February 7, 2010


My son attends a private parochial school so they unsurprisingly have quite a hostile view towards the theory of evolution, even to the point of bringing in a scientist to debunk it. As a scientist, I was trying to explain to him the concept of dogma. It's kinda hard to do to a budding teenager. Even harder is the concept of empiricism. As a scientist, I go where the data leads me. I have no emotional interested vested in any theory. Case in point. While not an environmentalist (too much political baggage), I do consider myself a conservationist. My garden is composed of largely native/hardy/wildlife friendly plants. But as a scientist, I'm also not dogmatic. A pragmatist if you will. Having trouble getting motivated and needing a break, I decided to solve an environmental problem. We have ants that started coming into the kitchen which is up against an outside wall. And not just any ants. They're those studid crazy raspberry ants. What makes these things so bad is they can go for electrical equipment and they were coming in the house through an outlet. I tried every ant killer that Lowe's had to no avail. So when faced with a problem, I wasn't dogmatic. I chose an option, that many would probably consider a bit stupid, redneckish if you will. But I bet it'll solve the problem. While they're resistant to all the pesticides, I'm not aware of too many members of Kingdom Animalia that are resistant to extreme heat. And in the end, which is safer - a neurotoxin applied liberally or a small controlled burn? This behavior may be a bit disturbing in someone aspiring to be a doctor, but I look at it more as someone who is not slave to certain idea or concept and go with what works practically. And sometimes, that is the redneck way....



Steve Parker, M.D. said...

I hadn't seen that method before. Hope it works.

I've lived in the South long enough to know that "redneck" can be a compliment; not derogatory as it is elsewhere in the U.S.

I've had ants short our air conditioners before, when I was living in Pensacola, FL. You gotta do somethin'.

Isaac said...

It may not have worked as well with the "cold" weather we've been having since they weren't as active. But I've used it the past successfully, just not up against the house. These buggers were coming in a weep hole and they were less than 10 feet from my main breaker. Extreme measures were required.

Some of the most intelligent people I've known are rednecks with no formal education. And some of the dumbest people I've known were Ivy league educated.