When two prominent modern naturalists change sides it makes us take notice. Change sides in the sense of allowing their experiences, rather than science, to shine in the way they see nature. But there is a lot more to this changing sides than first meets the eye as I will shortly explain.
Collectively, we've made a god of science, no doubt about that. So this is an act of deposing an old societal mind-king, not one to be passed over lightly!
This is not a chicken-or-egg question. When we ask, which came first, nature or science, there's no doubt nature takes the helm. So where does that put science exactly? In the role of interpreter, according to current knowledge, which is underpinned by the state of the technology we humans have access to. This means that nature will always be ahead, particularly if, as entomologist and t.v. presenter George McGavin says, at present we know less than 1% of what nature has to teach us.
Let's be clear on this. Nature came first. All the closely reasoned arguments in the world are not going to shift that position. Our scientific approach to nature took hold in the nineteenth century, courtesy of a burgeoning anthropocentric take on life which, because it gives us humans a sense of control and power, has dominated ever since. In our data-collecting age, there is no limit to the amount of proof demanded by the scientific community. The only stand against this is the number of people who choose to follow the lead of Mark Cocker and John Lister-Kaye.
We need a woman now. Here's my contribution. It too comes from a reverential source, an EcoCarol to the tune of The First Nowell. Please sing it, even if you are not a very good singer. The first time I tried to, I welled up.
to the tune of 'The First Nowell'
English traditional carol
The first birdsong that ever I heard
filled me with more joy than I felt I deserved.
How could it be that, a creature so wee
could fly, sing and be so beautifully free?
Birdsong, birdsong, birdsong, birdsong.
It fills my heart my whole lifelong.
It was through the feelings birds inspired
that I found my way when I was a child.
So brave, so small, in song and in flight.
Their courage in life my own birthright.
And truth to tell, it seems to me
birds lead us to ways we too can be free.
In murmurations, that sky-dance sublime
when thousands of birds move together in time.
As a part of a whole, each tiny yet strong,
their great joy in life a palpable one.
Their chorus at dawn the wake-up to feel
flowing with ecstasy's power to heal.
Now to the nitty gritty, and to explain science's exalted position for the last century. It's to do with how we use our brains. I am writing my second book on human brain-use. It focuses on the differences between right brain hemisphere perceptions and left hemisphere led ones. Broadly speaking, the left brain, currently dominant in western society, aligns with the scientific viewpoint whereas the right brain 'speaks the language of nature'. These two brain hemispheres operate very differently. The whole human brain is a giant filter on reality. Well, two giant filters working together actually. How you see at any one moment depends on which hemisphere is leading. So swapping sides is always a possibility!
Science has a current theory concerning Sparrow Choirs. It goes like this. A musician in New York believes sparrows no longer sing because of city noise-levels. The reason given is they can't hear each other over the traffic. In a Force 10 gale, quite as noisy as motorway traffic, I press my ear to the bedroom window and listen. From the intertwined huge hebe and rhododendron bush outside my window comes our Sparrow Choir in full song. We check regularly, my husband and I. The Sparrow Choir sing all morning. With a few natural breaks for the seed and bread we put out to keep them going.
Now there's a trinity of people who state birds are gods of the morning. More are needed. If you would like to, please add your name and email address on my contact page.
©Gaia Dance 2016