Neil deGrasse Tyson–unafraid of GMO’s


For those who read my article about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s comments to the anti-GMO forces to “chill out”, here’s a tweet from him from 18 months ago. He didn’t just think about this issue recently.

Add this to the other world class scientist who thinks that artificial selection is no different than genetic engineering, since they both rely upon changes in genes. One’s random. One’s not.

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor

Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!

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  • ryansouth

    “The fact is, it is virtually impossible to even conceive of a testing procedure to assess the health effects of GE foods, nor is there any valid nutritional or public reason for their introduction.” – Dr. Richard Lacey, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at Leeds University; successfully predicted Mad Cow disease

    • Argument from ignorance. Boring.

      • valkyrie17

        A respected microbiologist with a PhD in genetics and BA in biochemistry who is an expert on food safety is ignorant regarding GMOs, but an astrophysicist is not??

  • Tami Marie Pudina

    It’s a logical fallacy to assume that a random genetic expression, outside the performance of sexual recombination, is any more reliable when inserted on the premise of artificial selection. There simply hasn’t been enough evidence to suggest that GMOs are poisoning us – whether artificially or sexually recombinant.

    Much of the GMO-favorable consensus is sicker than ever, and therefore, another terribly egregious point to attempt to make. What we can say about the consensus is that we are all rather pissed off about being sick and tired, and can agree that it’s due time to get to the bottom of this BS.

    After all, believe whatever you want, and the economy will turn either way.

    • Guest

      An argument against a straw man is a logical fallacy too. And it’s all you have.

      • Tami Marie Pudina

        You’re absolutely right… but I’m not making an argument against any straw men. If the correlation is real, if indeed GMOs are poisoning people, it will be found out. To return to the original topic, I can’t understand why people are criticizing Dr. deGrasse Tyson. Simply because Neil is openly unafraid of GMOs it does not mean he is blatantly promoting Monsanto. As for Laurie Caird: why not beg the question of testing for toxicity in ‘natually selected’ varieties of GMO’s as well? The truth is, GMOs are stronger organisms. Honestly, does that mean curing world hunger is a bad idea too?

        Perhaps my straw man is soylent green, eh?

        The truth will simmer to the surface like a raunchy whiff of marshgas. All in good time.

  • Here is a logically sound counterargument that GMOs are not the same as selectively bred varieties: an open letter to Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    • It’s funny, but everyone (and on both sides of the discussion) is using Tyson as a strawman for the discussion.

      The facts are:

      1) Scientific consensus, in prestigious, apolitical, and international scope, have stated that bioengineered foods are safe for humans and the environment.
      2) The vast majority of published evidence supports #1 (which leads to the consensus). Only in a world of scientific denial does the minority scientific view create a debate, the same thing we see in global warming denialism. Cherry pick the minority, and frankly bad science, evidence and falsely balance it against the majority, well done science.
      3) Tyson is not reinventing science. He is an astrophysicist, not a biochemist or genetic engineer. As such, his words only have meaning in that he supports the consensus.

      The “open letter” you quote has no value. It is not peer reviewed. It relies on myth and bad science, along with a healthy dose of logical fallacies.

      The ONLY thing that matters in science is evidence. That’s it, nothing else. No debates. No whining from the minority opinion. No pseudoscience.

      So, either we play the game that the right wing global warming deniers play, that is pretend there’s a debate, then provide false balance, or we follow the evidence.

      There is no “argument” or “counterargument” about GMO’s. There is simply scientific evidence. Bring that, or it’s just a fake debate.

      • magnet76

        There was no testing prior to using gmos on the public’s food, Monsanto made us the Guinea pigs. Companies sending out a safer products without the GMOs & the beakers of chemicals to Europe. All to sell more chemicals for Monsanto, Dow, Dupont……..

        • Chemicals have nothing to do with GMO crops. So, until you have a basic understanding of science, why bother posting here. Go to Greenpeace and whine about everything. They have no science backing their bullshit.

    • One more thing. Nothing shows me more about the intellectual weakness of the anti-GMO cult when they try to distinguish between natural and artificial selection and gene therapy. Both natural and artificial selection depend upon mutated genes. Gene insertion, just speeds up the process.

      The writer of that screed flunked biochemistry several times to think otherwise. Or is relying upon the Naturalistic Fallacy (go up to the top, click on menu, and go to Logical Fallacies, I list them all). Nature is not a thinking ethical entity. It is random. Purely random. Whether cosmic radiation causes a mutation or not, or whether a human inserts a gene or not, they are precisely the same.

      Get over the “nature is better” pseudoscience. Nature is nothing more than an unthinking, randomly generated, force.

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    • Ben Fairbanks

      Yes! That’s why, when it comes to GMOs, we should listen to plant geneticists… who overwhelmingly favour the technology.

      • Tami Marie Pudina

        The real question I think is whether we are being wholly responsible or not, as hard as it is to believe that plant geneticists would poison their own source of livelihood. Mistakes are always made.

    • Jan Civil

      Your strawman doesn’t know the difference, is all that *shows*.