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The Fear Of Science Will Kill Us

submitted by: blonde_8080
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The Fear Of Science Will Kill Us. A couple minutes longer than what I-A-B usually runs, but this guy makes interesting points about society and science.
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Hits: 18609 | Favorites: 27 | Emailed: 6 | Rating: 3.5 | Category: Science | Date: 04/15/2010
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Male, 18-29, Western US
 296 Posts
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:52:31 AM
Are you so convinced, as MildCorma is, that scientists have such absolute power and knowledge that they can and will prevent any use of genetic engineering that could have any negative consequences?

No, there will always be someone willing to weaponize the fruits of science, but you shouldn't let it stop you from understanding the science.

What I`m saying is the process is so controlled that we won`t be blighting the earth unintentionally.

We don`t go directly from the gene splice to the field. It stays in the lab until ready. Our changes are in the order of a few gene products, a few chemicals that the organism produces. If the changes overwrite something vital, the organism dies in the lab before reaching maturity by the organisms own machinery. Same for toxins the plant can`t handle. You need to verify the organism produces the changes and lives the expected life cycle before you get the money to creating enough seeds for a field.

Male, 18-29, Western US
 296 Posts
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:37:12 AM
I do think my reply is appropo and reasonable. Let me also explain why I think you're fear mongering.

First, the mercury statement still bugs me. You haven`t acknowledged that mercury isn`t in its element form wrt vaccinations. Your descriptions of mercury and its effects are similar to saying we should ban water because it contains oxygen, which is highly corrosive and found in explosives, and rocket fuel. Admit that elements in compounds have different properties than the elements themselves.

Second, you can make the same "can you say for sure" argument to any branch of chemical, biological, or physical branch of the sciences. Can you be sure some evil engineer won`t use those photoelectric cells to power some evil laser, possibly attached to sharks? Can you!!?!? I mean, seriously, no...they`re engineers, that`s why we love them.

You seem to still ignore the facts on what changes we can make (really `freaky`), and display a complete lack o

Male, 40-49, Europe
 2223 Posts
Monday, April 19, 2010 5:17:58 AM
Ok, I'll do some scare mongering - you`re re-engineering the tree - whilst sitting on one of the branches.

We are in the dark ages when it comes to tinkering with genes - and I do mean tinkering. At least this stage is done in a controlled environment. For the record I`m not opposed to this.

Once the item moves out into the wild then to say that it has been thoroughly tested in the lab is risible. The interactions of the natural world are not fully understood, therefore thorough testing would be prohibitive in cost and time. Instead it will be tested to do what it was supposed to, and maybe some biological interactions with common biological agents and close relatives.

Anyway - you`ve missed the main point - increasing production will not solve the problem of human population requirements on earth.

Population control is the only solution, anything else is delaying the inevitable.

Male, 40-49, Europe
 12381 Posts
Sunday, April 18, 2010 2:58:54 AM
For you to believe that scientists can know all consequences and have full control over what anyone does with genetic engineering and can prevent any undesirable mutations occuring in the wild is ridiculous. You're treating "scientists" as a single omnipotent and omniscient deity.

[quote]Dude, stop. You seem to have a real problem between science and science fiction. You are fear mongering.[/quote]

Go back and re-read my comment and your reply to it.

Do you still think your reply is reasonable?

Are you so convinced, as MildCorma is, that scientists have such absolute power and knowledge that they can and will prevent any use of genetic engineering that could have any negative consequences?

That`s what I wrote the comment in reply to.

Treating genetic engineering as the messiah and scientists as a single omnipotent god is not a good way to convince people you`re right. It`s a good way to convince people yo

Male, 40-49, Europe
 12381 Posts
Sunday, April 18, 2010 2:49:41 AM
Yes, there is risk, but not nearly on the scale you imply.

Well, that's a nice change. A fervent advocate of genetic engineering being polite and acknowledging that it isn`t an utterly risk-free solution to everything.

It`s a shame that comments like that are not the norm.

It`s also a shame that the extremism from such people tends to alienate most people and harden them against genetic engineering.

That`s annoying for people, like me, who think we should research and very cautiously use genetic engineering but aren`t fire-and-brimstone preachy about it and don`t treat it as the perfect answer, like it was some sort of messiah.

In one sense, the scale is obviously extremely large, because we`re talking about global changes at the bottom of multiple food chains as the very minimum.

I think the degree of risk is larger (due to the very large scale and the power of the technology) than you think it is.

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