not have human values, and human technologies cannot change the Laws of Nature that maintain Life.

All systems are sets of functions that grew up or were created to sustain a unique core property. The core property of the Biosystem is Life Itself. The corposystem is a subunit of the Biosystem, The core property of the corposystem is the use of growth and domination to make money. This is not sustainable. Therefore, the corposystem cannot survive as it is.

140303-NM-ASC_8266RSsMost of us do not want to support the use of violence to make money, but we are caught now in the human system that requires it. We would like to change the system, but all systems are organized to prevent change; that’s what makes them systems; and we can’t change anything by doing more of what we don’t want done; for example, using violence to win – anything — does not reduce violence in the system.

Of course, there are many good actions inside the corposystem: educational, supportive, healing, legal. These are necessary and important, but mostly their function is to patch up the wounded. They are not sustainable and do not effectively change the orposystem — because they are part of the system. So our human tragedy is that all of us are working within the corposystem, and the Corposystem is waging war against the Biosystem. Therefore, like it or not, we are participating in a system that is destroying Life. “What to do?”

I believe Father John’s well-defined methods of active nonviolence give us a way to thwart corposystem violence from outside the corposystem so that the results of our work do have potential to change the very nature of our human presence on earth. And that, indeed, is a blessing. Number two.

For me personally, the third blessing popped into my head in the form of a book title: “The Corposystem War Against the Biosystem,” that explains my life of activism. The Corposystem doesn’t only use physical violence. It walks right into our minds with its violent value system, and emotional dishonesty. It will crash anyhow, because nothing human can win a war against the Biosystem. Why wait? We can start now to build a new human system based in sustainable human and Biosystem values.

Our fourth blessing is permission to mourn, because we will lose what we had in any case — and to rejoice, because here is a way to at least try to build something worthwhile out of the ashes. “Cultivate your grief and your joy; discourage the fear and anger.”

It makes good sense to me; all that remains is — do it right this time.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS radio 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas. A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at