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PARADOXICAL PERCEPTION OF MODERN SCIENCE OWING TO IMPERIALISM

Analysis of the connection between science and violence is itself part of an analytical structure that could be used to explain other forms of violence.

Syeda Tasneem Rumy
Syeda Tasneem Rumy
Dec 28, 2009
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Whenever we talk about a modern man, a modern society etc, its relation to modern science is inevitable. “Nuclear reactor domes, the electronic gadgets that throng consumer shops! Multi-colored pills at drugstores!” These are testimonies to the ‘fact’ that modern science exists apart and distinct from sciences practiced earlier. The world of our times, however, also offers another image to the modern man --- an alternative image that has maintained equal sway during the same period, one not of creation or production or achievement, but of tragedy and destruction; world wars, Vietnam and Agent Orange, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Lebanon. The dominant, domineering images of our world are of Science and Violence. The former is accepted as purely Good; the latter as universally Evil. Yet, paradoxically, the more science, the more the violence.

In our minds modern science holds a positive meaning and conversely violence holds a negative meaning. Despite the wide acceptance of the scientific temper as a positive human endowment, and despite the widespread belief that science, with its potential for welfare, provides some kind of inoculation against our native disposition to violence, it is difficult to presume that an improvement in the scientific quality of human life is directly related to violence.

Both Science and the technology based on it are fundamentally violent forms of handling the world. Analysis of the connection between science and violence is itself part of an analytical structure that could be used to explain other forms of violence. By violence we mean physical and mental harm to living organisms, the earth also being regarded a living organism. Violence caused by science is to be understood literally as real violence.

On the other hand by science we mean Galilean science, or modern science, as it is usually termed. It is historically specific, determined method of acquiring specific forms of knowledge whose utility for a post modern period is gravely doubted.

Principal connections between science and violence can be illustrated in two main arguments 1) Methodology and 2) History. The first argument, which relates to scientific method, concerns the functional, violence-disposition of the method. The method vetoes or excludes compassion.

The second connection became apparent soon after the scientific method was invented: colonialism. This is a historical and political argument, and specifically underlines the close and continuing ‘blood relations’ between science and imperialism. The connections are not merely intrinsic, they are dynamic actively colonizing. They help increase the political clout of modern science.

Philosophers of western origin have made devastating critiques of western science. Lewis Mumford argues that Galileo’s ‘crime’ was the extinction of what he calls ’historic’ man: Galileo’s method involved elimination of all subjective elements, rendering suspect all qualities except the primary ones. For the first time objectivity was defined in a specific, highly distorted, way. Later, such ‘objective knowledge’ became identified with modern science. A scientific fact has to be devoid of all its unique features, its essential nature has to be abstracted, to make new information fit other similarly anaesthetized events. The fact that an experiment distorts reality is no longer doubted: what is striking is that such ‘objective knowledge’ is still passed off as the final and the only reality. The method thus becomes the sole criterion for truth. It makes possible the invention of a specific category of truth, ‘scientific truth’. Modern science is therefore not a presupposition-less activity, though it may often pretend to be. It seems to start from scratch, from empirical fact, and its postulates seem to deny all metaphysics.

It is known that democratic rights include the right to assess, or claim, true knowledge, and to reject impersonal knowledge. The right in other words, includes the power to certify knowledge on any scale. Under the dominance of science, such rights have been eroded, and ordinary people are no longer considered able on their own authority to provide true knowledge of the world.

Modern man creates objects artificially, but he can produce no equivalent process for the absorption of these goods post use, or for their breakdown into elements. They then begin to clog the arteries of nature. The attempt of the machine to replace the organism, of science to replace natural principles, can not remain confined to a particular culture or society. A civilization driven by a theory of science or machine becomes a colonizing force, and aspires to bring under its sway every other culture that has based its survival on a natural relationship with its surroundings.

The scientist recognizes only one overt absolute----his freedom to pursue information at all costs, social or natural. He is insistent that every principle of interference or ‘noise’ from politics to values----should be excluded from his domain. At the heart of scientific community’s consciousness is a compulsive urge to experiment, to vivisect in order to know. This vivisection has caused an obvious disappointment and pain on a massive scale. Peter Singer has said, either the animal is like us, in which case we ought not to experiment on it, for it would be like experimenting on one of us; or the animal is not like us, in which case the experiment is useless. Most experiments performed on animals inflict severe pain without the remotest prospect of any significant befits either for humans or for the animals themselves. Yet these experiments continue on a massive scale.

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t is possible to argue that the atom bombs dropped over Japan also fitted the same pattern. Two different types of atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The Plutonium bomb was tested before it was dropped but the Uranium bomb was tested out on people of Hiroshima as much as a scientific experiment as a weapon.

Much of science has passed under the slogan of the conquest of nature. Modern science can not provide the equivalent of a new vision of nature or man; the instrumentality can not parade as cosmo-correctional hypothesis for earlier erroneous ones. About this, Masanobu Fukouka remarks:” Human beings do something wrong, leave the damage un-repaired, and when the adverse results accumulate, work with all their might to correct them. When the corrective actions appear to be successful they come to view these measures as splendid achievements or accomplishments. People do this over and over again. ….It is the same with scientist…” Yet the gallant efforts to salvage the scientific method continue.

The massive investment made by western civilization in modern science has been because of the possibilities such science affords for control. In other words, the loyalty to science has had a political base. Science is based on abstraction that eliminates the basis of diversity, the personal and historic, creating an artificial reality which can be completely controlled, unlike nature. As a matter of fact, science has never increased our control over nature which is a generalized misconception of our times. What science has achieved is a substitution of nature’s principles by its own: it has overcome nature by taking its place or by mimicry of her process. Because science has not been able to ‘reproduce’ nature in the latter’s full diversity, it has sought to produce the diversity by eliminating it, and introducing more simplified, mechanized designs instead.

During the colonial period, science worked closely with imperial interests. This should not prove surprising since some of the principal laws of science, like the second law of thermodynamics, arose out of industrial experience. The law of entropy resulted from efforts to improve the working of the steam engine so as to advance industry. It is this connection between physics and economics that also helps explain the colonizing thrust of science. The central concept of modern science is fused with one kind of resource-utilization. Thus the fate of the forests during the colonial period was determined. The symbiotic relationship between villagers and forests was broken. The use of wood for fuel became now ‘low-efficiency’, whereas its use for big industry, as raw material for industrial processes, became scientific.

The spirit of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is typified by man's mastery over his physical environment. So, using numbers and measurements in trade, industry, commerce and administration would all have emphasized the power and control values of mathematics. It was (and still is) so clearly useful knowledge, powerful knowledge, and it seduced the majority of peoples who came into contact with it.

From those colonial times through to today, the power of this mache-matico-technological culture has grown apace - so much so that western mathematics is taught nowadays in every country in the world. Once again, it is mainly taught with the assumption of universality and cultural neutrality.

Of all the school subjects, which were imposed on indigenous pupils in the colonial schools, arguably the one which could have been considered the least culturally loaded was mathematics. Even today, that belief prevails. It had in colonial times, and for most people it continues to have today, the status of a culturally neutral phenomenon in the otherwise turbulent waters of education and imperialism.

Up to fifteen years or so ago, the conventional wisdom was that mathematics was culture-free knowledge. After all, the popular argument went, two twos are four, a negative number times a negative number gives a positive number, and all triangles have angles which add up co 180 degrees. These are true statements the world over. They have universal validity. There is no doubt that mathematical truths like those are universal. They are valid everywhere, because of their intentionally abstract and general nature.

The anthropological literature demonstrates for all who wish to see it that the mathematics which most people learn in contemporary schools is not the only mathematics that exists. For example, we are now aware of the fact that many different counting systems exist in the world. In Papua New Guinea, Lean has documented nearly 600 (there are more than 750 languages there) containing various cycles of numbers, not all base ten. As well as finger counting, there is documented use of body counting, where one points to a part of the body and uses the name of that part as the number.

The conception of space which underlies Euclidean geometry is also only one conception - it relies particularly on the 'atomistic' and object-oriented ideas of points, lines, planes and solids. Other conceptions exist, such as that of the Navajos where space is neither subdivided nor objectified, and where everything is in motion.

The language and logic of the Indo-European group have developed layers of abstract terms within the hierarchical classification matrix, but this has not happened in all language groups, resulting in different logics and in different ways of relating phenomena.   

Facts like these challenge fundamental assumptions and long-held beliefs about mathematics. Recognizing symbolizations of alternative arithmetic, geometries and logics implies that we should, therefore, raise the question of whether alternative mathematical systems exist. Some would argue that facts like those above already demonstrate the existence of what they call 'ethno-mathematics', a more localized and specific set of mathematical ideas which may not aim to be as general nor as systematized as 'mainstream' mathematics. Clearly, it is now possible to put forward the thesis that all cultures have generated mathematical ideas, just as all cultures have generated language, religion, morals, customs and kinship systems. Mathematics is now starting to be understood as a pan-cultural phenomenon.

The particular kind of mathematics which is now the internationalized subject most of us recognize is a product of cultural history, and in the last three centuries of that history it was developing as a part of western European culture.

Indeed, the history of western mathematics is itself being rewritten at present as more evidence comes to light. Nevertheless, it is thoroughly appropriate to identify 'western mathematics', since it was western culture, and more specifically western European culture, which played such a powerful role in achieving the goals of imperialism.

There seem to have been three major mediating agents in the process of cultural invasion of colonized countries by western mathematics: trade, administration and education. Regarding trade and the commercial field generally this is clearly the area where measures, units, numbers, currency and some geometric notions were employed. More specifically, it would have been western ideas of length, area, volume, weight, time and money which would have been imposed on the indigenous societies.

The second way in which western mathematics would have impinged on other cultures is through the mechanism of administration and government. In particular the numbers and computations necessary for keeping track of large numbers of people and commodities would have necessitated western numerical procedures being used in most cases.

The third and major medium for cultural invasion was education, which played such a critical role in promoting western mathematical ideas and, thereby, western culture.

So, it is clear that through the three media of trade, administration and education, the symbolizations and structures of western mathematics would have been imposed on the indigenous cultures just as significantly as were those linguistic symbolizations and structures of English, French, Dutch or whichever was the European language of the particular dominant colonial power in the country.

An analysis of the historical, anthropological and cross-cultural literature suggests that there are four clusters of values which are associated with western European mathematics, and which must have had a tremendous impact on the indigenous cultures.

First, there is the area of rationalism, which is at the very heart of western mathematics. If one had to choose a single value and attribute which has guaranteed the power and authority of mathematics within western culture, it is rationalism.

Second, a complimentary set of values associated with western mathematics can be termed objectism, a way of perceiving the world as if it were composed of discrete objects, able to be removed and abstracted, so to speak, from their context. To decontextualise, in order to be able to generalize, is at the heart of western mathematics and science-, but if a culture encourages to, believe, instead, that everything belongs and exists in its relationship with everything else, then removing it from its context makes it literally meaningless.

A third set of values concerns the power and control aspect of western mathematics. Mathematical ideas are used either as directly applicable concepts and techniques, or indirectly through science and technology, as ways to control the physical and social environment.
As awareness of the cultural nature and influence of western mathematics is spreading and developing, various levels of responses can also be seen. At the first level there is an increasing interest in the study of ethno-mathematics, through both analyses of the anthropological literature and investigations in real-life situations.

At the second level, there is a response in many developing countries and former colonies which is aimed at creating greater awareness of one's own culture.

The third level of response to the cultural imperialism of western mathematics is, paradoxically, to re-examine the whole history of western mathematics itself. It is no accident that this history has been written predominantly by white, male, western European or American researchers, and there is a concern that for example, the contribution of Black Africa has been undervalued.

However, resistance is growing against this cultural hegemony. Critical debate is informing theoretical development and search is increasing, particularly in educational situations where cultural conflict is recognized.

Besides providing part of the ideology of imperialism, modern science itself practiced its own form of colonialism, particularly in its encounter with the sciences and technologies of other cultures. The basic feature of colonialism—intolerance of other cultures has remained with science even after the colonies were given up. Before modern science aligned itself with colonialism, there had always been separate, often interacting, epistemologies in history. Colonialism added a new burden on modern science: it was compelled to claim a monopoly in knowledge in order to retain its claimed superiority. This monopoly is based on the premise that all other forms of acquisitions or accumulation of knowledge, all other epistemologies, are worthless, antiquated, magical, and must be eliminated. Sharing the colonizing thrust of modern science, such science movements---with members usually from the upper classes---take the mere existence of alternative knowledge systems and ways of life as a provocation. Modern technology is fundamentally hostile to other technologies or definitions because the different criteria they have for resource use make their very existence an affront to the mega machine. Modernity can not bear to see modern technology ignored by people who insist on using older techniques.

It was taken for granted by decision-makers that modern science was superior. It is now possible to demonstrate in a number of specific areas that modern science, because if its method, has led to destruction of a kind and on a scale that the earlier approaches could never have achieved.

The word ‘forest’ has undergone a complete transformation in meaning after the invention of ‘scientific forestry’. A natural forest is a forest untouched by man. It is community of living organisms with a self sustaining forest soil and full complement of useless species.  In a scientific forest forestry, reduced to tree-planting, the replacement of a natural forest by a monoculture species becomes only another name for effective deforestation. Monoculture plantations from scientific forestry can be made official policy, geared to creating an illusion of the regeneration of forests and replacing a community of species by an army of near-clones. It is obvious that scientific forestry perfectly fits the requirement of modern industry. A natural forest exists in its own right, as a part of living nature. It could meet the needs of the industry, but this is only one of the many useful functions it performs. If it were sacrificed to this sole function, it could not perform any of the other functions forests are responsible for. This is the reason why scientific forestry can not propagate multi-species trees, or trees that are useful to farmers or trees that are useless to human race, but have their function in a living ecosystem, serving some other plant or animal species.

Justus Leibig (a scientist) proposed that everything that a living plant required could be found in the mineral salts present in the ash of such a plant after all organic matter had been destroyed. The came in the form of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash). If they were fed to the plant, the plant would prosper and yield. Physics and chemistry thus redefined on biology, and the plant became a processing machine. This reductionist methodology produced its own range of problems. The plant became susceptible to attacks from pests and fungal diseases. Neither could it cope with weeds. The soil became deficient as nutrients were lost, and dead as chemical fertilizers eliminated earthworms. Leibig’s science, guided only by the urge to control, had a single goal: higher output. The quality of the seed, its nutritive value, was sacrificed. In agriculture we get a clear indication of the difference between plant growth according to natural principles of modern science, backed by modern agro-business and the global scientific establishment.

The other major area where western scientific intervention in the life processes has taken place is modern medicine. For example, staphylococci are normal inhabitants of our body. Most of the time, their relationship to us is symbiotic; only sometimes does the balance break down. The problem is to restore the balance, not to make the germ disappear altogether. Those operating with a crude germ theory of disease use agents such as antibiotics to destroy those very germs that are most inclined to form harmonious relationships with their hosts, and allow the ones with less genial inclination to survive. Modern hospitals have virtually become factories for turning out new resistant strains of staphylococci that are not only highly resistant to several generations of antibiotics, but also more aggressive in their attacks on human hosts. It is however, resistance that ultimately defeats the purpose of antibiotics. Biologists have now discovered that resistance to certain drugs can be transmitted directly from one bacterium to another, whether or not these were from the same genus. With such transmissions, we have a situation in which bacteria essential to life are capable of becoming pathological or disease causing, and resistant to a whole range of antibiotics. Even in people who never had antibiotic treatment. Modern medicine has become little else but a bag of increasingly refined techniques of warfare against microbes or bacteria, generating living beings constantly in ‘dread’ of and not in symbiosis with, with other living beings in the environment.

Science sometimes intervenes as aid and as imitation nature. Baby foods are scientifically formulated to be exactly like nature’s original. After decades of such claims, modern science has admitted its inadequacy and has now begun to patronize a return to breast-feeding. Now breast feeding is regarded as a result of modern scientific knowledge: it is science that has ‘determined’ that breast-feeding is best.

There is growing evidence that the scientific image of nature is incomplete and the application of such incomplete images has led to devastating effects. Pollution is the first indicator that modern science ill fits nature. And because the scientific remedies suggested for pollution are all technological fixes, we arrive at a notion of circular science which, in Fukoka’s vivid imagery, feeds on its deficiencies and almost blunders its way through nature before it is compelled to repeal its principles. In cases like radioactive wastes, even the talk of technological fixes is abandoned, for all that has been recommended by science are sophisticated means of dumping the problem on future generations. It is often argued that some amount of pollution is inevitable, if one desires a higher standard of living. This is refuted by Paturi. Plants have tackled some of the same problems that man does today, and for millions of years too, often on a scale larger than man can ever hope to reach. Yet their technical solutions have raised no ecological worries, no shortage of materials, and no filth. History shows that whatever man has imitated plants, he has done so to his own advantage. The blunder lies in design that is inconsistent with its ecological context. Unlike the plant, human technology often solves problems in a self defeating way, so that the solution itself raises a host of new problems. Paturi observes that every single thing that is produced by man today is potential rubbish and that we can never think of the problem of disposal at the manufacturing stage of a product.

Man has been a vehicle for classifying the vast variety of human cultures according to degrees of intelligence and cultural sophistication, from the “primitive” to the advanced, on basis of their inventions and uses of technology. Moreover critics note that in these master narratives, women and “natives” are placed in closer proximity to nature as resources to be tamed and exploited, and further from civilization, rationality, and technological authority.

The binary opposition of primitive versus advanced technology circulates in relation to a number of closely related and hierarchically arranged dualisms pertinent to the technology-as-sign-of-culture paradigm, including the oppositions between nature and culture, "low-end" and "high-end" user and designer, and, importantly, femininity and masculinity. Investments in defining human history and culture in terms of increasingly "advanced" technology are embedded now in the very systems that surround us and make a day without machines and, sadly, without gender hierarchies nearly impossible to imagine.

Defining technology strictly in terms of objects, such as tools, machines, and appliances, implies fundamental (but ultimately illusory) distinctions between the technology, its designer, and its user. In this formulation of the term, technology, then, has been described as neutral and autonomous, having no inherent or built-in moral or political qualities. In other words, a tool can be used for good or for bad, depending on the intentions and actions of its user; meanwhile its designer is off the hook for what the tool actually does in the world. Technology carries with it human moral responsibility, and argues that one simply cannot understand technology outside its particular historical, economic, and cultural context of design and use. After all, it takes "know how" not only to make machines, but also to use them; thus, one cannot isolate machines away from their users or designers, nor from their location and dynamics in culture and human life. Here technology is defined more appropriately in terms of machine/human interface, that is, in terms of how particular machines and mechanisms accomplish tasks of configuring, effecting, mediating, and embodying social relations. In this definition, machines do not necessarily determine social relations, but are situated in networked, social relations, subject to uses and creative misuses by the humans (and other machines) that surround them.

This technology-as-interface definition opens up a space for doing a number of important critical activities. First, it can be useful for analyzing why technology is designed by particular humans under specific historical, political, and economic circumstances, with specific interests and intentions in mind, reflecting and embodying relations of power. Thus, for example, it becomes possible, to understand why the internet, originally designed for Cold war strategic military purposes, has a specific format, logic, and programming lexicon rooted in its intended purpose of keeping information decentralized in the face of a nuclear threat from the former Soviet Union. In these times, technologies are often created in the interests of military and corporate profit, seldom with the intention of enhancing community participation or individual autonomy. Individual autonomy is curtailed by modern technologies of surveillance, including DNA fingerprinting, caller ID boxes, key-stroke monitoring devices, and electronic dossiers.

Second, understanding technology as, by definition, contiguous with human activity, can allow one to see how machines and systems are appropriated differently than their original design intended, and creatively extended or subverted by particular users under particular historical and political circumstances.

And, third, this definition can reveal a history of technologies - that is, it can show how the dynamics and slippages between intended designs and unintended uses and "bugs" give rise to new generations of machines and new notions of the ideal user. In other words, this definition can reveal the highly mediated feedback processes between humans (designers, programmers, and users) and machines, processes shaped by specific historical, political, cultural, and personal investments that evolve into new kinds of technological systems and social relations.There are examples that reveal that designs, uses, and creative misuses of machines operate in a feedback loop, giving rise to innovations in socially enabled technological developments and technologically enabled social relations.

A fourth way to define technology would extend the previous definition by considering technology as an integrated system of programmed structures, organized mechanisms of management and control, and processes of production and reproduction. Technologies, as organized systems, produce a range of products, effects, representations, and artifacts, chief among them, hierarchical social relations, or what we could call technologies of gender, race, and sexuality. In this respect we could define gender as itself a technology according to the following propositions: Gender is an organized system of management and control which produces and reproduces classifications and hierarchical distinctions between masculinity and femininity. Gender is a system of representation which assigns meaning and value to individuals in society, making them into either men or women. Gender itself is conceptualized as both a technology which produces, among other things, men and women, and an artifact or product of a larger cultural and epistemological logic that deploys binary oppositions, as a means for structuring hierarchical social relations between men and women.

In general, women and men are situated differently in relation to technologies, and yet even among women there are vast differences in this regard as to which women have access to technologies, under what conditions they have access, and to what uses different women put machine. There is a big incongruity between using a computer for tedious low-paid data entry jobs versus using it to analyze and process information in the service of maximizing one's own profit.

Nature, culture and animal/human/machine relations must be rethought in new boundary-shifting terms. Thinking of things in terms of essential properties is no longer adequate. We must think in terms of design, boundary constraints, rates of flows, systems logics, and costs of lowering constraints. Stress is the attendant malady. In this new networked scene, gender is not a property of the body existing prior to it, but an effect of shifting boundaries and circulating (micro) flows of energy and information. Thus, to think of gender in cyber culture may also allow, for the possibility of moving beyond the binary opposition between masculinity and femininity and to struggle to make the next gender system, a system which liberates women. This is a struggle of both microscopic and colossal proportions. And while the organic, essential female body may in fact be dispersed into networks.

A significant amount of feminist writing has expressed suspicious resistance and even phobic reaction to machines, to a great degree with good reason, since it is not difficult to associate many forms of modern technology with a masculine pathos of domination, control, and destruction.

There is no simple way to say no to technology and be a citizen these days. Even those who do not own machines are governed by them in profound ways, in the domains of work, welfare, medical care, and the credit economy. Negotiating the labyrinth of government and credit bureaucracies, many low-income and poor women must do in everyday life, involves being governed by the scary new networks Haraway outlined, often at the mercy of machines.

Nina Wakeford, in "Networking Women and Grrrls," argues for an active appreciation of and involvement in the new forms of social and political connection that are offered by the World Wide Web. She notes that the media coverage, of instances of sexual harassment of women on the Net and in chat rooms has served to underscore the restrictive stereotype of women as victims of male aggression, for whom cyberspace is characterized as an unsafe space. These stereotypes, Wakeford, argue, overshadow the creative and politically astute uses to which women are putting information technologies to weave a web of support and connection among themselves across vast geographical and cultural differences. Although she agrees that it would be no exaggeration to say that the Internet and the Web are dominated by men.

Bodies are sites of significant speculation about the limits and possibilities of technology, especially with the advent of new technologies of medical imaging and prosthetics, genetic sequencing and engineering, virtual reality computer morphing, and "artificial" reproduction. Machines are radically transforming our understandings of the gendered body in domains as seemingly far flung as entertainment and medicine.


Evelynn Hammonds explores the technological development of computer morphing whereby bodies can be disassembled and reassembled or blended to produce a composite and normalized image that, in effect, homogenizes the human race. Morphing, then, can be read as technologically assisted integration whereby all distinct features become interchangeable. Computer morphing provides the illusions that not only are physical forms easy to change, transport, replace, and appropriate, but so are identities and histories. This illusion of one fully integrated human race does violence to those whose histories and distinct characteristics are blended away.

Technological interventions into 'biological reproduction profoundly transforms the ways in which we think about the body and the meanings we attribute to both gender and sexuality. Reproduction has moved away from "nature" to become "artifice" in the province of science, through intensified technological efforts to enhance fertility, prevent pregnancy, and monitor literally every, stage of the reproductive process. Horn critically approaches the multiple pleasures and dangers of replication and boundary transgression that are occasioned by technological interventions in reproduction, where categories of female and male, maternity and paternity, and nature and artifice are not only blurred but multiplied.

When reproduction is cleaved off from sexual relations and the "normal" pregnancy is one which is profoundly technologically mediated and monitored, the terms of gender, also undergo a significant change. However, as Horn argues, although technologically assisted reproduction recodes aspects of sexuality and gendered embodiment, it repeats hierarchical gender relations, as "nature" and the female body literally become sites for the exercise of a masculinist engineering of reproduction. To counter this hierarchical retrofitting is a struggle worth undertaking.

In the techno scientific imaginary of First World scientists, narcissistic fantasies of techno-self-reproduction give rise to designer cloning whereby bodies are fragmented and reduced to bits of engineered reproductive potential. Meanwhile, anxieties about the loss of human genetic diversity manifest themselves in an organized and legitimized form of "bio-piracy," whereby the genes of indigenous peoples are stolen and catalogued as resources for ensuring First World profit and survival.

Clearly there are both dangers and positive possibilities posed by many technologies, and this is particularly highlighted in new reproductive technologies, including contraceptive devices. What in one context may be a tool enhancing greater choice and self-determination for women, might, in another context, be a means for coercive population control and women's oppression.

Science creates, invents, or throws up theories as well as designs that exploit those theories. However, except for a few general laws, all scientific theories are not merely incomplete, they are temporary. Which means, that designs based on them will carry with them an inherently limited knowledge about their impact on the environmental system. The product of design, the machine, does not belong to the environment of natural man; rather natural man belongs to the biological environment of the artificial machine. The dilemma of our time consists in man having to adapt himself to the machine, because, its maturing principle, which is design, advances more rapidly than the maturing principle of man, which is development. Hence the progress of the machine may prove fatal for man. And since he himself is its design engineer, he is committing suicide.

Keywords: PARADOXICAL PERCEPTION OF MODERN SCIENCE OWING TO IMPERIALISM, Vietnam , Hiroshima, Nagasaki, colonialism, Galileo, civilization, biological reproduction, entertainment and medicine



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