I published this post in January 2013. I was inspired, as I read it and it’s hard to believe I expressed my thoughts in a way I still understand today. Anyway, I thought about dusting it and bringing it back to light 3 years later.
If you have not read anything by her, you should! After many blogger friends who had read her and done a book study of one of her books, The Mind of The Maker, I am finally reading it, and I also got a CD with a recording of her lecture The Lost Tools of Learning which I already listened to a couple of times (it is not too long).
Reading the first two chapters of The Mind of The Maker, and listening to The Lost Tools of Learning, has validated me, if only anonymously, and it has brought closure to a blogging occurrence that nobody but me knows about. Dorothy Sayers has given an answer to this incident, and it coincided with what I clumsily tried to point to.
Over a year ago, in a popular blog that brings up news about relevant happenings, I once saw a post about how neuroscientists in I forgot which part of the States, were conducting an expensive research devoted to the nervous system of bees. The perplex scientists formulated this question,
Given the complexity we observe in the neurological composition of the bees’ brains, (or something similar), it will be worth contemplating the possibility of them feeling some degree of pain. (My paraphrase.)
I had the brilliant idea to comment, and I could not help but say that we need not to spend millions of dollars on such a question, that the question had an easy answer. To me it was a clear NO. Why? I said that God (big mistake to type that word in a scientific and declared non christian blog) made animals and man. And we, humans, feel pain, thus pain is solely human. (Am I the only one annoyed by the classic question, ‘are the dolphins intelligent animals?’, sigh. And the also classic come back, ‘we cannot know, because we cannot understand their language as to know if they have intelligent exchanges’). We can talk about dolphins and remark they are pretty clever animals, but again, to assert, or even worse, to question if they have a world as or even more sophisticated than humans, consisting of precisely that which makes us humans and not dolphins… And yet not only children or adolescents, but many grown ups would truly fall under the spell of this faulty logic.
As for the animals, I kept commenting, when we talk about them, we are only projecting what we know of men, and attributing our conduct or intentions to them (what DS calls speaking by allegory), and the comparisons help us to better understand them, that is true. Sometimes we do the opposite, from animals we extrapolate hypothesis to humans. I also lamented that scientists could not employ money on research that starts off with questions that acknowledge a Creator. I know that to allude to a poetic experience of the self, distinctive from ALL animals (even the cutest chimpanzees you can find), will not be accepted these days in which the myth of science being a discipline completely in the antipodes of any serious belief in God (such as God the Creator) prevails. But science has never until modern times, been separated from metaphysics or even poetry. And every time scientists dare to depart from the strictly reductionist world of matter, it is only under their arbitrary laws of use and take from other fields what is convenient, and that which helps them to present the case of humans as simply matter that came from nothing, and evolved into more than matter in the lapse of billions of years… For any dissident thinker, to even suggest the non scientific quality of that explanation, it is to be dispelled as ignorant and reactionary. We do not play by their arbitrary rules. And not only, they get offended if we simply point to them that we are not offended by not being accepted in their club, we are just uncovering the fact that their rules are arbitrary!
Back to the blog issue, and as you may have guessed, somebody quickly replied to my solitary comment. This person vented her indignation by the so called people (like me) who wanted to make a political argument of anything and everything. She disliked the fact I had figuratively laughed and mocked scientists (how dared I?), and that I made a joke of myself with my christian mambo jumbo. After that comment, all I remember is that I made a second attempt, more tamed, to state my points, and the fourth and last comment, by the author of the blog herself, reprimanded me in a politically correct manner, to abstain from commenting if I was going to keep mentioning God, since that was not relevant given that her blog was clearly devoted to divulging relevant news in the realm of science in particular.
More than a year has passed, and as you can tell, I still cannot get over that incident (sigh). I want to believe I would, sooner or later, have forgotten about this, but it is the case that I read and listened to D.S, and that she, so eloquently, elegantly, and sharply, gives my same answer to those who, from the science pulpit, feed us faulty arguments that use the premise they are trying to prove (i.e, if the bees experience pain) as part of the argument (implicit in the question is their answer of yes, since they believe men to be a higher order animal), and they hide that to present us a seemingly clever question that they are going to eminently unveil to us, the common idiots, in their research publications. It is I, and not the bees, who certainly endures much pain witnessing the money that our taxes provide spent in that effort.