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Archaic Modernities: SCIENCE, SECULARISM, AND RELIGION IN MODERN INDIA

Archaic Modernities: SCIENCE, SECULARISM, AND RELIGION IN MODERN INDIA Page 67 Archaic Modernities SCIENCE, SECULARISM, AND RELIGION IN MODERN INDIA If people become what they think they are, what they think they are is exceedingly important. —Linda Fedigan, Primate Paradigms: Sex Roles and Social Bonds Banu Subramaniam Dreams of an Insomniac Science has transformed the visual schemes of an insomniac—the studious invocation of sheep, the procession of zoological icons hypnotically jumping a white picket fence on a soft green lawn.1 Thanks to the cloning feat of Dr. Ian Wilmut,2 all I see today is a stream of Dollys, identical in every manner, deftly clearing the barricade in quick succession. There is no comfort anymore, no soporific presence. A genetically engineered sheep is no longer innocent, naive. These icons that inhabited my nightly imagination, the last refuge of an insomniac, are suddenly pregnant with meaning, rich with symbolism. Life is not the same anymore. The realm of the “natural,” a world untainted by human interventions, has exploded into a kaleidoscope of technological wizardry. Science has taken over that last bastion of the personal and private, the world of one’s dreams. And yet, just as science in all its quests for rationality has conquered another realm of the supposedly http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Archaic Modernities: SCIENCE, SECULARISM, AND RELIGION IN MODERN INDIA

Social Text , Volume 18 (3 64) – Sep 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-18-3_64-67
Publisher site
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Abstract

Page 67 Archaic Modernities SCIENCE, SECULARISM, AND RELIGION IN MODERN INDIA If people become what they think they are, what they think they are is exceedingly important. —Linda Fedigan, Primate Paradigms: Sex Roles and Social Bonds Banu Subramaniam Dreams of an Insomniac Science has transformed the visual schemes of an insomniac—the studious invocation of sheep, the procession of zoological icons hypnotically jumping a white picket fence on a soft green lawn.1 Thanks to the cloning feat of Dr. Ian Wilmut,2 all I see today is a stream of Dollys, identical in every manner, deftly clearing the barricade in quick succession. There is no comfort anymore, no soporific presence. A genetically engineered sheep is no longer innocent, naive. These icons that inhabited my nightly imagination, the last refuge of an insomniac, are suddenly pregnant with meaning, rich with symbolism. Life is not the same anymore. The realm of the “natural,” a world untainted by human interventions, has exploded into a kaleidoscope of technological wizardry. Science has taken over that last bastion of the personal and private, the world of one’s dreams. And yet, just as science in all its quests for rationality has conquered another realm of the supposedly

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2000

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