reported that Boozer is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics, a
degree that he found advertised on the back of a Rice Krispies box.
I donít know how well his quest is going, but I know he has decided
that if he fails to obtain a Ph.D., he plans to enroll in college,
that is, if he can somehow ďget in.Ē I visited with him recently and
he told me that he hasnít completely made up his mind about a major
and he said he recently visited one university. Boozer said that
while there, he visited various departments and spoke with faculty.
He told me of one interesting conversation with a biology professor.
I found the conversation intriguing, so Iíll pass it along.
Professor, I may enroll at this university in the near future and I
am thinking of majoring in mathematics and I may even take a second
major in biology.
Welcome, how can I help?
Tell me a little about what you have been doing in your lab.
Well, I just made a startling discovery!
What do you mean?
As you may know we biologists often study bacteria of certain types
by placing them in a Petri dish.
A Petri dish?
You know what a Petri dish is donít you?
I think so, but explain it to me to make sure.
A Petri dish is a small round clear plastic dish three to four
inches in diameter with sidewalls about ĺ of an inch high that can
be covered with a flat snap-on lid. The dish is filled with a liquid
that enables the bacteria colony to survive and grow.
Ok, so what have you discovered?
I know you will find this hard to believe, but yesterday I placed a
culture of bacteria in a Petri dish filled with an appropriate
liquid and I discovered that these bacteria are intelligent.
Yes, and I have discovered more than that. These bacteria have
divided themselves into groups that live at different locations in
the Petri dish.
Ok, but what does that prove?
Well, I discovered that the bacteria have organized themselves in
such a way that indicates that they can communicate with each other.
In fact, everything indicates that each group of bacteria may even
have a primitive decision-making body and maybe even a government.
Oh, come on Professor, have you been smoking those ďleft handedĒ
cigarettes? How in the world could you draw that conclusion? The
bacteria are so small, how could you tell anything about them?
By watching them carefully under a high powered microscope, I have
noticed individual bacteria traveling between the groups. When an
envoy from one group meets with another group all hell sometimes
breaks loose and one group will go to what appears to be war with
me at this point he left the Professorís lab to attend to another
matter. He said he trusted the Professor and his academic integrity,
but he wanted to think about what the Professor had said. He really
needed to decide if he could actually believe him. Intelligent
morning Boozer said he returned to the Professorís lab. He wanted to
Good morning, Professor. Tell me more about what you have learned
about the bacteria.
I am sorry to say it, but the bacteria are dead.
Dead? How come? Did the groups go to war with each other and kill
themselves off or were the bacteria a victim of Global Warming?
Yes, we all know the world is getting warmer and even now itís
really hot in various places. In fact, scientists tell us that it
will get so hot in the future that a bird will have to grab a worm
with a pot-holder to pull it from the ground.
Yes, I am aware of what is happening with Global Warming, but there
are also other concerns that we must be aware of.
Yes, the bacteria died, probably because of over population and
Population and Pollution?
Yes, a Petri dish is a closed and limited environment. The bacteria,
even though they appeared to be intelligent, just grew and grew
their numbers without thinking of the consequences. I guess they
were so occupied with fighting over government matters and with
fighting among themselves that the consequences of population growth
and pollution were never considered. They just grew and grew their
numbers until their living space became extremely crowded. I guess
itís at this point that the waste they produced must have turned
their environment toxic and they died.
Ok, so what? Theyíre just bacteria.
Canít you see?
No, not really. What does it mean?
Oh, come on man, think about it. Where have all the butterflies