Darwin's theory of evolution as I understand it, maintains that random
genetic mutations occur, some of which prove to be advantageous in
relation to species survival, in terms of the degree of adaptability
applicable to a given environment. The major area of concern here it
seems to me is the degree of intentionality - that is, of purpose,
creativity, intelligence that may or may not be involved, as well as
the interaction of environment, behavior and genetics. Another
important issue relates to whether the "Soul" exists, and (if so and
above all), whether only people have them or also animals (i.e. Hindus
say they do). Additionally, some say that only certain classes of
people have them, while others classes are heathens or infidels or
genetically inferior. However, none of this is relevant to Darwinian
Both "Evolution" and "God" are theories (among others) that are not
mutually exclusive. Either may or may not exist, neither is provable,
and either could have created the other (religion is considered by
some to have been basic to the evolvement of the dominant political /
economic class in many societies, if one accepts the principle of
behavioral evolution). Since all of these things are largely based on
faith, each to his own and that's that. Only the "True Believer" is
This brings me to consider the issue of Jeff's suggestion to invite
the Avery's et. al. to a debate, and the wishful view that they don't
deserve the attention and that maybe they will go away or at least
become diminished if ignored. I thought the suggestion for a public
debate was good, contingent on who's doing the debating on the
opposing end, how well prepared they are intellectually and
experientially and of course, that the counterpart accepts the debate.
If not done well, it would be counterproductive. If done well, it
could provide an impetus toward reversing public opinion, because
ex-secretary Avery's letter received ample news coverage and was in
fact, widely discussed in this forum (which is not fully congruent
with the "ignore him" theory).
In fact, I myself was chagrined to find, several months after sanet
probed the depths of it's significance, the gd (assuming g exists)
letter translated into Spanish and published in Excelsior, one of the
principle Mexico City newspapers and widely distributed at the
national level. So the sad fact of the matter is that these "things"
(to use a neutral word), unfortunately affect the people who read
them, because most people simply lack the kind of background that most
or all of you (out there) do. (Shortly after Excelsior published the
translation, in June I believe, I had to leave Jalisco again and am
only just getting CeDeCoR's Southeast headquarters setup with
everything needed - or I would have answered it).
Therefore, the need to counterbalance these kinds of "opinions", and
even to call attention to the commitments and history of those who
hold them, is NEEDED in a public forum (as I said, if done properly
and assuming they would accept - and they might just have the ego to
I have observed an incredibly obvious (hard to believe) negative trend
in certain aspects of public policy relating to sustainable
agriculture (although admittedly, there have also been a number of
positive developments) that can only be explained in terms of what to
me are the wrong priorities and the wrong allegiances, which strongly
implies (or demonstrates) a sellout to vested interests that run
counter to the public good, which never the less (evidently) wield
considerable (too much) power. To me, only this scenario can explain
why things are as they are.
This is observable (to give a few examples), in the conflict occurring
within the World Economic Development Organization regarding claims
from the U.S. Govt. against the European Union, for not accepting
GMOs' in certain foods exported by the U.S. Incredibly, the burden of
providing proof of harm is placed upon the target, rather than the
perpetrator having to demonstrate the contrary, for something without
precedent in nature, in terms of context - that is, in terms of
evolution. (Here we can say evolution).
Another example is shown by who is (or has been, like Avery) highly
placed in the U.S. Federal Bureaucracy in critical areas related to
creating Agricultural Policy (some of whom participate in this forum)
and others who no longer have the opportunity to provide their proven
and positive input (some of whom also participate in this
forum), along with the reasons and the results, of that.
I am forced to be a bit esoteric regarding this matter, and can
certainly appreciate the reprimand recently given against flaming the
Avery's in a personal rather policy oriented way on this forum. There
ARE opposing forces involved and it's very important (an
understatement) that the "right" forces win. Since this is a very
serious matter, it obligates the "good guys" - those whose sympathies
are in the right place, who are neither ignorant nor have sold out; to
behave themselves in a manner that doesn't lend them well to unneeded
(and misleading) criticism.
In short, in order to change the current status quo, right strategy
and right conduct is required, by all those who care. Because, dear
readers, it can and will be done. (On earth as it is in heaven.
Amen). But don't ever let up, and be sure it's done well.
Douglas Hinds, Dir Gral.
(Center for Rural and Community Development)
Tel: (intl. dial out code from your country) + 522 713 2888 (Direct)
U.S. Voicemail (email linked) 630 300 0550
U.S. Fax Mailbox (email linked) 630 300 0555
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