Sun, Aug 21, 2016
Much as witchcraft is highly not likely to be science, but beyond, science is considerably and arguably witchcraft.
Do you believe in the existence of what is commonly called spiritual powers? Or, do you have an intransigent predilection towards what is commonly called scientific powers?
Well, I don’t care what beliefs you are currently embracing but I care (not much, though) about whether you will be able to take in what I’m about to philosophize concerning this interminable old age topic.
A topic that no one has answers to (at least as far as I am aware), from time immemorial up to now. If you have the answers, please, don’t hesitate to reach us at The African Exponent, so that you enhance our knowledge data base. We’ll be glad!
What is the difference between a European scientist who builds a telephone device, that can transmit the voice of one person from the USA to another in Africa, thereby managing to get a following of buyers, and an African witch who relies on shaping and shaking gourds from calabashes so as to communicate with what they believe to be the gods, and in so doing, manages to get a gigantic following, with testimonies from people, about healing and ability to talk to gods?
I must state that the difference is only in dress-code, the nature of the problem being solved and the type of people seeking the respective expertise (I know it’s quite funny to call a witch, an expert. Ha ha).
As the European scientist uses a visible device (the phone and its components) to manipulate the invisible, reportedly wave-laden realm, to transmit a human voice from one place to another, the African witch uses a visible device (the gourd and its components) to manipulate the invisible, reportedly god-laden realm, to get information to pass on to the desperately but expectantly waiting wide-eyed visitors.
A self-important, skeptical, modern psychologist could rightly argue that these witches merely use the aspect of fear and aggression to make their visitors succumb to an array of falsehoods.
However, this psychologist would be risking to lose the validity of their argument if they overlook the fact that, despite the presence of a fear-laden atmosphere in the witches’ shrines, the witches’ following keeps growing day in day out!
There is a greater mystery behind the African society's continued and seemingly intrinsic yearning for witches.
This paradox of witches having large followings concurrent with a fear-laden atmosphere could be considerably debunked by these phenomena:
Belief systems, behavior and cultures are complex systems, hence, are hard to break and or alter.
More still, man is genetically wired to have a sense of certainty and control, for survival purposes. The fear of uncertainty and the fear of lacking control is more unbearable than that of facing an aggressive, mantra-chatting witch who promises the gift of certainty.
So, anyone who looks like is in a position to offer man these genetic, hence, inescapable needs, is poised to have a large following irrespective of how they package and present their catalog of services.
The same phenomena could explain why we yearn for telephones made by a modern scientist. This leads me to conclusively inquire whether scientists are modern witches, whether science is witchcraft or whether witchcraft is science.
Just like I said at the start of the article, feel free to bring us the answers.
Having attempted to bridge the old age chasm between science and witchcraft, I now attempt to use a quintessential, modern, scientific artifact to reinforce the bridge.
This modern and European artifact has a significant resemblance to the contemporary witchcraft, rain making and rain stopping ceremonies common in Africa. The scientific artifact is the Rain room in London, at the Barbican Centre’s Curve Gallery.
In its man-made and micro-climate, rain water could fall inside this rain room and the rain water droplets avoid the position occupied by an individual, keeping the person dry and intact. One literally walks through the rain without getting wet!
A dry zone is created around each person, acting like an invisible umbrella that protects the individual from the wetting nature of the rain water.
The rain room includes injection molded tiles, solenoid valves, pressure regulators, custom software, 3D tracking cameras, steel beams and 2,500 liters of water to create a downpour of a thousand liters of rain each minute.
There are more intricate, scientific dynamics involved in the creation of this room. I spare you these details given their insignificance to this article.
However, it is not the number of scientific principles involved that should arouse awe. It is the unprecedented ingenuity to use the principles to manipulate nature, stopping the rain and to evade wetness, that should arouse awe.
This is where science meets the unexplainable. Arguably, this is where, and how the modern scientists emulated their differently placed counterparts, the African witches.
It could be further argued that African witches are more sophisticated, given that they can stop the rain by merely using word of mouth and a few chants unlike the modern scientists who have to go through more energy consuming and tangible drills of adjusting pressure drills and 3D cameras so as to stop the rain.
An upcoming philosopher could assert that science is a subset of witchcraft, as the meta-subtlety of witchcraft is evident. What do you think?
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.