> For Christ sake Dale. Factory farming a straw man? Give me a break.
Well, maybe you are right in the context of large-scale animal production,
but I contend that the term isn't very meaningful for crop production. It
ends up almost synonymous with scale of operation. Far more important (for
the Earth) are the particulars of environmentally responsible cultural
>> Your real agenda is social not biological, a vision of egalitarian
>> pastoral bliss informed by the ideology of the academic left,
>> rather than a firm grasp of history or biology.
> Think about that statement Dale. If you want a "straw man"
> reductionist scientists have invented to justify their "science wars"
> try the "academic left". What on earth is that?
Yeah, I guess I was laying it on kind of thick with that last sentence, but
I believe there really is philosophical meat here. The "science wars" are
real, and the underlying taxonomy is idealism vs realism (or maybe holism vs
atomism). Of course some of this is socially driven, a reaction of the
humanities community against the success of academic science.
Perhaps you have read the book "Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and
Its Quarrels With Science" by Paul R. Gross, Norman Levitt, 1997. It is
kind of a reactionary book, but the authors make a lot of good points.
Also, see "Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of
Science." Alan D. Sokal, Jean Bricmont. 1998. I haven't read this one yet,
but these are the folks who achieved some notoriety by submitting and
publishing in a postmodernist academic journal, a bogus paper "Transgressing
the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" as
spoof of the postmodernist literary community.
Almost forgot, Karl Popper has written some excellent material that provides
useful balance to the popular social critique of science exemplified by
Thomas Kuhn and Steve Shapin.
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