How to get rich as a post-doc: Part 3 (or, a piece of irrelevant whimsy)


No, more than that; I mean, as per the terms of my contract, to produce output, in my obligation to my institution; to other people, because I work for a University, ie, a community of sorts; and a wider community, ie science; and ultimately, as I’m funded from the public purse, society, the good of which I like to delude myself that I might be making some contribution towards. So, I’m gonna balls all that up… and I expect to be amply rewarded. Well, it seems to me that, if you fail in your obligation to other people – who then have to bail out the sinking ship you’ve scuttled – you still land big fat bonuses… and a half-a-million-plus-a-year pension for life. In fact, I expect my knighthood to be forthcoming. These are seemingly the rewards for such swinishness.

Is that piece of fey whimsy, lumpen enough? Of course, I know little about banking. (But then, it seems, neither do the pigs.) Unfortunately, in this year of marking Darwin and his legacy, there are, sad to realise, still those among us who hold him responsible; or consider that he let us down because his theory failed to be responsible enough. The sort of dross-peddling that resorts to citing debunked ID-ers in a desperate attempt to find a hole in the theory, as though that somehow brings the whole thing crashing down (notice that cherry-picking way such arguments go: science is shite unless it agrees with one’s preconceptions, when invoking pseudoscience will do nicely); that quotes creationists as though they’ve something relevant to say when they argue that there is no basis for morality in evolution (of course there isn’t: it’s not about morality; the arrogant implication, then, that it must be wrong because religion is the only source of morality and anything else is, well, invalid).

Darwin is not evolution. Yes, he is rightly recognised as the one whose brilliant idea prevailed, but there were others onto it, and it would eventually have been ‘outed’ regardless. Yet some seem to believe that these thinkers should have settled for simian proverb rather than ancestry, in the hope that it would go away and never occur to anyone else – and that we should still. But in their over-inflated human egocentricity, these confused and muddled types demand more of evolution: they’re disappointed because, in our behavioural incapability, they somehow expect it to look after us, instead of coming to terms with the fact that it explains a nature that doesn’t give a damn about us. Darwin was as appalled as anybody by this; in fact, more so than most. Don’t blame him. Those who consider that their challenged faith inculcates them with some moral superiority should target those who really exemplify how ‘un-Christian’ our world is.

You may consider this post nonsense. Fair dooze! However, I don’t feel bad about that, because I’m not getting paid for it. It’s just a self-involved blog. Because that’s what all blogs are. Imagine that.


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