Forget Science – subscribe to Nihilism instead – NOT REALLY!


By education, I mean a system of teaching a broad curriculum with the basics of the major fields of knowledge, from history to modern technologies that also fosters critical thinking and curiosity

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By —— Bio and ArchivesSeptember 30, 2020

 

As it appears, simply destroying statues of explorers, statesmen, or other notables from centuries past no longer satisfies the current lust for mayhem of the “forward-looking progressive minds.”

Now, even park benches in memory of entirely non-political scholars of the past are deemed to be inappropriate to sensitive woke minds. One example is a park bench, dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest biologists/naturalists of the distant past, namely Carl von Linné (1707-1778).

Homo sapiens

Poor Carl, a simple park bench—with his name mentioned on the back—may become another victim of the modern Zeitgeist. You may wonder, what exactly was Carl’s claim to his (current) infamy? He created the term “Homo sapiens”—what a crime!

This Latin term simply means something like “wise human.” You might think of that as being good, or normal, or even as “modern.” As it appears, the local political powers in Oslo, Norway, have concluded otherwise. It could be interpreted as an affront to less modern or wise inhabitants. And that, as you, my Dear Readers will recognize instantly—and indubitably, I presume—as a great faux pas!

It’s perfectly OK to use modern instant communication facilities to chat with your like-minded nihilists,  but anyone that may have labored hard in past centuries to build the knowledge base that such facilities relies on are to be damned and forgotten.

Most likely it’s of little consolation to Linné and other scholars of the past, like philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), and explorers, cartographers, politicians and other notables of former times that they are similarly being degraded now. Without their attention to detail and perseverance against many obstacles to their work and dedication, our world would not be where it’s at now.

In fact, none of the modern engines that power the world and none of the many other conveniences would ever have come into existence. What the “Snowflakes” would do without instant access to the latest social media info, news and videos from far corners of the Earth (or even the Universe) on their “smart phones —I wonder.

Affordable Energy & Food—when it’s needed

However, there’s another dimension to modern accomplishments besides gadgets and living conditions in general. That’s the availability of on-demand energy and nourishments at an affordable cost.

Ever since Homo sapiens learned to behold the heat of fire, life improved. Gathering the fruits from the environment gave way to developing weapons like the atlatl, bow and arrow, and gunpowder that led to the rise of towns and cities as are now found across the entire world. Having access to abundant energy allowed more time for more productive work not just a continuous struggle for survival. It enabled more efficient planting and harvesting of agricultural products with increased yields, thus more people to get fed better.

That elevated productivity also encouraged curious minds to observe the results of experiments and invent all kinds of new insights and systems that propelled each other further “up the hill.” Of course, making any of such ideas widely known was a critical point of inflection. It came with the invention of the printing press by J. Gutenberg (1400-1468).

That ushered in a period of extraordinary development in any field of exploration. This period became known as the Renaissance. The discovery of the Americas by C. Columbus (1451-1506) was just the beginning of this long journey of discovery.

Really, there are too many milestones and important inventions to list them here. Just let me mention a few: namely the steam engine (J Watt, 1736-1819) and others, often expanding on past knowledge, like the internal combustion engine (N. Otto, 1832-1891), the (safe to handle) explosive compound dynamite (A. Nobel, 1833-1896), the recognition of antimicrobial lotions (Paracelsus, 1493-1541), and many other (at the time) revolutionary insights and discoveries.

From the Renaissance to Nihilism

The human race certainly went on a binge of innovations, ever since. But times are a’ changing—not necessarily for the better.

Now, I think, we seem to enter a retro-period. The signs are all around. As it appears, some of the aforementioned inventions are about to be heaved onto history’s scrap heap, lock, stock and barrel. This is a kind of nihilism, change for change’s sake.

For example, the “carbon-fuel” based internal combustion engines (ICEs) are ordered to become obsolete in the not too distant future. As reported, the California Governor, G.Newsom, just signed an executive order that aims to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine cars in the state by 2035. Just so, by the wisdom of the state.

The order did not specify what was supposed to take the ICEs place. Presumably the idea is to replace them with (battery-powered) electric vehicles. Or, perhaps the new European “grand idea” of hydrogen-fueled cars or “hybrids” of some sort.

Believe me, the world’s energy demand is much greater than what could be created from wind, solar, or biomass (wood- or agricultural products-burning) systems and certainly not without obliterating much of the world’s forest and food producing areas. The path forward is not IN returning to the past. It is to wisely use the accumulated wisdom OF the past to decide on where to go in the future.

The Future is in Education

By education, I mean a system of teaching a broad curriculum with the basics of the major fields of knowledge, from history to modern technologies that also fosters critical thinking and curiosity.

It’s vital to the ”survival of the fittest.”

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