i don't usually post over here, but i started a thread over in TAO and dierdre suggested i post it over here, too, so here it is...
|A Fist In The Eye Of God
I don't know if this has already been discussed (i miss a lot of stuff with a toddler demanding attention), but Barbara Kingsolver has a great essay on genetic engineering in the latest issue of the "Mother Earth News". It's from her most recent book, a collection of essays called "Small Wonder". Has anybody read it? I was filled with the near compulsion to give a copy to everyone I know and some I don't. I sorta wish i could reduce it all to a soundbite I could post here, but the best I can do is the title of the essay and this post, "A Fist In The Eye Of God", 'cause that's about right by my estimation. I really just felt compelled to spread the word and thought about trying to scan in the pages and emailing them to everyone i know...i even had a brief vision of trudging down to kinko's, babe in tow, and making copies and passing them out on the street, but i thought both of those scenarios were probably going a bit too far. The copyright gods and Barbara might not be too happy with me if i did either so i just decided to post here instead.
Please grab the "Mother Earth News" next time you pass a newstand or you're in the check out line at your local grocery store and check out "A Fist In The Eye Of God" by Barbara Kingsolver. Better yet read the book, "Small Wonder". I'm planning on buying a couple for gifts and one for myself.
If anybody else has read it I'd love to hear what you thought.
(i'm crossposting this to feed my compulsion to let as many people know about it as i can.)
peggy found the essay online at http://www.plough.com/pp/articles/EyeOfGod.htm
. hope y'all will give it a look and see what you think.
I responded over on TAO but Ill pipe up over here too, on more of the religious front..
While I agree with Kingsolver's description of natural selection, what a theory entails, and the fact that the prevailing views among biologists equate the "theory of evolution" as the "theory of gravity," I think she makes a huge overstatement by applying that view to "scientists" in general, rather than biologists in particular. I also think that while I'd like kids to be shown the logic behind natural selection, I think it would be a great thing to also show the reasoning in creationism.
I think kids have to learn to think for themselves and to eliminate discussing this part of science at all, is a disservice (though not an irreparable one.)
I think she really "pooh-poohs" any alternative to natural selection, which is kind of mean and close-minded.
pina la nina,
I felt the exact same way you did when I read this essay a while back. I am a big Kingsolver fan and this essay had a lot of *good* things to say. Her discussion of the ecological risks of genetic engineering was clear enough for lay readers and satisfying enough for scientists.
However, the sarcastic Creationism-bashing was totally irrelevant to her point. Anyone, regardless of worldview, could have read her essay and appreciated it; but she put a large segment on the defensive from the start. She did a bit of this in _Prodigal Summer_ too, an off-putting element of an otherwise awesome book.
I also felt
: when she generalized about scientists. For one thing, a significant number of those in the "harder" sciences actually find that their research leads them closer to the idea of an intelligent designer.
It's kind of a shame. I'm glad she's using her talent to caution her readers about GMO's. She also really championed organic agriculture in _Prodigal Summer_.
It's sort of ironic; last night my dh and I were up late writing a letter to his alumni magazine, which just ran an article which, although claiming to be about the ecology of an island, opened with an irrelevant rail against all worldviews other than a strictly scientific one.