I really didn't know what to call this node (apparently I should have gone to more trouble choosing my own name as it has caused some confusion over my political stance:-}
The GM food node seems to have caused some annoyance, so at this point I wish to apologise for questioning the eruduition of those who took offence. Just because I have worn the mystical white coat, does not make me the sole descision maker with respect to science.
Anyway, some misunderstanding is going on. I do not condone big business (eg Monsanto) making terminator crops (that is, crops that commit suicide, not pawns of Skynet :). Neither do I agree with exploiting farmers for big business. You may be surprised to learn that I am equally sceptical of 'humanitarian' arguments for GMO's. You may not, who knows.
Although it is easy to take the 'you-know-nothing-so-you-must-be-wrong' stance, I realise how arrogant it is - and how wrong. The Fifties was full of boffins spouting the virtues of nuclear power, and now look what happened. There were also lots of 'public information films' saying how good pesticides were! The best one I saw (or the worst, of course) was a swimming pool full of people being sprayed with some horrible organophosphate or something and a voice over saying 'it's completely safe, look!'. Obviously, these kind of things mustn't happen again.
Back to my point. The only way to avoid this kind of Scientific ignorance of the effects of science (IE: the scientists getting it wrong again) is a two fold process:
- Scientists listen to the public.
- The public learn more about science.
This way, the concerned layman
can make useful
critical aruments about technology (see eg technology is not the remedy for problems caused by technology
for a good argument). Equally, a scientist can say to Monsanto 'I may have invented it, but the public don't want it'. Sadly, calling people 'despotic pedantic onanist sycophants' doesn't really get your point across. 'Mother Earth
is obsolete' ? How? Find specific examples or dream up realistic scenarios. The monarch butterfly case raised by amoebius
is a good one, and so is labelling an excellent demand. Just because I don't believe GM foods are toxic
, doesn't mean I should force everyone else to eat them unwittingly.
So, personally, all I ask is that people learn a little more before they condemn. Everyone has the right to argue what goes in their food; but we'll take claims of global environmental damage more seriously if you make a coherent case for it.
(Although I did laugh at the phrase 'Emotional infants who can't stand the sight of thier puny erections' :-)