There has been a deluge of news articles about American’s distrust of science, which is typically attributed to scientific illiteracy.
These articles usually homogenize scientific opinion, representing it as a unified category, which is pitted symbolically against the illiterate and distrustful public. There have been examples of this reasoning recently in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The argument developed in these articles rests upon a fundamental error: the argument presumes homogeneity within scientific opinion on the key issues used to demonstrate scientific illiteracy, including the tendency for these articles to represent unified scientific consensus on issues such as GM, when in fact the scientific community is divided upon the safety of the entire GM food chain – from genetically engineered mutations to Round-Up ready agricultural practices.
I fear there is a new witch hunt brewing that uses the code of scientific/scientifically-illiterate as a weapon. Scientists who question consensus will risk censure if their research questions and/or findings tread too closely to privileged practices, such as the GM “food” production model. Non-scientific authorities will be delegitimized and marginalized even when they deploy scientific deduction and induction in their analyses.
A certain authoritarian and myopic scientific dogma may become the official religion and dissenters, even those who deploy the scientific method, will be cast as ignorant and incapable of reason.
In truth, science doesn’t work optimally when consensual, and totalitarian societies are notoriously unpleasant.
The authoritarian and dogmatic discourse of science is being deployed quite actively across the social field, including at my blog. Recently, critics have assailed my character, charging I am deluded by romantic ideas and that I do not deploy or understand science. These individuals ignore the fact that I draw upon scientific findings to make my arguments about the risks of ionizing radiation and the likely environmental causes of rising incidents of neurological, immunological, and endocrine diseases.
Critics are particularly inclined to label my blog posts on radiation health effects as non-scientific. Yet, I am particularly fond of warranting my claims about radiation using data/conclusions from scientific research paid for, or influenced by, the nuclear complex (e.g., such as Project Gabriel, Project Sunshine, BEAR, etc.).
I am always careful to delineate my fact-based reasoning from my more intuitive inferences. Yet, both forms of knowledge are based on systemic analysis of relevant literatures and empirical observations of local ecologies.
As a scholar, I am quite comfortable searching data bases, reading scholarly publications, and assessing assumptions and debates defining fields of study. I’ve followed closely the scientific discourses of the Anthropocene and environmental genomics, which together explain and predict the eco-shocks now becoming increasingly visible, as the legacies of industrialization, war, and population explosion are revealed in collapsing ecologies and genomes.
The science – data and analyses – of tipping points and mass extinction events BELIE the technologically utopian tales told by the chemical, food, carbon, and nuclear industries, among others who are often the peddlers of the new dogma.
The narratives of collapse found in the discourses of the Anthropocene and environmental genomics have relevance for my understandings of media reports of mass mortality events, occurring along the North American Pacific coast, including polar bears, walruses, seals, sea lions, orcas, starfish, sea urchins, moose, sea-birds, etc. etc. etc.
The scientifically documented pattern of ESCALATING MASS MORTALITY EVENTS has relevance for my observations of deteriorating numbers of insects and birds in my environment and for increased incidents of deteriorating health, especially cancer rates and reproductive problems, among those around me.
My intuitive inferences are based on my scholarly pursuits and my everyday observations of the world we live in. I look for patterns and possible contributing factors. I have hiked for years in the same mountainous areas and during those hikes I watch the sky and the animals. I am closely tied to my natural environment for it is there that I am most at home. My intuitive observations are hypotheses that evolve in relation to the range of data available.
The move to homogenize scientific consensus and pit it against the unreason of the masses is a move of power that is motivated by the desire for greater ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY.
I contend that the complexes seeking sovereignty through deployment of the code of scientific/scientifically-illiterate are not motivated by sustainable agendas.
If the end of human civilization truly beckons, then it is scientific sophistry that may well cause us to embrace our extinction.