Origins of the Organic Agriculture Debate by Thomas R. DeGregori

By Thomas R. DeGregori

Content material:
Chapter 1 technology, expertise, and the Critics of Modernity (pages 1–8):
Chapter 2 technology, built-in Inquiry, and Verification (pages 9–20):
Chapter three Reductionism: Sin, Salvation, or Neither? (pages 21–26):
Chapter four at the path of DNA: Genes and Heredity (pages 27–39):
Chapter five Vitalism and Homeopathy (pages 41–52):
Chapter 6 Disenchantment and the price of Rejected wisdom (pages 53–63):
Chapter 7 Rejected wisdom, Nature, and the Occult (pages 65–81):
Chapter eight Vitalism, the natural, and the Precautionary precept (pages 83–93):
Chapter nine Feeding Six Billion humans (pages 95–132):
Chapter 10 Romantics and Reactionaries (pages 133–149):
Chapter eleven threat, illustration, and alter (pages 151–160):

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Included in this number were Marshall Nirenberg, Robert Holley, and Har Gobind Khorana in 1968 who were among those finding the codon of three sets of basic pairs that allowed the four bases to combine in On the Trail of DNA: Genes and Heredity 33 sixty-four different ways to sequence to form the protein of life. Holley was the first to do a complete sequence of a nucleic acid, “the alanine transfer RNA of yeast” (Harris 1995, 155). On the practical side, there was the discovery in 1971 of restriction endonuclease (enzymes) to cut DNA and insert another gene and create transgenic organisms.

Among many problems with this procedure would be the “difficulty of expressing the slope of a line, one of the fundamentals of calculus, in any way other than by using a fraction or decimal” (Olson 1999). From the elite precincts of Western universities, multiculturalism has spread to other parts of the world. Pakistani proponents of “Islamic science” and “Islamic epistemology” have been “citing the work of feminist science critics in their campaign to purge many Western ideas from the schools, and certain feminist professors in the West—perhaps caught up in the thrill of having their work cited half a world away— have favorably cited the Islamicists right back” (Olson 1999).

And interpreting how we interpret the world, and how the non-Western ‘Other’ interpret it, and how we interpret others’ interpretations . . and ad infinitum” (Nanda 1996). Twenty-first-century science simply has no need for vitalist principles. Two centuries ago, one could speak about Western science or Hindu science or any other qualifying definition of science because the vitalism in a body of science was often tied to the dominant religious beliefs of a culture. Today, science and technology need no modifiers as they have become universal.

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