24 January 2008

What does a paleontologist and King Jr have in common?

Erik Dickman, "Good and Evil are Within"
Found on the blog Stumbling into the Great Beyond

Richard Owen was a brilliant but ruthless scientist. One of the foundation layers of modern paleontology, the man was completely self-centered and had no regard for anything but his own ambitions.

He stole other people's ideas and claimed them as his own. He re-named the fossil's of ancient creatures to his own liking. He seemed to take glee in the destruction of other scientists and their discoveries.

In fact it's easy to hate this man, except for one astounding fact. If you've ever been to a museum and marveled at the bones of a T-rex, or gazed in wonder at the night sky while sitting in a planetarium show; if you've seen an IMAX movie about the grandeur of the Rockies or the raising of the Titanic; or if you smile to yourself in watching hordes of elementary students gaze upon the mummies and monuments, then you have Richard Owen, jerkface, to thank.

Owen was the revolutionary who saw that science could be open to the masses, the uneducated, and the common. Before Owen, only the rich, influential, or those of the scientific community, could apply - yes apply - and maybe be accepted after an interview to spend an hour or so gazing at the artifacts of the elite.

So, we should consider the words of Martin Luther King Jr in our lives when he says this:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

In all of us, there is a bit of Richard Owen and a bit or Martin Luther King Jr.



Paul said...

yup, well for me it is...

David said...

And if someone says they aren't they are deceiving themselves, which makes them evil... :-)