Potholer54 on Scientific consensus and arguments from authority

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Just Some Video I’ve Been Watching Regarding GMOs & Agriculture

• Dr. Pamela Ronald professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center and Director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy (IFAL) at the University of California, Davis

• Rob Saik, professional agrologist, certified agriculture consultant and founder of Agri-Trend, spoke at TEDx Red Deer, Alberta on Will Agriculture be Allowed to Feed 9 Billion?

• Science journalist Peter Hadfield (aka Pothler54) on GMOs

• Professor Martina Newell McGloughlin of the University of California at Davis explains the science of GMO food safety

GMO Answers (a great Q&A site for answers on GM technology) on: How Are GMOs Created?

Kyle Kulinski of The Young Turks Network and Secular Talk discusses the Statements Science Evangelist Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Cara Santa Maria, an American neuroscientist and science communicator talks with Kevin Folta

She also has two more lengthy podcast talks with Dr. Folta

Sally Le Page is a British biologist at the University of Oxford and she publishes videos on Science topic via her Shed Science Channel

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Some of the Books I’ve Been Reading to Educate Myself On BioTech & Agriculture

Food and Biotechnology

TheLowdownOnGMOsThe Lowdown on GMOs: According to Science — Fourat Janabi (Smashwords)-Free e-book

This free e-book got me started. One of the authors, Michael Simpson, I was already very familiar with reading his SkepticalRaptor.com blog.

PandorasPicnicBasketPandora’s Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods Alan McHughen

TomorrowsTableTomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food Pamela C. Ronald & R. W. Adamchak

FoodandYouAGuideToModernAgBiotechFood and You: A Guide To Modern Agricultural Biotechnology by American Council on Science and Health —Martina Newell-McGloughlin, D.Sc.; Bruce Chassy, Ph.D.; & Gregory Conko, J.D.

TheManWhoFedTheWorldThe Man Who Fed the World – by Leon Hesser (Author)

TheFoodPoliceThe Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate – by Jayson Lusk

Skepticism

DenialismDenialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives — Michael Specter

Doesn’t really mention biotech & agriculture at all but I mention it here because it explains just how damaging and dangerous science denial can be.

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9/11 Twelve Years Later…revisted

Well last night Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014 I saw a FaceBook friend, Luciano Guerriero an otherwise nice fellow that I went to college with ages ago at SUNY Purchase (and NOT the Italian physicist!) post a high charged case of 9/11 Denial (or what they call 9/11 Truth). Well I challenged some of the outrageous claims and assertions he was making as well as criticizing his overblown sense of authority on the topic and he unfriended and banned me. What a surprise! Here is the discussion as I saved it until Luciano banned me.

Luciano Guerriero – Wednesday, September 10 at 9:49pm · New York, NY ·

What threat to us is there, exactly? This doesn’t pass the smell test.

“America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.” — Pres. Obama, 40 minutes ago.
3 people like this.

A Fellow with the Initials G.L.I. –  The threat is terrorism, what else could it be; the kind that brought down the WTC, but I don’t see ISIL’s power as making that any more possible than it already was. It only takes a small group to pull off a terrorist act. In short, I’m with you on this Luciano.
Wednesday, September 10 at 9:58pm

A Fellow with the Initials M.K.E. – The threat is to American access to Middle Eastern Oil Wells, don’t ya know!
Wednesday, September 10 at 9:59pm

Luciano Guerriero – Nail on the head.
Wednesday, September 10 at 9:59pm

The Fellow with the Initials G.L.I. again –  Former Iraqi Deputy PM Barham Salih said some in the US hoped that #Iraq was no longer their problem but “ISIS demonstrated otherwise.” He added “military power has its limits. #ISIS and extremism come up through the cracks of the political system.”
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:00pm

The Fellow with the Initials M.K.E, again – So, Luce, I see you now understand why it is critical that to stop this threat from ISIL in Syria and Iraq, we must nuke Tehran!
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:00pm

The Fellow with the Initials G.L.I. again – Of course, of course.
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:01pm

Luciano Guerriero – We arm and equip the precursor in Syria so that they would fight Assad as our proxy, and then we call the formation of the Frankenstein monster that we helped create a grave threat to OUR security, and then we use that as an excuse to resume military operations in the theater. That is one form of a false flag operation.
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:05pm

A Fellow with the Initials J.E. – This is what a proactive counterterrorism policy smells like. The threat is clear and present. Just ask England – they are already at their highest terrorist alert. Most disturbing is that we are still acting as the world’s policeman – coalition building has a long way yet to go.
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:10pm

Luciano Guerriero – So called “proactive counterterrorism policy” is as bogus as a twelve dollar bill. It is a blanket pretext for this country to project hard power into regions that have resources that we covet, and to establish a permanent military presence. This country is heading for a huge fall of its own making.

Wednesday, September 10 at 10:14pm

A Fellow with the Initials S.S. – Steve Sussman I’m confused as to whether it’s “ISIL” or “ISIS.” I mean, we still don’t have a consensus on the spelling of “Qaddafi.”

Wednesday, September 10 at 10:18pm · Edited · LikeReply

The Fellow with the Initials J.E. again – We will once again have to respectfully disagree. We still criticize Bush Jr. for his supposed ignorance relative to the al-Qaeda threat prior to 9-11. I will accept the President’s premise. Love and kisses to you personally.

Wednesday, September 10 at 10:20pm · LikeReply

And here is where the 9/11 Denial jumps in a rears it’s ugly fallacious head.

Luciano Guerriero – Al Qaeda didn’t attack us on 9/11. At least seven of the supposed hijackers were found alive in their home countries and interviewed in the weeks following that charade. There was careful planning there before that day. Bush had the invasion plan for Afghanistan placed on his desk on Sept. 10th. No black boxes were found but a pristine, unscorched passport of one of the alleged hijackers was found on the street 8 blocks away — but no other debris or intact items from the plane. Thousands of American physicists, architects, engineers (etc) signed a statement calling the official 9/11 Report by NIST a crock of shit. There were no wing or engine marks made in the façade of the Pentagon, and thousands of airline pilots signed a statement saying that supposed maneuver by the “plane” that hit the Pentagon almost surely would have torn it to pieces before it reached the building, and that such a poorly trained pilot could never have accomplished it. The official claim was that the titanium from the engines that supposedly hit the Pentagon melted in the inferno, yet many bodies or body parts of Pentagon personnel somehow survived that same inferno and were recovered — but no black boxes there either.

The list of items casting grave doubt on the official version of the events on 9/11 could go on another 20,000 words, at least. But my point is, the credibility of our government is reasonably in serious doubt. We’ve been demonstrably lied to again and again. Ulterior motives abound. Unless or until they prove to us that their word is trustworthy, the official explanation on just about anything ought to pass some extreme skepticism and hard questioning before it deserves to be believed.
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:40pm

A Fellow with the Initials R.W. – You say ISIL, I say ISIS. Let’s call the whole thing off!
Wednesday, September 10 at 10:52pm
And then I jumped in…

Jerrald Hayes Luciano—“Thousands of American physicists, architects, engineers (etc) signed a statement calling the official 9/11 Report by NIST a crock of shit.”—

And what an incredible crock of shit that is.

I once upon a time did the math on that claim that “Truthers” often make and aside from the fact the the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth group doesn’t have in anyway (can’t agree on) a reasonable alternate hypothesis the what did happen to bring the towers down as an argument of authority the letter they signed is worth the cost of the paper.

The thousands you claim in your statement was really only 1,750 architectural and engineering professionals (and they then had 16,000 everyday wackaloon supporters sign their statement too).

Here’s the killer math for you the AIA estimates the number of architects licensed in the United States at 105,847 and the total number of P.E. licenses in the United States is more than 800,000 that comes to 905,847 architects and engineers. That big huge number of 1,750 signatories only amounts to 00.19% (2/10ths of 1 Percent) of all the architects and engineers in the U.S.

I am pretty confident if you were to poll all the physicists in the U.S. at least 2/10ths of a percent of them think the earth is flat and/or only 5,000 years old.

The percentage of global warming and climate change denying climate scientists is a 15 times larger percentage than the number of Architects and Engineers that deny what really brought down the towers on 9/11.
Wednesday, September 10 at 11:47pm

Jerrald Hayes
Noam Chomsky on Truthers http://www.openculture.com/…/noam-chomsky-derides-911…

Noam Chomsky Schools 9/11 Truther; Explains the Science of Making Credible Claims
www.openculture.comWe don’t often write up videos posted by 9-11 Truthers, but you can watch an interesting exchange when this particular Truther confronts well-known linguist and political observer Noam Chomsky during the question session after the latter’s talk at the University of Florida.

Wednesday, September 10 at 11:49pm

Luciano Guerriero – Well, Jerrald, you can believe that tripe if you like, if it’s more comfy for you. But you fail to see that most of those you name want nothing to do with speaking to the issue because they fear the potential consequences of speaking the truth about it. I will grant this much — that there are a lot of cockamamie conspiracy theories out there, most of which come from incompetent people, so if one is interested in finding the real story one has to wade through a lot of that crap and rule it out. But I have a bit of a background in science, and I can recognize good science when I see it, and when the physics involved just could not possibly support the claims of the NIST report, then we know the official version of those events is false. And if it’s false, as it surely is, then it becomes an investigation into what did happen instead.

From the best evidence available, some things can be ruled out with a high degree of certainty, and some things can be ruled in with a high degree of certainty. It never takes a majority to prove any scientific fact, does it? If it did, most of the breakthroughs and discoveries over the centuries would never have happened. I am not an irrational, tin foil hat wearing “wackloon”, bud. I’m a rational person who worked in NYC law enforcement who happened to be outside the South Tower when it fell. What I witnessed, and more importantly what I have discovered as a result of my rigorous investigation since then, informs my views on the matter. I am content to make my statements, and to shrug off propaganda like yours and like the government has worked to sell to us all.

Thursday, September 11 at 12:02am

Jerrald Hayes – WOW! —“But I have a bit of a background in science, and I can recognize good science when I see it, and when the physics involved just could not possibly support the claims of the NIST report,”—

Really a big huge argument of authority about science from an actor? Hey I’m a builder, and ex-fire fighter, and a science geek which I can argue gives me more authority than you yet I STILL WOULDN’T EVER MAKE SUCH AN OUTRAGEOUSLY ARROGANT AN ENGINEERING CLAIM and you just made bucking the consensus opinion of so many much more qualified professionals (and the 99.81% of the nations architects and engineers that DON’T buy into the wackaloon 9/11Truther conspiracy theories.)

It funny too when I saw the towers come down the first thing I though of was a fire I was at an auto dealership in Mt. Kisco years ago. The raging fire inside caused the floor and roof trusses to bend and then torqued the supporting walls and the building collapsed. The official explanation of what brought the buildings down that came out months later after a long review made perfect sense to me within seconds after it actually happened.

—“It never takes a majority to prove any scientific fact, does it? If it did, most of the breakthroughs and discoveries over the centuries would never have happened.”—

So then using that reasoning you would argue against the consensus opinion regarding climate change too?

—“I am not an irrational, tin foil hat wearing “wackloon”, bud.”—

Well I didn’t think that until this evening but I certainly might now.

—“I’m a rational person who worked in NYC law enforcement who happened to be outside the South Tower when it fell. “—

And if you are a rational logical thinker I wonder what relevancy you think a claim like that has. Really!

—“What I witnessed, and more importantly what I have discovered as a result of my rigorous investigation since then, informs my views on the matter.”—

I don’t think your investigation is nearly as rigorous as you may think it was and I think you are probabley a textbook example of ‘Confirmation Bias’ in action because you know what?…. I also conducted my own investigation into all the claims being made by 9/11 truthers and I have come to an opposite conclusion than you have. And I’m sure many other people both with better and worse qualifications than you and I have too and I’m confident I’m in same room with 99.81% of those people while your in the room with only 00.19% of them.

—“I am content to make my statements, and to shrug off propaganda like yours and like the government has worked to sell to us all”—

And about that government conspiracy….

Skeptic Presents: You Can’t Handle The Truther
In this video—the third in our series of videos that promote science and critical thinking through the use of humor, wit, and satire—CIA Agents plot the 9/11…

Thursday, September 11 at 12:29am

Jerrald Hayes – Myles Power who is I’’m pretty confident is many times more scientifically qualified and oriented that you and I are combined took a look at the claims made by 9/11 Truthers and I posted them together on my blog a year ago…

9/11 Twelve Years Later rationallythinkingoutloud.com It’s 9/11 today and I guess I shouldn’t be at all surprised that I’ve gotten a bunch of emails today from friends and acquaintances who are part of the 9/11 Truther Movement,….sigh. I don’t have …

Thursday, September 11 at 12:37am

Luciano Guerriero Is it possible for an actor to have a science background and only later decide to change course and work in the arts? Or are you seeing me through the eyes of false assumption and prejudice?

And is it “confirmation bias” to read and view eyewitness accounts from literally dozens of people, including surviving firefighters with long experience in such matters, all of whom speak about charges detonating in the basement and sub-basement of the towers? Is it “confirmation bias” to remember the sound of detonations going off low in the South Tower BEFORE the collapse of the top commenced?

You’ve obviously bought into your point of view, and as I said I have satisfied my own intellectual curiosity, so I suggest that we end this here and now. The rancor and incivility already on display speaks poorly to the prospects for fruitful exchanges. So I’m going to respectfully agree to disagree. That’s enough.
30 mins

Jerrald Hayes I’m saying I have science, building, and firefighting qualifications but I DON’T PRESENT THEM TRYING TO MAKE AN ARGUEMENT OF AUTHORITY.

—”Is it “confirmation bias” to remember the sound of detonations going off low in the South Tower BEFORE the collapse of the top commenced? “— and you know how reliable eyewitness testimony is especially in stressful environments. I am however 100% sure you THINK you heard detonations going off. Maybe those secret super-thermite charges that were planted on all those columns way above you on those upper floors without anyone of all the people that worked in the World Trade Center towers reporting the suspicious activity in the weeks prior. Yeah those explosions, yeah right. Okay I’m convinced, now I believe you might be right about the tower coming down being an inside job. Yeah right.

By the way you need to do some Bayesian thinking on this and really consider what has to happen for the 9/11 Truther hypotheses to be actually true. Without debunking virtually every point the Truthers make that probability make the alternative hypotheses ridiculously impossible.

I think this kind of incredible science denial hurts liberalism.

I then went to bed and found this personal message to me when I checked into FaceBook this morning and found myself unfriended and blocked by Luciano Guerriero’s account….

Respect and grace would have been letting it drop when I told you on my page that it had gone on long enough. On your own page, carry on to your heart’s content.

You’ve now crossed the line into the pig-headed bore category. Sayonara!

Respect yeah right. I have as much respect for 9/11 Truthers as I do for Flat Earthers and Young Earth Creationists. And talk about a ‘pig-headed bore”  who won’t and can’t walk the talk he parades around with.

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Questions I’m Looking Into Regarding Sustainable Agriculture

As I learn more and more about organic farming and GMOs one question that has popped up for me is organic farming SUSTAINABLE. I have come to question whether it really is.

Sadly when you search for articles about soil depletion and water usage the pro-organic articles that pop to the top of the list aren’t scientific paper or even articles in science magazines they’re articles published by Mike Adams of Natural News and Joseph Mercola and a scattering of well meaning but other frivolous New Age websites. see Others Not To Cite…)

And More On GMO Labeling

And About the European anti-GMO movement

And About Dr. Pamela Arnold

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Some More Reading On GMOs Tonight Fri, Sep 5, 2014

Before I jump back into the fray (I’m in Another Heated Discussion Regarding GMOs on FaceBook) I’m doing some more searching to educate myself on the topic and here is what I reading tonight. As an interesting aside I do have to say that the climate change deniers have a lot more challenging information out there than the anti-GMO science denial crowned does A lot lot more. The anti-GMO sources are for the most part an embarrassing joke and defining someone with scientific credentials on the other side of the issue is damn near impossible. My conclusion,…is that the scientific consensus supporting GMO science and technology is even stronger and broader than the scientific consensus on climate change. Well here we go…

From the anti-science anti-GMO side…

There were other pages and sites I found this evening putting forth an anti-GMO position but they’re ridiculous cranks and really not worth the time ever examining meaning the sites are conspiracy theory driven and also depots for other nonsense such as alt med treatments , natural cancer cures, drinking milk causes autism, chemtrails. AIDS denial, a 9/11 truthers, a birthers, and a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy advocates.

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I’m in Another Heated Discussion Regarding GMOs on FaceBook.

I’m in another heated discussion on FaceBook Regarding  GMOs and I wanted to both link to that discussion and create a bibliography of the material I am reading and or referring to in the discussion.

What I’m Reading on GMOs, Fri, Sep 5, 2014

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On FaceBook: More Prejudice Rearing Its Ugly Head About What Happened in Ferguson

There is a photo circulating around FaceBook that purports to be of severely beaten Police Officer Darren Wilson in a hospital when it turn out it is nothing of the kind. Its really a “photo was actually of freestyle motocross rider Jim McNeil who died in 2011 after he suffered a crash during practice.”

See Mediaite.com: Alleged Photo of Injured Darren Wilson Not Actually Darren Wilsonon for the real story.

MotorCyclist

Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson MO Police Department

Why aren’t the media releasing the photos of Police Officer Darren Wilson’s injuries after he was assaulted by “the unarmed black teenager”?

He was punched in the face before he emptied his weapon into the drugged “unarmed teenager”—here is what a broken eye socket looks like:

Share · Tuesday, September 2 at 8:40am

The responses in this one thread I saw were as follows (I’m deleting the photo and changing the names to cover for the guilty suckers who bought into this ugly racist meme. )

32 people like this.

56,331 shares

Some Guy with the initials C.R. Why not to controversial for them to handle.

September 2 at 8:54am

Some Gal with the initials M.S.  Yes where is the media now?

September 2 at 9:16amReply

Some Guy with the initials J.D.D. Simply Fucking Amazing…..The Liberal Media is trying the case before the court system….

September 2 at 9:20amReply

Some Guy with the initials T.G. Let’s burn our villages and loot our stores.

September 2 at 10:32am · 1Reply

Some Guy with the initials T.O. Ohh thats alrite. Hes supposed to take it…..bullcrap

September 2 at 10:32am · 1Reply

Some Guy with the initials P.R. I would have unloaded two magazines on that motherfucker

September 2 at 10:47am · 2Reply

Some Gal with the initials M.A.M.  fuc*#ing media!!

September 2 at 11:42amReply

Some Guy with the initials J.D.D. Again IF the Police CAN’T PROTECT THEMSELVES, How can they protect us?!???

September 2 at 11:59am · 1Reply

Some Guy with the initials R.L.  According to the politicians and some judges, public service employees are to expect these kind of injuries as part of their jobs and that the person who caused the injuries is to be held harmless.

September 2 at 1:13pm · 1Reply

Some Guy with the initials J.D.D. yet again I guess that means, We as TAXPAYING Citizens, can expect the same injuries, due to Police not being able to protect US or THEMSELVES…..

WHAT THE FU@K is happening to this Country????

September 2 at 3:20pm · 2Reply

Some Guy with the initials R.M. We hear so much about Ferguson in the media. But we never see this picture. I guess “The publics right to know” doesn’t apply to everything.

September 2 at 5:37pm · 2Reply

Some Gal with the initials V.B. Hope he doesn’t lose his eye or eyesight. Sorry, but that kid got what he deserved!!

September 2 at 10:16pm · 1Reply

Some Guy with the initials J.D.D. yet one more time again He disobeyed a Police Officer…..

He assaulted a Police Officer ….

He ran from, and then Charged a Police Officer, with intent to assault him again……

Nobody wants to see anyone die, but when a person charges a Police Officer, while being told to stop…..This Cop wants to go home to his family after his shift…

Thanks to the Media, he may lose his job, career, and more, for merely defending himself….

And, was there ever a Drug/Alcohol Screen released on Michael Brown??????

Yesterday at 10:38am

I am pretty appalled by this little dialog and I am sure it is not the only one like it out there. Unfortunately no one has posted anything about it being a fake and they (about 13 comments) are all enraged at the MSM and the guy that supposedly did that to Officer Wilson.

Sadly “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” ― Mark Twain

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An Introduction and Primer on GMOs

Think you understand and know what GMOs are all about? I bet if you’re like most people, like I was once too, you’re misinformed and don’t really understand the technology or the issues. Here is an excellent primer written by Marc Brazeau.

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Myles Power on the Bad Science in Gary Null’s Movie Seeds of Death

I think if you find yourself on the same side of any health or science issue with the crackpot Gary Null you should immediately reexamine your position. Here Myles Powers dismantles Null’s movie scare mongering “Seeds of Death.”

Perhaps the most shocking absolutely scientifically wrong thing about GMOs  that shows this medical doctor Rima Laibow (really a conspiracy theory kook and quack) doesn’t even understand human biology that comes at 4:16 into this short video.

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