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It’s a humbling experience when virtual strangers act in an attempt to save you from yourself. This form of charity, however, can fall into a category of self-serving posturing, but it is no less a touching experience to be saved from self by concerns of a self-appointed savior taking time from the exhausting work building urban freeways with out-of-state contractors. Our well-wishers seek to protect the northern wilds as a place of refuge from the mess they’re making. It is a nice packaging technique to present self-interest as concern for others, but an odor sneaks out and remind me of a cogent reply. “Thanks a pants full.”
A name associated with the save-the-planet save-us-from-mining move is Betty McCollum of District 4, St. Paul. While possibly well intended (worst insult I know) this mining ban idea arises from an area that’s made an awful mess of its environment. Pumping out noise, light pollution of the night sky, and emissions, etc. on a par with its overpopulation urban MN wants a clean play area up north. Rather than face failures around them the missionary mind looks at reforming the habits of others. Worse, in my view, this is done on a belief of science as a doctrine or belief. A harm done to Earth damages the Mother. I’m not saying the belief isn’t sincere. It is. But as I see it, also greatly impaired by unquestioning faith in a form of science that fails to see the whole.
The above gets too philosophical and complicated in a hurry so I’ll advise the McCollumites to take the Voltaire path of tending your own garden where there’s a better chance of being useful. And while at that (giving another reason for butting out of the mining topic) I’d like the mining-is-bad folk to straighten out the over one hundred million in twin cities daycare fraud. I don’t trust the abilities or judgment of people who went years unable to do math telling them the numbers of actual children weren’t adding up to the claimed numbers but continued to pay for imaginary children anyway. Fix than; then maybe I take them seriously.
Much as I’d like (close to an apology as I can get) I can’t escape the importance of underpinning or philosophical basis that happily drives the McCollum type mind. A science-god mindset generally has three ruling considerations that form what’s real. I call these the 3 M’s of reality seen as material, mechanical (including natural machines), and measurable. These are also permanent and unchanging, another place where a god element creeps in. The problem with the sci-god materialist mind is the lack of vision; a case of seeing the parts before the whole and of often seeing parts in stereotype. Materialist minds tend to narrow rigidity. Tree cutting despoils the forest, mining depletes earth’s treasure; acts then pinned to ignorance and greed. That’s the familiar narrowness we know from materialists who barely see let alone acknowledge a whole.
Here’s a question. To whom do followers of material science turn to on subjects as forestry and mining? Called “objective” this is usually done in-house with other academics based on the assumption science is all. How complete or objective is it when knowledge is done by remote? Is the academic a clairvoyant able to know from afar more than those who daily live and work in the field? Pause a moment. If you know loggers you’re aware they know a great deal about their resource. Working in it day on day for years in all seasons and weathers how could they not be well grounded? They know their stuff, often with passionate dedication. I’ll grant you loggers and miners are often skilled at hiding their passion, but it’s there no less. Arrogance and lack of objectivity exclude their voices as unschooled and unfit. Is that scientific assessment or dogmatic bias? When handled as dogma science assumes articles of faith.
Material science is successful, but with attached costs. Stressing bits, pieces, and measurement science loses sight of connections. Doing so it underrates or misjudges the whole. With book versions of resources prevailing a broader view gets set aside and science becomes political. This shows in attitudes such as logging despoils forests and pillage land for profit. Mining consumes resources and pollutes the earth for greed. This is a view that separates the activity from the people who do it and from the consumer. Logging requires loggers as mining has to have miners. In the sci-god world loggers and miners are devils working with ill intent. (The science-god world view is superficially objective but inwardly emotional.) Loggers and miners may not appear so in the educated sense, but they know and love the resources they work with on a level not limited by academics alone.
Resources are used and needed by the population in general and are not just for use of loggers and miners. The “habit” of science, however, dissects big things into smaller, more manageable parts. In that view human life becomes atoms, enzymes, proteins, and electro-chemical signals. But does division into parts tell us anything useful about living? If humanity is so much “stuff” it seems to me left at the mercy of a priestly ministerial class of university trained scientists robed in cardinal red. I know it sounds unreasonable to point at what we like to think as hard science and say it contains more dogmatic belief than we wish to acknowledge. If nothing else from my doing so I’d hope readers will consider the possibility of assumed truth appearing as firm reality. Recall that for much of its history the Christian church wrangled over whether the universe was finite or infinite, meaning there are philosophical (theological) issues of long standing. A century ago the Big Bang Theory arose. Advanced by an astronomer priest the Bang was welcomed by organized religion and scorned by much of science for the same reason. The Bang is effectively a miraculous cause. Current science sidesteps that problem with the position that after the Bang all matter and etc. existed and operated according to the “laws” we see today. Where were those laws pre-Bang, and if you allow one miracle might you not expect others? Material science can’t answer any more than it can constitute a new species of frog from a collection of frog molecules.
Science as we do it is extremely useful and successful, but measurement doesn’t explain origins. Consider two views. A creator made heaven and earth, male and female. A Bang created infinite parallel universes and multiple genders. The difference between these, seems to me, is who plays god and why.