Some people don't believe in evolution but I can't afford to take that stance because in the work that I do I have to rely on it as a basic framework and the groundwork upon which everything else is built on a regular basis. I suppose part of that is a veiled argument that we shouldn't be investing time and resources into things like genetics or understanding chemically what makes people, animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria and viruses be what they are... that is presented as an affront to certain religious ideologies.
Like right now I am comparing rates of mutational change in several species of bacteria... to which you may ask, why? and how does this matter? to which I will reply it is practice training for important work in that other ethically scary big bad people like to fuss about called biotechnology. see, you can induce useful mutations and crosses in these germs to do things which are GOOD and help industries have, for example, greener manufacturing processes that produce less toxic material as waste byproducts or use other bred germs to clean up toxic materials generated from the older technology and lax/slack clean up or storage practices from the last century (or two, or three). So the argument that it is all bad is silly. It takes technology to fix problems created by old technology so since the source of the problem is unnatural you have to kind of fight fire with fire, not fuss like a baby that we shouldn't try to correct earlier mistakes with new methods because the old methods that created the problem were technological too. We work to correct the mistakes of the past and any new mistakes inadvertantly created by that work. It is yes, like opponents say, what keeps lots of scientists employed.
And that being said, though I didn't really need to explain my choice to have devoted my life to the study of germs.... now I have explained the environmental facet. Supposing the medical facet is self-evident. Everybody likes having clean food and water? Right. You can thank microbiology for that. Oil and metals are in a sense refined or created through the metabolic activity of various micro-organisms too. Chances are, you know that ore that people are mining? Yeah guess what....that was shat out by the actions of lots and lots of anaerobic bacteria that use ions and oxides during their respiration, etc. You can thank microbiology and immunology for things like antibiotics and vaccines that make diseases for the most part be our b*tch.
Do I respect the beliefs of others? I am an American. We are supposed to. Do some groups feel like they have to impose their values onto the fabric of the rest of society? But of course, they feel it is their duty and responsibility to or they aren't doing a good job.
Ever since I started school there were always people and groups that had argued letting people study advanced things or hard stuff was stupid and silly & that studying hard or trying to do something complicated was for losers. It is sort of (internally at least to me) an in your face to them when I complete these kinds of things or progress gets made.
Am I bordering on breaking my pact to complain less? Yeah. So best is to just get back to work and hope they don't legislate the field I am trying to get into out of existence.
8:51PM: Addendum: I don't use science to try to answer religious questions and I think maybe America would be well suited to not try to use religion so much to answer science questions.
Sure, I pray. I think God is pretty okayish. Religion? Not so much. Mainly because you get all these people telling you they think science is bad because it's "playing God" bashing heads with other people who go "how do you know it isn't part of the whole grand plan of His to have people advance themselves to try and reach their full-potential?" and then both those people will never ever finish arguing so not very much good seems to get done.
Now this next bit is curious to me: You may make the observation that no matter what, human beings will fiddle with their environment in one way or another. So then why, is there opposition to attempts to carefully fiddle with improving it and less toward fiddling with it carelessly to damage it?