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robertogreco : misconception   8

Are GMOs safe? Yes. The case against them is full of fraud, lies, and errors.
"The war against genetically modified organisms is full of fearmongering, errors, and fraud. Labeling them will not make you safer."



"I’ve spent much of the past year digging into the evidence. Here’s what I’ve learned. First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.

Second, the central argument of the anti-GMO movement—that prudence and caution are reasons to avoid genetically engineered, or GE, food—is a sham. Activists who tell you to play it safe around GMOs take no such care in evaluating the alternatives. They denounce proteins in GE crops as toxic, even as they defend drugs, pesticides, and non-GMO crops that are loaded with the same proteins. They portray genetic engineering as chaotic and unpredictable, even when studies indicate that other crop improvement methods, including those favored by the same activists, are more disruptive to plant genomes.

Third, there are valid concerns about some aspects of GE agriculture, such as herbicides, monocultures, and patents. But none of these concerns is fundamentally about genetic engineering. Genetic engineering isn’t a thing. It’s a process that can be used in different ways to create different things. To think clearly about GMOs, you have to distinguish among the applications and focus on the substance of each case. If you’re concerned about pesticides and transparency, you need to know about the toxins to which your food has been exposed. A GMO label won’t tell you that. And it can lull you into buying a non-GMO product even when the GE alternative is safer.

If you’re like me, you don’t really want to wade into this issue. It’s too big, technical, and confusing. But come with me, just this once. I want to take you backstage, behind those blanket assurances about the safety of genetic engineering. I want to take you down into the details of four GMO fights, because that’s where you’ll find truth. You’ll come to the last curtain, the one that hides the reality of the anti-GMO movement. And you’ll see what’s behind it."



"The USDA’s catalog of recently engineered plants shows plenty of worthwhile options. The list includes drought-tolerant corn, virus-resistant plums, non-browning apples, potatoes with fewer natural toxins, and soybeans that produce less saturated fat. A recent global inventory by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization discusses other projects in the pipeline: virus-resistant beans, heat-tolerant sugarcane, salt-tolerant wheat, disease-resistant cassava, high-iron rice, and cotton that requires less nitrogen fertilizer. Skim the news, and you’ll find scientists at work on more ambitious ideas: high-calcium carrots, antioxidant tomatoes, nonallergenic nuts, bacteria-resistant oranges, water-conserving wheat, corn and cassava loaded with extra nutrients, and a flaxlike plant that produces the healthy oil formerly available only in fish.

That’s what genetic engineering can do for health and for our planet. The reason it hasn’t is that we’ve been stuck in a stupid, wasteful fight over GMOs. On one side is an army of quacks and pseudo-environmentalists waging a leftist war on science. On the other side are corporate cowards who would rather stick to profitable weed-killing than invest in products that might offend a suspicious public. The only way to end this fight is to educate ourselves and make it clear to everyone—European governments, trend-setting grocers, fad-hopping restaurant chains, research universities, and biotechnology investors—that we’re ready, as voters and consumers, to embrace nutritious, environmentally friendly food, no matter where it got its genes. We want our GMOs. Now, show us what you can do."
food  science  gmo  2015  williamsaletan  misinformation  misrepresentation  misconception  fallacies  agriculture  organics  greenpeace  chipotle  environmentalism 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Aporeticus - by Mills Baker · I have often thought that the nature of science...
"I have often thought that the nature of science would be better understood if we called theories “misconceptions” from the outset, instead of only after we have discovered their successors. Thus we could say that Einstein’s Misconception of Gravity was an improvement on Newton’s Misconception, which was an improvement on Kepler’s. The neo-Darwinian Misconception of Evolution is an improvement on Darwin’s Misconception, and his on Lamarck’s… Science claims neither infallibility nor finality."

David Deutsch…in The Beginning of Infinity…demonstrates that although we will, barring extinction, continue to refine & improve our knowledge infinitely, we will also never stop being able to improve it. Thus we will always live w/ fallible scientific understanding (& fallible moral theories, fallible aesthetic ideas, fallible philosophical notions, etc.); it is the nature of the relationship between knowledge, mind, & universe.

But it remains odd to say: everything I know is a misconception."
sensemaking  understanding  scientificunderstanding  fallibility  universe  mind  2012  millsbaker  philosophy  karlpopper  darwin  chalresdarwin  alberteinstein  theories  knowledge  whatweknow  misconception  science  daviddeutsch  philosopy  charlesdarwin 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Veritasium Science Videos: Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos
"common view "if only someone could break this down & explain it clearly enough, more students would understand." Khan Academy is great example of this approach w/ clear, concise videos on science. However it is debatable whether they really work. Research has shown these types of videos may be positively received by students. They feel like they are learning & become more confident in answers, but tests reveal they haven't learned anything…apparent reason for discrepancy is misconceptions. Students have existing ideas about scientific phenomena before viewing…If video presents scientific concepts in clear, well illustrated way, students believe they are learning but they do not engage w/ media on deep enough level to realize that what was is presented differs from prior knowledge…hope, however. Presenting students' common misconceptions in video alongside scientific concepts has shown to increase learning by increasing amount of mental effort students expend while watching"
science  learning  teaching  education  misconception  video  criticalthinking  mindchanges  priorknowledge  khanacademy  mindchanging 
march 2011 by robertogreco
the conversation that never happens « Underbellie
"Keeping one's children out of school & not imposing home-curriculum is a fringe choice…Given that, I think part of the reason this conversation doesn't happen is many of us prefer to think of fringe people as being wrong. When we see their choices working out well it's a bit uncomfortable. Thus it's much easier to think of my kids or myself as some kind of an exception…The kids are either "bright", or I am a super-hard working mama administrating organized curriculum & have extraordinary "patience" to spend so much of my time w/ my own children (why children are assumed to be such a horrible group of people to be forced to mingle w/ is subject of another article)…

unschoolers know exactly where B went next…"How long are you planning on keeping them out of school?"…

if we were to admit that autodidactic children in a loving & secure environment perform very well in aggregate (given nearly any marker of success), we'd have to then question the many tenets of the school model"

[via: http://www.unschoolinglifestyle.com/2010/08/taboo-of-unschooling-success.html ]
glvo  unschooling  deschooling  perception  misconception  fringe  exceptions  education  cv  learning  homeschool  children  parenting  inmyexperience  autodidacts  autodidactism  autodidacticism 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Matthew Yglesias » Poor People Are Much Poorer Than You Think [via: http://scudmissile.tumblr.com/post/1230275595/abbyjean-actual-represents-the-actual]
"Via Tim Noah, a striking chart from Daniel Ariely and Michael I. Norton’s paper (PDF) “Building a Better America One Wealth Quintile at a Time”: [graph here]<br />
<br />
Actual represents the actual distribution of wealth. Estimated is what people think the distribution of wealth is. I agree with Noah that the methodology that generated the “ideal” numbers is a bit odd so I’ll ignore it.<br />
<br />
Both Noah and Ariely & Norton focus on what this shows us about the top twenty percent, but I don’t think that’s news. We already know from polling that the median voter supports “soak the rich” tax policies far beyond what the right people who run the Democratic Party are prepared to propose. What’s interesting here is the extent to which the public vastly overestimates the prosperity of lower-income Americans. The public thinks the 4th quintile has more money than the median quintile actually has. And the public thinks the 5th quintile has vastly more wealth than it really has."
matthewyglesias  inequality  us  wealth  taxes  policy  politics  myths  misconception  wealthdistribution 
october 2010 by robertogreco
List of common misconceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"This list of common or popular misconceptions corrects various fallacious, misleading, or otherwise flawed ideas that are described by multiple reliable sources as widely held. The statements below are not the misconceptions, but are the actual facts regarding those misconceptions."
misconceptions  astronomy  cooking  history  literature  music  politics  law  religion  science  health  sport  technology  chemistry  physics  biology  evolution  myths  misconception  culture 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Let's face it, science is boring - science-in-society - 21 December 2009 - New Scientist
"ASTONISHING discoveries in space, revelations about human nature, frightening news on the environment, medical advances that will banish life-threatening diseases: an inexhaustible stream of wonders runs through the pages of New Scientist. All tell the same tale. Science is exciting. Science is cutting-edge. Science is fun.

It is now time to come clean. This glittering depiction of the quest for knowledge is... well, perhaps not an outright lie, but certainly a highly edited version of the truth. Science is not a whirlwind dance of excitement, illuminated by the brilliant strobe light of insight. It is a long, plodding journey through a dim maze of dead ends. It is painstaking data collection followed by repetitious calculation. It is revision, confusion, frustration, bureaucracy and bad coffee. In a word, science can be boring."
science  boring  boredom  misconception  patience  frustration  bureaucracy  repetition  knowledge  learning 
december 2009 by robertogreco

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