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Sunday, 15 March 2015

The vainglorious scientist’s Will to Power

Last week I wrote about the Will to Power and mentioned in doing so, scientists and their Will to Power. No sooner was the blog published than up pops a case in point with a scientist spouting nonsense by questioning the appropriateness of a Member of Parliament to serve on the House of Common’s Science Select Committee, simply because the MP in question is not caught-up in scientific ideology and dogma, unlike that is, the scientist in question, perhaps better described as ‘Mr It’s so Wondrous” who the BBC should retire from our screens on the grounds that its high standards have in the past led to broadcasting legends (like David Attenborough), not broadcasting liabilities.

More journalists with integrity and less of these scientists claiming to be unbiased and having no particular axe to grind, are what are needed, please, BBC, for the latter show how far Western intellect has fallen! From the days of greater thinkers such as Spinoza and Kant, we are now treated to vainglorious scientists passing condescending remarks about an elected Member of Parliament who believes in astrology, calling him a person who is “an outlier on the spectrum of reason”. The discussion on social networks highlighted what one suspects, that the remark was made based on ignorance rather than a well researched and learned understanding of astrology. But the comments were made by a scientist, who is also a European, and also a man. Quite a disability!

And yet Newton, not a scientist, but a natural philosopher, was an alchemistic, and Kepler, who radically altered our view of the solar system, used the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity and with its forces acting on humanity to come to the understanding of the forces acting on planets and the effect of this on their orbits. Both were “outliers on the spectrum of reason”, which is probably why they were so creative. Evidently also, both Newton and Kepler would not be fit to serve on the House of Common’s Science Select Committee!

Scientists may well want to vet people who serve on such committees but my the message to all such people is – get back to your monasteries, for you may well police the boundaries of science with the fervour of a religious fanatic, but you are not going to gain the power that you seek, for the time has come to put the tiger back in its cage. We have had enough of your reductionist thinking, your machine-centric worldview, your simplistic views, your delusions about the nature of reality, your sole truths, your one best way, your binary minds, your … very European and masculine perspectives.

Men’s intellects recede. Perhaps therefore it is time for women to take the lead, provided they are prepared to do away with the masculine nature of modern science and embrace their feminity, rather than betraying it as the former chief scientific advisor and many other female scientists have done. I know it is a man’s world, but you should not be joining their club on their terms. Mastery, dominance and control, which lie at the heart of Western science, are what men bring to science. And the consequences of this are now clear for all to see as dear Rachel Carson made clear in her landmark book, Silent Spring. Yet the matter is not one of binary choice, as you might think from the above, but one of unity of opposites. Europeans will struggle with this! They will also struggle with the notion that gender is not binary. Hard luck, for the future belongs to those who can embrace the unity of opposites (goodbye Europe, hello India and China).

There was a time when university professors appeared on television because they were university professors. Now it seems that the position of professor is given to people because they appear on television, and the university money making machines swing into action. Western science is about men’s kudos, men’s desire for power, and men’s lust for money. And also women’s too, as the former chief scientific advisor well illustrates, if they join this club on the terms and conditions determined by men. 

It is time for change. Everything is connected …

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