This week we talked about the Taliban destruction of the Buddha’s and we heard a lecture from a local artist professor. I wasn’t all that impressed with the lecture that we had from Mark Emerson. Oh, his art was interesting, but I would have liked to have asked some questions regarding the thought processes that go into creating art. It seems that it would be very similar to the process that I go through when I step into the lab to perform an experiment. There is a lot of creativity in my deciding how to conduct an experiment and often times, I have to change my technique, materials and methods mid-stream. Also, like one of the paintings that Mr. Emerson showed in class, much of scientific discovery is trial and error and accident.
I was really disturbed by some of what my classmates had to say in regards to the destruction of the Buddha’s. There were a couple of people that felt that because the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan,that meant that they had the right to destroy the Buddha’s. On one level, you could make the case that the Taliban had the right to destroy the statues, but was it right to destroy them? Several of my classmates seem to have thought that it was OK to do so. I think that this whole debate has implications for much of what is taking place here in the United States since September 11, 2001. Yes, the government is in “control” of the land and on some level, the people, but do they have the right to monitor and record our cell phone calls? Does the government have the right to dump nuclear waste products at Yucca Mountain, Arizona? What I am saying is that I wish that my classmates would think in these terms before deciding if some action is right or wrong. There was this cartoon that I saw in a magazine 12 or 13 years ago that sums it up perfectly. In it, this chef was about to place a lobster in a pot of boiling water and as he was doing this, he was apologizing to the lobster and saying that he had no …

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