Natural = good?
Of Silvano Fuso, professor of chemistry and science writer, is a book that I keep on the bedside table along with a few others, what I consider helpful, after reading them for the first time, consult from time to time.
He participated in the Award in a previous edition and I think one of the most interesting non-fiction books received. Until now.
As it says in the title, the book questions the fact True or not thinking so prevalent today that all that is natural is good and to be found carefully, while that which is not belongs to a category to avoid with as much attention.
But what natural means? And because even today our current problems make us think like that Carducci "Sol in the past is the beautiful"?
The author tries to be traced back to a truer vision of history that we know little or tend to forget.
In fact, this nostalgia of the past do not want to remember the fact that man to this day has freed largely from the need to work hard to obtain a minimum amount of food and lengthened life expectancy, after defeating terrible diseases that caused sufferings can not be eliminated.
The dichotomy today is this.
That is to say that in the face of a growing increase in controls, of checks in terms of reliability in the food sector, medical and cosmetic, we are witnessing a growing mistrust of people to research and scientific progress.
In the name of a nostalgic time who misses an idealized past and maybe even never existed.
And what about forgetting agriculture or cosmetics or natural medicine is a contradiction because in these activities, the ultimate goal is just to change the nature making it more favorable to man, and certainly not to humor.
The author analyzes without starting from dogmatic positions all aspects and eventually asks if beyond the commercial slogans and fashions all that is natural is actually better and if what is being described as nature is really that.
An interesting chapter is devoted to 'high speed describing benefits and risks and one to antivaccini movements.
Finally, the author writes that the so widespread opinion that what is considered natural is necessarily beneficial to man is a current myth and though often belied by the facts.
The Nature is neither good nor bad and it makes no sense to attribute moral qualities even if our minds are prepared to do so.
The text closes with a reflection of Primo Levi all the more modern: "Better give up the truths revealed. Better settle for less shining truth,more modest they acquire laboriously, little by little and without shortcuts, with the study, the discussion,reasoning and can be verified and demonstrated ".
"What does the future have to offer?"Still asks the author.
Any forecast would be risky, there are no guiding principles outside of ourselves and the only viable road is in reference to our intelligence, however, aware of our limits and knowing that nature is totally indifferent to human events.
"The man was found by chance by the blind indifference of the universe" He wrote the Nobel Prize J.Monod.
Living day by day carefully evaluating the choices and continuously correcting the course when it becomes necessary to do so driven by new findings.
This is the only means we have to delay the extinction to which our, like all other biological species appears destined.
Even if that does not make us pleasure.