12
   

The American Public vs. AAAS Scientists

 
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2015 07:23 am
@maxdancona,
All GMOs are not alike. More later.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2015 08:13 am
@Olivier5,
This is true Olivier. I absolutely want scientific oversight on GMOs (the same as I want scientific oversight on any part of the food chain).

What I object to is the blanket, anti-science, paranoia about them.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2015 09:13 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
What I object to is the blanket, anti-science, paranoia about them.

Understood and agreed.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2015 09:48 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:
I have an aversion to GMOs that is based on science: some of them lead to massive pollution.

How so, and what is your evidence for that?

Olivier5 wrote:
I have an aversion to nuclear weapons for a scientific reason: they kill people.

I said "nuclear power", not "nuclear weapons". You are changing the subject.

Olivier5 wrote:
I agree that doubting medicine is basically anti-science though.

Doubting science is okay; that's the lifeblood of science itself. It's when one refuses to let evidence change one's beliefs, doubtful or not, that one turns against science.
Kolyo
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2015 10:49 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

all of them share a mildly paranoid aversion against genetically-modified organisms, nuclear power, non-homeopathic medicine...


Their pessimism isn't necessarily "paranoia". Maybe they just recognize a tendency in the engineers of the world to "build cool stuff" first and worry about all the possible consequences second. Thus, they feel they have to take the "all clear" that the engineers are giving them and correct the confidence in that expert assessment downward based on a rational understanding of the fact that those engineers are over-confident. When you don't understand all the science, it's rational to base policies on what you do understand, like your understanding of history and people.

I'm pro-nuclear, but I don't think those anti-nuclear Unitarians you mentioned are being irrational. They don't have a complete understanding of the risks or of the safety protocols now in place, so they base their opinions on the knowledge of nuclear power plants they do possess -- the knowledge that Fukushima and Chernobyl happened.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2015 07:20 am
@Thomas,
IMO some GMOs are potentially useful: those which build up resistance to a pest and thus allow for LESS use of pesticides and thus less ecologic damage than with non-GMO varieties. Eg for cotton, a crop cursed with many many pests, GMOs can be great. Burkinabe farmers are (so far) quite happy that their government approved Monsanto's Gt variety some years ago, which I think is one of these.

Then there are other GMOs engineered to resist not a pest, but a particular herbicide produced by the same firm, eg glyphosate for Monsanto. The idea here is to be able to spread MORE herbicides into the environment, without hurting your crop... I totally reject these, as it is SCIENTIFICALLY well known that pesticides have many longterm effects on the environment (and perhaps also on sperm counts, and generally human health).

Other than that, i think some GMOs have been shown to induce allergies. Not too sure of the strength of the evidence there. There's also the risk of a transmission to a wild species of some resistance to an herbicide or another, but that is unlikely and wouldn't be a big problem.

I am not changing the subject. You are not the only one able to pick examples, or are you? And nuclear power also kills and pollutes. Try and think beyond the example, to what it means or illustrates.

My point is: don't confuse science and technology. Just because we can make some new thing based on scientific knowledge doesn't make it 'scientific', or necessarily good.
0 Replies
 
 

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