Aim of SORALS (Prospectus)

 After the establishment of the machine industry based on the Industrial
Revolution in the 18th century, production activities sharply enlarged.
In addition, development of heavy industry and chemical industry in the
latter half of the 19th century enabled rapid progress of economical
activities. In the 20th century, technological innovation progressed with
increasing speed and continued up to the present. During this passage,
technological development certainly brought the great benefit to the life of
human. On the contrary, production activities based on rapid technological
development led to destruction of nature and caused the problems that put
human being in danger such as destruction of rain forest, depletion of the
ozone layer, desertification, acid rain, global warming and environmental
pollution with radioactive wastes, heavy metals and chemicals. Technologies,
originally developed for bringing human being welfare, conversely threaten
our life. These ironic phenomena might be said as evils of the resources
consumption type material civilization based on "mass production",
"mass consumption" and "mass destruction".

 In the end of the 20th century, importance of nature preservation came
to be recognized. People started to search for methods for continuous
development and came to advocate the switch from resources consumption
type society to resources circulation type society.
These trends were proper consequences occurred from the reflections on
thematerial civilization.

 The 21st century will be an important starting point, which aims at large
conversion from material civilization. Of course, it is not easy to convert
the economic structure and highly complicated social structure built
strenuously from the Industrial Revolution. However, now, we must take
account our situation that we faced with the crisis of the existence of
ourselves and we are obligated to supply all wisdom to solve the problems
as the human being who lives in the present age.

 If the purpose of economics is "securing the material foundation of social
life to maintain human life", that of agriculture will be "investigating the
possibility of the natural resources and developing the method for practical
use of them to survive". Agriculture is comprehensive science of the life
system that important mission is obligated. Up to now, agriculture has
greatly contributed to conquest of starvation and epidemic. In addition, as
for life science, one of the fields of agriculture, many results, such as gene
analysis technologies, were obtained. Since agriculture belongs to the
sciences that studied their subjects from the viewpoints of life science,
agriculture is more suitable to be called "agricultural life science".
Agriculture will be expected to bring human being good in the future and also
have to respond to the expectation.

 Thus, although there is no doubt that agricultural life science is
indispensable to the solution of the critical problem which human being faces,
it will be necessary to remind following three points firmly.

 First of all, we must clarify our purpose. Recently, we have many
opportunities to see and hear the words like "earth-saving" and "kind for
environment". However the purpose of environmental protection is, without
fearing misunderstanding, not for nature but for survival of human being,
persistently. This point should be made clear.

 Secondly, we must reconfirm that human being is Homo sapiens. Human
being is simply one of the creatures that survives on the earth and is
nothing but dominants in the pyramid of biomass. Moreover, it should keep
in mind that the status of human being will not continue to be guaranteed

 Finally, we must recognize again the importance of the fundamental studies.
As mentioned above, modern science enabled gene analysis and
recombination and made us think that as if human being could create and
control life. However, how far does we understand life of the plants that are
the starting points of a food chain and are the only producers in ecosystem?
In addition, how far can we elucidate the mechanism of the interaction of the
creatures in ecosystem? It is not too much to say that human being could
not save nature for the survival of human beings without these fundamental

 If the views mentioned above are shown, the objection will surely come out.
As for questions of the essence of human being and questions of the
relationships between human being and nature, there have been various
philosophical disputes about them from ancient time and, even now, these
are not questions to be easily concluded. It may be a fact that human being
is an extraordinary existence on the earth. As Engels (Friedrich Engels)
pointed out, human being was considered to have evolved by labor and
language and human being is different existence from the other creatures in
their performance of production activities. Moreover, although human being
is one of the members of ecosystem, wastes, human being has discharged
have been separated from the chain of substance circulation of ecosystem.
However, justify of nature destruction based on "the man, the natural
dualism" and "the human original sin theory", human being is subject to
recognize nature and nature is only object, is not any help to solve the
problem. However, we do not entirely agree with the intuitive and mystical
idealism in which man and nature is unit. These topics are often discussed by
the confrontation diagram of European philosophy and Oriental philosophy
and there are worthy in comparing and inspection the differences between
these philosophies. However, in case of thinking about the relationships
between human being and nature, these discussions rather cause confusion
than become help. Although it is a fact that the evil of resources
consumption type civilization caused natural destruction, it is also a fact that
human being cannot live without using natural resources. Simultaneously,
human being is required to save nature to continue to survive in the future.
The point is that the rational limit of the utilization of natural resources and
nature saving are required to be set up. It is thought that agricultural life
science is the study that recognizes human being as human being,
Homo sapiens and the study that plays the role of the guidance of human
being from the viewpoint of life.

 By the way, in case of a discussion about main culprit of nature destruction,
the population problem is recently referred frequently. Simultaneously with
it, prospective food problem is also apprehensive problem. Present world
population, six billion is predicted to increase to 10 billion until 2050.
Malthus (Thomas Robert Malthus) pointed out that "food productivity did not
increase in form of arithmetic series, although population increases in form of
geometric progressive" in "An Essay on the Principle of Population as it
affects the future improvement of society " in 1798.
His opinion seemed to realize through a little more than 200 years.
The problems of starvation and malnutrition have not been solved yet and,
moreover, increase of world population as predicted will lead to inevitable
food shortage. There is an opinion that asks agriculture for the solution of
this problem.

 However, the cause of starvation or malnutrition is not only food shortage
but also the other factors as follows; natural disasters like drought,
an artificial factor, for example war or dispute and social factors such as
That is the "North-South problem" which Franks (Oliver Shewell Franks)
pointed out in the middle of the 20th century. Therefore, agricultural life
science should investigate the possibility of uninvestigated and unutilized
biological resources in the developing countries and should contribute to
solve "North-South problem".

 In the previous part, we verified the importance of agricultural life sciences
to solve the critical situation with which human being faces, the subject that
promotes this promotion must be "citizen". The concept of the "citizen"
mentioned in this part is "all human existences that are working with their
independent intention". That is, this concept is not small cooperation of
industry, academia and government and the conventional frameworks of
organizations do not have any effects on this concept. When giving familiar
example, if people participate in the society with their intention, their social
position, for example civil servant or civilian, will not be distinguished at all.
Furthermore, from the global field of view, this concept is the concept that
transcends the distinction between countries and races. In the confused
present age, we are required to have the consciousness as "citizen".

 Based on the recognition mentioned above, we establish non-profit
organization, "Supporting Organization for Research of Agricultural and Life
Science", according to law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities to
promote agricultural life sciences by supporting broad range of researches
in the field of agricultural life sciences from the point of view of "citizen"
and, moreover, to contribute human life, welfare and healthy development.

December 2, 2002

Representative of organizers

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