Thanks for the new dimension on this thread- a perspective that all of
us ignores most of the time. Or is it most of us all the time? ;>)
You wrote 2 things which I try to keep in perspective:
"It is true that the human meanderings have been on a much shorter time
Nature who has suffered many catastrophes in her path to today. In fact,
been remarked that humans may be one of her chance inventions and that
intelligence is not necessarily a survival characteristic."
"Time is the issue; and the problems such as GMO's are only one way in
issue becomes manifest. Human ego makes it difficult to believe that a
be but one grain in an infinite game."
My background (education) is in Geology and one must have a different
perspective on time to consider a million years as a short period. Or to
see the continental US as an ocean basin in previous times. Humanity is,
so far, only a flash bulb in time compared to a sun. And yet we have
the audacity to speak of "what's good for the future." And "intelligence
is not necessarily a survival characteristic" is both humorous and true.
It reminds me that "normalcy" is defined as a majority statistic.
We are not patient, as you point out, only interested in how we can
benefit instantly. And rightly so, since none of us has the luxury to
hang around for 200,000 years to see what the effects of our actions
really are. I tell my classes that agriculture is an unnatural act and
through it we've depleted soil fertility, but that nature can repair the
damage in a few hundred thousand years. Then I ask how many want to wait
that long. Next we get down to how one rebuilds soil fertility in a
human (and economic) scale of time.
And you may be right that arguments about things like GMOs may be only a
symptom of the larger problem (or issue). I think that the problem is a
lack of REAL ethics in the scientific community. We should be asking
questions like, "Is it ethical to create a bomb that has the potential
to destroy civilization?" Then this decision determines whether or not
we work on it.
This brings me around to my definition of a scientist and a technician:
A scientist asks her/himself these questions and determines what should
be worked on. A technician isn't aware of the questions and works on
anything that may be fascinating or profitable.
I leave you with the words of a wise old one, kind of a self-taught Zen
Master : "Hit don't matter, and what if it did?"
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