If science were always this beautifully poetic, I'd have paid more attention to science. Thanks for the excellent poem, Gerard.
It was not science that described this delightful example of Universal structure and its implications; it was the poet and his art. The scientist merely exposed it, with the aid of the mechanic and the technician. We can trust the poet. The question that you perhaps pose, though, is which employs the most guile to enlighten (or deceive) the innocent and ignorant? The answer - I suppose - depends on which scientist and which poet. 'Twas ever thus and ever will be.
On this occasion my thanks to both but my vote to the poet.
Thanks, Gereard. This is a fine example of remystifying the dryasdust scientific discovery, thereby breathing life back into a tiny piece of discovered beauty.
But science isn't dry as dust. That's part of the point of the poem. It's more like it's so exciting we can't handle it....
Diatomaceous earth is also a really great killer of cockroaches. It cuts them when they walk over it. And so, the fragile shells of the tiniest of creatures become slayers of one of the most enduring things alive.
. . . the hell?
I know yours is a friendly tweak (at least I hope so), so let me tweak back (with a smile) by saying that I was complimenting Gerard's poem, and saying that if more science were thus artistically presented, more science would capture more of my terribly-divided attention. That the physical world - of the obviously visible variety and the kind we need special lenses for - is inherently beautiful is a notion I assumed didn't need pointing out.
Cameron, I'd like to second that, since I was trying to make a very similar point :)
But also, I must agree with Frank. You both made excellent points.
And Maureen, by "dryasdust" I was thinking of many of the science classes I've taken over the years. After a while, dissecting, numbering labeling; reducing the whole of a creature to its constituent parts, its quantities, its locations; focusing on how to catalog such and such a creature; all of that can serve to make one forget that its very isness is still a great and fantastic mystery, and though we dissect it down to its very atomic structure there is still much about it that is impossible to know.
I love science, and agree that it is exciting. I love it more when the science and the life work together to bring one into the mysteries even as details are revealed. That is what Gerard has done here, imho.
Thanks everyone. But I have to confess I was having so many problems with it that I had to hire a consulting poet. Not to write it but to take a crack at the same concept with no input from me other than a definition. Cost me 15 bucks but was well worth it. It also let me say, "I've had to hire a poet."
But that's another tale for another time.
For reasons I'll keep to myself, I look forward to that tale of the consulting poet, though I suspect it may be a long wait.
Lovely poem and a most fitting object. Still it is distressing that many scientists and their students are more enthrall'd by the *process* and *methodology* than they are with the organism itself. Beetle? Birch? Pike? Who cares, we are after more fundamental fare. Organismal biology is out-- have you noticed zoology, botany, etc. have been largely subsumed under molecular or general biology in the last 20 years? In this realm the appreciation for beauty and wonder are even more difficult to come by.
Beautiful poem, Gerard. And perfect image with it. Concur with what Julie has posted about bad science teaching putting people off, but really biology and all science(and not just the birds and the bees) is awesome, a highway to the mind and heart of God. If we but take it. The Devil the highwayman who tells us Nature is only red in tooth and claw. Or is as dreary as middle school biology with all the good bits translated into diagrams of flower parts... Which it is, but also so achingly beautiful. I keep returning to fractals as a metaphor for exploring God: the closer you get, the more infinite. Enough blather, but appreciate your reminder of the mystery and beauty at the heart of reality. I know, I know, Eliot's jaded line about "humankind cannot bear very much reality" but it isn't always true. Think of Leonardo dissecting corpses and engineering fantstic mchines and sculpting: art, science, mechanics, etc. all blended.
Cameron Wood @ 10.05am Feb 16
Not tweakin' Cameron, just sayin'! :-))
Doesn't hurt to express similar thoughts when couched in different terms from another perspective, does it? Don't be so possessive! Once you toss ideas into the blogosphere you lose ownership and risk their adaptation by lesser minds such as mine. By broadly concurring with your point (not intending to emend it, I assure you), my intention was also to implicitly thank Gerard for his work (or his paid proxy - whichever) - as one is so often obliged to do. He's The Man.
Mind you, I hope all this recent introspection and reflection doesn't in any diminish his righteous anger and delicious venom when addressing the antics of the usurers in the Temples of Washington in general and the White House in particular. Even the SOG Himself turned equivalent tables over once upon a time, we are told.
To achieve enlightenment, that is, to be able to see the workings of the hand of God around (and more especially, within) us, is a worthy and often forgotten goal in todays materialistic world. You seem to be well on your way. The point of my writing this is to say thank you for once again helping to make the light of Genesis momentarily visible to me. I will continue trying to build the proper temple with the tools I have been given. I am always grateful when someone stops along their own way and reaches back to help someone behind them climb one step higher.
Thanks for another excellent piece of work. Would it be possible for you to write a piece that would make the progressives open their minds, as though they were exposed to some type of irrefutible enlightenment?
That's a challenge akin to writing a poem that can drop a charging rhino at fifty yards. Let me think on it.