October 17, 2006
From: David Bryson, MD (Yale 63) aka Lieutenant Breakfast
To: Potential Participants in this Project
The great futurist and science-fiction writer H.G.
Wells, who died 70 years ago, wrote, "Human history becomes
more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
Cosmopolitics column presents an exponential time series called
"human history in a hurry." The race between education
and catastrophe is now being littered with casualties. Katrina
was a catastrophe. So is the mess in Mesopotamia. Polar bears
in the Arctic and elephants in Africa are in rapid decline and
disruption. We watch and worry as the world gets worse.
Enter education to the rescue! The intellectual content of the
first 2 columns will be turned into a web-based curriculum and
conversation anticipating Darwin 2009, the worldwide celebration
200 years after his birth and 150 after the publication of the
of Species. Focus on Darwin brings the question: Who Are We
& How Did We Get Here? My panoramic pedigree from the birth
of the earth to the beginning of this uncertain century (September
24 column), mixed well with the Circadian
Theory of Learning (October 1 column), is cognitive cooking
for global whistleblowers. Bring us on!
At this grand scale of awareness, no one is to blame. Since
the onset of urban civilization, we are flying faster and faster
without a flight plan. The age of the earth (5x10^9) is about
a million times older than the first cities on its surface (5x10^3).
If the Darwinian world could speak, it would proclaim that aliens
have arrived, driving cars and dropping bombs.
The goal of this project is not peace and love, nice as that
would be. The goal is produce an unbiased neutrality about who
we are and how we got here - a big picture of time past with a
big question mark for time future. The urge for a creation story
has been universal in all cultures, and here for the first time
is a creation story with a scientific basis and an exponential
Smith is a professor of physics at Haverford College and the
host of http://physicssongs.org
. His response to Cosmopolitics: "Congratulations! Very interesting!
I'll definitely pass the web address to a few friends."
Christian, author of "Maps
of Time: An Introduction to Big History" and featured
in Wikipedia's "Big
History". That's very neat! My instinct is that perhaps
its slightly too neat, but then I'm a historian and historians
are trained to be very suspicious of neat conclusions. And when
I look closely I must admit that each of the turning points looks
plausible to me."
Eady is Science in Society Officer for the British
Association for the Advancement of Science, said by email,
"I enjoyed reading your article and wish you all the best
with your writing."
Please read the first
2 columns and listen to the NPR
interview. A second NPR
interview has been recorded and will be posted next month.
I'm now ready to hear from you directly. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org