Saturday, January 10, 2009

Per cogitandum solum sum

Those who dare to self-deceive,
soon find they cannot apperceive
what they have lost, and at what cost,
when vacuous belief turns fatuous in grief.

While others surrogate science with superstition,
derogate fact and propagate fiction,
and climate change so oft deny
that repetition prove their lie,

How credulous and ignorant appear
the simply lazy and the diffident who fear
that smarter people think them dumb
and thus to dumber still succumb.

If arrogation is the end,
prevarication is its friend,
as weaker minds religion binds,
and guilt and shame kill hearts and minds.

Thus sinners their sins expiate
and with Hail Marys try to mitigate
their penance from an Angry God,
as priests conflate charade and fraud.

What hope have men of reason to oppose
a too-convenient myth in Jesus' clothes,
who first must needs destroy to recreate
our birthright of free thought and Fourth Estate.

While men of faith queue up at Peter's Gate
and pray they serve who just submit and wait,
wise men know better, and do not idly pass the time,
but counter ignorance with reason and with rhyme.

Is not then nature good enough,
with quantum foam and Eightfold Way,
when cows go moo but donkeys bray,
when banana's shape is perfect for our hand,
but only once we grew it on command?

They execrate stochastic fate
and evolution imprecate,
miraculous appraise
what Occam rather raze.

But what of goodness worked with such alacrity
by those of Higher Calling, can it be
that Darwin summoned God to quench our need,
that we in turn encode in sacred screed?

Better that we pray and clerisy obey
lest innocence be maimed by savage man untamed?
Obsequious to absent liege, compliant under present siege,
acquiescing to behest, divine intent not second-guessed?

Or prefer our own quest to another's test?
Not eschatology but (modestly) epistemology.
To learn to know, and yearn to teach
the scientist and teacher preach.

Then poetasters like yours true,
take up baton and see it through.
No God commands the flowers bloom,
per cogitandum solum sum.

          —  Dan Weston