Sunday, August 29, 2021


 I worry when he gets like this.

The Alien C.W. was buried in a pile of papers and notes this morning looking much like a harried professor at “publish or perish” time. He paid no attention to me. I sat, sipped my coffee, and watched. Actually, I sometimes like it when he is quiet. We are still under a restraining order on account of the “garage band” he started despite the fact that we have no garage.

Anyhow, he finally looked up and saw me. “I’m busy,” he said.

“I can see.”

“Minor assignment for the Falloonian Elders.”

“Don’t mind me. I’ll not interrupt you.”

“Good,” he said. He returned to his work.

He shuffled papers, wrote a note, and turned back to me. “It’s a report tracing the development of mental cognizance in your species, from the end of the Neanderthals to present. Pardon me if I’m too busy to visit.”

I nodded. Minor assignments require concentration as well as major ones.

He struck through some writing and looked at me. “It was developing well for a while, cognizance was. Now excuse me.”

I nodded.

He retained his stare. “You were making great progress.”


“Yes. Your ancestors discovered that dances didn't make it rain and sought the physical facts. This led to findings that allowed the Egyptians to forecast flooding phenomena that led to a stable civilization lasting for a longer time than that which has passed since their last great empire. Now if you will excuse me, I’m busy.”

I nodded.

He didn’t return to his work. “I found it amusing at first that your ancestors tried to turn lead into gold.”

I nodded.

“But then I discovered, from reading this,” he held up a worn copy of The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer, “that this seeming folly actually led your folks to a development of the Scientific Method in research.”

“So our development went well?”

“Not really. I’m sorry. It faltered, but I can’t go into it now.”

I nodded.

He put the book aside and turned to me again. “Seems apparent to me that religion hindered the development.”

“Oh? How?”

“Can’t you see I’m busy?”

I nodded. He started to go back to work but stopped.

“Seems that religion led to an understanding of power, and how to use it, as opposed to the seeking of knowledge.” He reached and held up a copy of the Bible. “These folks weren’t very high on knowledge.”

“No,” I said. “No they weren’t. You can ask Paul of Tarsus if you happen to run into him during one of your enphasngs. ”

He ignored me. “That set the stage for rule by force, over rule by reason, as a method of retaining power.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, all because of religion. When the dark side of politics joins the anti-cognizance stance of religion, all hell, pardon the allusion, may break loose: darkness and destruction, with the aid of religion as a tool. Now you’ve bothered be enough. I must work.”

“Fine,” I said. “But I wouldn’t publish your findings here on Earth.”

“Are you kidding?” he said. He buried his nose back into his notes.

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