Friday, February 24, 2017

BE SCIENTIFIC

The habit, duty and the urge to verify statements irrespective of the authority or ancestry on which the statements are made is the noblest, the most sacred gift which Science has given to mankind, and which has enabled man to walk on the moon.

The responsibility to practically verify propositions has taken a solid collective root. I believe Schumacher said that today man acting on the outside world using technologic extensions to his organs, is called scientific and is in fashion.


Treating one’s own body as a scientific instrument has not yet become fashionable. This lack of interest in this basic requirement of a person of taking precise scientific interest in the behaviour of his own personal body is at the root of the paradox of man rocketing high into geographical space and steeply rocketing down in behavioural space into the slimy pit of evolution.

Reduced to simple questions the position can be summed up.

I sign a paper supporting peace and against war. Do I spend one minute to see the violence and distrust my own body displays in my dealings with my family, my friends etc.?

I lead a procession against apartheid. Do I for a few minutes verify if my body is taking any steps to rectify my own attitudes, in my personal life? 

I am a professor of physiology giving a lecture on nutrition, of how many calories a professor sitting in a chair should eat and how much a stone worker on road should eat. Do I honestly verify this on my own body?

When a person steps out he systematically checks his car to see if the brakes are working, if the horn is OK, the headlights are good etc. Does he take one minute to see if his own horn and brakes are OK and if not what measures to take?

The striving for personal autonomy is then simply the urge to personally verify if your own body and its parts and functions really obey you and to develop the skills needed for the management of the most complex machine at your disposal.

It is not against any government, organisation, doctors or pills or potions. An organisation for the lovers of personal autonomy! It is in the very middle of the conditions of life, place, society, group, occupation a man finds himself, applying the gifts of science to himself that he learns the skills of driving his car.

But the car is yours. And you are entirely free to let the monkey inside you take charge. If the car does not move the monkey bites it or tears it or tries to eat it.

A man who does not seriously think the car is his own, bites it, kicks it and ultimately kills it, because it does not obey the monkey inside.

Yesterday’s owner, the ape is still in the driver’s seat. The new owner is struggling for expression.

The mark of the new driver is the Spirit of purposeful inquiry and progress and not dedication to dead form and function in the guise of reverence for tradition. If regard for ancestry and tradition is the hall mark of respectability then the most venerable object of idol worship can be a bottle of slimy mud which has been the source of our life.

The plea for personal autonomy and Self realisation is a plea to be really scientific in its best sense and not fall into the error of equating science with technology.


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