Akilah's Column

Science, the Scientific Method, Proof and Beliefs | October 15, 2013

Those of us who have been following the world’s reaction to Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds are hopeful and relieved every time we learn of a country who refuses to allow Monsanto so much as access to their air space: Austria, Bolivia (who has stringent Mother Earth laws), Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, South Australia, Russia, France, Switzerland. More are joining the list as the months go by.


No matter how much scientific evidence Monsanto provides in defense of their seeds, an increasing, conscious population is just not buying it. After all, Monsanto ensured the public back in the 1940’s that the insecticide DDT was safe and harmless to humans. It wasn’t banned until 1972 when outside research confirmed that DDT was in fact a toxin, harmful to human beings.


Monsanto is also one of the producers of Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used in Vietnam that was manufactured for the United States Department of Defense as a defoliate. Agent Orange was composed of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxen, a very dangerous compound of dioxin. The Red Cross found that over 1 million Vietnamese are disabled or have health problems as a result of the use of Agent Orange; it caused birth defects in over 500,000 Vietnamese ...


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newborns. It destroyed 25 million acres of agricultural land. The impact was so devastating on U.S. soldiers that the veterans filed a lawsuit against the makers of Agent Orange, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, the main defendant.


Monsanto also created saccharin, which the National Cancer Institute has found to cause cancer in test rats and mice. The artificial sweetener is, however, still available on the market.


Then there are more tales of dioxin, which seems to be Monsanto’s favorite toxin, a chemical pesticide that settles in the fatty tissues of animals. When we eat the meat of an animal which has dioxin in its tissues, we run the risk of developing reproductive and developmental disorders. We compromise our immune system. Yet, Monsanto has scientifically assured the public over and over again that saccharin is a safe alternative sweetener, and meat that contains dioxin is perfectly safe to serve to our families.


What I would like to draw your attention to here is the so-called science that produces Agent Orange, dioxin, DDT, GMO’s and other dangerous agents, and the research that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the harmlessness of these agents.


Sometimes we accept, without reservation, anything that is accompanied by the word “scientific.” We tend to believe that science, and the scientific method, is an objective entity, immune to the influence of politics, religion, race, or, in short, beliefs. In fact, science and the scientific method are nothing more than beliefs.


For example, scientific research done in psychology, anthropology, and sociology supported the belief that African Americans were inferior. The findings were used to justify miscegenation laws, Jim Crow, the separate but equal law and more. Biological research scientifically confirmed the belief that Jews were inferior to Germans, women inferior to men. State and federal laws were written to uphold this belief, including the law that disallowed women from voting or owning property. We are all well aware of the impact that the belief in the inferiority of Jews had in Nazi Germany.


Recent genetic science has produced copious research to suggest the validity of the belief that certain groups of people are more prone to crime because of their genetic makeup. Most of us are unaware of these scientific studies. The findings are often published in elite academic journals, or the research is conducted on behalf of governments or corporations who use the information for their own purposes. But we can see the impact that this scientific research has on society. For example, African Americans are incarcerated at a rate far higher than those of White Americans, for the same crimes. “Native Americans are 6% of the Montana population but more than 20% of the incarcerated people in the state are Native Americans. Native women comprise 6% of the total of Montana women, but they are 32% of the incarcerated women in the state” (Source: Click Here).


I suggest that we begin to question this belief in science and the scientific method. We should scrutinize very carefully this belief about “proof.” Governments, lawmakers, corporations and other entities use this belief in science and scientific proof to make decisions that are harmful to the well-being of humanity and life on this planet.


What we do comes from what we think and believe. In science, the same applies. Beliefs direct the construction of the proof.


What I have come to know about science is that it will almost always produce proof that corresponds and supports a dominant belief in our powerlessness. It will always sustain the belief in our separation from one another and the Universe. It will create dichotomies and then pit them against each other: men against women, Blacks against Whites, Christians against Muslims, Jews against Gentiles, young against the old, east against west, north against south; us against the Universe.


Beware: Science and scientific proof are beliefs.


Some scientists will shift their beliefs, and in actuality some already have. They will begin to create proofs based on beliefs that will work for our highest good. They will create proofs to demonstrate that we are in fact the powerful creators of our reality, that we are all interconnected, that we are expressions of this magnificent eternal Universe, in unique and beautiful, physical forms. The dominant scientific community we currently know will discredit, ignore, and marginalize these truly pioneering scientists for a while. But these new earth conscious scientists and a new science will eventually demonstrate the obsolescence of the old model.


Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t scrutinize the actions of Monsanto and any other political organization or corporation who we know does not have our highest good in mind. I am just saying that we may want to broaden our perspective to become aware that toxins come in all forms, including beliefs, the most toxic of all.


That’s my say for this month. In the blog spot is Philadelphia farmer and teacher Chris Bolden. I really enjoyed talking with him and hearing him speak so passionately about agriculture and the challenges and joys of working in the community. Because of legal issues related to the program that Chris works for (funding), the interview is brief. Also, since we are on the topic of food, I have some nutritional advice from “Thug Kitchen.” I would like to warn you that there is quite a bit of profanity in these posts. The video recommendation is nutritionist Christa Orecchio’s TedX talk. The video’s sound quality is not so great, but the information is powerful. Be patient.


~ In joy, Akilah

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