GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Sculptor1
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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Pattern-chaser wrote: July 31st, 2022, 6:50 am
Sculptor1 wrote: July 29th, 2022, 4:48 pm I think the possibility is far more remote than you think.
Pattern-chaser wrote: July 30th, 2022, 8:07 am I think we both know that. But how do you know? On what is your confidence based? You assert that I am wrong, but you don't offer the reassurance that any sceptic might reasonably request. Given the severity of the risk if it comes to pass, it is reasonable, I think, to request some clear and conclusive evidence of safety. Where is that evidence?
Sculptor1 wrote: July 30th, 2022, 8:48 am Obviously - if you want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, you are going to have to offer something more than hysteria
Pattern-chaser wrote: July 30th, 2022, 8:53 am So you don't have an answer, and you don't have the evidence I asked for? As I thought. My case is not hysterical if you cannot offer real and persuasive sureties that the release of GMOs into the environment is safe.
Sculptor1 wrote: July 30th, 2022, 12:02 pm I've been doing this far too long to fall for that cheap trick.
The burden is on you to produce evidence.
There is no such "burden"; this is a philosophy forum, not a nursery school.
SO why ask me to produce negative evidence.
Think about it!

We are having this discussion (too) late, in actuality, as GMOs have been created and released. Nevertheless, I am recommending caution, and you are asserting the safety of GMOs, but you can't seem to say why, or on what basis. The worst-case consequences of GMOs are severe, but you recommend taking this risk ... without offering evidence on which this recommendation is based. Is your position not somewhat reckless?
Yes and the use of herbicides and insecticides has reduced.
Sadly because of people like you the benefits could have been greater.
oh um
value
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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GMO mosquitoes spreading out of control in Brazil
According to a new scientific publication, genetically engineered mosquitoes have escaped human control after trials in Brazil. They are now spreading in the environment.

The yellow fever mosquitos (Aedes aegypti) are genetically engineered to make it impossible for their offspring to survive. After release they were supposed to mate with female mosquitos of the species which transmit infectious diseases, such as Dengue fever, to diminish the natural populations.

However, the newly published research shows that many offspring of the genetically engineered mosquitos survived and are spreading and propagating further.

These insects used in the laboratory have now mixed with the Brazilian insects to become a robust population which can persist in the environment over a longer period of time, spreading more disease. They might replace the original insects in the long term and even enhance the problems associated with the mosquitoes.

https://non-gmoreport.com/gmo-mosquitoe ... in-brazil/

Rootworms have become resistant to GMO Bt corn causing a potential disaster.

(2020) Corn Rootworms Poised to Stage a Comeback as Bt Resistance Spreads
https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/a ... e-comeback

Science intends to achieve a result that should remain as it is which in practice creates a situation in which an artificial wall is created behind which threats are growing (becoming stronger) exponentially while what is 'hiding' behind that wall remains behind with increasing weakness.
value
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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Overcoming problems results in strength.

Creating an artificial wall to hide behind - filtering out genes - introducing artificial non-natural genes - is likely not similar to overcoming problems from the perspective of the plant and therefore may result in increased weakness over time because the rootworms would become stronger while the plant just enjoys some period of artificially created 'easy time'.

In my opinion it might be best when the plant is motivated to learn to overcome the rootworms by themselves so that the plant is able to maintain a winning situation on the long term.

The idea that genetic information can be considered a provider of a tool that is just 'given' (e.g. the result of natural selection) might be wrong.

What would it take to overcome a problem from the perspective of a plant? Perhaps one should start with considering their intelligence - their ability to learn - and 'why' a plant could be motivated to learn.

Plants Attract Enemy's Enemies To Survive
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... nemys-ene/

There is some evidence that this logic would apply to rootworms:

Researchers discover that corn plants call in hungry nematodes when rootworms attack
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-corn-hung ... worms.html

A strategy by a 'cooperative' human might be to ensure the presence of those nematodes.

It would require the consideration that plants are intelligent creatures that talk to animals.

Philosopher: Plants are sentient beings that should be treated with respect
His claim that a plant is an “intelligent, social, complex being” (i.e. sentient) has been contested by some biologists, but a stronger reaction has come from animal-rights activists and vegans who fear their cause is undermined by extending a duty of respect to plants.
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/unth ... -1.1965980
https://www.michaelmarder.org/
value
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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Pattern-chaser wrote: July 30th, 2022, 8:53 amSo you don't have an answer, and you don't have the evidence I asked for? As I thought. My case is not hysterical if you cannot offer real and persuasive sureties that the release of GMOs into the environment is safe.
Do you believe that your reasoning would be a justification to destroy fields of GMO crops? Alternatively, do you understand people who would when their concern is neglected as being 'anti-science'?
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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Pattern-chaser wrote: July 30th, 2022, 8:53 amSo you don't have an answer, and you don't have the evidence I asked for? As I thought. My case is not hysterical if you cannot offer real and persuasive sureties that the release of GMOs into the environment is safe.
value wrote: August 1st, 2022, 1:05 pm Do you believe that your reasoning would be a justification to destroy fields of GMO crops?
I'm not sure. I am advocating caution, not prohibition, although perhaps the latter might be appropriate? Too many times in our past history, we have released products onto the market without being sure they were safe. If the severity of things going wrong is minor, it probably doesn't matter. But if we are talking about, for example, the detonation of nuclear weapons, the worst possible consequences are very severe, and a great deal of caution would seem warranted. The worst case consequences of GMOs are similarly severe...
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"
value
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

Post by value »

Pattern-chaser wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 9:14 am
value wrote: August 1st, 2022, 1:05 pm Do you believe that your reasoning would be a justification to destroy fields of GMO crops?
I'm not sure. I am advocating caution, not prohibition, although perhaps the latter might be appropriate? Too many times in our past history, we have released products onto the market without being sure they were safe. If the severity of things going wrong is minor, it probably doesn't matter. But if we are talking about, for example, the detonation of nuclear weapons, the worst possible consequences are very severe, and a great deal of caution would seem warranted. The worst case consequences of GMOs are similarly severe...
A common wisdom is "when in doubt, don't do it".

A problem that affects a complete 'natural environment' - the foundation of human life - would be out of control and most likely unfixable. Issues with GMO might be a lot worse than a major oil spil and even a nuclear disaster (when it concerns the natural environment, since GMO can affect a greater area).

GMO mosquitoes spreading out of control in Brazil
https://non-gmoreport.com/gmo-mosquitoe ... in-brazil/

The GMO mosquitoes that were engineered to prevent reproduction may replace the native specie and increase the problems they caused to humans. Besides that effect on humans, there may be a lot of hidden effects that could cause a disaster to the environment.

The bizarre and ecologically important hidden lives of mosquitoes
Mosquitoes have many functions in the ecosystem that are overlooked. Indiscriminate mass elimination of mosquitoes would impact everything from pollination to biomass transfer to food webs.
https://theconversation.com/the-bizarre ... oes-127599

I noticed that you are a Gaian-Daoist. I noticed people reporting to perceive a 'spirit' of nature, e.g. of a complete forest or of an underwater environment, which is perceived by them to be an intelligence that surpasses them (a human) in greatness. Some mention such an experience with mountains. Astronauts seem to report it for Earth as a whole.

👨‍🚀 Astronauts report to experience an extreme transcendental experience of 'interconnected euphoria' when they view Earth from space. It is called 'Overview effect on Earth'.

First we should understand why we don't already know of this profound experience, despite decades of astronaut reports. It’s hard to explain how amazing and magical this experience is. First of all, there’s the astounding pure beauty of the planet itself, scrolling across your view at what appears to be a smooth, stately pace... I’m happy to report that no amount of prior study or training can fully prepare anybody for the transcendental experience this causes.

https://overviewinstitute.org/
http://overview-effect.earth/

My concerns with regard GMO are not practical (e.g. damage to an environment) but fundamental (what it takes for the environment to come about, be happy and thrive).

My questions would be for example: is the spirit of nature served by GMO? (does GMO improve the happiness potential in nature?)
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

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value wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 10:27 am I noticed that you are a Gaian-Daoist. I noticed people reporting to perceive a 'spirit' of nature, e.g. of a complete forest or of an underwater environment, which is perceived by them to be an intelligence that surpasses them (a human) in greatness. Some mention such an experience with mountains. Astronauts seem to report it for Earth as a whole.
For me, you go a little too far when you refer to "an intelligence that surpasses them (a human) in greatness", but yes, that's about right. 👍 And also, for me, the Gaia Hypothesis extends beyond our Earth, to 'life, the universe, and everything'. 👍


value wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 10:27 am My questions would be for example: is the spirit of nature served by GMO? (does GMO improve the happiness potential in nature?)
My answer? No.
Pattern-chaser

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value
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Re: GMO debate and the 'anti-science' narrative

Post by value »

Pattern-chaser wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 9:30 am
value wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 10:27 am My questions would be for example: is the spirit of nature served by GMO? (does GMO improve the happiness potential in nature?)
My answer? No.
In my opinion it would be best to maintain an open mind with regard the potential good-use potential of GMO. The uncertainty whether GMO is good for Nature however would be sufficient ground to demand answering certain questions before GMO is practised, in my opinion.

GMO is currently an 'unguided practice' primarily driven by the short term financial interest of companies. Those companies mostly originate from the Pharmaceutical Industry that has a history of profound corruption.

A quote from The Economist with a special on GMO in 2019:

Reprogramming nature (synthetic biology) is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance. But if you could synthesize nature, life could be transformed into something more amenable to an engineering approach, with well defined standard parts.
https://www.economist.com/weeklyedition/2019-04-06

My concerns would be mostly with the way GMO is applied and the fundamental ideas behind it, about life and what it takes for Nature to prosper on the long term etc.

There are parasites and bacteria that apply GMO naturally, however, the question 'should the human?' (for a short term financial profit motive) is a question that seems to be neglected which might be irresponsible, with the stake being 'Nature' - the foundation of human life.

In the case of the parasites and bacteria GMO is a destruction of 'the other'. It might not be wise to allow humans to perform such a practice 'on Nature' in a dumb way merely for a short term profit motive.
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