Skip to main content

View Diary: Another bird flu to watch for... H7N9 in China (178 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •   Nice taking advantage of this diary to take a (0+ / 0-)

    jab at people opposed to genetic engineering recklessness.

    You can walk natural evolution back to the beginning of the tree of life. Genetic engineering in a lab, on the other hand, starts--or can start--a whole new mutant branch. It fucks with the wonderful equilibrium between the forces of the natural evolutionary process.

    But who cares? So long as some scientists get to have a little fun in their labs and big corps get to make their billions, it's all good I guess in your book.

    And that's all GE is all about, some lab coat wearing motherfucking geniuses get to shoot DNA around like micro paint ball warriors on some corporation's dime without the slightest consideration for the future consequences because they can. It's just chasing glory and gold with no benefit to the greater good.

    The hubris of humanity - just smart enough and greedy enough to be dangerous.

    As for having a nice Sunday? Better while you can.

    Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.
    (Facts brought to you by the Party of the Future - the GOP)

    by Pescadero Bill on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I consider the entire anti-genetic squad to be... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112

      ...a sterling example of why it is useless to discuss science here.

      The scientific ignorance on the far left is no less pernicious - in many ways it is even more pernicious - than that on the far right.

      The fact is, the 93% of the soybean crop grown on the planet - and this is especially true of crops grown by poor people in third world countries is genetically modified.

      It is widely conceded that the droughts that have been taking place around the world because of climate change, another result of smug anti-science rhetoric both right and left, the soybean crops in this country would have failed without the insertion of drought resistance genes.

      I am not a genetic engineer, but I know a good many of them, and my perception is that they are motivated by the highest sense of trying to help humanity to survive.  

      They will fail, I think, but I am impressed by their high ideals and hard work.

      Gene insertion is a regular feature of life, as was discovered during the human genome project, where it was found that large portions of the human genome consisted of viral DNA inserted into mammalian cells by mechanisms that are not appreciably different than modern laboratory techniques.

      When I first came to this website, I honestly believed that among liberal thinkers, science was viewed with respect and appreciation.   I have, of course, been disabused of that naive notion, but I don't count in any case.

      I am intimately familiar with the description here of scientists as being, as you tellingly put it as

      ...some lab coat wearing motherfucking geniuses...
      by people who hate science to the core, possibly because they may have tried, at one point, to open a science book and, finding it way over their heads, decided it must be evil.

      I note as well that many fine scientists who used to write here, no longer do.

      The planet is dying, because humanity is much like bacteria or yeast, running along blissfully reproducing until the entire culture dies out wallowing in its own waste.    Attempts to ameliorate this state of affairs will, I believe, fail and there's nothing I can do about it.

      Comments like yours definitely cause me to feel increasingly cynical and misanthropic, which of course is the inevitable fate of any idealist who lives too long.

      I expect that humanity will get what it deserves, and the ignorance and fear of science will have much to do with that outcome.

      Thanks for your wonderful validating comment.   Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

      •  I don't like being put in either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth

        Lump group both of you describe. I believe in science and I'm liberal and I'm informed. DK isn't full of ignorant people. I also think GE foods designed just so corporate food growers can add tons of pesticides or herbicides isn't the answer to global food crises. Making a seed crop grow stronger or resist drought is a good thing but to play at creating new species in the name of profit is wrong and not helping humanity.
        So calling ALL DKos members ignorant or dismissive or whatever doesn't help ANYONE!  We all have our POV but criticizing an entire community one way or another isn't doing any good.

        •  Whatever... (3+ / 0-)

          From where I sit, muttering the word "corporate" whenever one encounters a science one knows nothing about is a pretty lame thing too.

          Maybe you think that everyone who works in genetic engineering in a corporate setting has fangs with blood dripping from them, but I actually know some of these people.

          I didn't say anything about all Daily Kos members, but simply noted that there is as much scientific illiteracy here as I would suspect one would find at, say, Free Republic.

          New species are created all the time by the way.   It's called "evolution."   Some of these species are inadvertently created because of human interventions, because of the existence of stuff like, antibiotics for instance.

          Antibiotics were invented by corporations seeking profits.    Therefore, using your wonderful logic, treatments for diseases like, um, say tuberculosis, was a bad idea.

          Whatever...

          By the way.   One doesn't "believe" in science.   It's not faith based.   One may know science or understand it, but "belief" is another subject entirely.

          My perception, because so many of the diaries I used to write here were involved with scientific issues, is that there is a subset of people here - a large subset - who approach scientific issues through a prism of dogma and, um, "belief."

          There was one scientist here, who used to write interesting diaries who described herself thusly:

          PhD in molecular/cell biology in plant + animal systems, the kind of independent scientist people claim they want to hear from, until they dislike the conclusions.
          It's been almost a year since she wrote a diary here.

          Genetic engineering saves lives, mostly in the third world.  

          There is, in fact, an international nonprofit organization which is trying to help poor third world farmers address some of the nutritional issues they face, by inserting genes for, say desaturation of fats, or increases in protein content, or the synthesis of essential amino acids.

          The organization is called the ISAAA.

          Here is their mission statement from their website:

          Mission
          Food, feed, fiber, and fuel for the world’s 800 million people who suffer from hunger and poverty – this is the formidable task for many countries, development agencies, and other interest groups. Of the many strategies that have been forwarded to address the issues of global poverty and environmental degradation, crop biotechnology is seen as a viable contribution to the solution. As early as 1991, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) saw the potential of crop biotechnology to improve the lives of small-scale farmers in developing countries. By sharing and disseminating scientific knowledge to the global community, and by facilitating the transfer of technologies to developing countries through public-private partnerships, ISAAA has established its role and contribution in world efforts to help achieve agricultural sustainability and development.

          ISAAA's Niche

          ISAAA is a not-for-profit international organization that shares the benefits of crop biotechnology to various stakeholders, particularly resource-poor farmers in developing countries, through knowledge sharing initiatives and the transfer and delivery of proprietary biotechnology applications. ISAAA’s global knowledge sharing network and public and private sector partnerships in the research and development continuum, provide a powerful combination of science-based information and appropriate technology to those who need to make informed decisions about their acceptance and use. In addition, an array of support services completes the holistic approach to agricultural development and ensures effective implementation and timely delivery of crop biotechnologies. These services include capacity building for policy makers and scientists; regulatory oversight on such issues as biosafety and food safety; and impact assessment.

          I would suspect it would be more pleasant - more intellectually satisfying - to hang out with the crowd at the ISAAA, some of whom are funded by "evil corporate" types, than it is to hang out here, where people condemn "blanket condemnations" while making, um, blanket condemnations.

          I've attended many scientific lectures on genetic science, and yes, there are some people here - many - who are clueless as to what it's all about, and generally they are smug, dogmatic first world bourgeois brats who have no idea about what is happening on this planet in cultures they neither know or care about.

          The reason that I'm a Democrat - and I'm increasingly cynical about whether this is much of a concern in my party anymore - involves, in part, sympathy and respect and concern for the poor.   I'm not a Democrat to chant dogmatic ignorance laced slogans about, um, say, pesticides, nuclear power, genetic and all the other bugaboos I hear about here.

          I can't say why I'm even bothering with this explanation, since it probably won't cause you to grow up.   What's the point?   I should know better.

          Have a nice evening.

          •  Thank you for letting me know (0+ / 0-)

            Of your "superior" intellect. I see civility isn't part of it. I never claim to be a scientist, but of subjects that are of concern to me I study and learn to understand what is the problem/issue/controversy about the subject. Again, I never said genetic engineering was "evil" , no doubt it has advanced science tremendously. Some companies, like Monsanto just seem to want to have a market for a product as in Roundup ready seed crops. They engineer the seeds to be resistant to their product.  That is the extent of my concern with genetic engineering, whether it is for the public good or another gimmick for profit.
            But, as you so eloquently put it....whatever...I'm just ignorant.

            •  Civility isn't the issue. The issue is rote (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, Greg Dworkin

              repetition and application of perhaps a correct "anti-capitalist" agenda INTO science. Like nnadir, I support science. It doesn't need any further explanation.

              If you want to talk about regulations, fine. But thats not what goes on at the daily kos.

              Take the Key Stone pipeline. I'm NOW convinced by the arguments that it's a bad idea. But so much of the arguments are simply narrowly focused ignorance. The ignoring, for example, of the dozens of OTHER pipelines already travelling the same route, the thousands of railroad tanker cars that travel across the border also ignored as IF the blocking of this particular pipeline is really going to change all that.

              It was James Hansen's well thought arguments on what the pipeline represents (one posted here) that did it, not all the flack about how terrible the pipeline is based on some intrinsic corp. evil. that I read mostly on the DK.

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:55:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh I agree with that. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Greg Dworkin

                And I do take science seriously, all my life I've been an inquisitive person. I will read journals, books, online articles to learn everything I can about things that interest me, so I don't make uninformed opinions. It's why I'm so cautious here. DKos can be a brutal place for a timid, careful person.
                I agree with James Hansen that the only way to stop the tar sands from creating climate havoc is to keep it in the ground, period. Rail, the Enbridge pipelines, tankers through the Great Lakes..they all need to be stopped from transporting the stuff. I hope other people see that KXL is a rallying point but not the only route for the oil companies.

                And as I tried to say to nnadir I don't claim all corporations are "evil" but question when a product or technology has a good use or just a gimmick for profit. When he talked about genetic engineering I totally agree that it has produced amazing things and advanced our knowledge, it's good science when it helps people. It can also be junk.

                I really don't like being sneered at as if I'm some ignorant groupie of the "cause de' jour" at DKos so that is why I had to respond.

                •  Tar sands = tight oil (0+ / 0-)

                  You wish to convince the Canadians to keep their valuable oil resources in the ground while the US petrochemical industry works hard to extract tight oil from the Bakken in Montana and the Dakotas, the Texas Tea flows freely from stripper wells around Houston and Dallas and oilrigs push further out into the Gulf of Mexico to bring more precious oil to markets. Right?

                  •  Of course not! (0+ / 0-)

                    I wish all of it could be kept in the ground and I continue to join the fight against offshore drilling. Please explain tight oil. I have heard of the Bakken deposits, that is shale oil? That seems to be another disaster in the making, very resource intensive and high carbon release yes?
                    My goodness though, I'm getting a bit weary of suggestions that I'm narrow-minded and ignorant of facts. I spoke up 30 yrs ago about the dangers of our ever increasing oil addiction. I saw as a 20 yr old that solar and wind energy were being forced out by oil industry and our country, and indeed the world, would suffer from that addiction. Don't think I'm rather frustrated after all this time that the world isn't listening?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site