20 March 2000
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 06:23:35 -0600 (CST)
From: "Roy L. Beavers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: emfguru <email@example.com>
Subject: The voice of "science" (Per Dalen)..
Per, the commentary you have forwarded below is beautifully written ... and so true!!!
Allow me to quote you:
"Today the 'voice of science' is often the first to be heard denying that various 'scares' deserve to be taken seriously. To some extent, science has transformed itself into a conservative force on which industrial interests can rely in many situations."
May I observe that perhaps it is not a "transformation" of science that has occurred?!? Think of Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Einstein.... All were treated to the "conservatism" of science, when they initially announced their findings.....
Elsewhere in my writing [EMFguru#5-96, "Consensus" on the original, FEB, website, <http://www.feb.se/EMF-L/EMFL-5-96.html>], I have argued that 'science' makes this mistake by rejecting new evidence which does not correspond to what science expected.
In the present EMF case, it seems quite clear that science was not prepared to find that its pet "theory" about the difference between the 'biological' interaction of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation might not be entirely true......
In fact, what science is learning via this EMF saga is that - at the 'atomic' level - the differences between "biological activity" and "chemical activity" and "electrical activity" are differences that MAN ("science") has "defined into existence." At the level of the behavior of the electrons within the atoms and molecules, they are the same. Further, Mother Nature has not acknowledged that any of the electromagnetic "frequency bands" - which are defined by man - are totally benign!!! In her book, they may all be capable of inducing biological or chemical effects -- with, perhaps, differences that vary only to their degree.....
They are all electro-biological in nature. That's because "life," itself, is electro-biological...... Shortly before his death, EMF-L's good friend, Dr. John Goldsmith, also mused about the possibility that science's long-held belief that there are fundamental differences in the biological-effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation may not be true..... [Also, see: "Understanding EMF" in the 'EMF ??' file on guru's website.]
Yet, most of us (non-scientists) were raised to believe that it is the role and main purpose of science to be the CHALLENGER of old ideas.....!! We were raised to believe that 'science' - itself - is ALL ABOUT discovery - the rejection of old, mistaken "knowledge" - and its replacement based on new evidence, new research......
Precious few such scientists have I encountered during my six years of deep involvement in this EMF saga.....!?! (There were NONE at NIEHS!!! And there is NO evidence that there are ANY at the National Academy of Science!! Or at the NRPB in the U.K.!! Both of those august bodies are behaving EXACTLY as did the august science "establishment" of the time of Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin and Einstein, when he first declared that energy and mass were one and the same in different forms.....
I hope our scientists (on EMF-L) will give this some thought ... and perhaps pass it on to a colleague or two.....
Cheerio..... (Many thanks, Per, for your thoughts below.....)
Roy Beavers (EMFguru)
It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness
People are more important than profits!!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 09:40:34 +0100
From: Per Dalen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Roy L. Beavers" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: More support for the "suicide/EMF" connection (Phillips)..
In 1604, King James I of England called smoking "A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." [A Counter-blast to Tobacco]Quote from DOWN TOBACCO ROAD By Bill Dauster http://www.geocities.com/~demcrat/newtobacco.html
James was of course absolutely right about the dangers to the lungs. Some 350 years later Western science could proudly announce that it had managed to prove the same fact to its own satisfaction, though not to that of the tobacco industry. Some people still feel that Sir Richard Doll deserves the Nobel prize for this feat. Interestingly, German scientists had already shown that there was a link between smoking and lung cancer in 1939 and 1943, but this was completely forgotten after WWII, when German science was more or less swallowed up in the total bankruptcy of Hitlerism (see Robert N. Proctor's "The Nazi War on Cancer", Princeton, NJ, 1999, reviews at <http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7236/721>, <http://www.nejm.org/content/1999/0341/0005/0380.asp>).
Those German scientists had not used the pure, watertight and "correct" epidemiological methods of Doll and Hill, but relied partly on retrospective clinical evidence and commonsense reasoning. As we know, this will not do today, when the fight against the powerful interests behind tobacco, asbestos and many other things have left its indelible marks on the practice of this branch of science. In the long run fighting something always tends to infect you with the world-view of your enemy. Today the voice of "science" is often the first to be heard denying that various "scares" deserve to be taken seriously. To some extent, science has transformed itself into a conservative force on which industrial interests can rely in many situations.
It should be noted that the scientific culture behind the German approach to smoking and cancer 60 years ago had nothing in particular to do with Nazism. Germany was the leading country in science long before Hitler rose to power. Common sense and simple observation were still respected in these days. Creativity and love of truth had not yet been hemmed in by clever and sophisticated rules.
At 14:07 2000-03-16 -0600, guru wrote: That kind of "don't accept the evidence until conclusively proved" science is, of course, the kind of "science" that protected the tobacco industry for more than fifty years..... Hundreds of research results like the following went ignored..... We will soon be saying the same about EMF -- "hundreds" of such results are being ignored ... by an "establishment" tobacco-science criterion that is designed to protect the vested interests....
.....While the tobacco-science Moulders of the world ... continue to broadcast that "there is no problem."
Clearly, the "establishment" criterion is protective
at the expense of people!!! That is simply NOT the approach
that should be taken by governments (or society, itself) in matters of
public health..... We will ALWAYS end up
in the "fix" that we now find ourselves in ... with regard to lead, asbestos.
Per Dalen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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