Friday, May 18, 2012

Imagine That

Butterfly Milkweed, also known as pleurisy root.
Butterfly on Butterfly Milkweed - Imagine that!
At some point in human history we discovered how to make glass.  We eventually discovered how to create a magnifying lens, which evolved to telescopes, microscopes, and the common telephoto lens for a digital camera.  As a human being I have inherited the benefit of all human knowledge, but this is what I know about manufacturing glass:  a fiercely hot fire will melt sand into glass.  This is what I know about magnifying lenses:  grind glass finely enough and you can see light billions of years old or particles so tiny they are a mere breath beyond mythical.  Collective knowledge translates into my life like this:  from the opposite side of the road last evening, I took these photos through the open car window.  It is fortunate each human being does not have to know everything the human race knows. 

Should butterflies exist for another billion years, they will not discover how to make glass.  It is unlikely that they will ever need a telescope.  Human beings believe we understand the role of butterflies because we crudely replicate their pollination endeavors on a limited scale.  But it is utterly impossible for human beings to ensure the pollination of every plant in a single square mile of prairie.

It is fortunate that human beings do not have to know everything in order for the world to live.  It is beyond imagination when you consider it.

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