SCIENCE VERSUS INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE? Toward a Dialogical Approach
Keywords:Matauranga Maori, indigenous knowledge, science, biodiversity, environmental crisis
In November 2019, three academics from Auckland University published an opinion piece in which they examined the relationship between science and mātauranga Māori. They concluded that, ‘Mātauranga Māori…subverts those aspects of science – namely objectivity, universality, and dedication to progress – that can further advance the understanding of nature and help find solutions to the major problems afflicting the planet.’ Part One of this paper examines the assumptions behind that conclusion and the sources of information used by the authors to construct their argument. It uncovers a fabric of wilful distortion, fabrication, omission, false comparisons and hyperbole. Part Two then addresses one of the major problems currently affecting the planet – the loss of biodiversity – and finds that the above-mentioned authors’ assumptions about science, indigenous knowledge and the planet’s problems are contradicted by the current global scientific consensus.