Bronowski at Auschwitz


“It’s said science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers, that’s false, tragically false. Look for yourself, this is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz, this is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some 4 million people. And that was not done by gas, it was done arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.” – Jacob Bronowski

Ideologies, religious or political that completely ignore any attempt at correction from reality and dehumanize others drive this behavior, not science. Science says we are all the same and does not tell us to kill anyone, bomb anyone, gas anyone, behead anyone, burn anyone at the stake. That takes ideology.
Bronowski is the intellectual godfather of all our science educators, Sagan, Attenborough, and the contemporaries, Nye, Krauss, Dawkins, and DeGrasse-Tyson. All these men though dedicated and thoroughly invested in their work and are fine communicators, none save possibly Sagan could convey the level of passion that Bronowski displayed. And I’d read that his walking into the pond at Auschwitz was unscripted. Enjoy. I miss this guy.

waz

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