Sunday, July 19, 2009

In the name of…

by Daniel

Sometimes certain things just “click” at the right time as if they were written or somehow fated to occur. This weekend – something great occurred: a genuine “aha” moment. I did some traveling this weekend because Sonia’s aunt and uncle celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. There was good family, food, and fellowship. Some people are above garage potlucks, but not me. Quite the contrary, there’s nothing wrong with some home-cooked hot dish (not casserole – that’s right). Well, it just so happens that the relatives we were visiting were rather woodsy (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible). When we were eating I allowed my eyes to wander. Looking around the garage I noticed archery, hunting, and fishing paraphernalia – and it made something within me click.

One of my cherished childhood memories came back to me: the 5th grade science fair. My dad was a fisherman. He was also a high-school life science teacher. He helped me design a project that aroused environmental awareness about the impact of herbicides and pesticides on the environment. For my project - I had several jars with water, a pre-measured amount weed killer, and “stickleback” minnows in them. I recorded what happened to the fish as more and more weed killer was added to their water supply (over time). Too much herbicide proved lethal for the sticklebacks. I knew this was a possibility when I started the project, but still felt tremendous guilt.

The guilt subsided—because the project was ultimately supposed to impact the community awareness about their herbicide and pesticide usage. Thinking back, however, I can remember precisely what “Shorty” (the bait shop owner) said to me when my dad and I acquired the minnows from him. I asked him how much they would cost – to which he replied, “Son – it’s for something done in the name of science. They’re free.” I didn’t know it at the time, but something bold happened in that bait shop. Something “done in the name of science” was made worthy of the money, time, and casualties – in the hope that it would somehow or someway improve the quality of life.

The quality of life – isn’t that too the (or a) thrust of religion? “Faith” is put into something that may or may not do something for the better. Moreover, “faith” (and money, time, casualties) is invested in that which is done in the name of religion too. If faith is invested in both religion and science – perhaps science itself is religion manifest? It is possible that something was in the potato salad. Things got pretty deep in that stuffy Mankato garage. I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and that you will have a great week. Take care.



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