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Friday, July 7, 2017

Science is not an ending. It is a beginning.

I have been writing about our natural world for decades and for the most part my books have been far from controversial. That is until recently. I first wrote about climate change in my 2008 title, KEEPING OUR EARTH GREEN.  I described real-life citizen science experiences that offered proof of a warming planet. And I included activities that could help slow it down. It is hard to believe that I wrote that book ten years ago and scientists are still having their results questioned. As our ice melts in the Arctic and now the Antarctic, and we have even seen our first climate refugees leaving their island homes, our country is debating whether climate change is a hoax.

My 2016 book, THE STORY OF SEEDS, focused on the seed crisis our planet if facing, partly due to  climate change. I discussed genetically modified crops and their impact on the environment. I introduced readers to visionaries, like Dr. Cary Fowler, who are working across the globe to protect our food source.

My 2017 book, BEASTLY BRAINS, brings to light the cognitive abilities of animals, including corvids, elephants, primates, dolphins, dogs, and bees. I presented scientific studies that point to cognitive evolution and nudged my readers to think about the rights of animals that exhibit empathy and self-awareness.

All of these books talk about science. Science isn't something we need to believe in. It isn't a philosophy or a religion. It is a blending of explorative thinking and curiosity that helps us discover the world around us. For those of us who believe in a higher power, it is what helps us revel in what was created for us. Science is not an ending. It is a beginning. It can provide us with the technology to keep our houses cool in the summer, alert us to dangerous storms, help transport us, and help us live longer. There are times when science has the ability to go further than we might want it to and then we have to introduce ethics. But science has no agenda. It is simply there to be understood and explored.

 I watched a video today of two congressman debating climate change and calling for a debate. As this continues the world keeps spinning and warming. I'm not sure what our Earth's future will hold for us, but it is imperative that we provide our students with critical thinking opportunities and strong science programs so that they might be able to lead us in a world that might not be as hospitable to humans in the future.

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