Three Ballparks Where The Game Is For Keeps

Everyone’s looking for just the right catchphrase. Words that leap off the page and grab both your head and your heart in a spectacular stranglehold of conviction. Pols are big players. Remember: “Walk Softy And Carry A Big Stick,” “The New Deal,” “The New Frontier,” “It’s Sunrise in America.”

But anyone can play this game. So here’s a new one: “Think Small!”

Sounds counter-intuitive, but actually it’s been an idea in play for generations. Played inside three different ballparks or realms of thought. Theology. Psychology. Now Biology. For centuries theology was the playing field on which we tried to win an understanding of ourselves [there exists some first-cause-higher-power ]. Beginning with Freud, psychology emerged as a more tangible playing field [our mind is the higher-power we must examine ].

Recently, however, Western Civilization has found evolutionary biology the best playing field on which to figure ourselves out [ basically we’re evolved matter whose various genes, chemicals, and circuits are what we need to understand to understand ourselves].

Advancing from theology to psychology to biology, sounds like progress. Only there are those theologians and psychologists who wonder if in our progress we’ve left something important behind. What’s happened is that we are thinking smaller and smaller. Rather than how we may fit into some cosmic grand design, psychologists focus narrowly on ids and libidos, while biologists even more narrowly on synapses and lobes.

None of us yet know for sure all the answers. And yet, doesn’t it make sense this game of knowledge be conducted on all three fields of play? Our lobes operate within our id which operates within whatever first-cause started all this. So while today’s excited evolutionary biologists see only biology at work, psychologist and theologians still belong in the game. I mean how else do you complete one of the game’s biggest payoffs — the triple play?

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  • Not to over-analyze your analogy, but the rare triple play is defense par excellence. You still have to score to win the game.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Damn....! I'm afraid you're right. Altho my atheist friends will reject not only the analogy, but the point

  • As far as slogans, there was Biden's "The President has a big stick."

    As far as looking small, there is the supercollider search for the Higgs Boson, while when we went to school,there was just the proton, neutron, and electron, but no explanation about how the atomic nucleus held together.

    However, in all fields, including economics and politics, there are the macro and micro (politics calls it "street level," but it is the same). I'm still not sure that one explains the other. In genetics, they may have located the one gene that influences some characteristic, but still haven't figured out how it works.

  • In reply to jack:

    I believe that theology is the macro view which the micro views of psychology and biology have ignored. To our loss

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    Rereading this and your post, I'm not sure where you are going with theology being macro, except, in my mind, the real question is whether there is empirical evidence to support theology, and in the absence of that, it doesn't prove much, except that certain human behavior, such as the Inquisition and 9-11 were supposedly justified by theology.

    Political science and economics have their voodoo aspects, but at least there is some empirical proof to support the theories.

    Maybe the correct analogy would be that suicide is a result of psychological problems that can't be quantified, but it sure appears that all the wrestlers and football players who engaged in it had organic brain injuries, and that might be the real answer. Of course, we were reminded of that by yesterday's event.

  • In reply to jack:

    Asking theology for "empirical" evidence is to me something like asking your loved one to submit to an MRI screening to prove her love

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    Maybe so, but then Chris Benoit (wrestler), and Dave Duerson and Junior Seau (football players) were just nuts.

    Undoubtedly, an MRI screening would show what areas of your wife's brain had increased activity when you engage in a physical act of affection, and that those areas do not have increased activity when your neighbor does. Wouldn't prove that she loved you, but would be evidence of that.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack ~ Scientifially speaking you are right. But poetically speaking, I'd gladly do away with empicism in this case. Trouble is, these days I may be in the minority

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