Bare Bones Biology 123 – Heroism

Once upon a time I was a real hero. I forced my employer to hire women scientists on a more or less equal basis with men. As a result, the employer hired a gaggle of very competent women, and several of these women let me know that I: “wouldn’t have had all those problems if I had been competent.” Apparently the newbys want to believe they alone are the heroes; that the past is not relevant.

My parents belonged to the generation of the great depression. My early years were informed by WWII and some magnificent expressions of American democratic responsibility, as we tried to imagine a better culture after the war.

In the next generation after mine a great many American and European women and men modified their own pleasures in order to benefit future generations. And yet, more often than not, I hear the Newbys of today say the Green Revolution was a failure, as though everything would be fine today if we had properly solved the problem yesterday. The Green generation understood that good times always have a dark underside. They recognized the new threat — the first ever worldwide, overpopulation-induced shortage of food. And they (we) dealt with it.

WE gave YOU your cushy livestyle. We worked together to achieve one of the most important human accomplishments in all of history. The birth rate dropped in all the educated countries. This was not a biological change. It is not possible –, well I will get into biology some other time, but the biosystem laws of life will not change just to relieve humans of their responsibility to balance human populations with biosystem requirements. Only the human brain can accomplish that task. Only education combined with technology and responsibility.

Education combined with technology. So yes there were bad guys, there are always a few who want to take control over their family, or a community, or their country, or the world. How do they do it? Obvious – they take away the solution to the problem. In this case, take away the education and the technology. Make more people, so the food will run out faster (it has) and there will be more poor people who have no time to worry about anything beyond their next meal (there are). Now the corposystem falsely claims that populations will automatically adjust themselves if only we make them grow. In other words, the corposystem propaganda is that we must grow the population so that the population can reduce itself.

Folks, that’s not how the biosystem works to stay alive and well, and because that claim is so intensely un-biological, therefore the corposystem has had to make sure that we do not understand the biology. I’m not talking about human biology, but the whole of the biosystem – the biosystem biology. The biosystem that gives us all of our food is threatened by overpopulation. And now we have some of the most biologically uneducated adult generations in this country in recent history, and what’s worse, they don’t even know they are uneducated. They believe they alone are the heroes. And the corposystem is still working hard to withhold access both to education and to the most useful and harmless technologies.

The quiet heroism of the green revolution gave us 50 extra years of the good life in which to generate the technologies that are needed to regulate populations, and it gave us time, 50 years in which to reach a sustainable level of reproduction so the good life could be carried into the future.

But the subsequent generations have abandoned responsibility for the whole of the prosperity that we generated in the Green Revolution — turned it over to the corposystem. That is not a failure of the green revolution 50 years ago. It is a failure of responsibility now.

Which, in a way, is good news. If the problem is happening now, then it can be fixed now.

How? We know the corposystem spreads lies; therefore, our job must be to ferret out the truth. And then we must focus on solving the problem, not fighting over it — or we will end up with a war rather than a solution.

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. A podcast can be downloaded at

Bare Bones Biology 033 – Coming and Going

In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell told the story of an Indra (an Indra is king of the gods) who managed to cure a terrible drought in his kingdom. Unfortunately this Indra let his achievement go to his head. They all do, I think that’s one point of the story. (And by the way, I’m making this story very much shorter, if you want to hear the whole thing, come to the Brazos Museum of Natural History on the second Thursday of January. Or you could read the Upanishads.) Anyway, this Indra thought he was the savior of the universe, so he began to build for himself a glorious palace, with every conceivable modern technology, worthy of his magnificence. Joseph Campbell describes his downfall when a visiting boy introduced him to reality (this is heavily edited):

“ . . . Well, said the boy with a voice like thunder rolling on the horizon, I’ve been told that you are building such a palace as no Indra before you ever built. I’ve surveyed the grounds and looked things over and it seems that this is true. No Indra before you has ever built such a palace.” . . . “Indras before me, exclaimed the King, young man, what are you talking about?” The boy said: “Indras before you, I have seen them come and go and come and go.”. . . and while he was talking there came in parade across the floor an army of ants, in perfect range, and the boy laughed when he saw them. . . and said to the King: “Former Indras all.”

Come and go, come and go, come and go. I have not lived as long as that boy, but I have seen enough coming and going of heroic efforts — until now I do not believe in any simplistic answer to our problems. And so the bigger problem is – all the solutions I hear being proposed around me are – simplistic.

For example. I can’t count the number of people who have told me that the Green Revolution was a failure and therefore we should – and then they propose their own simplistic solution that involves throwing out most of the good that we accomplished, and more importantly the things that we learned, as a result of our heroic efforts during the green revolution.

Where I come from, that kind of behavior or thinking was known as pitching out the baby with the bathwater.

Surely all those concerned people during the green revolution – who worked just as hard or harder than you are working, can not have been total failures, even though they did not accomplish their overall goal. The overall goal was, by the way to prevent the population exploding until the ecosystem can not feed us all. They failed. That does not mean we should ignore all the good information they collected. Or hand it over to the corposystem to use against our better interests, which is basically what happened.

What does it mean, pitch out the baby with the bathwater? It means we took an extremely complex problem, we took the responsibility to try to solve it, we made amazing progress, and then we handed it over to our American dream.

But now our American dream is determined to believe that progress is all about winning and losing, bad and good, black and white, and if we didn’t win, then everything we did must have been bad. The modern American idea of success is to pitch out everything and start over with another different but equally inadequate set of tools.

And why do I say our new tools are inadequate? Because they are simplistic. Good and bad, black and white, winning and losing, and


So this is a helpful hint to all modern Indras. Even the most simplistic problem has at least three parts that must be considered before it can be resolved, and in the case of the ecosystem a whole lot more than three. Better we should stop ignoring all the good thinking that has already been accomplished, and get together and discuss how best to integrate it with our new good ideas.

Bare Bones Biology
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