7 December 2005 ~ James Lovelock, in his Preface to The Essential Mary Midgley:
"Soon, in historical terms, humanity will face a great and severe trial. An acceleration of the global change now under way will sweep away the comfortable environment to which we are adapted....The book's Introduction adds,
What is unusual and interesting about the coming event is that we are the cause of it and nothing as severe has happened in tens of millions of years.... We are in a sense like passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly down the St Lawrence River towards the Niagara Falls, not knowing the engines are about to fail...
We are an argumentative tribal animal and we settle our differences by adversarial contest or war. Science and religion that should have shared their sense of wonder about our magnificent and beautiful planet have instead nursed their erroneous dogmas and fought for supremacy over the way we think. In the twentieth century, science won a pyrrhic victory and became the acknowledged source of wisdom about life, the universe and everything, including the Earth. How ironic that instead of regarding science as the supreme source of wisdom, many, especially environmentalists, have turned away and now listen to astrologers, alternative scientists and indeed anything other than science.
They are not to be blamed for their rejection; the knowledge science offers is like the discourses of medieval monks, so coded as to be incomprehensible even to most scientists themselves. How many physicists are fluent in virology and how many evolutionary biologists know anything about inorganic chemistry? The last two centuries have seen the development of a cultural dementia characterised by a fragmentation of thought..." ."
...The fantasy that bio-engineering, micro-electronic and nuclear fusion will provide solutions to the problems of ecological destruction, social disintegration and mass poverty is founded on a defective mode of thinking....
. a remarkable generation of women philosophers who had the signal advantage of an Oxford philosophical training largely free of the ego-battles of their male counterparts...included Elizabeth Anscombe, Phillipa Foot, Iris Murdoch and Mary Midgley, and their work was distinguished both by their deep moral seriousness and by a willingness to engage with real world problems, going beyond the narrow limits which linguistic philosophy had set for itself..."