science


Lately I’ve been trying to spend a little more time reading stuff I know that I’ll disagree with or is on the more ‘radical’ side. The hope is to sharpen some of my thinking and help me be more reflective about what I actually think.

Two periodicals that meet this criteria are ‘New Scientist’ (some interesting ideas but tend to ridicule anything that is faith based) and ‘Adbusters’ (more great ideas, but pretty out there). I like reading New Scientist because they have some very progressive ideas of how to deal with ecological degradation creating global warming and I read Adbusters because I think in some ways they are emblamatic of the ‘in the world but not of it’ thinking that Paul emplored Christians to have.

Reading Adbusters the other day in the most recent issue ‘The Virtual adbustersWorld’ I read a quote that made me question my hope for a natural solution to the problem of global warming because of the truth in the statement. The author (not known to me) wrote ‘For all the talk about the environment these days, I don’t think human beings have ever been so distanced from nature. And much as I hate to say it, I don’t think this trend is going to reverse itself. It just seems inevitable that people will continue to live more and more through technology.’ How can we realistically expect people to be committed to finding a solution to the problem of global warming (whether you think it’s real or not) when our culture is relying on advancements that distance ourselves from the problem more and more?

newscientist
If that weren’t enough, in New Scientist magazine James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia hypothesis and scientist, is quoted as saying, ‘Climate change is happening and will shape the future world. It is unlikely that we will slow the pace of change, mainly because we are too slow and unable to make effective responses in under 20 to 40 years. More than this, the Earth itself will soon be in the driving seat and aiming at a 5C hotter world. I think that our best course of action is to spend as much effort adapting to global heating as in attempts to slow or stop it from happening.’

HUH? Really? Sounds to me like some very forward thinkers believe we can’t get the job done? This isn’t good enough for me and it is theologically unacceptable. Based on Genesis 1 we have a responsibility and simply finding an easier solution to avoid the real problem isn’t an option. If technology is ultimately causing us/me to lose touch with the creation that God made and with each other, then I want less of it (yes, I see the irony in making that statement on a blog on the web).

Rather than taking the same rather pessimistic view of things that these two authors have taken, I prefer to be optimistic, hopeful and action oriented about the problem of global warming and isolation, lonliness due to an over-emphasis on technology.

Researchers in England have recently identified an ‘adenovirus’ that they say can be caught just like a ‘cold’, except that in addition to causing you to have a sore throat and sniffles it also can cause fat cells to multiply rapidly, causing weight gain.  The infernece is that ‘obesity’ is something that you can catch, just like a cold.  Read the article here.

Before I start ranting against people I deem too lazy to live healthy who are looking for some rubbish excuse for being severly overweight…let me qualify a few things.

I’m 37, balding slowly and overweight (probably 15 pounds…I’m 5’11 and 193…I should be about 178).

When I hit 30, my metabolism slowed down noticeably and it SUCKS!

I don’t eat as good as I should and I love potato chips and soda.

I work hard to stay as little overweight as I am…play ice hockey once a week and go cycling 3 times a week for a minimum of an hour at a time.

All this to say…I’m not some rail  thin, eat anything, don’t need to exercise arrogant ass who looks down his nose at anyone who is slightly overweight.

But this article makes me ask a couple questions?   If obesity can be ‘caught’,  how is it obesity was never the epidemic it is in decades before?  How is creating an obesityvaccine is really a plausible solution?

All this smacks of a culture that desires to absolve people of responsibility for their actions (yes, i recognize that for some people obesity is a legitimate disease) and give the opportunity to live without concern at the least cost to the individual.