Biology Unmoored

Bamford, so far, is interesting.

Her style: juxtaposing two different places and people in each chapter  is both bold and innovative – at least in my eyes. I would call it “ambitious” when she tries to connect separate the two, via comparing different issues, to see the same thing:  their philosophies of life. She writes on the EuroAmerican and Kamea people.

From the reactions of EuroAmerica people on the expansion of technology to human reproduction – say, test tube babies, she attempts to argue that the view point emphasizes “blood” ties. There   is so much focus on “natural”, “biology”. Interesting, I never imagined, that there might have been such outcries in the past against test-tube babies!

tüp-bebek1Photo source: http://www.e-diyetisyen.com/genel/tup-bebek-tedavisinde-beslenme/

Also interestingly she brings into sight how once  anti-GMO movements comprised of Euro-American people, who were afraid of “Frankestiens” and “zombies” taking over the world. They did not like the idea of messing with “nature”. Well, if we look at western imagination via Hollywood, I don’t think the fear of a scientific failure brining doom to humankind is still there. Anyways, after this recap, she juxtaposes this “conservative” view point, with the philosophy of the Kamea. They do not see relation as given, or natural. It is made. This affects their view on nature and their relation with environment.

Their origin myth, has it that people came from trees. Such philosophies that does not separate human and the environment is, she seems to indicate, the impetus for the people to actively continue through each generation. Eg: father plants trees for son, tells him stories of the journey of their ancestral that helps the son make his claim to land stronger.

franklin_trees_01Photo source: http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1731606_1566407,00.html

Missing link in this argument is, if the Kamea constantly moved, the story of which people still remember, and which fathers tell their sons, how did they become sedentary? Isn’t it ironic that they use travel stories to lay claim on a fixed point , to continue sitting down?

And how does gender fit in this? Well, while the sons are busy listening to stories, running around, familiarizing themselves of the land that would be theirs later, the daughter spends much of her time gardening, in fact she is apportioned a small plot since childhood. Is that it? More food for thought. The second irony is that the daughter is the one who gardens, spends so much time with the soil – literally but it is the son who get the  land. What is?