Science Nay-Sayers In The West & Their Counterparts In Sri Lanka

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By Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Galileo nearly got burnt at the stake for heresy when he claimed that the Earth orbited around the sun instead of being the fixed center of the God-created Universe. At that time most people were science Nay-Sayers. A century before Galileo, when Christopher Columbus defiantly sailed West seeking Eastern India, most people believed that the Earth was flat, as was evident to the eye. This view was common to almost all cultures, be it Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese or Hebrew. Today many of us happily believe that people are well informed in this age of the internet and Google.

Amazingly, the very opposite is also true. Rich counties like the USA or the Oil Kingdoms are not educated societies. Fundamentalist religions remains powerful and science Nay-Sayers are well funded and articulate. While the Western nations spend billions in scientific research, the average citizen prefers to use the fruits of science (i.e., technology) while refusing to come to terms with what he/she finds incomprehensible, counter-intuitive and often going against traditional beliefs and practices. Instead of expecting to build an improved world using science, Science Nay-Sayers take a very distopian view of   modern knowledge. They, like their counterparts during Galileo’s times, seek to find solace in returning to “traditional ways”, even though Humpty-Dumpty cannot be be put back, with some 22 million new people ( population of Sri Lanka!) added to the global population every two month!

Flat-earthists and science as “Patta-Pal-Boru”.

The rejection of information which is supported by over-whelming evidence has been greatly facilitated with the growth of the internet with its wired “free-thinker” cults who want to rid themselves of the “shackles of science” with its demand for evidence regard as `”infantile”, “unreasonable”, or even “authoritarian”. Even the shape of the earth is contested. The “concave-earth” is hollow and we live inside it, facing the sun, moon and planets at the center; the stars are an illusion.

Dr. Mendis, a Peradeniya philosopher of the 1960s argued that directly perceived understanding has credence over abstract constructions “fantasized” by the mind. His seminars were dead serious about the earth being flat. The nearly spherical-earth belief is rejected as a strongly held “urban myth” or a Rudyard Kipling story. Mendis, a Catholic philosopher, held that all truth comes from God. So Mendis quit his University and became a Trappist monk. Philosophers who hold extremely idealist solipsist positions have been known from ancient times.   Modern science skeptics like Bruno Latour or Nelson Goodman even regard science as a dangerous conspiracy hatched against society. I have discussed some of these in chapter 2 of my book entitled “A physicist’s view of matter and mind”.

Dr. Nalin de Silva come two decades after Mendis, with a baggage of physics, Buddhism and Sinhala “Jaathikathvaya” (roughly, “nationalism”). He is known in Sri Lanka for his claim that science is a “Patta-Pal-Boru” (fully-fermented lie). Dr. Mendis referred to abstract mental constructs as “fantasies” or “urban myths”. Dr. Silva also rejects abstract knowledge. “Knowledge” possessed by all ordinary people (the ‘pruthagjana’), i.e., those who have not become Arhanths, is really false knowledge or “Musa ” ( lies). He forgets that one of the precepts in Buddhism is to not to utter ‘Musaa-vaada’. This is impossible to practice if the prutagjanas know only Musa!. Dr. Nalin de Silva (who is a pruthagjana), claims that only the Arhanths have true knowledge! This is simply the paradox of the Cretan who said that all Cretans are liars!

Dr. Silva’s pruthagjana uses the sense data coming from his five senses and from the mind to make abstract constructions, or “kathandara” (stories) which in the end become formulated into “Patta-pal-boru” (fully-fermented lies). This rejection of scientific knowledge is also condemned as “Western science” linked to the culture of the “Judo-Christian religions”. Although “eastern science” is also based on “Musa”, that Musa is preferred by Dr. Nalin de Silva. After rejecting science as abstract and falsely “based on induction”, Dr. Silva embraces the occult sciences and claims to be currently studying ”extra-sensory perception”. His notoriety here is in his trust of the words of a lady, a Pruthagjana, who hears “the voice of God Natha”, the God of the Naga tribes, absorbed into Buddhism as a Bodhisatva (as evident from a stone Inscription found at Mihintale).

Pesticides, Wi-fi radiation and Cancer claims.

Allegedly, God Natha revealed the presence of Arsenic in the Rajarata environment, as the cause of Kidney diseases among its residents. Dr. Silva chastises Dr. Jayasumana for proposing “Glyphosate” as a cause without the sanction of the God (“deviyanta horaaa”). There is no experimental evidence for the presence of significant amounts (e..g, even 10 parts per billion) of Arsenic or Glyphosate in the water table of the Rajarata. But Dr Silva regards that his type of knowledge is not subject to such authoritarian constraints as “needing evidence”.

Even in capitalist countries like the USA where social welfare and subsidies for the poor are treated as creeping communism, there is a strong distrust of big business and even public health or environmental policies (e.g., on global warming). A strong divide exists between scientists and the public with respect to fertilizers, pesticides, as well as with cell-pone radiation (wi-fi). Many members of the public oppose them in the belief that they “cause cancer” (while perhaps happily puffing a cigarette !).

Even the WHO has yielded to NGO activism and declared the need for further rounds of investigation into the safety (or not) of wi-fi radiation. The 8 billion cell-phones, laptops, tablets, etc., that used wi-fi during the last 10 years, and the lack of any authenticated cases of cancer from wi-fi, imply that the probability of cancer from wi-fi in the next 10 years is less than one in eight-billion! Einstein’s 1905 theory of the photo-effect which won him the Nobel prize tells us that wi-fi photons cannot cause the chemical changes needed for cancer. But such arguments do not move the Science Nay-Sayers propelled by public fear.

Leftist groups opposed to “big business” use the public fears of fertilizers and pesticides against “Agri-Giants” like Monsanto by inventing “evidence” for what they perceive to be the “public good”. Dedicated anti-GMO activism of well established “environmental” organizations like Greenpeace, caused some Directors to resign in protest against deliberate “mis-information”.

These Nay-Sayers of science have no hesitation of “using science” to support their beliefs. When a recent WHO report on Glyphosate (“Roundup”) was released, the anti-GMO lobby ignored the most important parts of the report and zoomed in on the non-committal claims based on statistical interpretations of the data that could be construed to mean that Glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” on long exposure to it. The activists ignored the definitive finding that microorganisms treated with large doses of Glyphosate suffered no toxicity. Micro-organisms have no immune systems or well-developed waste elimination organs like the kidneys. If toxicity exists, it is most visible at that level. Instead, this was downplayed, and an incident created by demanding Dr. Moore, a supporter of GMO foods and Glyphosate to drink a glass of Glyphosate if he actually believes it to be non-toxic! Glyphosate is not a food. But even with a food like sugar, NO one should gulp down a glass of maple syrup or Palm treacle claiming that sugar is non-toxic. Many people would pass out on ingestion of such large amounts of sugar. Sugar is the favourite food of cancer cells; it causes type-II diabetes, obesity etc., and should be banned since our food provides enough of it.

The news media high-lighted the carcinogenic claims in lead articles, in synch with the 63% Nay-Sayers among the lay public. “TruthOut.org”, an advocacy news organ, claimed in early 2013 that Glyphosate causes chronic Kidney disease in Sri Lanka and Nicaragua. The WHO findings of the lack of significant amounts of Glyphosate in the affected areas in Sri Lanka was not revealed. A “hypothesis” published in a private electronic “journal” with no scientific standing was enough for TruthOut. One of the authors of the “paper” had previously claimed that the aetiology of the disease had been revealed to her by divine intervention. From there, TruthOut was quoted by other “internet Gurus” like Dr. Mercola.

A survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAA) in January 2015 revealed that 85% of scientists supported GMO foods, while more than 60% of the public OPPOSED them. Thus, although a large scientific consensus exists, the Nay-Sayers make out that scientists are “at loggerheads” about such matters.

The Golder Rice controversy.

Ms. Shiva Vandana, (SV) is an Indian anti-GMO activist who flaunts her “scientific credentials”, thought she abandoned science immediately after her Ph.D in an arcane area of physics, and not in agriculture, biology or chemistry. Dr. Patrick Moore, an ex-Director of Greenpeace who resigned from the NGO accuses Ms. Shiva Vandana for indirectly causing the death of millions of poor Indians by her campaigns preventing the use of “golden rice” (a GMO rice that is fortified with carotene genes) in India.

SV is against farmers using even non-GMO high-yield hybrid seeds that mature quickly and need less water and manure. Her position is ideological, lauding “traditional methods and traditional seeds”. I have argued elsewhere that traditional rice varieties must be promoted for specialized “niche markets”, and as a source of bio-diversity, while the new varieties are essential to feed the population. Followers of Shiva Vanadana in Sri Lanka turn out to be, strangely enough, Marxist activists like the late Sarath Fernando of ‘Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform’ . They have recognized that the cries of “traditional agriculture and rice” could be used for the purpose of organizing farmers for their objective, viz., the class struggle. These Nay-Sayers reject the “green Revolution” of Borlug, and the tremendous achievements of the rice scientists of Sri Lanka at Bathalagoda and Kundasale.

Anti-pasteurization and anti-vaccination lobbies.

Some science Nay-Sayers deny the origin of many diseases via microbes and other pathogens. Evil forces, Karma, divine wrath, dis-equilibrium among the “tri-dosha,”, i.e., va-pith-sem (air, bile and phlegm) are blamed. Scientific medicine is rejected and alternative medicine is held to be the correct approach. Public antipathy is found, especially in the wealthy, organic-food eating upper classes, demanding a “free-choice” for themselves in regard to pasteurization of milk, the use of fluoridation of water to prevent dental disease, or the use of vaccines against measles and other illnesses. In Canada 28% of the public distrust vaccines, making the work of public health officials a nightmare. Un-vaccinated children contract the disease and create the potential for new mutants.

Medical questions cannot be entirely dealt with using hard science since the human body is as yet too complex for present day knowledge. Mental processes have an immense impact on health but neuroscience is an extremely young science. Hence traditional knowledge integrated with science is the way forward, at least for now. What science recommended regarding cardio-vascular diseases and nutrition has changed every few decades, and the public is bewildered. The Nay-Sayers of Science use this to advantage.

Bottle necks and information controls.

Another reason for the rise of skepticism of science is the muffling of science by governments. Government scientists in Health or Agriculture have to state things that “fit government policy”. Even if fish stocks are dangerously low, this cannot be revealed. In the UK, scientists were not allowed to reveal the actual situation with regard to Mad-Cow disease. Close collusion between government regulators and drug companies leads to the approval of inadequately tested drugs, or lack of penalties for hiding relevant data. Nuclear industry became unsafe as the regulatory agencies began to be funded by the industry itself, as happened in Japan!

Evolution has of course been a favorite issue with Science Nay-Sayers. A recent survey showed that 99% of scientists believed that humans have evolved from “simpler” animals, while nearly 40% of the US public rejected it, with this latter number increasing much more in southern USA. It would be interesting to obtain data for a country like Sri Lanka, a high-literacy Asian country with a Buddhist culture. There is respect for science and knowledge in Traditional societies like China, Japan and India. The small but influential westernized urbanites and Post-modernist journalists are the intellectual vanguard of the Science Nay-Sayers in Asian capitals of countries like Sri Lanka or India.

Unfortunately, politicians ask researchers to “fund their research from industry”, and do “industrially relevant research”, while cutting independent funding available for research. The old idea of “ivory tower” universities, independent of industry or even governments, and funding their research using their own wealth is feasible only for a few world renowned universities. It is the governments and the profit motive that have politicized science and “killed the hen that laid the golden eggs”.

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35 Responses to Science Nay-Sayers In The West & Their Counterparts In Sri Lanka

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    Prof. Dharmawardana Excellent article ,Thank you so much ,

    Parakrama Abeygunawardane
    March 31, 2015 at 3:17 pm
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      Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana RE: Science Nay-Sayers In The West & Their Counterparts In Sri Lanka Thank you for the article, and the message, even though some minor corrections are needed, should be sent to the populace so that the Modaya, Mootal, Fool percentage can be reduced, and the general living standards can be improved. 1. “A century before Galileo, when Christopher Columbus defiantly sailed West seeking Eastern India, most people believed that the Earth was flat, as was evident to the eye.” Those who knew, knew the Earth was round. In 240 B.C., the Greek astronomer Eratosthenes made the first good measurement of the size of Earth. The Debate was the size of the Earth, and the distance from Spain to Japan. Columbus said it was 3,000 miles, and the Portuguese thought it was more, and declined the Columbus offer. Columbus was one of the luckiest explorers. 2. “Galileo nearly got burnt at the stake for heresy when he claimed that the Earth orbited around the sun instead of being the fixed center of the God-created Universe.” The Church did burn at the stake Giordano Bruno in 1600. for promoting the Copernican Heliocentric model, for which Galileo was also accused by the Catholic Inquisition. However, the age of reason dawned in the 16th Century in Europe. 3. “Today many of us happily believe that people are well informed in this age of the internet and Google.” 1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says For South Asians, it is estimated to be close to 40% or more. 4. “Fundamentalist religions remains powerful and science Nay-Sayers are well funded and articulate. ” Decline in Islamic Science and Philosophy is due to this. Revelation was elevated above Reason and observation, and Islamic science gradually declined. The Erosion of Progress by Religions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oxTMUTOz0w 5. ” Dr. Mendis, a Peradeniya philosopher of the 1960s argued that directly perceived understanding has credence over abstract constructions “fantasized” by the mind. His seminars were dead serious about the earth being flat. ” I was under the impression that Modayas, Mootals and Fools are modstly in the rural areas, being uninformed. I was incorrect. Dr. Mendis mistr gave been from the arts faculty at Peradeniya, that had the lowest IQ of all the faculties. So, it makes general sense now. Dr. Mendis one additional data point supporting the low IQ of the arts faculty. The Modayas, Mootals and Fiols are more widespread than originally thought. Another point is the IQ of Nations. National IQ Scores – Country Rankings http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html 1 Singapore 108 2 South Korea 106 3 Japan 105 28 Guatemala 79 28 Sri Lanka 79 28 Zambia 79

      Amarasiri
      March 31, 2015 at 5:19 pm
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        Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana, RE: Science Nay-Sayers In The West & Their Counterparts In Sri Lanka “Evolution has of course been a favorite issue with Science Nay-Sayers. A recent survey showed that 99% of scientists believed that humans have evolved from “simpler” animals, while nearly 40% of the US public rejected it, with this latter number increasing much more in southern USA. It would be interesting to obtain data for a country like Sri Lanka, a high-literacy Asian country with a Buddhist culture.” The average IQ of USA is 99, but that of Sri Lanka 79. Ask them, where did two of their two missing Primate chromosomes,go? 25% of Americans, mostly religious people and rednecks, who see the Sun rising from the East and sets in the West, thinks, the Sun around the Earth. Question: What is the percentage for Sri Lankans? 25%/ 40% %0%, 60%? 40% of Americans, mostly religious people and rednecks, who listens to the priests and Politicians thinks, the Sun around the Earth. Question: What is the percentage for Sri Lankans? 40% %0%, 60%? Besides Charles Darwin’s data, here is Molecular Biology data. Ken Miller on Human Evolution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk Uploaded on Feb 14, 2007 Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

        Amarasiri
        March 31, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    Dear Prof. All what I feel having read the latest articles published by Prof. Rudiger from Leipzig Germany, – all she tested contained Glyphosat in individual’s urine though in varied amounts prove that Glyphosat is omnipresent. But may be the mechanisms that keep within the limits allow not to create health problems as much as is the case in SL and Nikaragua the like countries. What matters is to find better mechanisms to control over any kind chemicals being imported to the country – which I think had been a greater problem in srilanka. It is also believe that unexpected number of cattle to be found dead across germany should really be connected with the effects ( perhaps not known to date) of herbicide Glyphosata. I wonder why many countries still stay mum in this regard, while environmentatlists seem to do their best against radioactive rests and the related polution globally.

    Leelagemalli
    March 31, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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    Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana “Dr. Nalin de Silva come two decades after Mendis, with a baggage of physics, Buddhism and Sinhala “Jaathikathvaya” (roughly, “nationalism”). He is known in Sri Lanka for his claim that science is a “Patta-Pal-Boru” (fully-fermented lie). Dr. Mendis referred to abstract mental constructs as “fantasies” or “urban myths”. Dr. Silva also rejects abstract knowledge. “Knowledge” possessed by all ordinary people (the ‘pruthagjana’), i.e., those who have not become Arhanths, is really false knowledge or “Musa ” ( lies). He forgets that one of the precepts in Buddhism is to not to utter ‘Musaa-vaada’. This is impossible to practice if the prutagjanas know only Musa!. Dr. Nalin de Silva (who is a pruthagjana), claims that only the Arhanths have true knowledge! This is simply the paradox of the Cretan who said that all Cretans are liars!” Thank you. This proves that the Sinhala Modayas, Fools are not restricted to the Villages. They are in the Sri Lankan “educated: as well. If you can get some DNA from inside the cheek of “Dr. Nalin de Silva”, it is very easy to prove that he is a Para-Dravidian from South India, also known as Para-Sinhala.

    Amarasiri
    March 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm
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      Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana Ken Miller on Human Evolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk Ask Dr. Nalin de Silva as to his two missing Chromosomes. Of course they are Para-chromosomes. Uploaded on Feb 14, 2007 Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

      Amarasiri
      March 31, 2015 at 8:30 pm
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    Glyphosate is considered to be toxic to humans. http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/toxic/glyphosate.php Arsenic is considered to be toxic to humans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_toxicity The author should reveal his credentials and areas of specialisation. Harping on people who deny science and/or those who believe in unscientific pronouncements does not prove anything. Herbicide producing/marketing firms ‘buy over’ pseudo scientists to enable their mega business in third world countries.

    justice
    March 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm
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      Justice@, Glyphosate is now becoming a threat to any country – not restrict to developing. It is said the chemical believed to be natural decayable is now ominpresent according to researchers. Developed world have mechanisms to control the limit properly while srilanka and developoing countries dont care about that has been key reason them to get caught health probelms. Even if lanken researchers they say have fouund the causation for unprecedented elevations in renal health problems in some geographic regions of the island and Nikaragua- the reason has been heavey metal containing in drinking water should be affecting their organs,but these metals were there also in preivous times in the lanken drinking water of those regions but not that harm was reported – THE FACT IS GLYPHOSATE MAKE CHELAT COMPLEX and that then damage the renal or other orgas cause young people to be caught unexpected renal problems.

      Samuel Jayaweera
      March 31, 2015 at 7:11 pm
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        The President’s own brother was a racketeer who controlled the sand market and was known as Waeli Raja. He was hacked to death by another one of his associates when thieves fall apart. These people destroy the ground by taking sand from everywhere, heaving up the earth and this makes toxic minerals and decaying stuff buried under ground to come up and poison the water table. The Kidney Disease is in those areas controlled by Waeli Raja. So don’t blame fertilizers and pesticides. The politicians in the NCP even stop the water flow in the Rajarata tanks to dig for sand, or lower the water so that the hotel Guests of then President’s brother’s resorts can boat around the tanks etc. This is “Yaha-paalanaya”. Glyphosate DOES decay rapidly. But it is always present because farmers use fresh Glyphosate because there are fresh weeds to get rid of. But, in spite of the high use of Glyphosate, especially in Western Countires, the amounts found in the water are said to be a few parts per billion. There are lots of other more important pollutants in much larger amounts that we have to worry about before we worry about Glyphosate.

        Bodin
        March 31, 2015 at 11:31 pm
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          So what you are trying to say is presidents brother is the key reason Rajarata people to remain renal sick ? You may be related to Buruwanse by any chance to add this kind of narrow views ? THat shoudl have been long process – had the authorities controlled it decades ago, nothing like those heavy metals could be found in drink water today. Srilanken soil is not enriched by heavy metals as it si the case with those of Russia and CHina. So I really dont think those farming community had that kind of problems 2 decades ago in the country. My problem is why the govt cant provide them with healthy drinking water yet which is the cheapest food item that living being could have.

          Samare
          April 1, 2015 at 1:58 am
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        SJ says the reason has been heavey metal containing in drinking water should be affecting their organs,but these metals were there also in preivous times in the lanken drinking water of those regions but not that harm was reported – THE FACT IS GLYPHOSATE MAKE CHELAT COMPLEX . There is less than a few parts of Glyphosate in a billion parts of rajarata water, as shown in the chemical analysis data given by the WHO for 250 samples of water. Similarly, there is less than a few parts of heavy metals per billion parts Rajarata water, as shown by three independent studies (WHO, Japanese, and also University of Peradeniya Geology Dept). So, to begin with there is virtually NO Glyphosate or heavy Metals in the water. Now, if Glyphosate makes these , that chelates, they are extremely insoluble and precipitate into the bottom and DO NOT go to the body. So, if cheating occurs, it CANNOT be a cause of Kidney disease, but INCREASES the Safety of the water. This was a scientifically unsound hypothesis and Jayasumana et al couldn’t get it published in any scientific journal. So they paid some $1500 and got it printed in a private publication owned by a Chinese businessman in Switzerland. It is this unsubstantiated and unlikely hypothesis that is the basis of this whole halla-buloo. It has NO scientific basis, and Jayasumana et al have not presented nothing since then to prove that this chelate exists in the Rajarata water. THEY KNOW THAT IT DOESN’T EXIST.

        chemist
        April 1, 2015 at 12:01 am
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          It was Prof Nalin de Silva who initiated the research on insecticides and Arsenic through Dr Jayasumana. De Silva was of the hypothesis that it was the heavy metals and chelate with hard water and then get deposited in kidneys after drinkin contaminated water. Thouugh the origin of the presence of arsenic is ambiguous(Natha deviyo has informed a pious human being. Later this was scientifically proven. In science a hypothesis can be derived from just observations. So there is no harm or unscientific ofDe silva’s hypothesis was derived from Natha deviyo. What is important is that it has been proved correct by western scientific methodology. This was confirmed by WHO as well

          Puranappu
          April 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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            Puranappu, what steps they the responsible agro authorities have taken strictly since Jayasumana et al and the related thought (i m not yet sure aboutthe paper contents) that AsENIC not Glyphosat is the key factor for the UNKNOWN KIDENY DISEASE that is reported to tak the life of 30- 50 year olds in farming community (Rajarata and few other regions) that never had any kind of health problems before. Jayasumana et al -paper published last year is still not acceptable to me. I believe synergies of various factors play a role not only AS. Getting to know the steps taken by lanken auhtorities is important POINT for my own info – since I have been an activist against overuse of any chemicals not forgetting Monsanto ‘s Glyphosat. EU will not extend the licence which is to be expired in 2015. They are a rapidly growing folks that raise their voice today than had been early this century. Only way out to the UKD in srilaka is awareness programmes to the farming communiting with provision of healthy drinking water to each household and setting a screening committee to collect their data and anylse them with effect from now. I have been talking to several companies to work on this – since our people are really in need in terms of UKD.

            Sama
            April 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm
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            Dr. Nalin de Silva misguided the research by claiming that Arsenic is the problem when ultimately it is found that there is NO ARSENIC in the water Table in the North central province. I agree with the “Chemist” above who has pointed out the correct technical facts. In Bangladesh it was found to be the cause. Nalin de Silva, and the woman who claimed to be hearing voices from Gods (schizophrenia?) knew this and imagined that even in Sri Lanka it could be the problem. BUT they had no data. So they CLAIMED that God said it! The Bangladesh problem was that they were getting water from Tube wells, and the deep-layer water had arsenic. Fortunately, NOT SO in the North Central province. So, this was utter misdirection of scientific research. When the donkey who doesn’t know science tries to do the dogs job and direct science, he just misdirects as poor patients go on dying.

            manoharan
            April 2, 2015 at 9:23 am
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            From which corner do these Devil dancing ,Village Yakos come from. There is only one word to put to these idiotic arseholes like Nalin Silva and his foolish followers These buggers still live in some cuckoo land where Thovil Karayas . Hooniyan Devathavas etc are there to save their lives and miserable existence. You idiots still go to nakath karayas and Astrologers and see what happened to Mahinda Mama when he heeded the advice of Pissu Sumane the million dollar con man. Sorry mate Iam going to use a very appropriate term to . Natha Deviyo you fucking fools, this Natha Bugger must be Nalin Silvas nutty imagination, Nalin Silva is fast getting close to Dementia. Nuts man . sorry for this poor bugger.

            sena
            April 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm
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              what is the relevance of your two cts to this page ?

              Sama
              April 2, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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          Mr. CHemist@, very good point “it is this unsubstantiated and unlikely hypothesis that is the basis of this whole halla-buloo. It has NO scientific basis, and Jayasumana et al have not presented nothing since then to prove that this chelate exists in the Rajarata water. THEY KNOW THAT IT DOESN’T EXIST” Jayasumana et al should continue their research from the above mentioned point. I have no doubt that Pharma company help them with the funds. anyway the guy Jayasumana is ignoring when asking about comments on the issue – may be his mentors are connected to Monsanto (the monster of all times acutally to our eyes).

          Sama
          April 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm
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      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25763302 Even if LANKEN researchers believe that Asenic should be the key cause for lanken kind of renal problems.. Why is that we dont have powerfulbody to control any kind of cheimicals to be controlled ? This kind of filter functions can prevent innocient people from being caught by unexpected health problems. Universities should be a part of such control mechanisms – actually, I had the feeling this we already had in 80ties. But it to have turned to ignore with the rise of varied kind of lucrative businesses inlcuding pharma industry. I think University chemistry professors could equally play a greater role in the control processes of hazadous chemicals being illegally imported to the country. I know even if DDT (which is found cancerous) but it was used as insecticide in our countries until shortly, but WHO had banned it in the west long ago. Prof. Krüger from Germany has found a lot against Glyphosat – but manufacturere company Monsanto has their proxy researchers that deny any harmful effects of Glyphosat. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=glyphosat+Kr%C3%BCger+Urine

      Supun Jayawardhana
      March 31, 2015 at 7:34 pm
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        There is a strong pesticide regulatory body under the Registrar of Pesticides in Sri Lanka, and you CANNOT import pesticides and harmful chemicals into Sri Lanka unless you are a friend of the President or some minister. Just try it. The problem is NOT pesticides, but the Fertilizers which are said to be extremely OVERUSED. Even Vitamin C becomes a poison if you use 10 times the prescribed amount. Farmers use excess to get the Government subsidy in excess and in the wrong belief that the more fertilizer you you, the better the yield! I think DDT is NOT banned any more for domestic use against mosquito etc and WHO lifted the ban in 2005 or 2008. Unfortunately, the US is still refusing to give up the ban and punishes contries by sanctions if you ignore it. India, China and Russia has always ignored the DDT ban and they make their own DDT. It was poltical pressure from the Nixon administration that led to the ban of DDT as he wanted to get the “Green” vote. DDT is cancerous in large amounts, and gasoline fumes are said to be more cancerous at the amounts when DDT becomes cancerous. In Sri Lanka, they can control Dengu very easily and harmlessly by using DDT just inside homes, so no environmental damage occurs. The WHO report explains how to use DDT safely.

        anonymous
        March 31, 2015 at 11:22 pm
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          Mr Annonymous, You are trying to tell it in that way, but if there is a relevant body to oversee as you say above, why did they fail to advise the farmers as how they should use them ? http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr50/en/ They still believe DDT to be cancerous chemical. So why should we use them further indoor is not clear to me. :(

          Samuel Jayaweera
          April 1, 2015 at 1:53 am
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            The J. R. Government allowed free-market sales of Fertilizers. So, with Fertilizer subsidies in place, farmers don’t follow the “advise” posted by the agriculture dept, but talk with the Mudalali. Perhaps Mr. Jayaweera is not a planter or farmer. Just go to the up country area and talk with the Fertilizer seller etc., and see how it works. All the stuff are certified good stuff, and there are no Toxins in them; but the amount sold per person should be controlled, just as the amount of medicines you buy from a pharmacy should be what the doctor prescribed and not 10 times that. When you buy more fertilizer, you can collect the subsidy and resell the stuff to someone else etc., and there are all sorts of rackets. DDT is not carcinogenic at the amounts prescribed by the WHO for domestic use. (I think it is like 2 parts per billion). Downlaod it and read it. Also read: Marjorie Mazel Hecht, 2002. “Bring Back DDT, and Science With It.” 21st Century, Summer 2002 http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ summ02/DDT.html

            anonymous
            April 1, 2015 at 5:50 am
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              In European supermarkets when THE underage buy alcohol they are asked to show their identities. So is in the states. And when buying agro chemicals they have to control even more since they could harm to the people and environment when using beyond the levels as advised by local protection authorities. I have no doubt, lanka has enough graduates to do the jobs. How many agro graduates pass out yearly ? MR regime has appointed those graduates to distribute seeds across the country and what I got to know last was – many of them are given proper tasks…. why ? All because of lack of systems in the country or not ? On my last visit towards the end of the last year, I could not see any kind of better systems are in place to lanken day life yet today- and this is the reason why them to misuse those agro chemicals. There should be controllers among them having the authority to check those farmers whether they use them going beyond exceeding levels. In GERMANY and other countries they hold very strick with environmental and agro laws make them much easier to control it not going to the levels that can trigger health problems. Sound exposure is unblievable in Kadawatha, Kiribathgoda and Pettah as if they have no ears.. in buses it was horrible… going beyond all permittable decible levels… so no wonder the state train their people to be deaf… ? I think the problems in srilanka is- they have not proper systems yet, even if some areas have just been improved while the basic systems are not yet introduced. Collecting data and introduction of relevant system to any areas make it easy today using internet & IT facilities. On one hand they have a FB community as no where in the world- since FB is advertised in Lanken TV. And still not ot have introduced proper systems to save the lives of the innocient people is tragical.

              Samuel Jayaweera
              April 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm
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              And The dose makes the poison” is an adage first expressed by Paracelsus intended to indicate a basic principle of toxicology. It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration. Even 20 tablets of Paracetomol could kill us easily. We need very strict laws in that areas of Agro chemical use across the country. If laws can take control in developed countries why not in SL where they say they have a higher literacy rate – smilar to that of Germany and France.

              Samuel Jayaweera
              April 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm
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              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005273607003306 DDT is being sprayed by users in developing world without taking any care of their health lead them and others to get mutated. So we cant talk about the amounts they use – i think it is HEALTHIER to have it banned in lanka too. I dont know how they the authoritis work on that.

              Seelawathi Jayasinghe
              April 1, 2015 at 9:05 pm
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    I think there is a side that Prof Dharmawardane did not see too. In front of Quantumn physics, what is Newtonian Physics ? Why, long ago, they tried to solve all those problems in Astronomy or of particle physics only with light matter and now they chase dark matter and dark energy. That is not a good example though Like that that there are so many proven things in every aspect of science. Scientists believe those things to be so much true only later to be found those were not the truth. Chemistry had that kind of areas, Biology has too. It seems Prof Dharmawardane has written a very generalized article and has not thought about the core of the issue. Even Big bang theory to support the Christian ideology and I think, Only Stephan Hawking went out of the way. Now, he is branded as an Atheist. Do you see the religious influence on science. Scientific method helps only to solve things that we all ready know and not other things. That is why thought experiments and trial and error are needed.

    Jim softy
    April 1, 2015 at 12:03 am
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    What ever it is, the way western science handles issues, it will never address the whole as a whole and we will never find the real truth. Science needs a different of way of addressing issues. The way, prof Dhramawardane discusses it, you address it superficially. The basic issue is the way they think and the way they influence others to think. You need to find why others are saying that.

    Jim softy
    April 1, 2015 at 2:15 am
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      So you think Eastern science has got it? No Sir, there is only one science, and that is what exists all over the world. It is also the one science that is consistent with the Glorious teachings of the Prophet.

      Bodin
      April 1, 2015 at 5:54 am
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    God decides everything. If you go against him with science God will punish you. God will decide if GMO foods are good or Glycophosphates are carcinogenic or whether Kidney Diseases are caused by pesticides and fertilizers. There is no proof that the Earth is a globe in shape except what people say. Man never landed on the moon and god made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. More and more people in the west are realizing their love for science is unfounded and they are finding true salvation via the only true god the Father of Christ.. Those who accept him will rise. Rest of you heathens with your faith in science and math will be left behind with your idols and statues of Buddha and Shiva while we we will ascend at the Church of Ascension in Jerusalem when the judgement day comes. Science has brought misery, war, plagues, massacres. Trust God and Jesus and you will be saved.

    Pakis Pettiya
    April 1, 2015 at 4:59 am
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      Pakis Patiya or Buru Patiya @, I will sleep on the rail ways tomorrow, thinking of god would help me escaping being killed by a train – is that right according to you ? To the manner if we the people would leave it upon god you would never achieve anything. If the systems to protect and save the nation would have been in place, those RENAL sick people .. or ones becoming sick will have been escaped from being killed immaturedly. Instead of sitting in gas chambers but believing god would be the only saviour cant help us. THis way god thinkig is actually mega foolish, better do something going through your knowledge can lead you to become what you are.

      Supun Jayawardhane
      April 2, 2015 at 2:25 am
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    You’ve gone to excruciating lengths to drive home your main point on herbicides and fertilisers and now with an online article…wouldn’t have expected anything else of a mouthpiece of chemical Fert companies. How much and for how long have they been lining your pockets “Prof”? The unfortunate truth is that even professors in SL educated on the dime of the masses continue to lack any credibility as they have forgotten what it means to be objective and to carry out an objective analysis. All we get are circuitous and contorted arguments…usually for what is most harmful for humans, and on the other side of the coin, most profitable for private corporations.

    CiTizen
    April 1, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      It easy to say “how long have they been lining your pockets” if that is the morality that you operate in ? The article has given facts in “excruciating detail”. haven’t you got even one single bit of facts to support what every you think is the problem? Are you a flat-earthist, a “patta-pal-boru man? or someone who is ready to throw out the cell-phones and lap tops because it is causing brain cancer? Sri Lanka will never develop and become a prosperous country with these morons being citizens.

      Villager
      April 2, 2015 at 9:30 am
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    Science is about ‘get quick’ results, with not much thought about the consequences. Einstein developed the atom bomb only to regret it deeply later. Kalashnikov developed a fool proof gun and regretted later about it in his writings. Unless a great deal of thought is given to the final outcome and the implications in the long term ‘science’ for science sake is foolhardy.

    mel
    April 1, 2015 at 8:45 pm
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    The current president was the Minister of Agriculture, and also the Minster of Health during the last decade. He coudn’t do anything for the Kidney patients in the North Central Province as his family were busy digging up the ground or blasting rock and selling it and in the process polluting the ground. The Weli Rajas, Gal Rajas and Hora-Lee Rajas have now got full power with their Raja in Power. He was in power even under the previous regime!!!! So, instead of bringing the crooks to book, let us blame the fertilizers, pesticides etc which are also freely and safely used in the rest of the country to produce cash crops like Tea, Rubber, Vegetables etc. What this writer says makes good sense. Don’t blame the fertilizers and Pesticides. Without them are we going to bring back Indian “Coolies” to manually weed the Tea plantations, like what the British did in the old days when there was no Glyphosate and fertilizers? Then, and Now, there is no kidney disease in the Tea estates etc. So don’t blame the fertilizers and the Glyphosates.

    Yahapaalanaya
    April 2, 2015 at 9:15 am
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      You dont need to blame AGRO chemicals but you need to hold them within the permittable dose levels not allowing them to be mixed with drinking water table. That is what you have to do. In Germany and other countries they have diverse kinds of agro chemicals are regualarly being in place to control weeds and pests but they also have a surveillance system to control the using doses. These all chemicals are poisonous in execessive use. Latter should be what we have to focus on.. just telling that not to blame but to protect Monsanto and the like gigantic manufacturers- cant help nobody. I have read serveral articles that the good prof has published, but he has not produced any constructive alternatives. They are the ones that shouuld make lanken authoriteis clear about the danger in use of all excessive levels of chemicals.

      Seelawathie Jayasinghe
      April 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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    Dear Professor Dharmawardana, As a physicist, you don’t seem to know much about biology, and make some rather dubious statements, here (though I share your dim view of pseudoscience). I don’t see how Einstein’s theories disprove the hypothesis that mobile phones or other electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer. This cannot be done on the basis of studying cells or molecules and Einstein’s theories and the tragic death of Marie Curie from radiation poisoning proved that EMR can indeed cause cancer. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies in on animals, as well as humans who were exposed to nuclear radiation. Whether or not mobile phones increase the risk of cancer is indicated by epidemiology and statistics – looking at the correspondence between mobile phone use and increased cancer, particularly brain tumours, leukaemia and lymphoma (all of which are known to be caused by other higher frequencies of EMR, thought to be due to increase in DNA mutations). The fact is that there HAS been an increase in brain tumour rates in some countries (including Australia). There is also this 2011 report from the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/8606104/Mobile-phones-cause-five-fold-increase-in-brain-cancer-risk.html You statement that the proof of the non-toxicity of Glyophosphate (Roundup) should be based on studies of micro-organisms, arguing that if toxicity exists, it is most visible at that level, because micro-organisms don’t have an immune system or kidneys is nonsense. There are millions of species of micro-organism, most with far greater resistance to toxicity than delicate humans do. The report confirming that Glyophosphate is a probable carcinogen, was not seized upon by “Science Nay-Sayers” comparable with Flat-Earthists and village superstitions. There is also sensible opposition to a trend to over-immunization, driven by the pharmaceutical industry and the industrial dominance of massive corporations like Monsanto for a many good reasons (including the deliberate creation of sterile breeds to ensure greater profits and dependance on the seed producers). Your statement that “sugar should be banned” because it is the cause of Type II diabetes and obesity, and is available in our other foods, is likewise very poorly informed for a professor of science. Excess carbohydrates and fats, and lack of physical activity, are the main causes of obesity, which is one of many factors in the development of Type II diabetes (stress may also be a contributing factor). It is a well-known biological fact that all sugars are broken down into glucose, which is the basic energy source for all anaerobic cells (through the Kreb’s cycle, which you would have learned in first year university if you studied biology and not physics). Not only should sugar not be banned, the development of the sugar industry in Sri Lanka should be encouraged, along with other agriculture. Demonizing sugar is, in my view, worse than demonising Monsanto. Neither should be done by an objective scientist.

    Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam
    July 21, 2015 at 10:25 am
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