Saturday, July 07, 2007

Robert Heinlein and His Antithesis

Today marks the centennial of Robert Heinlein's birth. He was the world's greatest science fiction writer. His closest competitors, Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke, could match Heinlein only in science; in plot, character and style they were by far his inferiors.

John Derbyshire posted a piece Heinlein wrote in the '50s on the goodness and nobility of man. It ends with what could be viewed as the thematic statement of Golden Age science fiction:

I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching oversized braincase and the opposable thumb—this animal barely up from the apes—will endure, will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets—to the stars and beyond—carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage, and his noble essential decency. This I believe with all my heart.

With almost fiction-like irony, the world is celebrating the opposite of Heinlein's view of man in a series of concerts called Live Earth. Their aim is to regulate the economy because the humans that Heinlein glorified are supposed to be affecting the climate. The evidence that the climate is warming is questionable; the link to man's activities is not proven, but is an arbitrary assertion with our current knowledge; and it has not been proved that if the earth is warming it would necessarily be a bad thing. The movement to regulate the economy to stop global warming is not based on science, but on politics and superstition.

I turned Live Earth on and watched a moment. Madonna was onstage in London. She thanked Al Gore for alerting us that time is running out. She said this event was not just entertainment, it was a revolution.

So the revolution has begun, led by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Metallica.

The world will ever be in conflict between science and superstition. Today superstition is in the ascendant on both the left and the right. Heinlein's vision of man would take us to the stars; Live Earth would keep man in chains and mired in the mud.

1 comment:

EdMcGon said...

Have faith. This insanity shall pass too.