The fear of scientists

Art July 20, 2012 00:00

By Ziri Sutprasert
Special to Th

A recent news report quoted a physicist as saying she expects humans to encounter extraterrestrial beings within the next 100 years.

I accept that, but I can’t stop laughing at the scientist’s predictions concerning alien behaviour, which included seizing our planet’s natural resources.

The physicist suggested we think about how we’re going to deal with the visitors from afar. Once they land, she thinks we’ll have to show them how we eat, teach them about democracy and introduce them to our religious leaders.

I’m more interested in the physicist’s imagination than her forecast of a close encounter of the third kind. She reminds me about the situation in Thailand, where many people are worrying that our neighbouring countries will become our rivals when the Asean Economic Community comes into being in 2015. Whoever doesn’t already belong to your group is your enemy.

Think about LGBT people down through the ages, forever beset by fear and hatred, even from the scientific community when it was supposed to be wise and neutral. It was science after all that turned homosexuality from sexual behaviour into sexual identity. Scientists decided that sexual preference defines the person and that deviation from the norm is aberrant – in other words “wrong”.

Science has always studied homosexuality in terms of categories and with suspicious eyes. Psychologists prod the psyche, biochemists test the hormones, neurologists weigh the brain and social scientists determine that this deviation has been going on for a long time. Any suggestion of science’s neutrality dies with the research being premised on this matter of “deviancy”.

Scientists, who so thoroughly influence people’s beliefs, warn that LGBT people are abnormal, and that’s widely interpreted as “dangerous”. So the hunt continues for a cure, for surely one must exist. Yet this begs the question, since the search for a cure has been going on for centuries, what has been discovered so far? There has never been a decrease in the LGBT population. Nor have we ever posed a threat to society.

The scientists in their suspiciousness are no different from the prehistoric tribes that feared invasion from a neighbouring village. They spend insufficient time trying to understand LGBT people while wasting it making comparisons to social “ordinariness”.

Those aliens, once they get here, are in for quite a shock.