Bare Bones Biology 181 – The Question

Steven Earl Salmony. Dear Friends, Why is the population of the world exploding? Take the example of human population dynamics/overpopulation. The ‘science of the anthropocene’ appears to be ignoring the colossal elephant in our planetary home. After all, human beings are a part of, not apart from, Earth systems, are we not? The way this matter is ‘overlooked’ is incredible. Extraordinary claims call out for extraordinary evidence. I get that. Let’s discuss the research and acquire the extant knowledge. Thank you. Always, Steve

• Lynn Lamoreux’s Answer. This exploding population is, of course the root cause of the major changes in all our cultures, and it doesn’t take a scientist to realize that — IF everything is connected — THEN everything we do as individuals has an impact on everything else. One person has more impact in her own back yard than on the arctic ocean, of course, but the more people there are the more the impact people have on the whole world. If there are twice as many adults this generation, then there will be twice as many children this generation.

Why don’t we discuss this? Because our culture prevents us from talking about it and this blog has been trying to figure out WHY for several years. The bottom line answer is that we are afraid. We are afraid of each other and we are afraid of not being in control. WHAT happens to humans when they are afraid? They tend to attack whatever they are afraid of instead of trying to understand it and (even though we DO have the power as a group to control human issues) we are too busy attacking each other to get together and solve the problem. It is human nature to work together to solve problems – working together is what generated our power – technology, war, and even the power to win relative peace, as in South Africa for example. That kind of power grows out of our cultures.

However, we have grown a new kind of cultural system that is based on the corporate model, rather than the human, natural, biological model. The values of this corposystem are based in profit and growth – not in communal welfare. The corposystem is even using the church to “divide and conquer” our natural communal instincts. If we are taught that we are equal to God, and that we must be all-powerful heroes in order to be OK, the result is an everlasting struggle to be better than each other, to dominate each other. On the other hand, if we realize that we are actually one with God’s Creation (which is true no matter your religion and is supported by a lot of evidence), that requires us to find ways to BE that, for the benefit of all. But it doesn’t grow profits.

If we were to solve the problem of overpopulation, which is indeed the root problem that prevents us solving starvation, war, etc., then that would reduce the profits to the corpsystem that grow exponentially with the population. Therefore, using the media, the corposystem culture teaches us that we MUST NOT effectively discuss population because this sort of discussion would harm the corposystem. Of course, if we do NOT positively discuss the population problem, then the corposystem will blow up in a bigger and more violent crash later on, but we are more afraid to face the problem now than we are to let our children deal with it tomorrow. Even those of us who are doing heroic work, for the most part, are afraid to face the real problem, because we have been brainwashed to fear doing harm to the corposystem that is causing the real problem.

HOW does the corposystem prevent us from talking about population? If ever you hear me discussing a “list of excuses” those are the rituals, in our culture, that prevent us from talking (or listening) to the problems that we face, and their root cause. Why we aren’t doing much research on the issue? Who would fund it? The corposystem is actively fighting against such research in many more little and big ways than I have outlined above.

I don’t know of any solution until the crash (which is obviously in progress) becomes so deep that people are more afraid of what is happening than they are of effectively talking about it. So yes, what we must do right now is get together and positively discuss this kind of question. Or let all our fine human accomplishments just slip away because we are far mor focused on having fun.

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

Bare Bones Biology 172 – Causes and Symptoms

Bitsy is sleeping in the morning sun while I try to type with fingerless gloves. Our morning hit of glorious canyon air has been complicated by some coughing spells. Symptom of something my body doesn’t like — but what? Is it the last two days spent in civilization? Is it the wood stove that Ben expertly activated yesterday? Is it cold air that becomes harder and harder to avoid?

131008-QualityMotel-ASC_6516RSIf we don’t know what causes a thing, we can never do better than treat the symptoms. That was the great advance of science – learning to understand causes. Treating the symptoms is good, but it does not solve problems past the moment and cannot prevent the harm that is caused by the cure. For harmless cures, we need to understand the causes, and of course that’s why I’m out here in the boonies trying to start from the genuine basics to figure out what I need to be healthy in today’s world.

So far, I have learned that I need light to see the bears and other hazards on the path. And I want internet access and electricity to run the computer.

And I need heat. I have some well-earned hang-ups about being cold; my body is not adapted to winters, and it tells me so by generating distress symptoms when the canyon goes below freezing. So Ben has hooked up my wood stove properly, and I’m trying to sort out the symptoms so that I can understand their root causes and find a cure that does not make my future worse than the coughing fit itself.

We know that addictive chemicals are a cause for something quite a lot worse than a temporary coughing fit, so we will avoid them. We could try prescription cough medicines or over the counter remedies or health-store remedies but those are all treatments of the symptom – not cures of the cause. And they are all expensive. Why spend money on a temporary fix if we can find the cause. Then we can work a permanent cure.

Is this morning cough caused by the toxic combustion products from the wood stove? Then I need a better way to heat the cabin. Or is it caused by the morning air that is now well below the freezing point? Then I should wear a nontoxic mask over my mouth and nose until the sun begins to heat up the day. Or perhaps my morning cough is a way for my body to relieve itself of the toxins that we absorbed in the past two days spent breathing the air of the heavily polluted commons. The commons is the parts of nature that are shared by all the people – air, water and soil. My generation worked hard to establish a sensible rule of law, using the precautionary principle, to prevent the toxic pollution of the commons.

131008-Canyon-ASC_6523LSsUnfortunately, nearly all that work of my lifetime has come crashing down as we-the-people chose profit over health, and individual gimmes over the communal rule of law.

And then the corposystem figured out that unhealthy people are far more profitable than healthy ones, and so the corposystem has grown its sickness economy where the profits come from increasing the pollution that causes the symptoms — and then selling treatments for the symptoms. Making money off symptoms that are caused by making money.

And then they tell me the corposystem is “the real world.” But I remember the real world. The corposystem is a fly-by-night aberration of the human ego. The real world is the Biosystem where my body was created and where it can feel healthy; if I could have just get a bit more heat for the cold nights.

How do we rebalance a system? By redefining its goals. If the goal of the corposystem were to promote the health of the Biosystem, then the corpsystem would be sustainable.
So long as the goal is to make money, it is a dead end.

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

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

Our Choice, Al Gore

Your Choice

OK. Here’s the deal. We are people – organisms. We are not God. We are not even atheists, because we all know that we are a part of Life. Whatever created the laws of physics – that’s what made life possible – it wasn’t us. Probably it was God; or maybe physics. Not the science or the word but the real thing.

So we people have pretty good brains. We figured out how the laws of physics function to make life possible in our biosphere. (OK, more or less figured it out, we know enough to do no harm.) So that means we can use the laws of physics to do things and make things. That’s technology. Technology can not change the laws of physics. It is also not God.

A lot of people don’t like what we have been doing with our technologies. Destroying things. A lot of people are blaming science, can you believe it? Science didn’t destroy anything. People and their technology did/are.

But we thought science had failed. We have to blame someone/thing, never ourselves, and so we switched to “social science” which is the study of how people function. This really is what we need to know, isn’t it. Because actually it is people who are destroying things, so we need to know how to benevolently control societies so the societies will stop using technologies to destroy things.

But that’s not how we are using our knowledge of either basic science or “social sciences.” Now that we have both, we are using both sets of knowledge to destroy things — when we could be using both to save ourselves within our bubble of life on this earth.

Obviously basic science is not enough and “social science” is not enough to save us. We need something more. I’ve spent the past ten (oops 11) years studying what that something more could be, and I’ve concluded it is something we had all along, if only we would believe in ourselves and educate ourselves. That is compassion. Obviously, compassion by itself is not enough, because we have had that all along. What could be enough – if we want it – is our innate compassion informed by an understanding of our knowledge of basic science of how life is possible, and our social science of how people function.

Now I am not God and you are not God. We agreed about that. And I also think we can agree that one of the most basic capacities contained within every normal human genome is compassion. It’s how humans always have related to the living world. So after all these millennia, the answer was right inside of you (and me) all along. But the problem is that compassion itself is not enough, because have added two levels of function between us and the ecosystem: our political structures (level two above us) and the corposystem (level three). These levels are not based in our “right brain” genomic/instinctive knowledges, such as compassion, hatred, fear and sadness. They are built around “right brain” intellectual learning. That’s probably why quite a few people don’t like intellectual, but in fact we live in it and we won’t be able to control it unless we understand it’s most basic qualities.

First, we (each) need to know the basics of how God set up the laws of physics to work. Because physics does not function according to the inborn human values – it is not written in our genomes as is compassion — and we can not stop the killing without knowing at least the most basic bare bones biology of what the living ecosystem needs to stay alive.

You think you do? Great, then add that to compassion unto the 7th generation and you’ve got the key to human survival on this lovely earth. It’s the challenge we each face, individually. To deal with our own selves (level one), our families and social contacts (level two), the corposystem (level three) and the ecosystem (level four), in ways that increase the benefits for all the living earth.

That’s enough of a responsibility for one person, and the hardest part is nothing to do with the God question. We are basically all on the same wavelength there.

The hard part is figuring out what is a “benefit” and what is a “harm.” We certainly cannot depend upon George, the government or the corposystem or any other single authority to decide what is best for us all. We must each do some study of how things really function at least at the level of the ecosystem (because without it we surely die). If we don’t use this “left-brain” knowledge to inform our compassion, we will end up doing good today that will cause harm for tomorrow. That’s what we have been doing unawares, and it’s time to change.

You can’t make anyone else do this, so it’s in your hands. You can decide what kind of world you want to live in and live your own life accordingly, understanding the impact that your decisions have on future generations. No easy answers, nobody to blame. But it is a choice that any person can make. The better part of our inborn human values, plus the better parts of our factual, provable human knowledge base even when we don’t like the facts, plus the courage to make the choice. That’s all there is to it.

Power to do What?

There are powers over which we have no control.

We can not change the past. So we should be careful what we do today.

We can not change the nature of cause and effect. We live today in the decisions we made yesterday. For example, we can not go back and relive the past 8 years. We can’t undo a war that we have chosen to initiate. We can’t do these things and our leaders can not do them for us, because behaviors have consequences that we can not change.

We do have power over the choices we make right now, in this moment, and that is one of the biggest sources of our personal power. If we really, really want to become Secretary of Health and Human services — we should choose to pay our taxes. The power of money is ephemeral. It is what we choose to do that creates the future.