Science that gets it wrong

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continued from John Humphrys  The Great Food Gamble

..And what about  those real scientists  that gets it wrong?

As every researcher knows,it happens all the time. I spoke to one of Britain’s most distinguished biologists in the course of researching this book and he confessed to me that he had been teaching his students something for thirty years that turned out to be wrong. It had been scientific dogma – unquestioned in a thousand learned papers – until it was overturned. But the blind worshippers at the altar of science cannot accept the doctrine of scientific fallibility. It might undermine their belief. That’s the trouble with blind worship. You fail to spot things when they start going wrong.

The blind worshippers failed to spot some of the most catastrophic mistakes in the history of agriculture. They failed to spot what might happen if we turned cows into carnivores. They failed to spot the possible consequences of hundreds of scientists happily creating antibiotics to be injected into animals as though they were Smarties fed to children when they should have known what devastating effects their creation would have. They were happy to spray our fields and hedgerows with persistent toxins that that poisoned that land for generations, killed the wildlife and endangered our health. And they did not warn us what might happen to the soil if we persisted with practices that destroyed its population of micro-organisms.

And now from Richard Higgins:

And they have not researched or discovered the simple science of turning straw into fertiliser. I say on my film  ‘Haiti Film II’  that the science of the world should wake up to this, but unfortunately if they are not paid to research something by government or more often industry they simply do not research it and continue barking up the wrong tree or sailing down the blind alley of ignorance. I have approached several scientific institutes and several times each and still they are not interested in work that is pre 1960 and that was proven to work all over the world.

For instance the latest scandal in agriculture that I have heard is that Southampton University have embarked upon a project that takes the remaining third of the straw that  now remains from the two thirds that has been bred out of all our grain crops and proudly proclaim they have a good technology for burning it and turning it into cheap electricity. If carbon is not returned to agriculture then failure will ensue.

Further reading

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