Monday, May 6, 2013

WWII as apogee AND nadir of Modern Science....

The night 'the music died' began when the young pilot of the small plane that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens were in, misread an instrument and thought he was climbing above a storm when he was really going full blast down into the ground.

Various Modern scientists (and their shills the science 'journalists' , ie editors) might be considered to have done something very similar to that unfortunate pilot.

They mis-read the Atomic Energy fire-bombing of civilians, the mass production of cheap Natural Penicillin and Auschwitz's gas chambers and frugal use of the resulting dead humans as furnace fuel and for soap as triumphs - rather than failures - of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

The Americans had thought the future of aerial bombing was the Norden bombsight's ability to accurately drop a bomb in a pickle barrel from 15,000 feet, not the ability of an atomic bomb to burn out an entire city, all in an effort to destroy that city's  single navy arsenal.

The British had thought the best, cheapest, quickest way to provide penicillin was to have chemists synthesize it in big chemical factories - but they ended up waiting upon tiny fungal factories (in far off America, to boot ) to do it all by hand.

The Germans had hoped for more positive eugenic activities east of Germany : the Master Plan East talked of settling happy, hard-working, clean, pure German peasants-soldiers on the new eastern agrarian frontier , producing huge wheat crops and guarding the border.

But few German peasants actually wanted to move into an area contested by partisans and Soviet troops.

 So as a result, Hitler quickly told his supporters that 'we actually went to war with Russia so we could totally eliminate (negative eugenics) all the Jews from Europe, once and for all'.

Plan Bs (nadir) glibly sold as Plan As (apogee) : I doubt if even used car salesmen could match the chutzpah of the scientists...

May 10 2013 POSTSCRIPT :

Re-reading this blog post, I realized that I hadn't specifically indicated that the A-Bombing of Hiroshima and the triumph of natural Penicillin occurred so close to the end of the war in 1945, that they share both a wartime and postwar time space.

The end of WWII also revealed another Plan B to to the Plan B (Auschwitz) of the wartime German genetic community.

 Oswald Avery's 1944 reductionist discovery that the chemical molecule DNA was the basis for all the genes (including the long reputed ones for  alcoholism and criminality, etc, etc) had been mostly ignored.

But it was suddenly taken up with particular renewed intensity with the revelations that Auschwitz was the end result of all the prewar German genetic efforts.

Particularly by the many active Jewish geneticists :  like all geneticists, they still held that Free Will barely existed, except among scientists, and that we were largely captives to our forebearers' genes.

But the word DNA seemed offer a way to carry on the good bits of the German prewar genetic program, but minus the gas chambers and under a new name.

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