Penn & Teller Bulletin Board: I know it's been a while, but I'm looking for some advice
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I know it's been a while, but I'm looking for some advice

January 31 2010 at 8:46 PM
Cookie Ninja  (Login CookieNinja)

 
Hello everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted here, because some of you are on my FB now and I've been crazy busy with school and work, but my partner is facing a bit of a dilemma that has been bugging me, and I wanted to talk to the members of this board about it, seeing as you are all super-smart and awesome and may have some guidance for me.

My partner is studying Hotel Management at George Brown College in Toronto, and in his last semester he is required to take an online elective. He picked "The Science of Conquest: from Atoms to Stars" because it was the only science-based course, and science is awesome. It turns out that it's not so much a science course as an anti-science course, with the professor teaching more about creation theory than the big bang, and basically instructing the class that science does more harm than good. For each class module, the students are required to answer "discussion questions", and the most recent one was about genetically modified organisms. It was basically speaking out against GMOs, and required viewing included a speech by Vandana Shiva, one of Norman Borlaug's critics. His response was an intelligent argument for the other side of GMOs, citing Borlaug's work and the way in which genetically modified crops have saved lives, and the fact that organic farming is not capable at this time of feeding developing nations with adverse weather conditions and a lack of technology. He cited all his sources and used reputable ones. She responded to his post directly with another Vandana Shiva video, saying "if you really believe that, you should watch this".

We are now very concerned that this so-called forum for education is, as stated in the P&T Bullshit episode on the subject, merely a launching ground for this teacher's leftist propanganda and are worried about marks suffering due to a difference of opinion. Do you guys have any thoughts on this, or advice as to what to do? Are you familiar with Shiva? Seriously, any words of wisdom are appreciated. You guys are a fantastic group and I miss stopping by here.

CN

 
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zCarl
(Login zCarl)

Re: I know it's been a while, but I'm looking for some advice

February 2 2010, 4:32 PM 

Two angles to this nonsense:

1. She is failing to recognize and credit all of the improvements made. People like that nutty teacher look at the bad side of technology, and falsely assume that all of the good things are natural. Thanks to pesticides and GMOs, things like the recent E. coli infections are actually quite rare and limited in effects. You never hear of diphtheria plagues in the US. Clean water and food is everywhere, and it was not always like that.

2. Almost none of the arguments against GMOs are backed by current academic nutrition texts or government standards. Why does she think she knows better?

 
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Kevin Quail
(Login rudolfo1)

Watch All Eight Parts of This Video

February 3 2010, 8:13 PM 

It's on YouTube but it's been on cable- The World According To Monsanto. I'm sorry to disagree with P & T on this one, but, like the FDA rushing drugs to market, GMO seeds seem to be in the same category:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hErvV5YEHkE

I have some personal experience in the FDA matter- I was prescribed zelnorm for IBS a number of years ago; through my own research I discovered that it caused digestive problems when taken in conjunction with primodone, an anti-seizure drug I had been taking for a hereditary condition called benign or familial tremors. I quit taking the zelnorm and later they took it off the market because it caused heart problems. So don't believe everything the FDA says and there isn't a lot of science to back up what effect GMO produced crops may due to the human body. Sure, they may produce more crops per acre, but at what cost? Soybeans that are resistant to Round-Up, a weed-killer also produced by Monsanto? There isn't a lot of evidence to show what the GMO seeds do to the body. More poisonous crops per acre- big deal.

 
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