I love science.
From government-sponsored labs to guys in their basements trying to rig together a personal jet pack, I must send a shout out to the people who chose the scientific path in life.
‘Cause really, there’s no way I would be able to sit through years of higher learning to work at unlocking secrets of the natural world or the universe itself.
I’ll certainly admit I’m lazy, as if that wasn’t already apparent.
But I’m no lazier than most of modern civilization.
How much do you really know about how the world works? Do you fully understand how even the most seemingly mundane things operate?
I work at a radio station, but like heck am I going to be able to explain how it works. “Sound waves,” I’ll say, and then point to the skies while nodding cryptically.
There’s a tip for any burgeoning scientists: a cryptic nod and a sage wink will save you from having to know what you’re talking about. Works almost every time.
As I look around my office, I see a whole lot of science that I choose not to be cognisant of. From computer software programs to the four-colour print on my comics books, let alone the molecules of dust floating around the room, I couldn’t tell you exactly how any of that fundamentally works.
(Though I can tell you, the dust is there ’cause I’m lazy.)
I know I’m not alone and I don’t blame anybody. There are people who specialize in many sorts of things so that we don’t have to.
This is the silent compact we’ve made with men in lab coats. You do your thing with the test tubes and we’ll reap the rewards until something goes wrong. And then, boy oh boy, we get to point fingers.
I may be oversimplifying, but it’s not far from the mark.
We’re all here today, enjoying the fruits of science’s labours, whether we live simply or gaze upon the majesty of downtown Whitehorse from our technically opulent 300-square-foot condos in the sky.
Science is all about discovery. Treading down one avenue will open up so many more.
Look at DNA research and keep in mind this is from an armchair perspective of someone who absorbs his knowledge through Wikipedia, Skeptic Magazine and episodes of Nova.
(There was this totally cool one where they built this trebuchet from scratch …but I digress.)
DNA research has lead to wonderful applications in forensics, nanotechnology and close-to-home anthropology. They recently traced the ancestors of the frozen body found in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in 1999. Seventeen descendants living today (a good chunk still in the Southern Yukon) were discovered, from a man who lived around 300 years ago.
But then people get their ruffles up over the perceived evils in genetic engineering, another facet of DNA research. And almost always out of ignorance.
It must be frustrating for scientists, who work to reap benefits for mankind out of their work and then get vilified by the same people when something happens they disagree with.
Well, I’m giving you a big thumbs up science!
I love what you do for me.
Um – how are those personal jet packs coming along by the way?
Anthony Trombetta is the host of Coaster’s Comedy every other Wednesday at 9 p.m. The next show is May 21. If you want to know what the heck a trebuchet is (apparently it isn’t just a font anymore), contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.