Humans often ask me how I spend my time while my owner and his wife are out working. And I certainly don’t just sit on my perch twiddling my wing tips. No, I like to get stuck into a good meaty journal. This week, I’ve been reading the latest editions of the “Journal of Neurological Sciences” and the “Journal of Space Exploration.” And this is where I have to make a slight confession. Because I don’t simply read them to learn something new; no, I read them because they make me feel more intelligent than the humans writing articles in them.
It's all too easy for some humans to become blinkered by the ways of the world or by the limitations of their science. And yes, some of them will go on to make exciting discoveries, but then fail to see how these advances slot into the overall scheme of things. You could say that they fail to see the wood for the trees. Let me explain what I mean here.
We find ourselves living in a world that’s so extraordinary, so complex and so brilliantly engineered, that even to a small parrot, it’s blatantly obvious that this hasn’t all come about by chance. There has to be a “Master Craftsman” behind the creation all around us. And yet a great so many modern-day scientists are in denial about a divine, creative force. And I suspect that Albert Einstein was thinking about this when he wrote:
“Only two things are infinite, -the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
(Albert Einstein: 1879-1955: German-born Theoretical Physicist).
When the first Apollo space missions took off in the 1960’s, the world of science was elevated to new heights. Suddenly humans were able to reach out beyond this world to see what lay beyond. But actually, their achievements were based upon fallible human systems and perspectives. And this led one of those famous astronaut pioneers - John Glenn – to make this very “down-to Earth” comment:
“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind, -every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”
(John Glenn: 1921-2016: American astronaut).
And you know, if NASA scientists are really so bright, why do they always count backwards whenever they launch a rocket? Their rockets are meant to go upwards rather than backwards! And why haven’t they been able to measure the speed of dark? This is all so very confusing for a parrot!
And there’s a big irony here which hasn’t escaped my notice. Because human scientists are desperate to reach out into space at huge cost, when in fact there is still so much about themselves that they still don’t understand and are yet to discover. And that includes their “brilliant brains” which they use to make their rockets. You see, the study of the human brain is one of the least explored areas of science. This lump of fat (containing 25% of the body’s cholesterol) and made up of 73% water, can transmit 1000 nerve impulses per second. How? Nobody quite knows. Yet a piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons, and there are over 10,000 different types of neuron in every brain. Brain information travels at 268 miles per hour, faster than a Formula 1 race car, and an average brain can generate around 20 watts of electricity, -sufficient to power a couple of low-voltage light bulbs. It contains 400 miles of blood vessels; it can generate over 48 thoughts per second (or 70,000 thoughts in a day). Human brains are still totally superior to the most advance forms of computer and have an unlimited storage capacity. And that’s just humans; I haven’t even started on parrots yet!
Humans know these facts but they don’t understand them, and they will often prefer to look out towards space than explore themselves. Why? It just doesn’t make sense.
“The human brain is by far the most complex physical object known to us in the entire cosmos.”
(Owen Gingerich: 1930-present: Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and the History of Science at Harvard University, USA).
Image: V. Yakobchuk/Fotolia