Yesterday was Earth Day, which also coincided with the Science Marches around the world. Ordinarily I would tie this into the 19th Century, as per the blog, but today I thought I speak frankly as a Modern.
There has been some discussion how Earth Day, stereotyped by all things hippie, granola, everything eco-chic and Science, which are seen, as “unnatural and futuristic” as a clash in ideals. I am here to say that sort of thinking is so far from the truth. Science, in this case “hard science,” is the study of our surroundings, our environment, and the universe. Or to cite Webster’s Dictionary:
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Scientists at their essences are “naturalists.” Certainly, their approach to the matter is more clinical than say a rural farmer, but the premise is the same: to learn how our planet functions and how we function along with it. Theirs is an inter-related relationship. One cannot have Science if there is nothing to observe.
The Modern schism of ideology however deems Science “otherworldly.” The notions all scientists want to “play God” is ridiculous. First and foremost, they want to see how “God did it” to begin with. The next step is asking the question ‘how can this knowledge be used to help humankind solve a perceived problem?’ Even “evil scientists” are doing things they think are best (but ethics and politics play a part we won’t get into in this post).
My concerns lies in the “worshiping of Science.” That anything and everything “that isn’t proved by science” is bunk. Science is reliant on technology. As the technology improves so does the Science. A “fact” is merely a snapshot in time. Think of life before the 19th century when people could not see germs with their naked eye nor with technological instruments of the era; did that mean germs did not exist before the 19th century? OF COURSE germs existed from the beginning of time, but we did not discover that until later. So what does this mean? Were Scientists wrong??? You might say that, but honestly I think of it more as primordial. Not bad in and of itself, it is just the evolution of things. (Is someone who does not know nor has seen, wrong? How could they know any better until they have seen and known?)
Scientists owe their profession to the Earth and all life (and death) on it. Scientists mean to honor the Earth. We all are better for science (and yes, we could also argue we are all “worse” for it, too, depending on your perspective.)
Earth Day is every day.