Science Program for Reservation Children
are on four reservations in San Diego County: Pala, Jamul, Campo, La Jolla.
The purposes of this free monthly program are many: nourish interest in
love of outdoors, introduction to outdoors science as a career, share
the values that protect the earth, and to provide outdoors scientists
as role models. The program is the brainchild of Dr. Eleanora (Norrie)
Robbins, a geologist who retired in 2001 from the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) in the Washington, DC area. She is now adjunct faculty at San Diego
The activities are
designed for children, 6-12 year old. These include: exploring the four
directions, collecting rocks, discovering what people add to the streams,
digging to learn about soil and underground water, panning for gold and
minerals, learning outdoors photography skills, and hunting for lizards.
The children are free to roam, get wet and dirty, and to make obs ervations;
if they don't think they are having fun, they vote with their feet.
Directors on each reservation structure their programs individually. Some
feed the children lunch or snacks, and some provide a van and driver to
transport the children. Their funding is through MESA, JOM, or Head Start
Boys and Girls Clubs. Some request an hour after school programs and some
reserve a longer block of time on Saturday. Future proposed urban meetings
of the Explorer Club may include trips to traditional village sites in
San Diego city: Old town, Balboa Park, Mission Valley and so on. These
meetings continue to hold the promise of increased awareness of tradition
and the positive encouragement of self esteem. More volunteer biologists
and Tribal elders are needed. She is inviting, with tribal encouragement,
other scientists from San Diego State University, United States Geological
Survey, Santa Ana Water Quality Review Board, and Palomar College.
can forget about neurochemistry. (A dream showed Nobel prizewinner Otto
Lowei that the chemical messengers, we now call neurotransmitters, are
responsible for the flow of information in the human brain.) We can write
off pasteurization, penicillin, and hundreds of other modern discoveries
and inventions. for example: Alexander Graham Bell used intuitions that
he called "a conquering force within" to invent the telephone and Henri
Poincare, the mathematician who created the science of topology, said,
"It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover."
American Indians did not know about the scientific method, so their knowledge and inventions could not be scientific. Europeans didn't use it either because it hadn't yet been invented. Historical researchers seldom mention this critical fact.
Most scholars credit Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman who lived from 1561 to1626, as the father of the scientific method. Sometimes Galileo, an astronomer, who lived from 1564 to 1642, is also credited. Both were born well after Columbus landed in the Americas. The fact that Galileo was arrested by the Catholic Inquisition in 1633 for heresy and held prisoner until he died in 1642 indicates that the scientific method was not only unwelcome in Europe for at least 150 years after 1492 the scientific method was considered a sin and a crime.
Insisting that pre-contact American Indians ought to have used the scientific method before it existed is irresponsible and sloppy scholarship.
It can be difficult
to detect because it often omits critical facts about both American Indian
and European history. The fact that these articles and books are frequently
written by well-respected scholars and authorities makes it even more
difficult to detect. Like a low-grade infection, it works below the level
of awareness, affecting students from elementary school to graduate school.