"Our species has been favoured on this planet, although we have not always been good caretakers of our globes resources. Our stay here in the spaces of geological time has been brief. No one can tell us our business. But, I think it is something more than to consume as much as we can and then blow the place up."
What I wish to suggest is that values may be obtained from knowledge and the more comprehensive our knowledge, the more worthwhile are our values likely to be. The great Dr Bronowski (The Ascent of Man) wrote, "I believe that science can create values and will create them, precisely as literature does by looking into the human personality, by discovering what divides it, and what cements it".
Science is not Technology (the application of science).
Science is a Latin word meaning knowledge, and one of Bronowski’s great achievements was to show the unity of art, and science. Can a few lines of poetry contain as much knowledge as a prose passage, and thus, suggest worthwhile values? You may consider that Wordsworth accomplished this difficult feat when he wrote.
The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers,
Little we see in nature that is ours,
We have given our hearts away…..
Look around you. I think Wordsworth’s poem contains a number of facts, yes facts, about human behaviour and he uses his knowledge to create values. The essential message of Thompson’s prose and Wordsworth’s poem is that we are of the evolving animal world and that this is a fact, which individually and collectively, we prefer to ignore. We pretend we are god-like creatures playing with nature, not subject to her inexorable law, smart organisms survive and those which fail to make sense of their environment, perish. We must understand ourselves and our place in nature or die.
There is no choice about this. The only choice is to recognise it, and to do so in time!– Going ‘inwards’ to get Outwards. NewScientist 28th November 2009, ‘Superships’ Marcus Chown "We could reach the stars if we built a dark matter rocket or a black hole starship, and we’ve got the physics to do it." Darwinian selection on the largest scale, ‘The only reason for an intelligent civilisation to make a black hole, he sees, is so it can travel the universe.’ www.NewScientist.com .