This sort of shit makes me mad as hell. I just, absolutely, cannot stand the later-day Wolfie Smiths of the Animal Rights fraternity. They’re not quite the most obnoxious of the assorted moonbats with issues that congregate in our city centres of a Saturday afternoon. That award, in my experience, must go to some very iffy “Palestinians” who haranged me outside M&S. I told them in no uncertain terms to “fuck off”. No, the animal rights mob are not the most obnoxious but they are certainly up there with the most deluded and detached from reality. I mean their heart is in the right place. It’s just unfortunately installed upside-down. The most deluded… Well, that was a bunch of pro-Castro/Chavez protestors I saw in Newcastle once. Jeez, I had to tell ‘em they were flying the Venezuelan flag incorrectly! Seeing as an upside-down flag is an international distress signal I probably should have just left them to it.
If the ALF (and chums) are correct then biomedical scientists are all deranged lunatics with a Frankenstein-complex and a lab-assistant called “Igor” cowering behind the Tesla coil. They are all doing ungodly, sinister, unspeakable things in labs in Bavarian Schlosses in between cackling inanely. The problem is that they’re not like that at all. I have met a lot of them and they’re not depraved sadists torturing fluffy bunnies for giggles and fits. They are scientists wrestling with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Anybody with a vestige of humanity who has seen the progress of the destruction of reason, personality and, ultimately, of self that that terrible disease brings about yet values a few critters above research into it must be thoroughly disconnected from reality. Either that or they’re just gits so wedded to a principle that they just can’t see the world around them.
We live at a privileged time. For centuries, as the physical sciences forged ahead, the biological sciences consisted of counting the hairs on the back-legs of grasshoppers and classifying them. Not anymore. It is finally coming together and the deep complexity of life is just beginning to consist of tractable problems. Cool. Let us not fuck it up folks! There is a profound roller-coaster of discovery ahead and everyone but woolly-noggined atavists is invited along for the ride.
This is our revolution. A load of gents with steam engines did the same sort of thing a coupla hundred years ago and then there was electricity, industrial chemistry, internal combustion, jet engines, computers, the internet. Let’s keep it going!
The use of threats, intimidation and violence against such scientists is utterly unacceptable in a civilized society and total anathema to a society which is actually trying to go somewhere. It is good to see that a stand is being made by these folks. It is even more heartening that the ball was set rolling by a 16 year old. Good work Laurie!
Hell, the Victorians, those alleged exemplars of staid conservatism, embraced profound and rapid change. Let us hope we can be as radical because the alternative is a civilisation drifting into decadence, precaution and senescence. Fuck that. I wanna see science with the lid off. I wanna go paragliding over the methane seas of Titan on my 300th birthday.
I don’t think the daft bastards of the ALF (and chums) constitute a direct threat. They are merely a speck of grit in the vaseline we are using for the righteous buggeration of Gaia. But they, along with all sorts of malcontents, (stand-up Greens, stand-up religious loons, stand-up the content and unimaginative) are involved in creating a metaculture in which we are conditioned to worry that we are going too far, too fast. The. Hell. With. That.