Archive for Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A kinship web

March 28, 2006


To the editor:

That the smallmouth salamander and the Journal-World editorialist (March 4, "Oh, no!") are born of the same parent - elemental dust from an aged star that exploded 5 billion years ago - is no New Age platitude. It is an insight from the wisdom stream that we call "science."

Reminding us of relatedness or kinship, this kind of insight is "religious" in the truest sense of the word (religare: to re-connect). We hear similar echoes in the voices of elders: Rachel Carson and Black Elk, Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus.

To live in the awareness of this large kinship with all manner of beings, human and other-than-human, is to be at home in this particular place of the Kaw Valley. It also is to have a sense of responsibility for the health and vitality of the whole household: water, air, farmer, frog and fowl.

Our citizens who gather on rainy nights to taxi salamanders across 31st Street are performing a practical act of mercy. But more, theirs is a religious action, reminding us all that we are held and sustained in an eons-old kinship web which extends into an uncertain future.

For their example, I am grateful.

Doug Hitt,



classclown 12 years, 2 months ago

Give me a break! I don't care if people want to spend their nights ferrying salamanders across the road. If they think they're doing good - and maybe they are, and that's what they want to do, then power to them. But please lay of all this dippy "one with nature in a truly religious way" sappy crap.

If helping them things cross the street allows you to think that you're helping nature out, fine. But lay off the Gandhi garbage. Just cause you carry a couple of toads across the road does not make you Gandhi or spiritual in any way.

crono 12 years, 2 months ago

(a) The Big Bang is not theorized to have resulted from the explosion of a star. (b) Using Hubble's Law, the Big Bang is theorized to have occurred approximately 14 billion years ago, not the 5 billion that the author states. (c) Even if a person believes the Big Bang theory is true, it is a great leap of logic leap to claim that the theory creates an ethical imperative to take care of salamanders.

devobrun 12 years, 2 months ago

Hey, Kodiac, Wendt, Yourworstnightmare, et. al., you guys still around?

You don't have to defend this guy. Clearly, he has overstepped the boundaries of science. However, he shows what happens when "scientists" define theory and evidence as science.

When Mr Hitt connects religion to "science" he performs an important task. He shows the flaw in other modern airhead "scientists" like Sagan and Gould. Evidence is test. Thus, evidence and erudite connections define science.

Mr Hitt doesn't know that science is based upon the test, not just the evidence. He, and most of the supporters of wacky hypothesis like the big bang and macroevo can't test their assertions. So they redefine science as evidence and rational thought.

Not good enough guys. Because it isn't good enough, you get wacky ideas from people like Mr. Hitt. And science becomes religion and makes the religious people angry. And none of us are better off for the experience. Unless you look to science for your spiritual motivation.

Jamesaust 12 years, 2 months ago

Is Rachel Carson supposed to be closer to Jesus here or the salamander? (Any particular salamander or all of them?)

8string2 12 years, 2 months ago

I feel sorry for Classclown, ljreader, devobrun, and Jamesaust.

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