Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] One Question

Beth Curran bcurran at columbus.rr.com
Sat Nov 29 07:22:16 MST 2003

Well, I can definitely say what I *wouldn't* ask - and that's any
question dealing with faith, especially the Sagan Question, though I'm
dying to know what they'd say if I DID bring it up!  [see below for a
quote of the SQ]

Seriously, though, one question I've often asked people who have unusual
occupations is:  what are you telling your kids about your occupation?
I'm interested in that because all I see all day are scientists, and
practically all of us buy our kids science toys and books and generally
train them in scientific patterns of thought.  It's as if we don't have
any concept that our kids might want to do anything else.  As a minimum,
many of us have strong expectations that our kids will also be
scientists, as if we've passed on a suite of potent scientist genes
which make the idea of occupational choice moot - you will be
assimilated!  Yet in many other occupations I find people actively
discouraging their kids from following in their footsteps, and rarely or
never do I find the kind of fatalistic adherence to occupational
predestination found in scientists.  So I'd like to know what the baby
Oils are being told about the R&R business. - Beth


For most of the last decade of [Carl Sagan's] life he engaged in a
wide-ranging dialogue with religious leaders...such as the Rev. Joan
Brown Campbell, general secretary of the National Council of Churches,
whom Sagan met in the environmental movement. ... "You're so smart, why
do you believe in God?" he once exclaimed to Campbell. She found this a
surprising question from someone who had no trouble accepting the
existence of black holes, which no one has ever observed. "You're so
smart, why don't you believe in God?" she answered.