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This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


GMO and my Religion

There is hardly a more ridiculed single biblical verse than Leviticus 19:19.
    It forbids the interbreeding of different kinds of animals - but people have always done it and so did ancient Israelites when they kept their mules.
    It forbids sowing fields and gardens with different seeds and plants - we do it all the time and so did ancient Israelites when, for instance, they trained their famous grapevines on fig-trees.
    And finally it forbids wearing clothes made of a mixture of different fibers - we do it all the time and ancient Israelites certainly made such fabrics when they wove together linen tassels and wool on the fringes of their clothes.
    So what is going on here? Some fundamentalists labor hard to preserve any semblance of Biblical inerrancy, while anti-fundamentalists and atheists gleefully point out this anachronistic nonsense.
    I find both approaches unsatisfactory and, frankly, sad. I am convinced that proper biblical as well as anthropological exegesis of this verse can open for us new and important insights. 
   This Sunday we will continue our series on Mahatma Gandhi’s Blunders of the World and talk about Science without Humanity. I am convinced that this strange Old Testament verse can become for us the living and current Word of God, a divine spiritual instrument to teach us how to be humane, why and how to be part of the fabric of life, how to broaden and deepen the network of our relationships, how to relate to one another and to nature with understanding, respect, and love. Come to ask “Why faith seeks NON GMO.” 

And here I continue with one of the reasons why I personally consider GMO being problematic technique.
    It is a little troublesome but important story about our relationship to the natural world around us and why I personally think we need to challenge the thoughtless acceptance of GMO technology on the most elemental, moral or religious level.
    A parishioner in one of my previous churches happened to be an University Professor of biology. One day she shared with me her scientific experiments in the field of genetic modifications of cultural plants. I do not remember exactly what the plant was but I think her laboratory experimented with one of the cereals. They were attempting to insert into this plant some kind of a foreign gene, most likely something "useful" like being resistant to poisonous herbicides or perhaps to add the ability to fluoresce in dark ;-). 
   This new foreign gene was implanted, I believe, by using a virus. But they did not have, or did not care about having, much control over the exact location of these implants. In the blind manner of trial and error they implanted hundreds of seeds. In many seeds their newly inserted gene interrupted an important genetic sequence, in some other seeds it displaced some other essential genes of that plant. 
   The results were eye opening - rows and rows of differently mutilated seedlings in hydroponic dishes. Many seeds did not grow at all. Some lucky seeds grew into plants but had strangely shaped leaves, some plants grew hardly any roots, some other seedlings looked like a strange knots of leaves and roots mangled all together (roots growing off the leaves and leaves growing among roots), and some seeds germinated but just to form some amorphous greenish blobs of slime. I could hardly stand that look. (I am not a biologist but this is what I saw or at least what I thought I saw.) 
     You might say that I have a way too thin skin, but I could not accept that amount of artificial, unnecessary, manmade suffering, be it caused "only" to plants. This laboratory stage is seldom shown and hardly ever known. And this is just the first step in production of a Genetically Modified Crop. Many more steps are needed, with similar pain or risks not only to the targeted plant, but also to surrounding plants, insects, animals, in short, to the entire environment, including farmers and society at large. I am not against science, but observing this experiment I experienced the visceral moral revulsion against science which is profit-driven and this inhumane.
    Now you know one of the reasons why Genetically Modified Organisms are against my religion (*see below). And, please, consider joining good endeavour of:
* Powerful and moneyed GMO companies are suing their opponents up and down, left and right, but to my best knowledge their lawyers are toothless against this kind of religious arguments. It is somehow tongue-in-cheek, I know, but I stay by it, GMO is against my religion!

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