Tag Archives: GMO

Tim Morton: “Ain’t Natural” Ain’t Reasonable

21 Jul

From Timothy Morton. The Ecological Thought. Harvard UP 2010.

Here’s a tricky passage, p. 86:

Okay, deep breath—it just isn’t right to criticize genetic engineering as unnatural, as if decent people should ban horses, dogs and cats, wheat and barley. It isn’t sound to call “technological” gene manipulation wrong, as if stud farming wasn’t technical manipulation. Crossbreeding is a form of technology. Fields and ditches are technology. Apes with termite sticks are technological. And what is barley if not a queer plant? Biological beings are all queer. All food is Frankenfood. The ecological thought might argue, provocatively I know, that genetic engineering is simply doing consciously what was once unconscious. My DNA can be told to produce viruses—that’s how viruses replicate. There isn’t a little picture of me in my DNA: hence the swine flue, which evolved from viruses affecting three different species. Genomics can use a virus to tell bacterial DNA to make plastic rather than bacteria.

So for so good. I think.

The assertion “it’s unnatural and therefore wrong” is loaded with ideological freight and thus fraught with risk of self-contradiction. Just what about us humans and our ways IS natural, anyhow? Fruit may grow on trees, but loin cloths, no matter what they’re made of, the DON’T grow on trees, or anywhere else. We make them out of stuff of one kind or another. They are un-natural. But not wearing one—or a similar garment—is generally considered to be a bit too, um, err, natural. Continue reading

The Uriah Principle & Environmental Destruction

16 Feb

The Chestnut Burr is using the story of David and Bathsheba as a way of thinking about how our leaders have put their own interests ahead of environmental stewardship. David, as you’ll recall, saw Bathsheba and decided he wanted her for himself. But, she was married to Uriah. So David abused his power to ensure that Uriah became isolated in battle and thus dies. Now David could have Bathsheba. However:

This is really the beginning of David’s kingship and family becoming unraveled. Bathsheba’s child dies and David’s son Absalom turns against him. It became a very sad time for Israel, all because of a ruler who put personal desires ahead of his subjects and God’s laws.

The rulers today who have decreed it’s okay to dump megatons of aluminum and barium into our skies, land, and lungs are guilty of the same. They have put themselves on false thrones and decreed their desire outweigh ours. They are stealing our good earth and turning it into a wasteland that only Genetically modified organisms from Monsanto can grow in. Those GMO’s make populations sterile, sick, and will eventually kill us all through weakened immune systems!

via The Uriah Principle « The Chestnut Burr.