A nature writer once lamented that for every person interested in physics there are one hundred thousand interested in metaphysics. Many people are afraid the harsh lights of science will bleach life of any meaning or charm, so they live in the reflected light of their own imagings.

Scientific objectivity is not necessarily cold and uncaring. Schweitzer was a more loving missionary because he had studied medicine and science. Michelangelo and Leonardo did not soar above their contemporaries simply because they could better control the brush or chisel, but because they studied anatomy and optics. They based their perceptions of beauty upon the best science of their day.

Scientific objectivity can be a reverence for the mystery of the other. A starry eyed girl drawing horses on the cover of her school book may not yet love real horses at all. She may have no idea what really frightens or delights an actual horse. It is her imagined image of a horse that she loves.

Only a scientific eye can love the uncaged bird. Only a scientific ear can stop trying to teach the bird to speak like a human, and can really listens to the song the bird is singing when it is untrained and free. It is scientific heart that can understand the horror of bird cages and who can protect the bird’s habitat asking nothing in return.

Every true gardener is a scientist and an artist. Blessed are they who know that every leaf pulses with information, and that growth is an unfolding of information written in the seed. Blessed are they who can stroll through a forest knowing they stand in the holiest cathedral of all.

The muse of art flows most freely through the eye prepared by study and the hand calloused by practice. We should not be like photographers who smears gel on their lens so all appears vague and dreamy. If we want to love reality we must sharpen our focus until we see a world not of objects, but of circuits of energy; shining, singing, dancing, all. Yes, art, yes, ethics; but first, yes, science.