By Douglas E. Gogerty
Diogo Fihlo de Paulo sat in isolation. He had paced himself out. He had lost track of how long he had been there. Finally, he heard a voice emanate from one of the speakers.
"Diogo," it said. "This is Marie Filles D'Angela. Do you know why you're here?"
"I want to see my lawyer," Diogo insisted.
"You are not under arrest," replied Marie.
"Then why cannot I leave? Why cannot I see anyone? I have been here for hours! I have been away from my school work for a couple of days now. I have missed an important Biology midterm and several of my classes. Also, I have not been able to do any work. I have to make a living."
"You should have thought of those things before you broke the rules."
"I thought know one would know. Flying around the restricted zone adds a couple hours to the flight. I thought if I could make it, I could earn some extra cash for school."
"But you did not make it, did you?"
"The missiles came hard and heavy as soon as I crossed the barrier wall. There had not been any contact with those people for a long time, so it came as a real shock to me."
"You crashed into a major metropolitan area," indicated Marie.
"You would have never known it," replied Diogo. "I was there for several hours, and I only came in contact with one person. Once I finished putting the ion-plasma engine from my aircraft in a broken down vehicle I found, I raced away and did not see another person until I got here."
"Did you notice anything unusual about that one person?"
"To be honest, I do not know much about the people that live in The Theocracy. So, everything about that young man was unusual."
"Let me be more direct. Was he sickly? Did he appear to have any lesions or did he cough regularly?"
"On the contrary, he looked quite healthy. Well, he was a bit thin, but that is not unusual for a teenager."
"Do you know for a fact that he was a teenager?"
"Well no -- I just assumed... We could not really communicate because of the language barrier."
"So, he could have been a stunted adult."
"I guess so. What is this about?"
"You were in a restricted area," Marie stated with a strong emphasis.
"However, you said I was not under arrest."
"Do you know why it is restricted?"
"Well, The Theocracy built those walls and developed a sophisticated antiaircraft system. Thus, I always thought it was because they did not want any interference from the outside world."
"In the beginning, that was true..."
"Aye carumba!" Diogo exclaimed as a realization came to him. "What have I been exposed to?"
"Do not panic. We will have it isolated and have a cure shortly."
"Do not panic she says!"
"Please. If it helps I will give you a little background."
"Okay," replied Diogo attempting not to hyperventilate.
"Before it became The Theocracy they were a country like so many others. In fact, they were quite advanced. However, some of their people were tired of what they saw as to much secularism. Because their governmental principles forbade them to favor one religion over another, a secular government was inevitable.
"This group of religious people wanted to bring prayer in the classrooms, and wanted religious morality taught to every school age child. In order to accomplish this, they had to reform their government. Hence, when their government became a theocracy, there were certain eventual outcomes. One was the outlawing of teaching the Theory of Evolution."
"How can you outlaw the teaching of a basic and very important scientific principle?"
"You see, it interfered with some very powerful individual's view of the world. Thus, they required the teaching of their view of creation. Any deviation from this was punished severely."
"People were actually punished for doing good science?"
"As you can imagine, this had a radical impact upon all of their sciences. Most of their top scientist fled. More importantly, with the drain of good scientist and the public schools not producing any new ones, this had a catastrophic impact upon the biological sciences and naturally medicine."
"Why would anyone want to turn their back on modern medicine?"
"That is a difficult question, but I think it was more like they did not know what they were getting themselves into. They were led to believe that the new government was based on some sort of religious moral values."
"But what does this have to do with the biological sciences?"
"Several 'religious leaders' and, quite frankly, other propagandists linked evolution -- or what they called Darwinism -- to the moral decline of their society."
"So, they turned away from one of the most important concepts in all of science on a basic misconception?"
"That pretty much sums it up. More importantly, they completely abolished the study of important fields that stem from evolution."
"So, evidence that support the theory of evolution was completely ignored?"
"Exactly," replied Marie. "No one could study genetics or the genome. No one could study bacterial resistance or viral mutation. No one could study..."
"I cannot even imagine what kind of super-bugs might emerge -- Oh no!"
"You will be fine," insisted Marie. "You were immunized against a relative of this virus. Not to mention, we got to you early enough it the virus's life cycle. Unfortunately, from what we heard from you, their population was not so lucky. They must have died by the millions."
"It was really creepy driving through all of their once thriving cities. Now, they are nearly void of human life and for what -- prayer in public school?"
"I do not think anyone thought through the consequences of their actions. A few individuals found a way to tap in a great spring of power. In their thirst for power, they brought down a once powerful society."
"So how does a society that rejects science, build a missile defense system?"
"That is a good question."
"Science is a method to discover our world. It must at times shake things up because a piece of evidence contradicts a former theory. However, how do you say that the evidence is wrong in one science and say it is fine in another?"
"Without interacting with them, we cannot find answers to those questions. In any event, I have been informed that you are no longer a danger. Our medicine has cured you. However, our intelligence service would like to have a few words with you. Constables, you may enter."
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on March 23, 2008 7:00 AM.
"Commander Joe: Chapter Two" - Part 3 was the previous entry in this blog.
"Fire, Iron, and Wood" - July 17, 1812 is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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