THE NEXT FIRE IS FOUND
It's a funny thing about physics. There is basically one, single, unitary physics, that has been true from the first picosecond of existence, and will remain true until the end of time. Therefore, there is no such thing as "nineteenth century physics", or "twentieth century physics". What was true in 1837, is still true today, 100% unchanged.
Which brings up a further realization. Any knowlege unearthed by Bohr, Fermi, Einstein and others in the 1930's, was as true in the time of the pharaos as it will be in the year 9595. We just remained ignorant until WWII. It existed just the same, all along. Also, the process of U235 fission,the so-called nuclear process, is the process which heats the earth's core, and has continually heated the earth's core for 14 billion years. So we see that nuclear science is not "twentieth century science". It is the way nature itself is arranged, forever. There is no possibility of an alternative system. Physics is not swayed by politics. Whether it is the Iranians doing nuclear engineering, or the North Koreans, or the Chinese, or the South Africans, or the Israelis, or the Pakistani's, or the Indians, or the Brazilians, or the Russians, or the French, or even the Americans, the discovery of nature's eternal truths is not an evil plot hatched by Dr. Strangelove to provide Helen Caldicott with a lecture career, it is the inevitable compilation of knowlege upon former knowlege that has made man unique among the animals, the first animal destined, it would seem, to eventually penetrate every hidden secret the universe has embedded within it, for some grand racial or planetary destiny as yet unknown. ( For more on that note, read the works of Teilhard de Chardin, or the Koran.)
I myself truly hate fire.
I loath its destructive properties. I shudder at the thought of the WWII Tokyo firebombings, and the Hamburg & Dresden firestorms, literal maelstroms which killed far, far more than all the atomic explosions that have ever happened. I hate the witchburnings of Massachusetts, and the middle ages, I hate the christmas tree fires related to be by my fire-chief father, telling of entire families wiped out in a few minutes. I hate the branding of slaves by the Romans, I hate Nero's burning of Rome, I hate the crude witless fire religions of Baal and the wicker-man druids. I hate the fire that claims the lives of thousands of poor people each year in kerosene heater mishaps, eradicating entire families in horrific scenes of pain and loss. I hate the intentional east Indian kitchen fires, which horribly take the lives of lower caste brides once their dowrys have been paid. I hate the huge industrial fires which now choke our atmosphere, and kill 1,000,000 people per year, mainly the very young and the very old. I hate the cleverly constrained fire knowlegeably packed into each bullet, each artillery shell, each improvised explosive device, and maliciously packed within each rocket propelled grenade shot at our young people in harm's way, maiming, killing, reducing their humanity to cooked, torn, useless meat.
But fire, a natural reaction of heat, air, and fuel, does not care that I hate it.
As historical evidence will show us, fire has been here without man, before man, and not requiring man, to burn entire continents in repeat forest fires, and prairie fires whose imprint remains today in carbon layers unearthed by archaeologists.
So mankind, it seems, as mankind now exists, cannot be imagined in the absence of fire. Without cookfires and hearthfires, how can man inhabit anything but the fruit-laden tropics? Man without fire cannot live in Canada, Germany, Poland, Russia, Manchuria, Japan, most of North America, all of Scandinavia, and vast stretches of lower south America. Man cannot exist above 1000 feet elevation, without fire at his side, and so is further constrained to just the bottomland.
Since I loathe the destruction attached to fire,.... must I now condemn humanity to retreat from Europe and Asia, back into the tropical bottomland of Africa's rift valley, to cringe in fear without metal, without adequate tools or weaponry? Should I orchestrate a vast removal of all things human from the Americas, from all the mountain areas, a vast voyage of revulsion back to the paleolithic haunts of our distant forebears? Would all fire's evil be left behind by this tactic?
Could all future witch burnings, slave brandings, and bride burnings be prevented by making this move? Could all the evil done by steel weapons, swords, guns, hatchets, maces, lances & daggers be forever prevented because without fire, we have no means to smelt the evil equipment of death?
And without steel, and bronze, and fire, will the "New Humanity" become a sainted race, living in harmony by nurturing Christian Science principles and eating a vegan diet, somehow overcoming our defenselessness by close cooperation, perhaps selecting a few victims to throw to the hyenas , appeasing them each time they appear , rather than using the old, crude, failed and disproven masculine method, of fashioning weapons, and thus eating hyena, rather than the other way around?
And what about "The Next Fire"?
What about the next physical truth discovered that unleashes great energies into man's use? With 98% of all the academic study ever done in all of history being done today, and 98% of all scientists who ever lived being alive right now, and 98% of all high energy-producing equipment ever fashioned being built even as we speak, there is a very high likelihood that a new craft, a "Power-Beyond-Nuclear" is glimmering right now in the first data taken by CERN's new Atlas device, just constructed high in the frigid uplands at the French-Swiss border.
Should we "Take the Moral Course" , and immediately shut Atlas down , before something so problematical comes leaping out of its data streams, that all the innate competitiveness in the human race finds even more powerful ways to kill hyenas, and lower caste dowry brides? How many child care centers can be built within its 20 mile circular annulus? How many homeless shelters? How many refugee intake compounds, instead of a single megalomaniacal atom smasher, doomed to start a new round of proliferation, and a hateful arms race?
But thinking a bit more calmly, the question arises---- Yes, once we have shut Atlas down, and built all the nurture centers in its shell..... How do we heat the place? How do we feed the refugees? How do we transport them there? How do we enforce order, and prevent cliques turning into gangs? How do we weed out the malicious "Jihad Refugees" taking advantage just to kill kaffirs when the opportunity arises? How do we power simple waste removal? What about bears?
For that, we are going to need fire.(and thus all that comes with it).
So despite my noble hopes, and my millennial aspirations, ..... it seems we are doomed.
Doomed to a hostile world, where fire makes steel, which kills. Doomed to a world where men defend themselves, and think, and experiment, trying to approach heaven via knowlege, seeking always "The Next Fire".
And if we reject that fate, and seek to return to being hyena-bait, as of old... those proposing the move should remember full well, that giving up all fire's bad attachments means giving up all of fire's good attachments along with it, and choosing a child or old person each day, to throw to the hyenas, who were here before us, and who rightly view us , in full environmental justice, only as food.
If you are skilled in handling analogy as a learning tool, it might have occurred to you by now that each thing I write here about the phenomenon of fire, is also applicable to the equally neutral physical phenomenon of U235 fission.
Have a nice day.