Though Peter’s life is remarkable enough, what is most astounding is the sheer scale of scientific and philosophical interest that his case aroused. While wits opined that the boy might be corrupted by the sybaritic life of London high society, others saw in him an ideal test case for the nascent sciences of anthropology and psychology.
To the thinkers of the Age of Reason, Peter represented a blank slate. As humanity in its ‘raw’ state, he was what Jean-Jacques Rousseau called ‘the noble savage’, man ‘unspoilt’ by society and civilisation. He was indeed a fascinating subject, but he provoked further, disquieting, enquiry. He was undoubtedly human but, lacking speech and socialisation, could he be classed as a man? Could he have a soul? Could he possess the power of thought?
Of the numerous thinkers and writers who addressed the subject, Daniel Defoe did so with the most clarity in his pamphlet Mere Nature Delineated, published in 1726. He described Peter as an ‘object of pity’ but cast doubt on the story of his origins, dismissing it as a ‘Fib’. On the issue of Peter’s soul, he was more charitable. Possessed of the gift of laughter and thought, Peter clearly had a soul, he wrote, but its powers did not yet act within him. He was, in sum, ‘in a state of Mere Nature … a ship without a Rudder’.
Just from a historical point of view this account of Peter by Roger Moorhouse is fascinating. Though it is a historical, religious and philosophical account, not a scientific one. Peter was certainly human based on anatomy, physiology and most of all genes. Defoe and other speculated that peter suffered from a mental condition. Let’s assume that Peter was truly feral, left in the woods at a very young age. Such children do not develop or later develop only rudimentary language skills because the human brain needs social stimulation as part of its physical development. If someone passes a certain juncture in their development without the input of language and all the abstractions contained in the imaginary of language, they will not develop biologically in the way a non-feral child would. Dogs are not people, but it is known that once a dog passes a certain age without contact and input from a human, they’ll never be able to bond with humans like they should, because an essential chemical change will not take place in the dog’s brain which affects the physical nature of its neurons( the same is true for feral cats).
By the ’40s, Monsanto had moved on to oil-based plastics, including polystyrene foam (also known as styrofoam).
As most of us are aware by now, polystyrene foam is an environmental disaster. Not only is there nothing out there that biodegrades it, it breaks off into tiny pieces that choke animals, harm marine life, and release cancer-causing benzene into the environment for a thousand years or more.
[ ]…3) Agent Orange
First developed as an herbicide and defoliant, Agent Orange was used infamously as a military weapon by the U.S. Army during Vietnam to remove the dense foliage of the jungle canopy.
In the process, they dumped over 12 million gallons of the potent chemical cocktail—described by Yale biologist Arthur Galston as “perhaps the most toxic molecule ever synthesized by man”—over towns, farms, and water supplies during a nine-year period.
“When [military scientists] initiated the herbicide program in the 1960s, we were aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin contamination in the herbicide … ,” said Dr. James R. Clary, a former government scientist with the Chemical Weapons Branch. “However, because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ none of us were overly concerned.”
Monsanto and other corporate cultures could get away with one, maybe two, we had the best intentions defenses. Not five. There are actually more between the products and the lawsuits that have used to silence critics and avoid accountability. I’m pass seeing the irony of the high on fake freedom tea stains fight for the right of corporations like Monsanto to poison more Americans.