Jennifer Lake's Blog

August 19, 2009

The Constant Gardeners

There is well-founded speculation and evidence to support the idea that familiar human illnesses began when humans began tilling the soil and ceased ranging over the earth in the blossoming epoch of Civilization. Agriculture changed the diet of human beings and the animals they kept, causing theorists to point to zoonosis as the primary culprit in human diseases.
   In the book “Food of the Gods”, Terence McKenna suggests the discovery of fermented grains supplanted the ancient wild ‘sacred ritual’ mushrooms of the nomads who followed grazing cattle and in time changed religious practice and beliefs as well as the dietary customs of people and their animals.
 
In Genesis 3, God curses the ground for the transgression of Adam and Eve and declares “in pain you will eat of its produce…and you must eat the vegetation of the field”… “Cain became a cultivator of the ground” and [God] “did not look with any favor upon Cain”……
 
Modern biological science is founded upon the processes of fermentation, or harnessing the activity of microbes for specific applications. The arts of fermentation have evolved ‘cultural’ distinctions and undergird the development of perhaps the most ancient of human sciences, all within the religious context of defining humanity’s relationships to the ‘gods’. Joseph Campbell has pointed out that ‘religion’ means “linking back” to attain communion with one’s god, a process that has always involved a special sacramental substance. Not by accident, fermented alcohol is called ‘spirits’. The prominence of alcohol above ‘other’ sacraments is the story of the conquest of cilvilization and the imposition of one religion over another as grain-based culture came to dominate the landscape. 
 
From a biological perspective, the selection of crops has introduced various complex chemistries into human societies and altered genetic expression. Arno Karlen in his book “Man and Microbes” is one of many voices to identify grain-based agriculture as the beginning of human diminishment and the universalizing of mammalian disease. This biological shift is the determining factor in our ‘collectivity’ and arguably the basis of all contagion. In the modern era, the secrets of fermentation have unlocked the real Pandora’s Box.
___________________________
 
In 2005, the film industry released a movie called “The Constant Gardener” about the murder of a young British woman in Africa who pursued the trail of an experimental vaccine to a conclusion…her death. The provocative title of the film strikes a deep chord. Civilization, or the civilizing of societies, has invited an unending tampering with the ‘human condition‘ giving rise to eugenics and a tacitly accepted environment of experimentation in the guise of ‘science’. The great irony for the world’s population is that we actually, at long last, adapted well to being civilized a couple of centuries ago. Before Germ Theory, before Louis Pasteur and Justus von Liebig, humanity had gained its equilibrium in the civilized environment. We were on our way to becoming a healthier species after many thousands of years of setbacks.
 
Today, in a climate of change, the goal of biological science appears to be ‘mutation’. We will be altered whether we like it or not, and the imposition of  “constant adaptive pressure” to “select” in evolutionary terms is in the hands of the Constant Gardeners.  
 
  
Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: