encourage beautiful crystals and sculptures—but it will donvery well. Bad technology is technology that destroysntechnology, whether in the form of the bodies of animalsnand plants, or in the form of our own rich material andnmental culture.nAs a direct implication of the injunction to increase thenorganized complexity of the world, good technology preservesnearlier stages and products of its own process. It will,ntherefore, pay special attention to the preservation ofnchemical complexity, to the preservation of the richness andnvariety of life, to the preservation of the higher organisms innparticular, and to the care and reverence of human life. Thisnis the natural order of our increasing concern, because life,nhigher organisms, and human beings are closer and closernapproximations to the emerging nervous system of God.nLikewise within an organism, we give preference to thenhigher functions, especially the nervous system, over lowernvegetative functions. This hierarchy of concern is reallyncommon sense; it is the automatic assumption of any goodnsurgeon — or any animal caught in a trap — in makingndecisions about which part must be sacrificed to save thenrest. Indeed, it will be necessary to slow down or renouncencertain environmentally unsound technologies, and to isolatenwhat are misleadingly called “wilderness areas” fromnthe natural interference of other species, such as ourselvesnand the pantropic weeds, in order to promote the richernevolution of the rest. This is exactly what some environmentalnradicals have demanded, though on other grounds. Butnwe do not necessarily have to yield to an antihuman andnanti-technological ideology in order to make such choices.nThe theology outlined here would suggest that wenembrace an activist, restorationist environmentalism, thatngoes with, not against, the natural inclination of humanityntoward greater experience, self-awareness, mutual feedback,nand technical power. It is not our job to leave nature alonennor to coexist peacefully with it; we are it, we are its future,nits promise, its purpose. We must actively continue itsnproject. But if we are to do so we desperately need morenknowledge and research.nFor a start, we need to know much more about hownecologies work. We particularly need a better bacteriology,nand a better understanding of the subtle interplay of plant,nanimal, and human societies, gene pools, and the climatologicalnand geological feedback loops they involve. We neednto bring together evolutionists and ecologists, who sometimesndo not seem to talk to each other, for a grandnsynthesis. The best way to do this is through the practicalncraft of ecological restoration itself. We best find out hownecologies work by recreating them.nWe also need to know much more about geneticninheritance and genetic expression. It is beginning to look asnif the 95 percent of the genome that is not expressed isnactually a jumbled but fairly complete archive of a givennorganism’s entire evolutionary history. Like certain big oldnbusiness computer programs, which have been patched andnaugmented so many times that the programmers themselvesnno longer know quite what might still come in useful onenday, it is simply too expensive to clean out all the oldnmaterial, and really very inexpensive to store it in a dormantnstate. Further, the bacteria and viruses of the wodd constitutena huge lending library of past genetic diversity from allnother living species. Using recombinant DNA techniquesn(as bacteria themselves do all the time) it may be possiblenone day to reconstruct and resurrect extinct species from thisn”fossil” DNA, and to develop new species adapted to newnecological niches and even to other planets. In this work wenmay become the seed-vectors and pollinators of the universe,ncarrying life beyond the fragile eggshell of this planet,nso exposed to sterilization by a stray asteroid strike or annextra-large comet. We will eventually be in the business ofnthe ecotransformation of planets; in fact we are already, withnthis one. We need to start thinking in these terms.nLess obviously, we need to study the mind itselff cognition,nself-awareness, and all the other characteristics ofnsapient life. If we are the neurons of the divine, and charged,nas fetal neurons are, with wiring up the divine brain, then wenneed to know how the neurons themselves work. Just as thenbest understanding of ecology comes from restoration andnthe best understanding of genes comes from recombiningnDNA in new forms, so our best understanding of the mindnis going to come from the attempt to create artificialnintelligence. We know by doing and making. Artificialnintelligence should be not a distant and irrelevant field fornecologists; already the computer study of nonlinear chaos,nartificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and genetic,ncellular, and ecological models are coming together into ansuper-discipline. The human brain seems to be an ultra-fastnevolving and self-organizing ecology of competing andncooperating neurochemical and neurotopological organisms,nan accelerated and more intense form of those externalnecologies we call forests or oceans.nFinally, and most of all, we need a new aestheticnphilosophy, critique, and theology, as humanistic as it isnnaturalistic, embodied in an art by which all these studiesncan be guided. The most ancient form of artificial intelligencenis art itself. Beauty is finally our surest indication ofnwhether what we do is in the most creative direction fornnature as a whole. But our sense of beauty itself must beneducated by an ecopoetics, to use a term coined by TimnRedman, that embodies all our new knowledge of the oikosnor household of nature.nNature has not died, as some recent commentators havencomplained. It is only now awakening, and we are its eyes, itsnears, and its tongue. <^nBOOKS ON CASSETTESn”*§The Conservative Classicsn”*§ Unabridged Recordingsn••§ Purchase & 30 Day Rentalsn*•§ Books by Buckley,nGilder, Sowell, Muggeridge,nPaul Johnson, Friedman,nHayek, Tocqueville, Kirk,nMises, Podhoretz, Kistol,nNeuhaus, Rusher, Twain,n& scores of others.nCLASSICS ON TAPEnP.O. Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520n•^ For Free Catalog, CallnnnRUSSELL KIRKnThenConservativenMindnFroiii Bufki! U) ElkAnSeventh RcviwMl Editionn1 (800) 729-2665nAUGUST 1990/31n