Monday, March 5, 2012
Milieu de l’Intérieur
Coming out of three-quarters of a lifetime in biological science, and being a huge fan of history, I spent more time than is healthy reading about and trying to understand the way that science came about.
This isn't usually the case for folks in that field. The norm in the field of science is to take the truth and correctness of science as a given. The thought of subjecting the use and validity of the overall mindset and general practices of the field is not one that is often brought up.
The Ether, Phlogiston chemistry, and other such missteps in the 1800's have now been papered over. In truth, the work being done today is more thoroughly peer reviewed than in the past, but now we are entering the time where who funds the research usually gets the results they want.
The drug companies are buying the research they want. The new drugs available today are more likely to undergo a recall now than in the past. The coal companies fund "clean coal" research, trotting out Ph.D.'s to extol the virtues of putting another huge mass of CO2 into the air.
You see, science has always been done by the rich in order to make more money. The huge mass of consumer goods that we call "the American Way of Life", is a mute monument to what science is used for. Science is now, and always has been subverted to the creation of wealth.
Oh now, I know that you will all point to our noble universities and the selfless professors there, toiling away for the common good. Well bucko's: Got some news for you, most of University professors are English Lit, Sociology, Business, Commercial Recreation, Language, as far removed from science as one could possibly imagine. These folks are probably as actively hostile toward science as the most dedicated Luddite.
Nope. Science is concentrated in a pretty small area of most universities. The medical field suck up a huge portion of the biological science curriculum. Having worked in the field for a significant portion, you can rest assured the the greater portion of these folks forget the lessons of science as soon as they enter their professional life. Science is a hindrance to people whose guilds are more akin to plumbing than Mendel.
The remainder of biological science is split between molecular work (whose sole goal is to make shit that they can sell), and the ecology types, with whom Linnaeus would feel quite at home.
Engineering has never been anything but the desire to make something. Novel uses of proven principles are not science.
Chemistry pretty much goes the same way as biology. Most of the work is funneled into producing guild members for the medical guild. Most of it is forgotten.
Physics comes the closest to science. Chasing unknowns in a serious way. Some real world applications, but they are the boring stuff and have actually been shoved off to the sides. Meteorology is home here more than anywhere, and they are reviled more than any by the folks who abuse science.
Nope...we have more people with grounding in science than ever before. We just have the same number of scientists in the world. Cause you see, science is about the search for truth and understanding. Folks who chase that instead of wealth usually end up marginalized, with their work subverted by others to feed the incessant growth of growth.
at 4:30:00 AM