Manic Fringe

Luc

The personal blog of the one and only Luc Gendrot. Internet Superhero. Not really.

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Stop demonizing scientists and research. You just look ignorant.

At least one person in the video above (a supporter of the ridiculously ill-informed anti-GMO movement that has gained so much media attention lately) claims not only that all of the world’s research and health organizations are being paid and are “all liars frankly” but that EVERY SCIENTIST IN THE WORLD is a liar being paid.

I would be hard pressed to make this stupid shit up.

Look. I’m just a 3rd year biology student whose obsession with genetics stems back to the 7th grade, and even I realize how absolutely, stupendously, outrageously stupid these people look and sound. And might I add that more than a few of them look fairly overweight or unhealthy to my eyes? But I’ll not resort to ad-hominem attacks, because I don’t know these peoples’ home lives and I could care less.

What I do care about is the fact that these people are demonizing science and scientists in blanket-statement judgements about how they THINK the scientific community works, without actually being a part of it. The very thought that all scientists, everywhere, are being paid to give an opinion that these people believe is 100% wrong? Well it’s just ludicrous.

Let me break down how people come to be research scientists for these people, because they seem to be woefully misinformed.

1) Have an interest in science

2) Become knowledgeable in your field of research (in this case? Biology) This step probably involves a higher education institution of some form.

3) Spend years building up the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to be an informed and active member of an ever-evolving field, by keeping up with the current research around the world, and by keeping your ear to the rest of the scientific community.

4) Do research (often in a university laboratory or at non-profit or private research labs) based on your years of accrued knowledge, this research is necessarily based on years of prior research, done by other members of your field. Rinse. Repeat. Learn.

That’s it. Really. I promise. There’s no secret “scientist overlord” who hands down proclamations to the board of “scientist overseers” to ensure that everybody is playing by the same game. There’s no megacorporation that grabs undergraduates out of college and makes sure that they are pro-GMO by handing them wads of evil-fairydusted cash. So when there's a consensus in the scientific community on the validity of a claim it would be wise to think "gee, maybe they're right!"

I hate the sweeping demonization of all science. I seethe with hatred and anger whenever I encounter it. I mostly see it in the equally as stupid anti-vaccine movement (which I will wager overlaps quite nicely with the crowd depicted in the video above), but this just reaches a whole new level of face-palm stupidity.

How do these people think society as they know it functions? With magic? With mother nature’s divine glow as a power source? No. The very same scientific knowledge that brought them the cancer therapy I’m positive some of their aging parents are going through, has brought us GM foods.

The double-think, cognitively dissonant nature of these peoples’ arguments makes me want to tear my eyes and ears out so I never have to see or hear this stupidity ever again.

God I’m so mad I could kick a puppy. Not really though.

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