Sunday, July 7, 2013

The "Science of Social Justice"? Junk Science, More Like

Found this drivel on rabble:
In her opening pages of Wielding the Force: The Science of Social Justice, Zainab Amadahy highlights the work of a French Buddhist monk who also has a PhD in molecular genetics -- I did my undergrad in microbiology so, I was pretty excited to see that! -- to clarify that the worlds of "science" and "spirit" are not mutually exclusive; rather they are overlapping. 
Amadahy's book is a compendium of information on the science of social justice and healthy communities. 
From the outset, the definition of science is reclaimed. A scientist, as Amadahy describes, is not necessarily a specialist in quantum physics, they are anyone receiving and processing information in the natural world. A scientist includes those trained in "ceremonial protocols, sacred medicines as well as special songs and dances." Disrupting the traditional Western dichotomy of logic versus emotion, she writes "To the Indigenous scientist, thoughts and feelings matter in the seeking out and application of knowledge." 
Amadahy argues that healthy movements are built on a paradigm of relationality -- building critical social, emotional and spiritual connections and relationships -- which in turn, create an "upward spiral of responsibility, generosity and appreciation."
I'd say Amadahy is following in the "scientific" tradition of Trofim Lysenko, another individual whose science wasn't about science at all but about how pseudo-science could serve political ends.

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