Are we in a State of Fear? The Authors Collection.
November 8, 2014
Second in a series of articles each of which addresses why a particular book was chosen as one of the top ten books that influenced me the most.
The first article featured: The DaVinci Code.
Today we look at Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.
When was the last time you read a novel, fiction, that included a twenty page bibliography referencing over 170 books and articles to support factualinformation included in the book?
When was the last time you trusted someone who claimed to be a “scientist?”
How about government representatives? Do you trust any of them?
Do you know anyone who claims to actually be a scientist?
How about people who are running for office?
Are they telling you what they think you want to hear just to get your vote?
How familiar are you with Senator Jay Bulworth?
He’s the only politician I trust.
And he’s fictitious.
Or is he?
I wonder, but I’ve never met a candidate like him.
Let’s consider labels.
Those who believe in the conspiracy theory of history are considered by the mainstream media as “kooks.”
Those who do not fall into step with the popular “mainstream” believers who endorse anything that supports their ideas about global warming are called, “deniers.”
My parents subscribed to The Louisiana Conservationist for me when I was old enough to read.
My mother subscribed to Organic Gardening magazine in the late fifties and practiced its recommendations to grow our vegetables.
My parents taught me to respect and protect the environment.
So I come from a background of farmers who believed we should take care of Mother Earth.
Then I went to school and became a scientist.
Five years of chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry should qualify me as a scientist, don’t you think?
If I don’t fall into line and become a fanatical, hysterical advocate of “going green,” does that earn me the label of “denier?”
I would prefer to be called a “scientist.”
Michael Crichton was a scientist, a medical doctor in fact.
He was also an anthropologist.
His earnings from books published before State of Fear should have made him a millionaire many times over. If they did, then what motivation would he have had to, as his critics suggest, sell out to big oil and other interests who oppose the concept of global warming?
Crichton was an expert storyteller.
In State of Fear, his characters represent both sides of the issue with eloquence and great conviction. They are believeable. It is left to the reader to decide which characters he or she finds most credible.
I suspect that few readers who have made up their minds about a subject that has ranked low in the the top twenty items about which Americans are concerned for over five consecutive years, will continue past the first one-third of the book.
Unless it’s to prove a point.
They will miss a great story and perhaps a valuable education with documented facts.
Speaking of facts, both sides argue that the facts are in and their scientists are correct and their evidence is conclusive.
The central theme, which many of the above-referenced readers will miss, is simple: politics and science should not be mixed. Crichton refers to much of what the mainstream media reports on many subjects as “poisonous politics” and “pseudo-science.”
Like several of the books on my list, State of Fear reminded me to think for myself.
Crichton offers twenty-five salient points in the “Author’s Message” after the book and before the bibliography. I like them all and will never forget two:
- Consensus is not proof.
- I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.
Please click the book cover images below to read more about FCEtier and his novels.