the more we learn about plants the more unhinged we feel from "reality" as western culture defines it
this is good, generally, but we do just kind of feel like we opened a forbidden book
the exact details of this are hard to articulate, but when you constantly think in terms of deep time and evolution and clades, and obsess over roadside weeds that are invisible to most people
you just start to feel like you're living with your head in a very different world, a better one, while your body is stuck in hell world, dictated by humans
we used to think that "western cultures" were largely "scientific". there are antiscience factions, but nonetheless, we believed it to be driven by "science", given the prevalence of new technologies enabled by science.
but learning plant science has shattered this belief.
western culture isn't actually "scientific". it's just feeding on science where convenient, and discarding it otherwise. it's keeping science departments as livestock from which to extract resources periodically
liberals proclaim how they "believe in science" when it comes to global warming, but only in so far as it gets them electric cars and solar farms. when actual scientists, who understand how dire the ecological situation actually is, say we need immediate, radical shifts to how we organize society and that electric cars are actually a terrible idea that will make things worse, suddenly liberals turn on them and chastise them for being "alarmist".
fragile ecosystems get bulldozed to make room for solar farms or wind farms and these "green" power plants are then praised for "saving the environment" and being a sign of our society "embracing science"
joe biden is almost as much of a climate denialist as trump, the difference is that he green washes his denialism with a veneer of "doing something" while actually just digging us deeper.
when schools say they want more stem of majors, there is a noted emphasis on the parts of that acronym that make money. stem in the popular consciousness means computers first and foremost. and stem is largely gatekept by academic institutions; when they say they want more stem people that desire does not extend so far as wanting to dismantle the institution of "school" as we know it and making scientific knowledge and practice available to everyone
and conversely, we've started to understand just how scientifically advanced indigenous societies are. we've learned how much scientific knowledge and medicine that tends to be viewed as synonymous with western culture, was pretty much just lifted from these other cultures by scientists who hopped out of their helicopter to take samples and then fucked off never to speak to anyone from the area again.
lots of indigenous cultures have deep knowledge about the ecosystems that surround them, and science in the western world is only just now catching up to that.
"science" is not when you make iphones and electric cars and send humans to the moon. "science" was not invented in the 1600's by galileo or newton.