I haven't visited TA in a while, nor have I posted in such amount of time either, but I have an inquiry that I hope some of you may touch on...
I've noticed that there are quite a few Atheists/Secularists out there who are supportive on Genetically Modified Organisms in food and drink products. I for one, am not. But aside from that, I'd like to know why exactly you're supportive of it. Do you believe in what corporations like Monsanto say? Things like "GMOs allow us to feed the world.." (generally speaking) and what not? Or is it the science behind it?
I'd love to have some interesting conversation about this.
"Um, yes, corporations lie."
Statements such as these begs the question of how far you have been in a major corporation.Companies do, quite often and for non-dubious causes, withhold information. This is not the same as lying. Corporations lying is actually exceedingly rare and those who do tend to get quite some publicity and lawsuits whenever doing so.
It is interesting that you bring up the tobacco lobby, it doesn't seem they have fared particularly well as their sales in all mature markets are dwindling quickly. Perhaps logic and reason is slightly more appreciated by regulators than you assume.
@Arcus - I like the line you used about wanting an echo chamber rather than a debate. I shall use it again without modification :).
Yet he is incorrect about my intentions and is continuing to "debate" me.
I'm not a stranger to the inner-workings of corporations and for you to be able to place so much trust in the fact that corporations don't "lie" often... I'm sorry you feel that way... Monsanto is highly distrusted throughout the world. The U.S. is one of the only countries with GMO products on our shelves that aren't labeled as such - and all because Monsanto has something to hide. Do you really believe if they truly knew, for a fact, that all GMO products and food is 110% safe to consume and for the environment, that they would have a problem labeling the fruits of their labor? Did you know they are threatening to sue the State of Vermont if that state passes a labeling bill?
Great video. Seemed very concerned and balanced.
Cows naturally convert cellulose to methane gas - in fact, a single cow produces 157 gallons of methane each and every day. I say convert our cars to run on methane and learn to mine cow farts!
or... Beano for Bulls. We could genetically select feeds that don't produce methane.
The FDA has been testing new products for a long time now. I suppose some nightmare scenario is possible in which consumers unwittingly doom themselves to disease or death . . . but I don't really see that happening on a grand scale. It's not as if the FDA wouldn't notice warning signs and adjust their rulings accordingly.
In short, I see no significant cause for concern. As long as our technology remains manageable, I'm not going to assume the worst.
What does concern me, however, is human apathy. Climate change is an example of a grand-scale problem that we could have addressed at an earlier stage but didn't. There's many reasons for this failure but they pale in comparison to the consequences of denial or procrastination.
Human apathy can defeat the best science and technology has to offer.
I'm not necessarily looking at the "what if" scenario as being a catastrophe or nightmare scenario, I'm more interested in the short to long term effects, mainly on humans and animals. Things like cancer, spontaneously disrupting natural ecosystems and so forth. And I don't trust most governmental agencies and the FDA is certainly not in the best interest of people, that's been shown quite well.. Look at how they regulate pharmaceuticals..
I understand and somewhat agree with your human apathy sentiments, however I don't think this topic generally falls under that notion. Just because its science, doesn't mean its good science...
Yes, the FDA is not foolproof. But they do a good job overall. Their drug certification process is one of the most stringent (if not THE most stringent) in the world.
Science is neither good or bad. Technology is what you really need to keep your eye on. In a free and open society, abuses can still happen but we don't allow them to continue unabated. Democracy is very good in that regard.
Science is about facts not values, so any scientific discovery or development WILL be put to both good and bad uses. If there is a scientific discovery or development which hasn't been exploited to bad ends yet, then it is probably fairly new.