The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

$cience: the 20th Century Religion, Part 18
by Phil Spickler
7 Oct 00

Goodbye and hello --
       I figure, by the time we get to Part 18, we will have gotten through,
both collectively and individually, quite a bit of interchange on the subject
at hand; so I thought, for purposes of making space for other possibilities,
we could cut to Part 18, and each person interested in the subject can use
their creative imagination to see what occurred in the preceding 15

       Anyhow, here goes Part 18.  I got up to a really beautiful morning
here in Northern California; there isn't exactly any frost on the pumpkins
here at Safeway (a grocery/supermarket chain); but it was cool, there were
some clouds above, a mild breeze was blowing, the air was pretty clear, and
as I looked out various windows, we were pleased to see that some of the
large oak trees and redwoods that grace the area that I am fortunate enough
to be living in had quite a few squirrels, gray, black, and otherwise, being
extremely active.  This is quite understandable, since the oak trees have
come into large quantities of acorns and the squirrel, one of the foremost
models for the title "economist," is busy gathering up these acorns and
stashing them away so that when winter comes (or what we laughably call
"winter" here in Northern California) they, the squirrels, will have plenty
to eat and continue having lots and lots of fun; although I must point out
that they, unlike ourselves, have been doing this for ever so long without
the benefits of modern science, or even ancient science for that matter.

       Through some great and wonderful contributions that I must have made
to something or someone at some point in time, I somehow acquired some giant
good karma that has made it possible for me and my loved one to be living on
the campus of Stanford University; this has been the case for about the last
10 years, and prior to that about half of each year for 10 years.  And this
is really a wonderful place to live -- it's especially difficult to be here
unless you are a member of the Stanford faculty.  Anyhow, it's a most
beautiful location, and still possesses enough quietude and peace of mind to
be an outstanding location for thought and inquiry.

     Not surprisingly, the place is filled with scientists.  Within a few
doors of this location is the home of Dr. Strangelove, AKA Edward Teller,
PhD., often called and considered the Father of the H-bomb.  Just across the
street is an amazing MD of gastroenterology who has made exceptional
contributions to that study.  Another next-door neighbor is a medical
psychiatrist who has become fairly famous for his research and books on the
subject of depression and anxiety; and just up the hill is another
internationally famous PhD who divides his time between the Hoover Institute
and the faculty concerned with international relations.  The relative whom we
live with here at Stanford, who is now a doctor emeritus and former chairman
of the department of Public Health at the Stanford School of Medicine, is
also somewhat of an international figure who is well published in his field
and remains highly thought of, especially when it comes to editing books and
papers concerning public health.

       All I can say is, it's a good thing these folks haven't heard what I
have to say about $cience, the 20th century religion, or I'm sure I would
have been scientifically put away (just kidding).

      One of the marvelous things about living in the heart of a great
university such as Stanford is the events that take place throughout the year
that mostly and only require your interest to be in attendance, whether it's
the wonders of the music school, or the seminars that attract the top people
of all sorts of scientific endeavor, the extraordinary libraries, the
religious events such as the Buddhists celebrated last summer upon receiving
some very ancient and valuable scriptures from Japan -- well, to digress for
a moment, this was something that Julie and I were really interested in and
that was quite something to be sitting in an auditorium with all these
Buddhist priests from here and abroad who were attired in their beautiful
robes with their shaven heads and enjoy the peace, tranquillity, and
compassion and humor that were so much in evidence.  They also and
incidentally and without question fed everybody that showed up with that
wonderful vegetarian Zen cuisine.  We met a few people who seemed to be
obeying the unwritten law of mutual attraction and affinity, and it gave a
strong feeling to the idea that we had lived and known one another before
this lifetime, and that in some timeless way we were still at it, talking
about the Buddha's big cognition or enlightenment, even though it can't be
described, comprehended, or achieved through words.

       But back to the words.  Other fine things here at Stanford are
sporting events: football is pre-eminent at the moment, and let us not forget
that Tiger Woods was both a student and a top-notch member of its golf team
who went on to some small measure of success and fame.  Having Chelsea
Clinton, when she's not taking off for a quarter to help her folks, has
turned out to be a lot of fun, and chance meetings with her have revealed her
to be a really sweet young person, super-smart (like her pappy and mammy),
and as normal as it's possible to be when you have a large Secret Service
entourage mostly incognito that have to be in constant attendance.

       I'm writing Part 18 after having awakened to this lovely morning, had
a spot of tea, and seeing Julie off to the Stanford Bookstore where she's a
part-time employee, just for something to do.  She really knows this place,
having been raised here on "The Farm,." as it's sometimes called, since it
used to be the farm property of Leland Stanford, the railroad robber baron
who invented this university just to show Harvard a few things or two.  And
he did quite a job, I must say.

        Anyhow, this morning I went over and visited a few of my favorite
organizations here on campus.  One is a group called Strange People Who Think
Science and Scientists are Bad and Evil.  This group has been in continuous
existence since it was first founded by the Catholic Church back around the
time of that terrible Italian known as Galileo; and for the centuries since,
it and many of its chapters have existed all over the world, and I'm pleased
to say that I'm a charter member here at Stanford.

       Just for fun this morning, I went down into our sub-basements where we
keep evil, irresponsible scientists whom we entrap by offering them large
sums of money to come up with diabolical machines and substances which are
inherently, yes I say inherently, even intrinsically and of themselves, bad
and evil.  That's right!  These are evil ideas from evil people.  And so I
spent the morning torturing evil scientists by forcing them to write on the
blackboard 1000 times "I'm sorry I care more about money and fame than human
health and welfare."

       Other tortures in our basement include scenes of German scientists
experimenting on live, unanesthetized Jewish human beings diuring World War
II.  We also show them facsimiles of Einstein's letter to Roosevelt in which
he recommended that the United States create an atomic bomb so we could beat
the Germans to it; and then we show a film of the famous scientist von Braun,
who had been working for Adolf Hitler before we convinced him he could have a
lot more fun working in the United States.  Werner, who is quite a genius and
an exceptionally good sciencist, was asked, when feeling was still running
somewhat high in the direction of the scientists who had worked for Adolf
Hitler, how he had felt when he developed the V-2 rocket as a last-ditch
effort to bring England to its knees (a real reign as in reign of terror
through a rain of intercontinental missiles) and his response to this was
"That was not my department."

       Well, anyway, you get the idea about what we do to scientists in the
basement of our little group here on campus.  Now as some of you know, I'm a
great animal lover.  I think somewhere along the line I got inaugurated into
an Indian sect called Jain, whose people are so concerned with not causing
harm to any living thing that they wear face masks to avoid harming bacteria
and are very careful as to where they put their feet so they don't crush any
little insects etc. on the ground.  Well, I'm not quite that fervent about
taking some lives (he said, swatting a mosquito), but I do have very strong
feelings about dogs and cats and monkeys and the primates, and so the next
thing I did for recreation on the Stanford campus was go over to the animal
laboratories, where lots of dogs and cats and monkeys, up to and including
sometimes creatures like chimpanzees or even an orangutan, are kept so that
scientists can experiment on these poor creatures for the benefit of who?
for the benefit of the most dangerous, greediest, most demented, violent,
destructive species on this planet.

       Anyway, I'm a sort of half-assed animal activist, so I like to go over
to the place where Stanford research people keep their animals and throw
stones at their windows and drop off literature telling them about
disagreements with the practice and about how so much of it is quite
unnecessary, except "What else can we do when we have the funds to do the
research?"  I say, do the research all you want, on human beings -- there's
already 'way too many of us, and I say use scientists whenever possible:
scientists who do animal research.

       Well, usually, after I've heaved 5 or 10 rocks at this building and
made a few obscene gestures, the campus police, who are now used to seeing me
around and think I belong here, will ask me very politely to cease and warn
me that I'm treading on thin ice and that I should take my protests to people
who can do something about animal research through the due processes of
legislation and law.  Anybody who would carve the top of a skull off a cat to
find out something about something is sick -- I realize that's just my
opinion, but I'm happy to say more and more people are becoming convinced
that we need to stop cut cutting down the rain forests, restore the buffalo
to the plains, and cease providing beautiful dogs so that Stanford's surgical
medical students can carve them up in order to learn about surgery.  Cadavers
are good enough, and I can think of plenty of people at this writing who need
to be carved up who could also be used.

       Well, forgive me for getting passionate aboout these matters, but
heck, I've got the time and the wherewithal to be passionate, so why not?
I'll close this part off with one more bit of anecdotal information about me,
science, and scientists.  I think this took place around 1970; I can date it
more accurately because it took place a few months after the Apollo 14 moon
shot and landing.  Anyhow, my Scientology mission was doing pretty darn well
and was making a name for itself to such a degree that, when I got the idea
to have a colloquium concerning the possibilities of immaterial spiritual
beingness,  to my joy and surprise, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, of Apollo 14
moonwalk, accepted, as did a chap called Cleve or Clive Baxter, who at that
time was considered a foremost research and design specialist concerning the
polygraph; plus we had some big names from our Linear Accelerator science
group, as well as a famous, and I do mean famous, laser physicist from the
Stanford Research Institute, as well as representatives from the Esalen
Institute and lots of other groups too numerous to mention that were
interested in this subject.

        In those days, we had on lines at the Scientology mission a fair
number of academics, scientific types from the Bay Area, which then and now
literally drips with people of science; and although it's time to end this
monograph, I leave you with the promise of more to come, including some of
the fairly amazing events and demonstrations that took place back around
1971,  my personal experiences, with R. Buckminster Fuller and the World Game,
and let us not forget a few more words about the source of the Big Bang.  And
I can't close without thanking Evans Farber for one of his funniest comments
ever in today's mail.

       As ever, and never,
 P.S.  The reason that science, especially in the 20th century, is a religion
is (a) it has replaced God as the giver and creator of all things good and
bad, (b) it has many, many articles of faith (theories and hypotheses that
are treated as truth), and billions of believers who live in awe of the power
it has unleashed, and (c) the terrible blows that are dealt to those who
challenge its hegemony, including heretical scientists like Bucky Fuller and
poor old Linus Pauling who finally suffered the ridicule of formerly
worshipful scientists because of his thoughts regarding Vitamin C.