Importance of science

LAST week a video of a demon manifesting at Divine Yard Church made the rounds on social media. The demon claimed it was the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable Lazarus Dokora. It said its agenda was to bring Islam into the country and destabilise Christianity. It said it wanted school kids to recite the national pledge because he (the minister) wanted to “catch them young.” The demon said it was sent by its master Satan, also known as Lucifer and it was from the Islamic religion. It said its plan was to remove Christianity from Zimbabwe.

I was shocked by the enthusiastic and fully-engrossed congregants who seemed to be buying this nonsense! First of all, the idea that this demon could understand and speak in English is crazy! Where did the Islamic demon learn to speak English?

One might say the demon is alleged to be that of Minister Dokora, and he can speak English; limited as my understanding of the spiritual world is, I would expect the spirit of Honourable Dokora to be Shona, so why and how would a Shona spirit come out speaking in English?

Do demons just pop out of anyone willy-nilly? Is this girl related to the minister in any way or she was just an innocent victim of the restless spirit? If that is the case, I shudder to think that the demon of Bill Clinton can decide to just jump out of me and proclaim that it wants me dead because I am anti-white supremacy!

Then there is the allegation that Lucifer is the master of Islam! What a reckless statement to include in this act! Did this John Chibwe, pastor at the Divine Yard church, not do his research about Islam? You would think a pastor with such a following would at least take his time to get his facts straight, perfect his script so that it is foolproof and safe from dissection by those of us not loyal to him.

Throughout Africa, I have watched in disbelief, “demons of grandparents,” born and bred in the deepest parts of rural Plumtree; who have no radio or television; have only ever spoken Kalanga in their lifetimes; announcing to the world in fluent English that would make the Queen burst with pride; that they are the reason you were fired from your job; that they caused the miscarriage you suffered while living and working in London! So these demons somehow know they are coming out at an “International church”, with an “international audience” so they automatically switch from their mother tongues to English.

This makes me really angry, and not just at the pastor but also at all the people that fall for these tricks every single day. What is it that makes grown men and women not see through obviously fraudulent performances. We have adopted a culture of not questioning anything, of just blowing with the wind and following the masses. This is the reason why we are not developing as individuals, as communities and as a nation. All of us lack critical thinking, hence the need for a new curriculum that will teach our children to be analytic and to manipulate their environment better than we ever have.

Zimbabweans are educated, or so we claim. It is not evident though to anyone anywhere because our education has not done anything for us. Our education has not protected us from rogue men of God. It has not developed our rural areas and for some, it is unable to put food on the table. This shows that the way we teach needs to change. What we are taught has to change. The way we think must change.

We need an education system that pushes science to the forefront so that our children, from an early age, adopt a scientific way of thinking. Like one placard proclaimed during the Annual March for Science celebrations in The United States: “Science is more than a body of knowledge, it is a way of thinking.”

The new curriculum introduces science at ECD level, and the minister of Higher and Tertiary Education is pushing Science through the STEM programme so that more children choose Science and Technology courses at higher and tertiary level. This is exactly what our country needs right now. For us to develop, we have to create our own things and the only way to do that is if we master science.

Science is also critical to the individual because it helps one to demystify the world. Someone who understands science, will seek a medical solution to their medical problems instead of trying to solve the physical, spiritually. When you understand science you will know that “diseases that can be prevented by vaccines are not immune to religious exemptions.” You will know which problems to take to a pastor, which ones to take to a financial advisor and which ones to tackle on your own.

We also need, as a nation, to learn the importance of research. We have numerous traditional medicines that heal all sorts of diseases but as a nation we have no database or record of which herbs heal and which ones harm. We are sitting on a scary amount of medical development which is at the danger of extinction because as a nation, we have not bothered to invest in the research and development of our traditional medicines. As a nation, we believe in witchcraft, but have not bothered to investigate whether or not witchcraft is real.

If we all cultivate our research skills, we will learn to investigate and verify everything we hear before we accept it as truth.

Research can save us from liars and crooks because if you are well researched, and scientific in thinking, you will know the possible and the impossible. You will know that miracle money is a myth. You will understand that diesel is not a raw material and thus can never flow out of a rock in its processed form. Because we have not grasped the science of adding value to our resources we sell them raw and buy them back processed and expensive.

Research and science are the drivers of development and they help us to distinguish between fact and fiction. We are living in a world where because we do not read, we believe anything. Like in the case of the congregants duped with the Dokora “act.”


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