Oklahoma Academy of Science
by Ingrid Shafer

7 November 1997

Let us give thanks for chaos and logos

and impli­cate order;

for dark mat­ter, bright galax­ies,

and non­lo­cal con­nec­tions; for crys­tals and con­ti­nents;

for Lucy’s skull and Mary Leakey’s

foot­prints in vol­canic ash; for Thales’ water,

Her­a­cli­tus’ fire, and Pythagore­an forms; for the

Indi­an zero, alge­bra, and algo­rithms; for the

oscil­la­tions of the Yin and the Yang; for

acupunc­ture, Su Sung’s astro­nom­i­cal clock, and

Huang Tao P’i’s tex­tile tech­nol­o­gy; for Ara­bic

alchemists on the Old Silk Road and Ibn Sina’s

Canon of Med­i­cine; for Euclid and New­ton and “God

play­ing dice”; for Kepler’s snowflake and Kekule’s

dream; for Mendel’s monastery peas and the genet­ic

Tetra­gram­ma­ton on the spi­ral stair­case of life;

for frac­tals, ferns and fall foliage; for

cater­pil­lars and cocoons; for the infan­t’s first cry;

for Pachebel’s canon; for stained glass win­dows,

Leeuwen­hoek’s micro­scope, and the Galileo

probe; for the World Wide Web to help us become

con­scious of cos­mic inter­con­nect­ed­ness; but most

of all, let us give thanks for the twin pas­sions

which make us ful­ly human–the yearn­ing to

tran­scend the bound­aries of time and space by

learn­ing and by lov­ing.

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