Bare Bones Biology 348 – Hope for the New Year

In the beginning of another year, I am frustrated. Frustrated, and also angry with the mostly American culture that persists in irrational, knee-jerk denial of the reality of our biological crisis, as though denial or personal opinions, or somehow our level of dedication to anything, will somehow change the fact that nothing can grow forever witho161225-christmas_dsc0874_1rlssut causing terrible harm to something (or everything) else — and the benign but impenetrable wall of tolerance that our corposystem culture uses to eliminate the wisdom of factual, biological reality (my lifetime study) from its own contrary and implausible wishes, wants, beliefs and hopes. The infinite capacity of human denial is as awesome as it is devastating to those who can see its inevitable biological consequences to human kind.

 

I quote Corrie Ten Boom, the Christian WWII heroine and resident of a Nazi concentration camp: “It is wrong to give people hope when there is no hope.” Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place. She should know.

 

I am frustrated with the ongoing necessity of tolerating this kind of abuse from my own culture, which persists in brushing aside the wisdom of a lifetime of study as though it were an ignorant, emotional response to the normal vicissitudes of Life; or, now that I am old, the culture’s “compassionate” tolerance of my hard-earned knowledge about factual reality, as though it were the babbling of an addled old lady.

 

That is not hope, faith or compassion. It’s classic MCP. A pretense that human values trump the Laws of God and Nature. A denial without consideration of our current biological crisis, even as we are “going down for the third time,” smack-dab in the middle of the crisis denied.

That’s not hope; in my opinion, it’s stupid.

 

“Everyone has a right to his own opinions, but not to his own facts.”                                            Daniel Patrick Moynihan (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003) was a four-term U.S. Senator, ambassador, administration official, and academic.

 

So, today’s podcast/blog will consist mostly of quotations from other adult, highly educated well-respected human thinkers who also recognize that facts are universal, by definition; it’s what the word means; and that most opinions are not factual.  It’s why we have two different words for the two different sorts of reality. Quotes from others who understand the enormous danger that humans face today because we are using false human hopes and wishes to avoid facing facts. Listen to Dr. Lynn Margulis, professor of evolutionary bioliology.

 

“Life is an incredibly complex, interdependence of matter and energy among millions of species beyond (and within) our own skin. These Earth aliens (the other species) are our relatives, our ancesters, and part of us. They cycle our matter and bring us water and food. Without ‘The Other’ (species) we do not survive.”

 

“Our toughness is a delusion. Have we the intelligence and discipline to resist our tendency to grow without limit? This planet will not permit our populations to continue to expand. Runaway populations of bacteria, locusts, roaches, mice, and grass always collapse https://youtu.be/NZtJ2ZGyvBI?list=PL811CD932F936221B.  Their own wastes disgust – as crowding and severe shortages ensue. Diseases as opportunistically expanding populations of the “other,” follow. They take their cue from destructive behavior and social disintegration. Even herbivores, if desperate, become vicious predators and cannibals. Cows will hunt rabbits or eat their calves. Many hungry young mammals will vie to eat the meat of their runted littermates. Population overgrowth leads to stress, and stress depresses population overgrowth – an example of a Gaian regulated cycle.

 

“We people are just like our planet mates. We cannot put an end to nature, we can only pose a threat to ourselves.”   Dr. Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Planet. 1998. Sciencewriters, Amherst, MA.

“The benign indifference of the Universe provides not human rights or human values, but the ultimate justice of in exorable cause and effect, or karma, that we ignore at our peril.” Camus, The Plague

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_348F_-_Hope.mp3

© 2017, Dr. M Lynn Lamoreux

MLLamoreux@Hotmail.com

Photos by Lynn

 

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: high-ability individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.[1]

Dunning and Kruger have postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in those of low ability, and external misperception in those of high ability: “The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

 

Bare Bones Biology 145b – Power

Y’all remember the Peach Clubhouse (which is still functioning by appointment, and you might be surprised what we are up to).  We learned quite a number of important things from the Peach Clubhouse.  One is that we aren’t going to change anyone’s mind, which is really, really sad because if we collectively continue our current world view, then this generation will be responsible for the unnecessary suffering of the children of man on into the foreseeable future.

Pipelines mapPeople look at me askance when I say this.  “Dotty old ladies have a right to their opinions,” they seem to think. In any case, they don’t bother themselves to find out whether or not I know what I’m talking about (http://www.radioproject.org/2013/02/putting-the-eco-back-into-economics-with-david-suzuki/).  Apparently they don’t understand that the biological laws of God and nature are what they are, and do not change according to our opinions.  That’s why we call them facts. (Romans 1:20.  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made  . . .”)

The generation that is currently in control of our society is so ignorant of reality and so arrogantly confident in the power of its toys that they actually believe they invented systems that can compete successfully against the systems that God created. Compete with the earth

Nonsense.  Not to mention blasphemy and astronomical ignorance.  The laws of nature are natural laws – facts of life — with or without God, no matter what anyone believes or how powerful Chevron may be.

Personally, my goal is to do less harm than good on this earth, and to grow a vision of a social structure that might succeed after this one crashes.  (Yes, I know you are happy with this one, but any social structure that can’t tell the difference between a law of God and nature — and a Managing Director — will not survive on this earth.)

And because it is the responsibility of elders to share what they have learned in their long lives, therefore my goal is to figure out and share the skill-set necessary to grow a sustainable, reasonably comfortable and rewarding human lifestyle within our earth ecosystem for our future generations.

For the do-gooders who are working hard to do whatever you are working to do – all of you out there who believe that a one-track vision is enough (compassion, saving every fertilized egg, growing bigger web-based pyramid schemes, good grief, happiness) – you are wrong, and it is your responsibility to fact-check what you are doing against the needs of the ecosystem rather than the applause of the corposystem.  The requirements for contributing to a positive human social structure are that each of us take the responsibility for our fact-based education – minimally – about:

1. The basic physical requirements for the ecosystem to be healthy. Because the healthy functions of earth ecosystem give us everything we need to stay alive — soil, food energy, air, water, shelter.

2. Practical, applied compassion. Because humans require compassion to lead reasonably comfortable and rewarding lives (www:Bare BonesBiology 080-The Golden Rule).

3. A rule of law that recognizes the different and sometimes conflicting needs of different levels of life on earth — individual, population, ecosystem — and strives for the overall viable balance.

Photo from 350.orgsmallIn other words, the minimum responsibility of one human to her fellow humans is her sincere effort to learn, understand and discuss together the facts of life around the Laws of Nature, Practical Compassion, Rule of Law.   An arrogant, one-pointed meditation on whatever you already know will not resolve our current problems.  It will require study of what you do not know for us to succeed.

As for me, I’m glad that the revolutionary American Dream is not totally dead, though it has been mortified and driven underground by the corposystem and the biologically ignorant solutions proposed by the TEA party and its hangers on who fail to respect the works of God and nature that permit Life to exist on earth

This last weekend, Americans expressed themselves FOR the ecosystem 40,000 or more strong in Washington DC.  You might not hear about this on the corposystem media, so check it out on the web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/climate-rally-washington-organizers_n_2707886.html.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

 

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at:

Recommended References

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/climate-rally-washington-organizers_n_2707886.html

The New Testament, Romans 1:20 (“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made  . . .”)

http://www.radioproject.org/2013/02/putting-the-eco-back-into-economics-with-david-suzuki/

http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

http://www.BareBonesBiology

http://350.org

Bare Bones Biology 124 – Education

Last week I said: “We begin by taking the responsibility to educate ourselves about all the many sides of the population issue.”

I said this because one of the favorite corposystem power ploys is to distract us from our goal and occupy us with fake debates that do not interfere with corposystem desire to do whatever it wants to do. This is just another version of the old “divide and conquer” ploy. People who are fighting with each other cannot solve problems, for at least two reasons. One reason is that the solution to any problem is many sided.

Debates are two-sided sound bites and fun games, if we think life is nothing more than a game of winners and losers (that is not, by the way, how evolution functions (Bare Bones Biology 088 to 091) but debates do not resolve problems. Instead they prevent people from even evaluating and discussing problems — even problems that threaten their own futures — which is the second reason that debates don’t solve problems.

So what are the many sides of this overpopulation problem? I could begin by making a huge list of human opinions about overpopulation, but, human opinions cannot change the natural laws that permit our biosystem to survive. God the creator made the biosystem to function the way it does function, and that IS how nature works. Life feeds death and death feeds life.

God’s very breath is the breath of life and lifein the biosystem, whether we like it or not, and I think that’s why we don’t like it. We want what we want for ourselves – we want to use the earth for our own selves, and we don’t really care how many other species we kill off, and we don’t want to hear about it.

The trouble is, those species ARE the biosystem. They are what God breathed into the biosystem to make our air, water, fire (energy) and earth. That is how life on earth, the biosystem, functions to stay alive. God is Life – or God created Life.

That’s why I mention levels of organizationlevels of function of the biosystem) every chance I get. Individual level, population level, and all of life, the biosystem. If we are to make wise decisions, we must consider how the other levels affect us. If we could once realize that ONLY solving human problems is NOT the solution to human problems we would be far better off. Because humans cannot HAVE everything they want without causing irreparable damage to the biosystem. And anything that damages the biosystem is harmful to human individuals and human populations and even to the corposystem.

Every person on earth, except the most isolated, the sociopathic, or the super-spoiled, knows that we must have a balance between the wants and needs of individual humans and the requirements for community welfare. Individual humans cannot have everything they want if whatever they want causes harm to the community. Society is a constant readjustment between individuals, families and populations, in which nobody ever gets everything they want. We could paraphrase Mitt Romney’s recent “joke.” Obama wants to help the biosystem; I want to help you.

This is ignorance generating ignorance, because right now the biosystem is (check the facts, please) maxed out of earth, air, energy and water that we need to stay alive. Therefore, nobody can help anyone unless we all help the biosystem. The best way to learn how the biosystem stays alive and healthy is to read widely, and discuss the issues, and then check the facts. I’m talking about everyone – especially those who believe they already understand the biosystem. Most of us don’t. And then come back to the political arena and help to change our own behavior.

Debates do not solve problems; they only result in everyone trying to prove they are better than everyone else.

They aren’t.

And while we are playing ego games, the bottom line is we cannot continue to live in the biosystem unless we also reduce the numbers of people who are draining away the breath of life from the biosystem.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

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. The podcast can be downloaded later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References

Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook Download
https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/

Population
Bare Bones Biology 020, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/05
Bare Bones Biology 021, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/11
Bare Bones Biology 022, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/19

Power Ploys
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bare-bones-biology 066, corposystem-power/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/3677bbb072/

Evolution
Bare Bones Biology 009 to 019 and 088 to 091

Life
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/bare-bones-bio…cript-011-life/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/bare-bones-bio…58-–-happiness

Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/bare-bones-bio…d-population-i
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bare-bones-bio…-population-ii/

Facts and Opinions

I’m not talking about technology. Basic science is (or at least it was – I have been told this is no longer true, but then I wouldn’t know what to call the real thing) the study of measurable facts using the scientific method. If you want a bit more on that definition, download from my web site the Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook (click under book chapter on the right side of the blog).

Real science has become fairly rare lately, but the point is it’s all about facts and learning to understand facts. Now the interesting thing about this is that real facts never change. For example, the weight per unit of pure water at sea level at a certain temperature would be a fact of nature that doesn’t change.

The interesting thing about basic science is that it is very much more reliable than people. Science is not about people. Science is about facts. People are a great muddle, because they more or less must rely on their brains to tell them what’s real and what to do about it. The result is not very factual, because the brain operates on sensory receptors that input data. The data could be considered factual, maybe, but then the data are filtered through all the unknown instincts, and the memories of a lifetime and evaluated to make a world view. World views are not facts. They are opinions, and they are always wrong in one way or another.

So, a good scientist is in constant conflict between the world view he has built and any good data that come to hand. That’s why peer review and publication is important to the scientific community, because discussion is important.

A really good scientist is ready to change his world view in the face of good facts. The Dalai Lama is a wonderful model for this kind of growth and development. So are good scientists. There is not a person born who hasn’t made a mistake, including all scientists, and one of the most admirable qualities of both the Dalai Lama and a good scientist is that they bring their mistakes to the community and share them for the benefit of the community. So we all can learn and grow our world views clearer and closer toward reality.

That’s why rejoicing over someone else’s mistake is not useful. The point is to use the facts to benefit human-kind, which requires benefiting the whole earth ecosystem, because anything that harms the ecosystem (this is discussed by a Rabi in upcoming Bare Bones Biology 119) harms human-kind. And certainly, continuing to try desperately to prove that human opinion is more powerful than good factual data – that not only looks foolish, it is foolish. If the house is burning down, the best thing is to know and react wisely. The person I admire is the one who uses good information to benefit the whole of life – and that requires sharing and listening on both sides.

And the thing about facts is – they don’t change. So it doesn’t matter what anyone believes, the measurable facts are what they are. If you think they are different – sooner or later they will come around and prove you are wrong.

The best way to handle this is to evaluate the facts, get more facts about the same question, evaluate them some more, do some agonizing over your own world view. That is necessary, and it takes time. And then adjust your world view to fit the facts.

But first make sure they really are facts and not just someone else’s opinion.

Recommended References

Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/

Richard Muller: ‘Humans Are Almost Entirely The Cause’ Of Climate Change http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/29/richard-muller-climate-change-humans-koch_n_1715887.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

Bare Bones Biology 115 – More Story Telling

You may be surprised to hear, given that I have made about $58.62 gross over the past year from pursuing the altruistic goals described in my blog, radiocasts and books (not counting the mouse genetics book), that I signed up for an internet course that is basically about self-promotion. I’m pretty much surprised myself, especially as it cost quite a lot more than $58.62. On the good side, a lot of other people signed up, too, and so we got to electronically meet each other, which is very interesting.

Eth-noh-tec (www.Ethnohtec.org) is one of these nonprofit organizations, based in San Francisco. Eth-noh-tec’s mission also happens to fit perfectly in my current Bare Bones Biology series that is about human communication. Or, just in case you didn’t notice the trend, here is a rundown:

Bare Bones Biology 107 – Right, Left or Wrong (about the brain)
Bare Bones Biology 108 – Scientific Communication – across disciplines
Bare Bones Biology 109 – Communication
Bare Bones Biology 110 – Rituals
Bare Bones Biology 111 – Rituals again
Bare Bones Biology 112 – Thinking
Bare Bones Biology 113 – Thinking Compassion (and poetry)
Bare Bones Biology 114 – Great Aridness (about books)
Bare Bones Biology 115 – Story Telling (performance art)

Eth-noh-tec does not need introduction; because of what they do, they introduce themselves. Next week another sort of communication, the workshop, will be represented, and then we will pay attention to some people who attempt to report the true facts in a world that is now awash with commercial and political propaganda. As David Barsamian says: “It is the job of a good citizen to inform him/herself well enough to understand the difference between propaganda and reality.” That is also the aim of FactFictionFancy.

For today, this is a nice little bit of performance art created just for BareBonesBiology, and so it’s important to hear it. It’s not meant to be a dry list of facts, but an experience that will help us to appreciate the realities expressed. So wait a couple of ticks after this is posted and then click on the link, or go to Bare Bones Biology and listen to the presentation.

Just in case you can’t hear it for some reason, here is the transcript of Eth-noh-tec:

“Welcome. My name is Nancy Wang.
“My name is Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo. Together we’re known as
“Eth-noh-tec
“An Asian-American, kinetic storytelling nonprofit arts organization.
“We are in the business of telling stories. We dedicate ourselves to building cultural bridges that celebrate diversity and create compassionate communities, through stories that reveal our universal truths.
“Storytelling is an excellent mode of communication, and one in which we accomplish our mission. As we all know, communication is not always easy. We all have a lens through which we see, hear and feel the world around us. So any one of us might say one thing that is clear to ourselves, but the person we’re talking to, it’s not clear, and that’s because we all have a lens through which we exist in this world.
“Then there is storytelling. Stories and folk tales, myths and legends, you know a story can cut right through some of that jumble by offering us understanding through metaphor, and a good plot, or a fascinating character.

“Storytelling creates empathic listening. If it’s a good story, it will impart information on a level that our brains can get, despite our minds’ lens and our minds’ biases to reach and open our hearts.
“And so recently I wrote and performed the story of my Chinese ancestors, who, looking for a better life, traveled from China on a jumk boat, a Chinese sailboat, in 1850, to reach the shores of California. Well, they crashed into Carmel bay. Now compassion started immediately when they were rescued by a group of Rumsen Indians. And then later, when the Chinese looked around this pristine Monterey peninsula, they saw that there were no fishing boats in the Pacific Ocean, or in the bays. And so, they started the fishing industry in Monterey, which soon grew, and carved out California.
“However, if you were to visit Monterey today, you wouldn’t even know that this history existed, because there’s no evidence at all that 800 plus Chinese fishermen and their four fishing villages were ever there.

“Yet, the fishing industry continued to thrive there. There’s just no Chinese doing it or profiting from it, because from the 1850s through the early 1940s, there was blatant anti-Chinese legislation and illegal acts of violence against the Chinese, by European settlers, most of whom arrived there after the Chinese. Villages were burned, purges took place, whole Chinese communities were marched out. Beatings and hangings took place.

“In short, ethnic cleansing. But, there were also those who helped the Chinese, though very few, but it made a huge difference in allowing for some peaceful, compassionate exchanges between the European and Chinese settlers.

“And without those exchanges, I might not be here today. The Chinese must have taken to heart those who saw them as people, not things, and who were kind, even friends, and this allowed them to live their lives. They were able to contribute their skills and ingenuity to America. So my story is an important story, and it provides a missing piece of the American historical landscape. And it also shows how not knowing one’s story leaves too much room for stereotyping and prejudice, leading to misunderstandings and to violence.

“People of color have been an integral part of building this nation.
“People of color have been a part of and have built this nation just as much as the white population.
“Imagine this. A world without compassion; a world without empathy. Without this, the rise of racism, bigotry, genocide, and war could spell the total annihilation of humankind.
Hope for a compassionate world lies in waking up the heart. Waking up compassion and showing examples of compassion. Living a life of compassion. We do this through our art. The art of storytelling.
“Remember, one cannot hate another whose story we know.
“A story is the shortest distance between the brain and the heart.
“Without compassion, we’re left with prejudices, intolerance, and distrust. So today, learn about someone you know nothing about.

“And tell a moving story to someone.

“Practice stepping into another situation.

“And if you want to know more about us, we’re at http://www.Ethnohtec.org.

Bless you.”

Bare Bones Biology 115 – More Story Telling
KEOS FM, 89.1, Bryan TX
A podcast of this post may be downloaded here
Or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References and Trackbacks:
http://www.Ethnohtec.org

Bare Bones Biology 100 – Climate Change, The End

On a Thursday I went to two local meetings, one right after the other. The first was a seminar — a group of people who are concerned about the health of the whole ecosystem that we live in. Second, I went to a political meeting. All the people I met at both meetings are concerned for the welfare of our whole community. But their views of what is a community are so different that, if they were talking together, they probably would not recognize our common motivation.

I despaired of explaining this gap until I once again realized that we are talking about levels of organization. BBB-051 and BBB-052. By my system, individual is level one. Level two is the population level, our local community of humans or all humans as a species. Level three is the entire worldwide ecosystem, which is a super-organism that consists of all the species on earth and the environment we all create to live in.

People who work at the population level need to understand as much as they can about the social sciences, because that’s how we humans manipulate other people, for good or for ill. That’s all about hopes and dreams and kindness and cruelty and good and evil and empathy and compassion, as defined by our common human values. This is different from individual, level one welfare, and the difference is the cause of most of our political battles. That’s because, instead of trying to understand the differences in a way that will generate a living space for individual welfare within the communal welfare, in our culture of today we are choosing to fight over those conflicts of interest. For example. My neighbor’s oil well is giving me nosebleeds, shortness of breath, and I think maybe affecting my memory, which at my age is a concern. Good for him, bad for me, a simple individual level-one difference, he is bigger than I am so I will move. However, a more
difficult problem is the effect that his oil well has on the rate of asthma, alzheimers and obesity and other problems of the people of the whole community. That’s level one welfare, conflicting with the welfare at level two. At that point, we need a serious human discussion or we will likely end up with a serious human fight. That’s the kind of thing that good politics should be addressing. The welfare of the individual within the population of humans. There is always a conflict of interest. That’s what the social sciences are about.

The ecosystem is the level that includes all of life on earth. Everything alive is part of the whole earth ecosystem and requires a healthy ecosystem to stay alive, because the ecosystem literally makes the air, water and rich soil, and it makes these things by balancing extremely complex cycles of energy and climate and organic molecules. That’s not a matter of opinion. Without the ecosystem, there is no population to worry about, and that’s what the folks at the seminar mean when they are concerned about the common welfare.

We need the so-called “hard sciences” to understand what the ecosystem requires to stay healthy. Because the ecosystem does not function according to human values or emotions, the social sciences will not help us understand what the ecosystem requires. That’s why we need biology and ecology. And facts. And our unique human brain that can understand the difference between ecological facts and human emotions and desires. And our unique human language that can share knowledge and information over space and time.

There are measurable facts in this world. Our opinions are fun and they make us feel important, but they do not change facts. Science does not change facts. Nothing changes facts; that’s why we call them facts. Thermodynamic relationships are real, and all of life is based on them. The law of cause and effect is real. It is a fact that what we do today will influence the level of human suffering in the ecosystem of the future. The world keeps changing; that’s a fact, and we need to deal with it.

Bare Bones Biology 100 – Climate Change, The End
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References:
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/ Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/04/24 Emergent Properties
Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook is available on my blog for free download
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by H.H. The Dalai Lama

Bare Bones Biology 084 – Imagine

This is the last in the series describing what I think are the bottom line requirements to grow a better future for our human lives within this living earth ecosystem. It’s been tried before, with varying levels of success, and other people are proposing other, equally serious recipes for our future welfare. We’ll look at a few of them later. First I want to summarize.

Compassion and basic scientific knowledge should be applied to our interactions with each other and with all other living things including the ecosystem. To do this we should each, as individuals, first try to separate out the immutable facts from our personal opinions, and if they don’t line up we should try to figure out why not.

Second, we each need to understand the basic requirements for life, the fact that life is the whole earth ecosystem, so far as we know, and that we are a subunit of that life. A living thing (which is not the same as ”life”) can be defined as an entity, either an ecosystem or a part of the ecosystem that carries within itself the genetic information that is required to drive all the functions of its life. The functions of life consist of cycles of interactions within the entity and between entities at all the multiple levels of complexity.

We are not the director of this symphony of life. The whole ecosystem does not revolve around humans, any more than the whole solar system revolves around the earth. We don’t even really know how it works. Only that it does. And that it operates according to the laws of physics, primarily, as well as other natural laws that we cannot change. Humans cannot improve on the nature of nature, but we can do a lot of harm to ourselves if we unbalance the functions of life and reduce the resilience of the ecosystem. The term resilience refers to the capacity of the ecosystem to rebalance itself.

And third, we must understand that the universal law of cause and effect operates no matter what we choose to do. We cannot change it with our technologies. The commonest inquiry that I get is: “What can I do?” or “What would you do?” (to fix things.)

The answer is that there is nothing on earth that we can do to change the universal law of cause and effect. That means, if the earth is now overpopulated and we are using more natural resources than are available – then that’s the way it is and we cannot change that fact because the cause is back in our history somewhere and we cannot change history.

That does not mean you should be sitting on your keester enjoying TV when there are things you can do to change the history of the future generations, so that they will not be worse off because of us being here sitting on our keesters watching TV.

We cannot avoid the crunch that is coming. But right now is the time to build a version of human society that could bring to the future something better than a corrupt corposystem that sucks the life out of life. That seems to be the culture we will grow unless we pluck up a little pluck, stop being afraid of words, learn how to LISTEN to people who are not exactly like we are, or like we think they should be, and collaborate, starting today in every small way that we can, to build a future for us all – no matter what happens next.

I’m saying that I think the minimum requirement to grow a viable, sustainable human social structure is that the citizens must be educated in the skills of: practical compassion applied to problem solving; the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem; a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human values at the individual level and the level of the whole.

Bare Bones Biology 084 – Imagine
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM
Audio will be posted later at
WWW.BareBonesBiology.com