[PEN-L:10644] RE: "MODERN SCIENCE is a product of capitalism"

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Tue Sep 7 13:36:34 MDT 1999

My only response to this--and the ad hominem speaks for itself and the
intellect/integrity of its author (you have no idea what I am or what I do
or whether or not I am indeed a leftist or a "leftist")--is that nothing I
wrote speaks of a "nostalgia" for ancient cultures (although I must admit
that as someone who lives in the Blackfoot World and do participate in
ancient rituals and hears the old Lodge Tales, I do have an appreciation for
complext thinking simplified in allegorical forms with an absence of the
pretention found in some "modern" science--using big words to say nothing
and show off and build CVs). Nothing I wrote speaks of a lack of faith in
people collectively and scientifically building a better world (why would I
do anything or write anything if I believed that) and nothing I wrote
resembled the caricatures of what this person has made of what I wrote.

Since you are into claims,substantiate your own. My sources have been
published repeatedly on these lists and I invite you to provide one source
to substantiate your own claims. Have you read the works of Vine Deloria?
Jack Weatherford? Peter Matthiessen? The Almanac of American Indians?

My missive was about the hubris and myopia of the caricatures that pass for
"scientific method"; specifically, the ultra-positivism and
ultra-reductionism of the neoclassicals; specifically the ulta-Cartesian
models; specifically the unidirectional and linear ultimate-independent and
dependent variables of the neoclassicals etc. In modern economic thought, so
much of what is treated as new and novel is neither; the core issues and
even epistemological questions have been debated for ages. I was also
writing against the Eurocentric arrogance (of which this writer appears to
suffer) that summarily writes off anything non-Cartesian,
non-reductionistic, or even non (narrow) dialecticaly materialist as
irrelevent or primitive or whatever. All of the claims that I made I stand
by until provided counter EVIDENCE rather than counter-rhetoric only.

As for what I am or am not,"leftist" or leftist, fuck you you arrogant
racist punk. I neither seek nor need your approval, especially when
considering the obvious quality of the source from which it comes along with
the obvious intentions that accompany the comments from the low quality

As for "modern" science, yes of course it often works. I am a pilot and
trust in "modern" science every time I fly. But there is also a whole lot of
"modern" science that make a fetish out of method and reductionistic
techique and even the reductionist separation of content and guiding
interests from technique/methodology. So the chemist who makes Zyklon-B gas
to be used for genocide is a "scientist" in using the "scientific method"
involving adduction/deduction, experimentation, hypothesis
formation/testing, prediction, application, replicability, verifiability,
nullification etc etc. even failing to project the probable full
consequences of the application of his discovery (here is supposedly a
"normative" question not a part of "science" or consequences beyond the
immediate actions of the gas--long-term--that are not within the purview of
the "scientist".)

What I was writing about, and apparently many got it right, was even in
"modern" terms, ancient and present-day Indigenous societies were utilizing
"sicence" and "scientific methods" to construct massive projects and
edifices extremely accurate in obvious measurement and construction,
surviving against Eurocentric and racist forces like this punk who wrote
below and in attempting to survive against a  wide array or "natural" and
not-so-natural forces of destruction.

Jim Craven

James Craven
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. 98663
(360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
blkfoot5 at earthlink.net
*My Employer Has No Association With My Private/Protected

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Kneisel [mailto:tallpaul at nyct.net]
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 1999 1:09 PM
To: 'pen-l at galaxy.csuchico.edu'; 'marxism at lists.panix.com'
Subject: [PEN-L:10644] RE: "MODERN SCIENCE is a product of capitalism"

Increasingly, "leftists" are taking on the trappings of an absolutely
atavistic nostalgia for long dead cultures as they lose faith in the
ability of today's world peoples to create a better world. Often this takes
the form of constructing new mythologies of the abilities of the lost
cultures, presented as unquestionably established facts that, in reality,
lack *any* semblance of scientific rigor.

Thus at 11:50 AM 9/1/99 -0700, Jim C. wrote:
"If 'modern science' is the only 'science', then why is it that Incas,
Aztecs, Mayans, Mississippians and other Indigenous cultures were able to
construct cities and structures that, in terms of scale and precision,
could not be duplicated with the most advanced measurement and engineering
methods and instruments available today?"

This is an astounding series of claims. Since Jim C is not known as an
engineering expert, perhaps he could enlighten us by documenting his claim.
In reality, I maintain he will not do so, for there is literally *nothing*
to document. Normally, when issuing this challenge I find that the person
who made the challenged claim either:

1) ignores the challenge, or
2) presents evidence having nothing to do with the claim, or
3) simply quotes other non-experts making the same claim.

"Why is it that Indigenous cultures have had remedies for various ailments
for thousands of years and dietary regimens that 'modern' science is only
now discovering (yew bark, green-lipped mussels, Noni plant etc)? Why is it
that Indigenous cultures have traditionally employed non-linear and
non-reductionistic paradigms that 'modern science' seeks today after the
failures and irrelevance of the ultra-reductionistic, positivist and linear
paradigms and methods?"

Again we have an astounding series of claims presented as fact.

What evidence exists that the cultures *knew* of these cures "thousands" of
years ago? How was this thousands-of-years-old evidence gathered?

Now anyone can merely assert the "failure" of modern science that is in
turn seeking the wisdom and knowledge of ancient cultures. But which
scientists are maintaining that the failures have occurred while
simultaneously seeking the answers in earlier cultures? I suspect that the
list will be very short and the qualifications of the scientists not
exactly established in the areas they deemed to have failed.
>The reductionist separation of scientific "method" from the content and
>focus and scope of "scientific method" alows this notion of "value free"
>or non-class or non-system specific "science". It is a myth in my opinion.

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