trust in science at an all time low


by bobsmith76
Tags: science, time, trust
russ_watters
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#109
May22-12, 09:11 AM
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Certainly not. If you think it applies here, please explain why.
Jasongreat
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#110
May23-12, 10:07 PM
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I liked feynmans description of science, science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. And when he said that to have scientific integrity you have to go out of your way to prove yourself wrong. Aslong as science says they have the complete truth, and aslong as that science can't ever be proven wrong, since if it warms it proves it, if it cools it proves it, if the weather is extreme it proves it, if it is mellow it proves it, this layman will have no faith in it! I apologize for bringing weather into the discussion, since I know that is a banned topic, but that is one more reason I don't trust science, the phrase the discussion is over.
Jasongreat
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#111
May23-12, 10:10 PM
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Russ, how bout the down side that if your neighbor plants pantented gm crops and they mix with your crop you can be sued since you didn't pay for the right to grow said crop?
russ_watters
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#112
May24-12, 05:29 AM
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That's certainly an issue, but it is a business/legal one, not a science issue and certainly not relevant to the example I gave (no one is suing Africans over it).
SixNein
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#113
May24-12, 08:10 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
You present that as if there is a level-ground debate, but the reality is that the benefits are well established facts while the drawbacks you listed are a mixture of irrelevant, wrong and idly speculative: science vs scientific sounding crackpottery.
Please link some of these scientific facts.

What do you disagree with when considering these risks? I'll give you that some are probably minor, but a lot of it depends on a crop by crop basis. But most of these have been demonstrated at one time or another.
For example:
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/14/us...udy-shows.html

Or seed contamination:
http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agric...a-mystery.html

Seed contamination also has a great deal of potential legal problems, and we have no clue how those will be resolved. And these arguments apply for your appeal to emotion with gm crops=food for the hungry.
Bobbywhy
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#114
May24-12, 09:24 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
You present that as if there is a level-ground debate, but the reality is that the benefits are well established facts while the drawbacks you listed are a mixture of irrelevant, wrong and idly speculative: science vs scientific sounding crackpottery.
There is a ground-level debate over GM food crops to be seen if one expands one's view to span the Atlantic ocean to observe our cousins in the European Union. In my opinion the potential drawbacks to GM food crops are not "irrevelant, wrong, and idly speculative". Of course there are benefits from the new GM food crops. But this a new science, and as with all new areas of science, there are often unforseen consequences that only appear after the introduction of the new techniques. A balanced and unbiased consideration of all the evidence seems reasonable and prudent considering the potential harm to humans and our biosphere that may result.

"There are many other potential benefits and risks to GM foods, which you will likely learn about as you investigate the topic further and decide whether or not you want to support or avoid GM foods and related technology.

Reading a brief fact sheet is a good way to familiarise yourself with the purported benefits and issues related to GM foods. In this way, you can equip yourself with an overview of the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about GM foods and how they will affect your life."
http://www.geneticallymodifiedfoods....s-vs-cons.html

"GM Products: Benefits and Controversies
Benefits
• Crops
o Enhanced taste and quality
o Reduced maturation time
o Increased nutrients, yields, and stress tolerance
o Improved resistance to disease, pests, and herbicides
o New products and growing techniques
• Animals
o Increased resistance, productivity, hardiness, and feed efficiency
o Better yields of meat, eggs, and milk
o Improved animal health and diagnostic methods
• Environment
o "Friendly" bioherbicides and bioinsecticides
o Conservation of soil, water, and energy
o Bioprocessing for forestry products
o Better natural waste management
o More efficient processing
• Society
o Increased food security for growing populations

Controversies
• Safety
o Potential human health impacts, including allergens, transfer of antibiotic resistance markers, unknown effects
o Potential environmental impacts, including: unintended transfer of transgenes through cross-pollination, unknown effects on other organisms (e.g., soil microbes), and loss of flora and fauna biodiversity
• Access and Intellectual Property
o Domination of world food production by a few companies
o Increasing dependence on industrialized nations by developing countries
o Biopiracy, or foreign exploitation of natural resources
• Ethics
o Violation of natural organisms' intrinsic values
o Tampering with nature by mixing genes among species
o Objections to consuming animal genes in plants and vice versa
o Stress for animal
• Labeling
o Not mandatory in some countries (e.g., United States)
o Mixing GM crops with non-GM products confounds labeling attempts
• Society
o New advances may be skewed to interests of rich countries"
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresource...i/gmfood.shtml

also see, http://www.buzzle.com/articles/genet...-and-cons.html
Andre
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#115
May25-12, 04:57 AM
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Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
***"There are many other potential benefits and risks to GM foods, ***
You may want to add Colony collapse disorder, decimating the populations of honeybees to that list, which may or may not be caused by gm crops. However the problem is that anybody researching this may be biased due to vested interest. So you will find scientific papers proving and disproving this causation, which obviously will not help trust in science.
russ_watters
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#116
May25-12, 06:06 AM
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Quote Quote by SixNein View Post
Please link some of these scientific facts.
It's your list, SixNein! I'll not do your research for you.
What do you disagree with when considering these risks? I'll give you that some are probably minor, but a lot of it depends on a crop by crop basis. But most of these have been demonstrated at one time or another.
For example:
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/03/14/us...udy-shows.html
While legitimate, this issue of spreading allergies is nonetheless a red herring. Why? Because it isn't a new risk, inherent to GM. Any time you use material derived from peanuts, there is a risk carried of spreading allergies, whether you are using actual peanut extracts or the DNA that creates those extracts. Certainly people need to be made aware of use of potentially allergenic substances in their food, whether they got there via GM processes or baking processes. And a warning label is necessary -- but it could be worded pretty much the same as existing warning labels.

But blaming GM for this risk is like blaming desalinization for drowning risk or saying raincoats create a risk of getting wet. It is highly misleading to say that that is a new allergen risk, as you did, or imply it is inherent to GM. It is not: it is a transferred risk.

Others:
Cross-breeding of gm plants with the wild.
This "risk" is an issue of taste. If shown an artistic-looking photo of the Eiffel tower and a picture of the Grand Canyon, no doubt an environmentalist would consider the Grand Canyon to be the more beautiful. Not everyone agrees.
Creates a market to abuse herbicides.
That's oddly worded, but again the problem is a secondary effect that actually proves that the GM is doing its job. Using more herbicides is a benefit of the GM. You use more herbicides on purpose because the GM crops allow you to.
Pesticide resistant insects.
Similar to above, in order for insects to become resistant, a lot of them have to die. That's the pesticides doing their job.
Cross contamination with non-food crops like gm crops for medicine.
This is more or less legitimate. But again, this is a constant battle everywhere drugs are made, regardless of if they are made with GM crops or not.
Health effects - minimal research has been performed on acute or chronic health effects.
This one is simply a lie of extreme exaggeration/goalpost shifting. To an "environmentalist", no amount of evidence is sufficient evidence, so they can always just say its not enough. There is a lot more evidence than they are willing to admit and GM has been around for longer than they are willing to admit. And that's even if we leave out general hybridization, which has been around for thousands of years and serves exactly the same purpose. We're just getting better at it.

Even if you improve that by wording it the way Bob, did ("unknown effects") it becomes so broad as to be completely useless.
russ_watters
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#117
May25-12, 06:29 AM
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Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
• Labeling
o Not mandatory in some countries (e.g., United States)
o Mixing GM crops with non-GM products confounds labeling attempts
This one is another red-herring fallacy thrown-in by "environmentalists" in an attempt to create doubt/controversy. Why label? Because when you label something, you create in the readers the assumption of risk or inferiority.

This is a common one in marketing with ingredients -- Bryers has used in commercials when they say their iced cream contains nothing more than vanilla beans, milk and sugar. No added preservatives.....nevermind that those preservatives are added to make the food safer. Marketters twist a good thing into a bad thing by appealing to the naturalistic fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

Many of the objections to GM in one way or another point back to this fallacy.
Bobbywhy
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#118
May26-12, 04:14 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
This one is another red-herring fallacy thrown-in by "environmentalists" in an attempt to create doubt/controversy. Why label? Because when you label something, you create in the readers the assumption of risk or inferiority.

This is a common one in marketing with ingredients -- Bryers has used in commercials when they say their iced cream contains nothing more than vanilla beans, milk and sugar. No added preservatives.....nevermind that those preservatives are added to make the food safer. Marketters twist a good thing into a bad thing by appealing to the naturalistic fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

Many of the objections to GM in one way or another point back to this fallacy.
I will not attempt to judge whether GM food crops are OK for humans and our environment or not. I am not so qualified. But I am qualified enough to reject the above trashing of reasonable objections to their use. The unknown and unforseen consequences are not red herrings and IMO deserve our consideration. The naturalistic fallacy does not apply here because this is simply a matter of thoughtful and reasonable risk assesment. Below are some other examples of "concerns". I am not claiming they are truly worrisome, but only that they (among others) deserve to be considered when deciding this issue.

Edit: quoted article unacceptable and removed - no sources or evidence for claims
ThomasT
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#119
May26-12, 10:42 AM
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Imho, people who don't trust science are people who are, more or less, ignorant wrt it. Science is the best method of inquiry into the truth of the world devised by humans. It's an evolving discipline. There is no comparable method. So what if a bunch of religious fanatics don't trust science?
Evo
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#120
May26-12, 01:05 PM
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This thread is spinning it's wheels.


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