A flower lover does not like the Phactor's "analytical" approach to fabulous flowers. How sad.
A lotus flowers in my garden pond, and no lovelier flower exists on Earth. No wonder the lotus has figured so prominently in Eastern art and religions. In addition to its beauty a great many things are known about this flower. The lotus is very distinct from and not even closely related to the water lilies that bloomed in the same pond earlier in the summer. The lotus flower functions to interact with pollinators producing a most unusual fruit containing its seeds. The 135 million year history of flowers and their evolution into a myriad of forms is a marvelous story, and waterlilies, not lotuses, are a remnant of that very ancient stock from which today’s diversity of flowers sprang forth.
This flower lover wants to know why botanists such as the Phactor cannot just appreciate flowers like the lotus for what it is without dissecting it and taking it apart. Can’t we just look at it and say it’s beautiful and leave well enough alone? Well, no. That just isn’t good enough. For one thing, curiosity demands looking deeper. Although the lotus and waterlily look much alike in a very general way, they have many obvious differences, and botanists want to know why both similarities and differences exist. While both lotus and waterlily flowers are very pretty that information doesn’t answer any questions, and even that leaves the Phactor wondering why the aesthetic senses of humans are tuned to interpret some flowers as pretty when they are adapted by natural selection to attract certain insect or bird pollinators. The failure to appreciate the aesthetics of flowers is a symptom of clinical depression, so certainly looking beyond the shallow it’s-a-pretty-flower-and-you-don’t-need-to-know-anything-else perspective is warranted on both sides of the human-flower equation.
This brings the Phactor to a last point, a very important point, detailed knowledge of and an in depth understanding of a flower, of a lotus, in no way diminishes my aesthetic appreciation of the flower. And why would it? Do Civil War historians have a diminished appreciation of the valor of the soldiers because they know of the impact of many mistakes, miscommunications, and chance events had on the outcome of events? Does a painting have any less impact on art historians because they know about the palette, brushes, and personal woes of the painter? Ah, but historians are students of the subject they love and admire, and the unidimensional flower lover is not.
In return the Phactor wants to know what kind of mind, what kind of intellect is it that doesn’t want to know any more or isn’t curious about natural things? What is such a mind afraid of? What kind of intellect settles for the simplest and most banal of explanations (it was created that way)? In most cases in my experience they are worried that a quest for knowledge will gore a very sacred cow, their religion. How truly sad. Especially in biology where literally each and every time biologists have pursued a detailed course of study, the results, the understanding acquired, are quite at odds with religion. But a lotus, which isn’t even mentioned in the Bible, by any other name, would still grow from the navel of Narayana, and its leaf would still carry Kamadwa down the Ganges. And the saddest thing of all is a wasted intellect.
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