In an age of increasing polarization, the difficulty of presenting a balanced point of view on sensitive issues is much like walking a tightrope. Though this publication has challenged the entrenched positions of many vested interests, it is not our intention to be identified with their entrenched opposition, because we usually see problems with the other side as well.
Take the Darwinist-vs.-creationist debate. Without getting into the arcane depths here, either pro or con, it seems clear to us that there are major difficulties with both sides and we have tried to point that out. Unfortunately, the subtleties of our position seem lost on many who, instead of taking our point in support of a more enlightened middle way, believe that we are siding with their bitter enemies. Darwinists complain that we are promoting creationism, and creationists suspect that we are siding with the evolutionists. Those facts alone, we think, should lend some authority to our position.
Meanwhile, the scientific establishment, which, we are told, is committed to the pursuit of facts without regard to consequences, draws its authority from a badly corrupted peer review system exposed by recent headlines (i.e., a major Korean genetic scientist is caught falsifying results, a Norwegian researcher manufactures 900 phony case studies for a cancer study, a Japanese archaeologist fakes the discovery of important artifacts, etc.). Yet simultaneously, important alternative research, often reported in these pages, is virtually excluded from the process.
Some advocates of mainstream science have taken our reporting on corruption in academic ranks as something like libel and accused us of “backstabbing” and worse. But ironically, some fundamentalist parents cover their children’s eyes if a copy of Atlantis Rising is about lest their innocent young ones be led astray.
On another front, as controversy over Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code has grown, many defenders of orthodox Christianity have bitterly rejected what they call bogus history and angrily insisted that the origins of Christianity are just what we have been told, and indeed NOT the version suggested by Brown, with its goddess gospel, paganism, secret societies, etc. On the other hand, many who subscribe to what might be termed new age spirituality feel that Brown is actually misrepresenting and distorting a message which deserves to be more fairly and completely told. This magazine has attempted to provide the missing pieces to the story, but our motives have been questioned here too.
The point is not to suggest that we can expect any other reaction to the type of reporting we do. We would be the first to concede that it all comes with the territory. It is just that the whole ‘process’ seems to be accelerating, and what was once called a debate has become so shrill that, in most quarters, mindlessness itself seems to rule.
In times when the unfortunate cartoon depiction of a prophet can provoke riots around the world, when some believe our own elected leaders are out to destroy us, and others argue that nature herself is in the employ of dark forces, one may be forgiven for thinking that reason has been driven into exile and rage itself rules.
Still, as has been said, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” It is also worth remembering Rudyard Kipling‘s famous advice, to keep our heads, though all about may be losing theirs.
The ‘process’, after all, we continue to believe, is nature’s way of correcting long-standing imbalances and its active unfoldment remains more a cause for hope than alarm.