Monday, February 13, 2012

4Fs, Women and the Grace of God

Con Mensa is Latin for 'at' 'a table'.

In time this led to Middle Age Latin's term commensalis and hence to English as commensal, meaning "dining at (sharing) a common table."

Christianity used  the term to describe Jesus's deliberate and very public breaking of traditional taboos against sharing one's own table with those people you deemed unworthy.

Biologists, at least some biologists, expanded this concept to mean that all life forms were interconnected and interdependent on each other for survival on Planet Earth.

But most biologists ( the modernists and atheists in particular) severely limit the meaning to  just those inferior beings that live on us and off of us, but who neither harm us or help us.

These small beings, in this harsh utilitarian view, are at best only tolerated, at least until we can find a way to eliminate them entirely, so we won't have to share anything with anyone.

But more and more biologists, heck more and more people, are coming to see that we will never succeed in being the only species on Earth.

They see that, like it or not, if we are to merely survive on this planet, we will need to struggle to get along with other beings, as best we can.

The intolerant Age of Modernity, constantly and fruitlessly seeking 100% perfect and purity, is every day relaxing its grip on our minds and more and more of us are comfortable slipping into the new Era of Commensality.

And not a minute too soon, if this planet is going to survive all that Modernity has done against it.

So it doesn't seem out of place to study and honor an early band of pioneers in "dining together at a common table" : Martin Henry Dawson's PEN "G" team of 4Fs, Women and the Grace of God.

(You might remember that this was originally intended as a cheap crack against Women and 4Fs, (and God !) by the historian of Vannevar Bush's in/famous OSRD, Dr Irvin Stewart, in his Official History, "Organizing Scientific Research for War" , bottom of Page 107.)

I quote: "Laboratories cannot be run by 4Fs or women or by the Grace of God alone." This is Stewart while talking about the OSRD committee devoted to medical research which had the public money and jackboot mentality, after the war and after Dawson was safely in his grave, to seize all the American credit for producing natural systemic penicillin .

In fact, the OSRD wasted the war fruitlessly seeking the Nirvana of man-made synthetic penicillin, while servicemen and civilians around the world were needlessly dying of infections natural penicillin could have cured.

It was the pushing and prodding of Dawson upon his citric acid-producing partner, Pfizer, that  produced the bulk of the wartime penicillin, not the OSRD's favorite Big Pharma, Merck.

George W Merck himself spent the bulk of the war creating ever more terrible diseases to kill people, while leading America's germ warfare program.

So it was left to little science, not Big Science, to give us PEN "G".

This little team of humans and tiny beings  brought us natural systemic penicillin, that great boon to humankind, against fierce resistance along the mean corridors of 1940s American Science, none meaner than down at the OSRD....

No comments:

Post a Comment