Because I'm a Potatoe
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30-05-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Because I'm a Potatoe
Not about Portal 2 actually. I read this article on /.

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/05/...Experiment

I don't know if this group was religiously inspired or not yet. I will do some looking into that. However the sentiment and situation presented in this article is all to well something I am familiar with. Im sure there Americans here can remember the controversy over Stem Cell research and Bush's actions against it.

I can live and tolerate people living their own personal life the way they wish to do so. I don't care if you smoke in your house. But when you destroy scientific advancement, when you blow smoke into my face, I cannot help but become riled.


I myself have no problems with GM, so long as sufficient research has been done. Changing the arsenal of a plant to better survive DOES change the balance of power in its environment. I think we need to know what ripple effects we might have to deal with when releasing GM products of any nature.

Changing the genes of a child to make them less likely to contract a specific disease [or to remove it all together] sounds wonderful. Skeptics would point to clone armies and super soldier sci-fi's. But even taking these highly exaggerated scenarios, do we not want our children to be better than we were? Richer, smarter, with more potential? Why not stronger, faster, with extended life spans?


What are your thoughts on GM [Genetic Modification]. Of humans, plants, other animals, products, etc. Casting a wide net here. What do you think should be allowed, not allowed, researched, and why?
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30-05-2011, 03:51 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Good that you brought this up Cube. I was planning on posting a topic about that but I could not find any news in English.

Today was a sad day for both science and ecology

It was a group of ecologists who where against the field testing of genetically modified potatoes. The potatoes where modified to be more resistant to some kind of mold disease. The group calls himself "field liberation front" and demands that only biological crops is grown. What started as a fun action turned out into a battle as 250 activist stormed the potatofield and pulled out the young plants. No match for only 60 policemen defending the field.

It is a sad day for science
If science can't be done due to the actions of a few, that is called fundamentalism. That very same people are more than willing to use insulin won out of GM plants but somehow, they don't seem to like a mass consumption potato resistant to mold in the field. This is eco-terrorism!

It is a sad day for ecologic actions as well
The same group also destroyed fields in France as well. If they keep this up, society will soon be against ecological actions. And no one benefits from that in the long term. You can't just go and force people into submission of your own rules without consequences. The Belgian "green" party said that "actions of civil disobeyment" should be allowed. So far for my trust in these guys.

As a science lover AND ecologist this day saddens and angers me.

Latest news (in duch)
only 20% seems to be destroyed. the experiment continues.

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Secular humanist
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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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30-05-2011, 04:19 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
The mold is reportably the Potato Blight. If I am not mistake, it was what wiped out the crops in Ireland in 1740-41.

From Wiki: During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland,[3] causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%.[4] The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight.[5] Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland — where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food—was exacerbated by a host of political, social and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate.[6][7]
The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland.[8] Its effects permanently changed the island's demographic, political and cultural landscape. For both the native Irish and those in the resulting diaspora, the famine entered folk memory[fn 2] and became a rallying point for various nationalist movements as Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Modern historians regard it as a dividing line in the Irish historical narrative, referring to the preceding period of Irish history as "pre-Famine".

So yeah. Having crops that can resist this mold is SO terrible.
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30-05-2011, 04:27 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
[Image: 5764184.gif] Those are the same warped mentalities exercising their psychosis today as were alive when The Dark Ages were imagined to be their god's will, for the good of society.

It's the same warped intellect as is possessed by Christian Scientists. Those who would rather pray their child's paralyzing fever away, because doctors and antibiotics need to be fixed, while the child's paralyzing fever is spiritually harmonious to their god's will.
To this day there are granite headstones standing in testament to that "truth".

Progress, for those who prefer to remain in the dark ages regardless of the evolution afforded time and societal advancement, is something to be avoided at all costs. They believe it is their faith, their conviction, that gives them the right to affirm that.
Where the fascist psychotic zealot threat arises, besides already in their ranks, is when those same people believe that faith and conviction must be forced upon those outside their ranks.

Sadly, those kind of people will forever be among us. Instead of daring to think, because there's a biochemical imbalance that precludes that, that the same god that inspired the sacred text or tenets of their deviant faith could have also inspired the scientists that created the experiment regarding genetics, so as to save god's creation from itself.

See, I think those mentally ill zealots are deep down inside terrified of humanities progress, because the no end of callous on their knee's, and the migraines, the tears, the disappointments suffered praying and holding faith in something intangible, invisible, alive only in hope, has already been proven for thousands of years not to give a damn about the human condition. Which is why the religious of any persuasion excuse that vacancy with further beliefs afforded the testament; it's a mystery. God works in mysterious ways. Not our will but the lord's be done, and on and on.

In truth, deviants like those described in the OP article aren't zealots for faith. They're terrorists in fear. And all the world that reads of them, should be aware that there is a concentrated effort of minorities in faith, who believe it better for the world to suffer, than to be saved by human effort, because no thing invisible has, can, shall, will or is even trying.
It's why those who would pray these terrorists not succeed in their intent to destroy the next potato crop, should one arise to their attention, shall fail there too. If/when the next potato crop comes to the attention of terrorists who fear...potatoes![Image: 5.gif]
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30-05-2011, 05:06 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Lets be clear here. Much of the GMO research is not done for the lofty idels we would like. Lets use this potato scandal as an example. Do we know who is doing the research, and what the motivation is behind it? If it's anything akin to the Monsanto debacle and their "RoundUp Ready Soybeans" the only ones who will benefit are the people who's pockets needn't be lines any thicker.
I'd love to see science find a potato resistant to blight. Don't get me wrong. But only as long as I can still grow my potatoes without fear of being sued by some big business should a tater fall off a truck and land in my field. That's basically what has happened to many farmers because Monsanto patented their soybeans. Some bean found their way to neighboring farms, Monsanto sued because those farmers were saving their own seed, and because Mansanto had the money to burn, the farmers couldn't afford the court costs and had to settle. You can research the story and facts yourself, but it looks to me like Monsanto has all but won a war, in which their goal is to force farmers to buy seeds from them. That doesn't benefit anyone but Monsanto.
This is only one case, but there are others. So before we start singing the praises of Genetically Modified foods, lets first make sure that the research is being done to benefit everyone, not to make one company rich, and destroy the live of thousands in the process.

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30-05-2011, 05:11 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
@ Stark

True, I do fear the work of scientists being bent to the whim of the Corporatocracy. That is progress suited to the whims of a few. But progress still. If we were to hold back scientific progress until we fixed the balance of power, I dont know that we would ever be able to fix the balance of power.
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30-05-2011, 05:30 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Greenpeace is starting to act retarded as well (at least in Greece). Around 3 maybe 4 months ago while I was walking down-town, some kids from GP were "informing" pedestrians about their goals and actions. Having been approached by GP and having been bored to death by their stupidity before, I have to confess that I was not really willing to engage in a conversation with them again.

However, as I was walking by, the girl of the informing duo (they always do it in pairs... they girls pick up the men, the boys pick up the women... I wonder how stupid she was not to understand that I was gay) approached me and asked me if I'd like to be informed on GP's crap. After breathing a long and deep sigh, I said, "sure, what the hell." The conversation went as described below:

Greenpeace Girl: Well, you do know we are again DELTA (a milk company), right?
Me: Yeah. And I also have to tell you that I do not agree with your views.
*she disregards what I say*
GPG: Well, as you know DELTA has sued us to remove her from the list of companies that use engineered products and she has won the case. Now she is suing us again and asks from the court to ban the list of all the companies completely.
Me: Yeah, I know. I hope DELTA wins.
*she disregards what I say again*
GPG: Don't you feel disgusted by "mutated products"?
Me: No, I've once cleaned up the barfs of six different people after a party.
GPG: Mutates products are dangerous!
Me: And you know that how exactly?
GPG: We have a team of scientists that supports this.
Me: And what does the rest of scientific community say?
*she disregards what I say once more*
GPG: We do not know if mutated products are dangerous.
Me: You just said you knew they were.
GPG: Mutated products have no real application beyond satisfying scientific curiocity.
Me: Are you aware of the number of people that used to die daily before mutated rice was given to them?
GPG: But we do not know if that food will hurt them in the long term.
Me: So it's better to let them die now, rather than expand their life expectancy in fear of cancerogenesis?
GPG: But the mutated rice is not given to those people. Americans eat it all. That's why they are fat.
Me: So you are against a company that produces milk in Greece because Americans are fat?
from this point on, she started using retarded arguments that made absolutely no sense. Probably a bigger retard had instructed her to do so.
:edit: I'm just rereading this and I realized that her previous arguments were just as retarded... Dodgy

GPG: Well, you do know that the sun is thousands years old, right?
Me: It's 5 billions old but all right...
GPG: Well, yeah. It's many thousands years old, and all this time nothing has changed. So all changes are due to mankind.
Me: You make little sense dear.
GPG: Take for example antibiotics. There is evidence that they won't work as good after using mutated products.
Me: Any chance you can cite any anti-bios? This is something that I did not know and I would like to read on it.
GPG: Aspirin is one of them!
Me: Well doll, it's been a blast but there is no way in hell you can convince me. How about we drop this conversation so that you can prey on someone who is closer to your intelligence?
*she smiles spastically*
GPG: Thank you very much!
Me: The pleasure was all mine, good luck.





PS. The above was unfortunately a REAL conversation. Dodgy
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30-05-2011, 05:39 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
[Image: 5764714.jpg]


Corporations are always going to seek to rule a market. The bottom line being, of course, profits.

So then is it Monsanto who's to blame? Or the Legislative branch that permits the lobby for big agra-business to patent seeds? And is the fear paradigm that's promoted by some activists on top of that, just a ruse? Or is it valid?

Obama Signs Food Safety Act into Law: Small Farms Are Exempted from Some Provisions
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30-05-2011, 06:00 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
I suggest peer-reviewed journals when it comes to GMO.
The biggest company out there Monsanto is a synonym for asshole. But their runner-up , Pioneer is a much more decent company in regards to business practices.
As for GMO , I recommend this vid :




Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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30-05-2011, 07:25 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
The video above is, at best, dumbed down, and at some points down right incorrect.

I guess before we get into this, I should be clear about my position. I approve of making progress through science. I approve of trying to improve things so we can feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the poor, and so on. If GMOs are the best means to this end, then I fully endorse it. Do I think that is the case? Quite possibly. Do I think it's good to continue exploring this frontier to find out? Absolutely.

What bothers me (remember I'm talking mostly about GM foods, since thats the part I have knowledge about) is when it is touted as THE solution to the world hunger problem. Let me give an example from the video above to illustrate my point:

The narrator states (1:57) "Roundup ready varieties are resistant to herbicides that kill weeds that don't have the trans gene. The reason that this is a good thing is that the weeds use water. So weedless fields are more water efficient."

This is not only misleading, but completely untrue. This statement was taken straight from the Monsanto handbook. The truth is, a weedless field is extremely INEFFICIENT. (Lets just leave out the fact that herbicides also kill most of the microbial activity beneath the soil surface that provides the soil with nutrients, resulting in the need for chemical fertilizer) Without the groundcover provided by native plants (we call them weeds if we don't like them, plants if we do) the soil is exposed between the crop plants. This exposure allows a great deal of water to evaporate, which means we must then irrigate the crop to provide it with enough water. Were the native plants allowed to remain, harvest would be minimally reduced, and the result would be a crop that requires far less, if any, irrigation. That translates into cheaper food. Food that people can afford. (Not to worry, if we stop using corn for everything, there's plenty of land to handle the slightly reduced yields) Also, the food would be made cheaper still, because the need for fertillizer would be less. Yes, that's right. LESS. The crops we grow all have relatively shallow root systems. A well established dandilion, for example, can grow roots several meters below groud. We're talking 20 foot deep roots here people. When the plant is established like this it does several things. It loosens the ground, allowing smaller roots to more easily grow. It creates humus deeper in the ground when these roots eventually die. And most importantly (aside from shading the ground and retaining water) it carries nutrients from deep in the ground up to the surface and makes them available to shallow rooted plants in the form of decomposed plant matter. (Basically, the plant matter dies, composts on the surface, creating healthy soil.)

This is but one of many examples. Instead of looking for reasons to research GMOs, why not use the solutions we already have? Do you guys realize that if a potato crop was lost to blight in a biodiverse farm, the loss would be minimal in the overall food production? The problem with that is planting with biodiversity (which also makes plants more disease resistant BTW) is not condusive to big business farming. They use big machines, that do specific taskes for specific plants. They don't have the versitility a small farmer does. But they go out and sue small farmers, buy up land, monopolise the industry, and force small farming into the background.

The narrator mentions Monsanto, and how we shouldn't be protesting the company. I agree. But the solution still involves Monsanto and other corporations, and it's simple. Well, simple to explain anyways. Just stop buying their products. Wasteing time protesting them is just that. A waste. That time could better be used in seeking out locally grown food that comes from a farm that grows food sustainably. If we all do that, it will not only be easy, but the norm. It will be where we get our food, and that's good for everyone.

At the end he says that we need to prioritize feeding people in poor countries. He also says there's a certain "smugness" about buying local produce at the garden market. What is being overlooked is that if we start using the good growing land on this planet properly, the people close to it will be able to buy locally, and the excess will be ample to feed those that don't. Plus the resources saved by eating locally can be put towards getting the food to those people in need. So if you live in the praries, do you really need to eat lobster from the coast once a month? If you live in the north, do you really need to buy pineapple?

My point here isn't to bash GMO research. It's to make everyone think of more than just the fanatics that do things like tear up potato fields. Just because this group is a bunch of morons doesn't mean that the research is the best idea. Learn, yes. But were just a fraction of the money spent on the research put into educating farmers on how to sustainably and affordably grow food, we wouldn't even have to worry about feeding the growing population. When you watch videos like the one above, don't forget that you are critical thinkers. Be critical.

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