Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Henry Dawson vs Newton, Dalton & Darwin...

During his brief life, (Martin) Henry Dawson managed to have three seemingly wildly different careers : in the Military during WWI, in Academic Science in the interwar years, and in Popular Science during WWII.

But these differences are only apparent , not real.

His career in the Infantry showed him the distinct limits to the uses of Newtonian physics, just as his academic research in Horizontal Gene Transfer suggested Darwin's Vertical Gene Transfer was by no means the whole picture.

And his support for the ultimately successful Naturally-produced Penicillin highlighted the spectacular failure of Daltonian Chemistry's claim to be able to synthesize anything and everything, including Penicillin.

Hubris is a terribly addictive drug and WWII turned out to be its largest, longest and most brutal clinical trial to date.

Only to date, because with Global Warming we appear headed to a rematch between Hubris and Reality, only with this time much worse than the last.

There are lessons - lessons unlearned - both good and bad - we can apply from WWII to the current rematch that might help us avoid the worst of it.

But only if we are prepared to listen.

Henry Dawson can certainly give us some of the good lessons , while his many opponents can provide us with all the bad lessons,  in spades.....

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