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Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

Calling anyone who questions your POV a troll is a crutch for you, hey?

There may be data upon data and references upon references. There is a lot of data out there currently and it is possible to use it to say many things that may be superficially true. I don't agree with the contention. It's an extremely sloppy finding: that we are entering a post-enlightenment age. None of what you have referred to draws this conclusion. Everyone has their own biases against scientific findings that don't agree with their perspective, but that doesn't mean you infer a higher cause. You are looking for a pattern that is not there.

Some people embrace the science of climate change and refute the science of GM food. Some people embrace medical science but don't want a nuclear medicine reactor on Australia's shores. Some people worry about asbestos in their homes, yet still smoke. It's not unusual or indicative of any trend. My major problem with social science is that it so often uses the scientific method to draw conclusions that simple, rational argument would not countenance. It's like we've thrown Occam's razor out the window because we have so much data.

No not at all. I don't mind if you disagree with my contention (it's not actually mine). I think your approach which is simply to deny any capacity of social science or social theory to give us insight is not only wrong it makes it pointless to argue with you. Nor is there any point in responding to you bringing up simple statements about risk perception. I'm not going to trot out years of research on this forum to prove you wrong. I don't care if you think I'm wrong. I might be. Let's see how things pan out.

Occam's Razor is often used on this forum like it is some kind of innate truth, as though complexity is non-existent. Most people don't understand what it means, nonetheless it could easily be argued that a contemporary rejection of the authority of science is actually the simplest explanation.
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Originally Posted by Flying 747

it could easily be argued that a contemporary rejection of the authority of science is actually the simplest explanation.

Has there ever been a period in history in which science or scientific organisations (eg: the Royal Society) actually has held an authoritative position in which the majority of society accepted their findings and acted in accordance with those findings?

I would argue that the church has been far more authoritative than science ever has and that contemporary rejection of the authority of science isn't very contemporary in the first place. Feel free to re-post links which support your point, but it seems to me that society accepts the authority of science now more than ever before in history and that gravy's point about a slide in approval ratings of climate change science the last 2-3yrs is a somewhat short timeframe to be making conclusions about the direction in which society is headed in the future, seems rather logical. The approval of climate change science is way ahead of where it was 30yrs ago isn't it?
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Contemporary rejection of the authority science?

Pure gold.

the area of climate science that is being challenged is so small and the time frame over which it has been challenged is so short that it is absured to use that as some sort of evidence that there is an 'attack on science' and that ' civilisation is regressing'....
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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post

...
If you can't get a simple fact like that right, why should we give credence to your other claims?

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took like 2 min to check up about the map and the various claims about it... like i said, stop jumping to conclusions on incomplete info
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Originally Posted by Abziie View Post

Contemporary rejection of the authority science?

Pure gold.

the area of climate science that is being challenged is so small and the time frame over which it has been challenged is so short that it is absured to use that as some sort of evidence that there is an 'attack on science' and that ' civilisation is regressing'....

Abziie, I'm not just talking about climate change. It is a much broader idea. It's not my idea, it's an idea held by some of the most respected social theorists of our time (for example Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour). Go and argue with them, I'm sure you would outwit them.
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

Has there ever been a period in history in which science or scientific organisations (eg: the Royal Society) actually has held an authoritative position in which the majority of society accepted their findings and acted in accordance with those findings?

I would argue that the church has been far more authoritative than science ever has and that contemporary rejection of the authority of science isn't very contemporary in the first place. Feel free to re-post links which support your point, but it seems to me that society accepts the authority of science now more than ever before in history and that gravy's point about a slide in approval ratings of climate change science the last 2-3yrs is a somewhat short timeframe to be making conclusions about the direction in which society is headed in the future, seems rather logical. The approval of climate change science is way ahead of where it was 30yrs ago isn't it?

Again, it's not just about climate change it's about a whole range of issues. The response to climate change fits the theory, it does not prove the theory. And it's just a theory. The rise of religous fundamentalism, skewed perceptions of risks, a trend towards scientifically unproven healing practices, a rejection of vaccination, are just some of the other social changes over the last 50 years (say after the nuclear threat) that might prove the theory. The enlightenment is characterised by science and reason over superstition and one would expect to see myth based belief systems continue to diminish, but we don't see that. I've already said all this but no one remembers what was on the previous page in this forum.

The public response to climate change is not simply a rejection of science. It is probably made up of a number of complex sociological and psychological issues. We don't want to face an uncertain existential future and we don't want to change the way we live.

What it is starting to look like is we saw a change in receptiveness to the climate change message when the economy was going gangbusters and due to some effective risk communication, such as The Inconveneint Truth. In Australia the screenings of the Inconvenient Truth coincided with drought and severe bushfires and there was a pefect storm so to speak which changed public opinion. That now seems to be a blip.

But it is interesting to see how easy it is for politicians and lobbyists to denigrate and diminish the science. It's incredibly interesting to see how the message fails to get traction, compared with how easily the deniers' rubbish does get traction.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

Again, it's not just about climate change it's about a whole range of issues. The response to climate change fits the theory, it does not prove the theory. And it's just a theory. The rise of religous fundamentalism, skewed perceptions of risks, a trend towards scientifically unproven healing practices, a rejection of vaccination, are just some of the other social changes over the last 50 years (say after the nuclear threat) that might prove the theory. The enlightenment is characterised by science and reason over superstition and one would expect to see myth based belief systems continue to diminish, but we don't see that. I've already said all this but no one remembers what was on the previous page in this forum.

The public response to climate change is not simply a rejection of science. It is probably made up of a number of complex sociological and psychological issues. We don't want to face an uncertain existential future and we don't want to change the way we live.

What it is starting to look like is we saw a change in receptiveness to the climate change message when the economy was going gangbusters and due to some effective risk communication, such as The Inconveneint Truth. In Australia the screenings of the Inconvenient Truth coincided with drought and severe bushfires and there was a pefect storm so to speak which changed public opinion. That now seems to be a blip.

But it is interesting to see how easy it is for politicians and lobbyists to denigrate and diminish the science. It's incredibly interesting to see how the message fails to get traction, compared with how easily the deniers' rubbish does get traction.

I think the science behind AGW fails to get traction mostly due to the experiential way most of the sceptics/denialists feel the weather and don't listen to the predictions made about what happens in this specific changing climate: people just assume that it is going to get exponentially hotter. They then experience the Summer we just had, which was as mild as they come, and listen to loudmouth dickheads like Joyce and deduce that even if it is happening it isn't happening to the extent that climate scientists predict (because they assume the pedictions suggest heat upon heat upon heat).

Regarding alternative medicines and anti-vaccinators etc. I would contend that overall the shift to this stance as opposed to the scientific one is nowhere near to be being big enough to contend that there is a drift towards pre-Enlightenment obscurantism and superstition. It's just with the media these types of people get a disproportionate amount of time focused their way. I'm not suggesting those who cast aside science for homeopathy or anti-vaccination stances isn't a concerning development, just that it is likely to be statistically anomolous overall.
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There have been other regressive anti-science groups like the Amish in the past too though. These fringe groups just get more press in a 24 hour news cycle.
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Originally Posted by Geezah View Post

I think the science behind AGW fails to get traction mostly due to the experential way most of the sceptics/denialists feel the weather and don't listen to the predictions made about what happens in this specific changing climate: people just assume that it is going to get exponentially hotter. They then experience the Summer we just had, which was as mild as they come, and listen to loudmouth dickheads like Joyce and deduce that even if it is happening it isn't happening to the extent that climate scientists predict (because they assume the pedictions suggest heat upon heat upon heat).

That's just one small part of it. Yes, it blows me away that our climate is dominated by ENSO and so few people know about its effects which are pretty simple to understand. But tt's not very hard for people to understand that climate is not weather and most people I've spoken to get it quite quickly. They get that the ocean is warmer which makes it rain which causes local cooling. But there is no doubt it's an incredibly complex set of science to try to explain to people.

What I'm talking about is a societal shift, that doesn't ncessarily manifest itself in specifics, but manifests itself in trends. The ready acpetance that there are thousands of scientists conspiring to get grant money, that one group of scientists holding onto emails undermines 200 years of science, that a tiny group of discredited dissenting scientists can sustain their opposition, that a couple of small errors in a document of 1000 pages undermines the whole document (etc) might just suggest there is a strong willingness to disregard the scientists.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

There have been other regressive anti-science groups like the Amish in the past too though. These fringe groups just get more press in a 24 hour news cycle.

http://www.garnautreview.org.au/upda...#_Toc287466793

Across 22 surveys, it seems only about 35% or so of Australians believe humans are causing global warming. But close to 100% of credible scientists believe it is. So about two thirds of Australians think they know more about climate science than climate scientists.

About 2/3 of Australians think global warming is not happening at the moment.

While there are issues regarding question framing etc, I find this to be extraordinary.
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I think part of the problem is that we have become so technologically advanced now and so specialised as a society that for most people any technology outside their hobbies and job are basically treated as magic.

Out of that 65% who don't believe humans are the cause of the problem how many of them simply don't care about the issue and so haven't bothered to research it?

How many are actually convinced that all of the worlds scientist are all engaged in a giant conspiracy so they can steal all the less educated people in the world's money so they can build secret moon-bases with giant laser canons aimed at Earth or whatever the fuck it is actual deniers believe is the reason for scientists to lie en mass?

The second group is probably less than 1% of the population but because our media gives them equal playtime as scientists (actually probably more as most scientists make really boring TV when they keep talking about risk management, assumptions and other such magic incantations that your average bogan doesn't give a shit about so long as their magic picture box keeps working and they can buy beer and preprocessed food from the food gods)

I doubt the 65% is an actual reflection of the active opposition to the science but rather simply the number of people that don't give a shit about it so say they are against change to their lifestyle habits to offset any future risk of world destruction in case it costs them money.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

I think part of the problem is that we have become so technologically advanced now and so specialised as a society that for most people any technology outside their hobbies and job are basically treated as magic.

Out of that 65% who don't believe humans are the cause of the problem how many of them simply don't care about the issue and so haven't bothered to research it?

How many are actually convinced that all of the worlds scientist are all engaged in a giant conspiracy so they can steal all the less educated people in the world's money so they can build secret moon-bases with giant laser canons aimed at Earth or whatever the fuck it is actual deniers believe is the reason for scientists to lie en mass?

The second group is probably less than 1% of the population but because our media gives them equal playtime as scientists (actually probably more as most scientists make really boring TV when they keep talking about risk management, assumptions and other such magic incantations that your average bogan doesn't give a shit about so long as their magic picture box keeps working and they can buy beer and preprocessed food from the food gods)

I doubt the 65% is an actual reflection of the active opposition to the science but rather simply the number of people that don't give a shit about it so say they are against change to their lifestyle habits to offset any future risk of world destruction in case it costs them money.

And I think this supports among other things the idea there is a reduction in the authority of science.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

The public response to climate change is not simply a rejection of science. It is probably made up of a number of complex sociological and psychological issues. We don't want to face an uncertain existential future and we don't want to change the way we live.

Yes I understand its not just climate change, we are just using that as an example of a broader argument. I still maintain the position that contemporary society can't really reject the authority of science because it never fully embraced it in the first place. For starters, very few people, including many scientists, actually understand how science works or how it is supposed to work. I've even heard people say things like "I don't believe in science". What that tells me is not that they have "rejected" science, but that they just don't understand it.

Now lets fast forward to the internet age and we are in a situation where access to information is virtually unlimited. Some of that information is good, but a lot is bad. Sometimes I see something on the news about the latest scientific discovery in my field (which is human physiology and exercise science), and I think gee that sounds odd, what the hell are they talking about. So I go and research the topic in detail and go find the actual fulltext journal articles and then I find that what has been reported on ninemsn or whatever, is really misleading. What proportion of society would do that and have the access to fulltext online journals? almost zero. There other thing is that science has become more politicized now more than ever before, which clouds proper scientific debate on a whole range of topics. The point here is that knowledge is acquired in many more ways now than ever before, but since the vast majority of society has never learnt to understand the scientific method, it's not a rejection, it's just makes people confused and ignorant, and when people become confused and ignorant, they tend to revert to whatever suits them or whatever is best for them, and just "believe" in that.

Anyway, getting back to what I think is gravy's argument, is that the study of all this stuff more or less falls under the field of epistemology right? Well isn't that closer to a philosophy than a science? I looked up Ullrich Beck and I also tend to agree with gravy that sociology is not really a science because one does not conduct controlled experiments. The theories are developed based on trends and patterns in society. However, I would not agree that the methods used by sociologists used to create their ideas and theories should be rejected either just because they don't strictly follow the scientific method.

Science is an excellent method of acquiring knowledge, but it's not the only method.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

And I think this supports among other things the idea there is a reduction in the authority of science.

Compared to when though?

The 90's? Where the most iconic doctor in popular media bought uranium from Libyans to power his time machine car and became a complete retard after meeting a woman who read books? When it was considered normal for sports students to beat up science students for being nerds?

The middle ages where over 95% of the population couldn't read and of the 5% left over many ignored any teachings that disagree with their religious text of choice or the political views?

100-150 years ago when doctors and chemists were seen as being snake oil salesmen and typically had to supplement their income by cutting hair as well as practicing medicine?

Lets face it with the exception of just after World War 2 and the early stages of the Cold War, how much respect have scientists really had from the general population in the history of the planet?
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

When it was considered normal for sports students to beat up science students for being nerds?

lol yeah I was a sport science student, so I used to hang out with the nerds, but then I'd beat them up if they disagreed with me.
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I really can't go any further than this.
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

the last 2-3yrs is a somewhat short timeframe to be making conclusions about the direction in which society is headed in the future, seems rather logical.

Yes, I think if you were to stack up findings such as people disagreeing with AGW, fundamentalism on the rise, alternative treatments increasing, you could probably decide there is a pattern of people turning against science, but that doesn't make the pattern necessarily true. I don't think you can distil a broad public opinion from a range of opinions that few individuals would actually hold simultaneously.

Greenpeace are pretty big supporters of AGW, but then go ahead and do this.

To me it underlines the problems with big data and overuse of the scientific method, especially in areas where the method begins to lose its effectiveness. Where simple true conclusions are derived from data analysis, but when connected together result in something that is erroneous. The piece I linked to before gave an example, but I'm sure you could think of many others.
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Wow, that shit is just crazy. The biggest killer in society and by far the biggest drain on the health system is cardiovascular disease, so they destroy a GM crop specifically aimed at decreasing public health enemy #1 and then paradoxically claim that they are concerned about public health?
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Originally Posted by gravyishot View Post

Yes, I think if you were to stack up findings such as people disagreeing with AGW, fundamentalism on the rise, alternative treatments increasing, you could probably decide there is a pattern of people turning against science, but that doesn't make the pattern necessarily true. I don't think you can distil a broad public opinion from a range of opinions that few individuals would actually hold simultaneously.

Greenpeace are pretty big supporters of AGW, but then go ahead and do this.

To me it underlines the problems with big data and overuse of the scientific method, especially in areas where the method begins to lose its effectiveness. Where simple true conclusions are derived from data analysis, but when connected together result in something that is erroneous. The piece I linked to before gave an example, but I'm sure you could think of many others.

gravy, to me that is a much more moderate statement than your original sweeping dismissal and I think it is valid.
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Wow, that shit is just crazy. The biggest killer in society and by far the biggest drain on the health system is cardiovascular disease, so they destroy a GM crop specifically aimed at decreasing public health enemy #1 and then paradoxically claim that they are concerned about public health?

It's what Greenpeace does. That's always been their MO. I posted elsewhere on this forum about this incident that they once caused me months of unnecessary work.

For what it's worth, I don't think the GM risk issue is settled. Check out this. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80...ne-expression/

Notwithstanding how much we do know about genetics, there is so much we still have to learn about genetics. DNA is where it all happens.
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

Wow, that shit is just crazy. The biggest killer in society and by far the biggest drain on the health system is cardiovascular disease, so they destroy a GM crop specifically aimed at decreasing public health enemy #1 and then paradoxically claim that they are concerned about public health?

It's no different to religious opposition to stem cell research really, stupid absolutist dogma.

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It's no different to religious opposition to stem cell research really, stupid absolutist dogma.

I don't agree at all. I think that is a category error.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

For what it's worth, I don't think the GM risk issue is settled. Check out this. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80...ne-expression/

Notwithstanding how much we do know about genetics, there is so much we still have to learn about genetics. DNA is where it all happens.

I don't think that really presents a new argument against GM food. Equally you could say that discovery of miRNA uptake from foods causing epigenetic changes means that any food could be a health risk. If one is going to play a 'we shouldn't mess with genetics because we don't fully understand it' card, then we should probably cease all everything that could involve modification of the transcriptome (i.e. everything, everything at all, ever). The idea that different foods produce epigenetic changes certainly isn't new, and is definitely not confined to the influence of miRNA. It doesn't really change the unintended consequences argument much. It is certainly the height of stupidity to destroy or impede GM food research when the entire foundation of the argument about GM foods is based on a perceived paucity of research.

Anyway. That was more a rage against the comments on the article than a criticism of your post. Carry on.

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I don't agree at all. I think that is a category error.

Whatevs, pedantopants
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I don't think that really presents a new argument against GM food. Equally you could say that discovery of miRNA uptake from foods causing epigenetic changes means that any food could be a health risk. If one is going to play a 'we shouldn't mess with genetics because we don't fully understand it' card, then we should probably cease all everything that could involve modification of the transcriptome (i.e. everything, everything at all, ever). The idea that different foods produce epigenetic changes certainly isn't new, and is definitely not confined to the influence of miRNA. It doesn't really change the unintended consequences argument much. It is certainly the height of stupidity to destroy or impede GM food research when the entire foundation of the argument about GM foods is based on a perceived paucity of research.

Anyway. That was more a rage against the comments on the article than a criticism of your post. Carry on.

I don't condone Greenpeace's activity, except that CSIRO is now a govt seed funded commercial research organisation and the research is potentially going to be commercialised to companies that have limited ethical interests. Greenpeace's agenda was not to stop research it was to make the news, because there is little public scrutiny particularly in Australia of GM foods.

Any food could be a health risk. Most of those health risks are known or have been adapted to. Rapid introduction of new risks leapfrogs adaptation.

A key aspect of GM cropping, including research, is the uncontrollability of an identifed error. Bleed out of the controlled area has ocurred in every instance of crop trials.

I'm not opposed to GM, but I think the assertion that GM is risk free is a dangerous one.
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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post

Pangaea began to break up 200 million years ago, there weren't even mammals on the planet at that point, much less humans. By the time modern human beings evolved, the continents were pretty much where they are now.

The Piri Reis map is from the 16th century, and the american sections of it are thought to be copied from Columbus' maps (which we know would have already existed). The section that some claim is antarctica is more likely just the southern section of the south american coast bent around to fit the parchment that the map is drawn on. This explains the map quite adequately, and is much less problematic than trying to properly back up a claim that it depicts Antarctica.

Genious Columbus never reached America and neither did turks, so where Did Piri Reis get hsi coordinates plus he charted underwater mountains quite well, this map was copied from the maps before the deluge when ocean was about 100 metres lower. Global warming is nothing new you know.
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What the actual fuck.

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It's the same as going out on a busy street and looking at the people around you, most of them are fgts.

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Originally Posted by YossarianIsSane View Post

What the actual fuck.

Pretty much.
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Whatevs, pedantopants

Well stem cell research controversy is about ethics, GM is about editing the DNA in food and releasing it uncontrollably into the environment.
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Well stem cell research controversy is about ethics, GM is about editing the DNA in food and releasing it uncontrollably into the environment.

I think what SM was referring to is the fact that greenpeace don't really know much about the science, but for some reason they believe it is bad, and therefore they oppose it. The same can be said of religious groups that oppose stem cell research. The reason why they oppose it might be different, but in both cases the reason is based on dogma, not rationality.


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lol please never stop posting in this forum freeEasy.

I've been working on lectures about respiratory system mechanics all morning and I needed some comic relief to give my brain a rest.

I liked how the oronteus finaeus map barely even resembles antartica, but I particularly liked the bit at 3:10 where it says "I can't believe its not fiction" overlaid on top of a "Clash of the Titans" movie poster to the sounds of a dubstep track
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

I think what SM was referring to is the fact that greenpeace don't really know much about the science, but for some reason they believe it is bad, and therefore they oppose it. The same can be said of religious groups that oppose stem cell research. The reason why they oppose it might be different, but in both cases the reason is based on dogma, not rationality.


tables and chairs are both furniture right? same same but different

Well if that is the case it might be wrong to under estimate Greenpeace's knowledge of GMOs (I don't overestimate either). it's also important to recognise Greenpeace's policy, which is not against GM, but is against the release of GMOs into the environment. I don't condone Greenpeace's actions, but I do have some support for that policy.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

Well if that is the case it might be wrong to under estimate Greenpeace's knowledge of GMOs (I don't overestimate either). it's also important to recognise Greenpeace's policy, which is not against GM, but is against the release of GMOs into the environment. I don't condone Greenpeace's actions, but I do have some support for that policy.

I'm not making any judgement whatsoever about Greenpeace's knowledge of GMOs because they've made that clear themselves. On the Greeenpeace website it says "We have little understanding of the impact of GM crops on our health or the environment." yet elsewhere they have stated that GM wheat is "not safe". So if they are admitting that "we" don't know enough about GM crops, then how would they know that they are "not safe"? They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Besides, how do they think that "we" will ever gain a better understanding of the safety concerns if they sabotage scientific research which is designed to investigate that aim?
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

I'm not making any judgement whatsoever about Greenpeace's knowledge of GMOs because they've made that clear themselves. On the Greeenpeace website it says "We have little understanding of the impact of GM crops on our health or the environment." yet elsewhere they have stated that GM wheat is "not safe". So if they are admitting that "we" don't know enough about GM crops, then how would they know that they are "not safe"? They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Besides, how do they think that "we" will ever gain a better understanding of the safety concerns if they sabotage scientific research which is designed to investigate that aim?

I think, in fact I'm certain, you are misintepreting the statement "We have little understanding of the impact of GM crops on our health or the environment." I think "we" means humans. Elsewhere on the site they say their opposition is supported by science.

Greenpeace's position is that the application of the precautionary principle (a principle our govts have agreed to), would suggest that we don't know enough to be introducing them at the level we are. I think there is a strong argument to support that position. It's also important to recognise that GM companies actively use public relations companies to influence the discourse about GM. In that context, I can understand why Greenpeace resorts to guerilla campaigns because the resource needs to mount PR campaigns strongly favor GM companies.

Your second point I tend to agree with, the problem is that GM crop trials always result in environmental contamination.
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I think, in fact I'm certain, you are misintepreting the statement "We have little understanding of the impact of GM crops on our health or the environment." I think "we" means humans. Elsewhere on the site they say their opposition is supported by science.

lol no I understood it perfectly thanks. Some might disagree with this, but Greenpeace aren't aliens, therefore they form part of the "we", and that was precisely my point to begin with. If the human race doesn't know much about GMOs then neither does Greenpeace.

Greenpeace would be correct to say that they have concerns about safety, but they cannot make definitive statements (well they can and do of course, but that would make such statements bogus). They can also say that their concerns are supported by science, however that becomes a different matter which should be open to debate because there are others who disagree.


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Greenpeace's position is that the application of the precautionary principle (a principle our govts have agreed to), would suggest that we don't know enough to be introducing them at the level we are. I think there is a strong argument to support that position. It's also important to recognise that GM companies actively use public relations companies to influence the discourse about GM. In that context, I can understand why Greenpeace resorts to guerilla campaigns because the resource needs to mount PR campaigns strongly favor GM companies.

Your second point I tend to agree with, the problem is that GM crop trials always result in environmental contamination.

See the issue here seems to me that for an organisation to have to resort to guerilla tactics means that somewhere way back up the line, either the regulatory body has not done its job properly, it wasn't open to proper debate and scrutiny to begin with (as I suggested it should be above), that politicization and lobbying has muddied the waters (highly likely given the track record of devil companies like monsanto), or maybe due process was given regarding this particular trial, they lost but are acting like sore losers?
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lol no I understood it perfectly thanks. Some might disagree with this, but Greenpeace aren't aliens, therefore they form part of the "we", and that was precisely my point to begin with. If the human race doesn't know much about GMOs then neither does Greenpeace.

Greenpeace would be correct to say that they have concerns about safety, but they cannot make definitive statements (well they can and do of course, but that would make such statements bogus). They can also say that their concerns are supported by science, however that becomes a different matter which should be open to debate because there are others who disagree.


See the issue here seems to me that for an organisation to have to resort to guerilla tactics means that somewhere way back up the line, either the regulatory body has not done its job properly, it wasn't open to proper debate and scrutiny to begin with (as I suggested it should be above), that politicization and lobbying has muddied the waters (highly likely given the track record of devil companies like monsanto), or maybe due process was given regarding this particular trial, they lost but are acting like sore losers?

OK after I posted that I thought, no you probably understood it, sorry . So not knowing enough should trigger the precautionary principle and they say the precautionary principle is not being triggered. And this is where it gets tricky. Adverse environmental impacts might be very hard to detect and prove, and will almost certainly appear when it's too late to do anything about it. So they combine it with a general oppostion to unsustainable agriculture - and that is messy because the whole food thing is an incredibly tricky debate.

Greenpeace has always used guerilla tactics, that is their MO. They have used them in a way that directly affected me in a job I was doing; they turned a non-issue into a massive media circus which made my life hell for months. But I can look past that and recognise they have a role.

With GM one of the discourse tactics that is used by proponents is to position pro-GM discourse as the truth (from the experts with the facts), and rely on the dominant political economy discourse by emphasizing the economic risks of not using GM.

Did many people know that CSIRO was doing industry funded GM crop research before Greenpeace did that? Probably not.
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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

lol please never stop posting in this forum freeEasy.

I've been working on lectures about respiratory system mechanics all morning and I needed some comic relief to give my brain a rest.

I liked how the oronteus finaeus map barely even resembles antartica, but I particularly liked the bit at 3:10 where it says "I can't believe its not fiction" overlaid on top of a "Clash of the Titans" movie poster to the sounds of a dubstep track

You are just waisting your time with that. Get some food in your back pack, pack a hatchet and run for the hills to find a cave and than discover fire and start from there again.

...oh and tell them i sent you.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

Greenpeace has always used guerilla tactics, that is their MO. They have used them in a way that directly affected me in a job I was doing; they turned a non-issue into a massive media circus which made my life hell for months. But I can look past that and recognise they have a role.

With GM one of the discourse tactics that is used by proponents is to position pro-GM discourse as the truth (from the experts with the facts), and rely on the dominant political economy discourse by emphasizing the economic risks of not using GM.

Did many people know that CSIRO was doing industry funded GM crop research before Greenpeace did that? Probably not.

No matter what their MO is, if an organisation undermines societies faith in (academic/independent) scientists and the scientific method, IMO it will generally lead to negative long term consequences (slow down progress for example). Scientists whom are employed by industry are 100% agenda driven and are often part of the undermining also. You are probably aware that a very large amount of data regarding pharmaceuticals never sees the light of day if it doesn't look good for Roche or GSK or whoever.

Same can be said of course for academic driven research and there are definitely huge problems with studies which challenge the status quo getting a fair go, however in contrary to some of the points you've been making, at present there is a growing momentum for academics to shun the major journal publishers because they charge too much for fulltext subscriptions. The amount of free fulltext stuff online is massive already and growing and there are new online only journals popping up regularly because many academics are getting fed up with a lack of free exchange of information, which is also a hallmark of the scientific method.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...isher-elsevier


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Originally Posted by didjeridude View Post

No matter what their MO is, if an organisation undermines societies faith in (academic/independent) scientists and the scientific method, IMO it will generally lead to negative long term consequences (slow down progress for example). Scientists whom are employed by industry are 100% agenda driven and are often part of the undermining also. You are probably aware that a very large amount of data regarding pharmaceuticals never sees the light of day if it doesn't look good for Roche or GSK or whoever.

Same can be said of course for academic driven research and there are definitely huge problems with studies which challenge the status quo getting a fair go, however in contrary to some of the points you've been making, at present there is a growing momentum for academics to shun the major journal publishers because they charge too much for fulltext subscriptions. The amount of free fulltext stuff online is massive already and growing and there are new online only journals popping up regularly because many academics are getting fed up with a lack of free exchange of information, which is also a hallmark of the scientific method.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...isher-elsevier


@freeEasy, don't worry about me bro, I've been doing cardio and pumping iron to get ready for the zombie apocalypse

I don't disagree with your points and very well aware of the journal stuff.. but I'm not quite sure of the relevance. I wouldn't call CSIRO an independent research body any more.
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does anyone get to do research anymore without some accountant looking over their shoulder looking for the profit margin?
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does anyone get to do research anymore without some accountant looking over their shoulder looking for the profit margin?

yes, there is still research into things that are not remotely commercialisable
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Sarcasm?
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No, not at all.
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I guess the guys at the LHC wouldn't really have any business plan for whatever they end up finding... I really got the feeling while I was at uni that they were far more interested in making money off research than letting academics go with what they wanted to look at. While chasing grants you always needed that bottom line in there.

Sort of funny that I'm now working for one of the 'technology transfer' companies.
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I guess the guys at the LHC wouldn't really have any business plan for whatever they end up finding... I really got the feeling while I was at uni that they were far more interested in making money off research than letting academics go with what they wanted to look at. While chasing grants you always needed that bottom line in there.

Sort of funny that I'm now working for one of the 'technology transfer' companies.

Wll it depends on what area of research you are in I guess.

Re the LHC I think there are commercial spinoffs.
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I guess the guys at the LHC wouldn't really have any business plan for whatever they end up finding... I really got the feeling while I was at uni that they were far more interested in making money off research than letting academics go with what they wanted to look at. While chasing grants you always needed that bottom line in there.

It's a component of it for sure. There is also the encouragement just to publish (outside of direct financial concerns), and publish stuff that could potentially sneak its way into Nature or Science or some such. But that probably comes around into the idea that university rankings and reputation help determine funding.

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I don't disagree with your points and very well aware of the journal stuff.. but I'm not quite sure of the relevance. I wouldn't call CSIRO an independent research body any more.

The relevance is that Greenpeace's action are likely to contribute to the air of public suspicion that surrounds GM science. I oppose such actions in principle because in general, I trust the expertise of scientists, however, I accept that not all scientists (eg: those employed by big mining or big pharma) are 100% trustworthy. Separating the wheat from the chaff thus becomes a non-trivial challenge. However, if the flow of information is less restricted, then hopefully, it becomes easier for the public to become properly informed regarding controversial scientific issues and organisations such as greenpeace can challenge the science by PUBLISHING THEIR OWN instead of resorting to vandalism which is backwards and illogical. Scientific dispute should be solved by doing more and better science, not by sabotaging your opponent's research.
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The relevance is that Greenpeace's action are likely to contribute to the air of public suspicion that surrounds GM science. I oppose such actions in principle because in general, I trust the expertise of scientists, however, I accept that not all scientists (eg: those employed by big mining or big pharma) are 100% trustworthy. Separating the wheat from the chaff thus becomes a non-trivial challenge. However, if the flow of information is less restricted, then hopefully, it becomes easier for the public to become properly informed regarding controversial scientific issues and organisations such as greenpeace can challenge the science by PUBLISHING THEIR OWN instead of resorting to vandalism which is backwards and illogical. Scientific dispute should be solved by doing more and better science, not by sabotaging your opponent's research.

Yes I agree totally. But Greenpeace's ostensible goal is not to challenge the science, it is to raise the profile of the issue such that there might be sufficient pressure brought to bear that the science is challenged. Or at least the risks from the practice of field research are considered.

I say Greenpeace's ostensible goal because sometimes I think the goal is to cynically maintain the interest of members who's real concern is satisfying a frustration born from feelings of inadequate loci of control.
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