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you're part of the big science experiment

Emma Walsh
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Joined: Dec 14, 2006
Posts: 3
Excuse if someone's asked this before and I missed it, but:

Paul, it sounds like your friend has been ill when trying GMO foods and fine with organic foods. I don't think you mentioned whether he had tested non-organic, non-GMO foods? There are a lot of things that fit into this category, at least where I shop. If these foods also bother your friend's digestion, it would be reasonable to conclude that he is intolerant to one or more additives, herbicides, or pesticides; rather than the results of GM.
Nicholas Jordan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Originally posted by Emma Walsh:
... as posted ...

rBGH causes the skin to itch, organochlorides are sub-clinical in their presentation. I, as you, have not read all of their risk-evaluation study - but appears to me they are exploring credibilty authentication rather than their original post's merits as of the last time I reviewed page one of the thread.
[ January 08, 2007: Message edited by: Nicholas Jordan ]

"The differential equations that describe dynamic interactions of power generators are similar to that of the gravitational interplay among celestial bodies, which is chaotic in nature."
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
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Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I can convince you of even one fallacy in the document, will you dismiss that particular document?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No. If you can convince me of one fallacy, I will dismiss that fallacy. The validity of statement A should not effect the validity of statement B.


Fred, I'm not sure that's well reasoned. For example, imagine that the document consists of


And any those statements are false, then the document, as a whole, is false, because


is false.

You're right that the truth of statement C does not affect the truth of statement D: and that's important, but it's irrelevant. The point is the logical chain of these statements, which breaks when a single link breaks.


Java Regular Expressions
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11351
    
  16

But Max, I'm not reading them as a chain to come to some final conclusion. I see it more like a balance scale. There are weights on each side (the pros and cons). You weigh the sum total of all the arguments to determine which is "right".

So, this author has put some weights on the right side, Paul is putting weights on the left side. Paul is also saying "you need to take some of the weights off the other side, as those aren't valid - he's cheating!!!".

Fair enough. However, if i take 2 weights off one side, that side still might be heavier.

Also, this debate is somewhat unfair, because Paul gets to say "that guy is wrong, I am right", but we don't have the author, or any pro GMO expert, to counter what Paul says.

NOTE: For the purpose of this post, I am not saying either side IS right or wrong. I am just saying that invalidating one argument in a list does NOT mean the entire case is wrong, without merit, or should be dismissed. I beleive it should mean you dismiss the arguments that are invalid, but still consider the arguments that ARE valid.
[ January 08, 2007: Message edited by: Fred Rosenberger ]

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Tim LeMaster
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Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 226

The FDA is saying that GMO food is no different than any other food. Therefore, it does not require testing before being released on the public.

If it is true, then why is there one person who is getting sick from it?


Many people get sick and die from things like peanuts and eggs and more. Are they unfit for human consumption? Nope - a small percentage of the population is allergic to them. I get major stomach cramps if I consume Mandarin Orange Slice - is it unfit for human comsumption - nope I apparently have some sort of allegry or intolence to something in it. Is it serious enough I need to find out what particular ingredient - nope I won't die if I consume some - but if I find another food like it I'll stop eating it also - I don't consume Orange flavored soda of any brand just as a precaution.


Does ANY GMO food cause this problem?

Yes.


I find this highly suspect. No matter how I modify the food and no matter what the food is it will cause the same symptoms? So if I modify a tomato to interfer with the production of the enzyme polygalacturonase and modify maize or soybeans to be herbicide tolerant - his reaction to the food will be the same?

I'm not saying it doesn't work for him - he should do what keeps him healthy but to link it to GMO foods as being dangerous as a whole seems very alarmist to me.
Max Habibi
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But Max, I'm not reading them as a chain to come to some final conclusion. I see it more like a balance scale. There are weights on each side (the pros and cons). You weigh the sum total of all the arguments to determine which is "right".

Fair enough. But, specifically, Paul was referring to a specific document, which contained a chained collection of statements. I think he was trying to build an argument, with the premise of that argument being that the document was flawed, because the and condition it was built on contained a false statement, which means that it's to be discounted.

From a logical point of view, Paul's right. Now, the argument to follow may be invalid, I dunno: he hasn't had a chance to make it. But I think he's right on this one point.



Fair enough. However, if i take 2 weights off one side, that side still might be heavier.

Indeed it might: but I'd rather see that based on the merits.


Also, this debate is somewhat unfair, because Paul gets to say "that guy is wrong, I am right", but we don't have the author, or any pro GMO expert, to counter what Paul says.

Not sure what you mean here: do you mean the original story of Paul's friend?


NOTE: For the purpose of this post, I am not saying either side IS right or wrong. I am just saying that invalidating one argument in a list does NOT mean the entire case is wrong, without merit, or should be dismissed.


But from a logical perspective, it actually does mean that. Think of it from the perspective of your engineering training. If someone brings you a system, and you find just one critical flaw in it, then you're supposed to reject that system.

Now, they may get their act together, and bring you another version of that system, without that critical flaw.

But that a different argument. What we can't do is say yeah, ok. So you found a critical flaw. but pretend you hadn't..

Logic just doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter if you have 10,000 True statement. If you AND them with just one False statement, then the whole mess is a false statement.

Paul doesn't need to prove that all 10,001 statements are false. He just needs to prove that any single one of them is, and we can logically extrapolate that the combined statement is false.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

Originally posted by Emma Walsh:
Excuse if someone's asked this before and I missed it, but:

Paul, it sounds like your friend has been ill when trying GMO foods and fine with organic foods. I don't think you mentioned whether he had tested non-organic, non-GMO foods? There are a lot of things that fit into this category, at least where I shop. If these foods also bother your friend's digestion, it would be reasonable to conclude that he is intolerant to one or more additives, herbicides, or pesticides; rather than the results of GM.


I asked that very question. Yes, he has tried foods that are GMO free and not organic. No problem. Of course, most of that stuff is on the road to getting certified organic, but it takes three years.


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paul wheaton
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Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

Many people get sick and die from things like peanuts and eggs and more. Are they unfit for human consumption? Nope


Then label GMO foods so that the people that do get sick from it can avoid it. Just as they label foods that may contain peanuts or other common allergens.

Further, those are naturally occurring foods that have been around for thousands of years. And it is one food out of hundreds. You can go days of being fine and then one day of being sick. With time and scientific method you can figure out what you have trouble with. But with the GMO stuff, the gub'mint decided that because somebody wanted to get rich, it is okay dump this stuff into the american food supply without testing. It is okay for some people to get sick as long as other people can make more money.

Further, do we know the long term effects yet? The research has not been done. It is possible that, like agent orange, the real problem comes a generation later. Or maybe it will be two generations later. It just seems really wrong to risk the future of our entire population so that somebody can make a few more bucks now.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

Max,

I think this is far richer than that.

If I make the statement that "all people are male", the you only have to come up with one female to show that that statement is false. This is the case with "GMO food is no different than other food" - to prove that false, I just need one case.

But for that document in question, the premise is "The Organic Hoax". They are attempting to build their case on a dozen or so points. In Fred's mind, any one of those points has merit. Therefore, all of them must be addressed to convince Fred.

Of course, Fred's mind is a much richer space than that. While I don't have the time to address all of the stuff in that document, I do think that by addressing the first couple of things that the other points in that document probably appear, in Fred's mind, to be more questionable than they were a few days ago. I won't be changing Fred's mind on this topic this week, but I do think that Fred is probably going to consider this sort of stuff a little over the next few months.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Fred: ...
Max to Fred: ...
Fred to Max: ...


This *is* an interesting discussion! I don't know anything about GMO, but I am very interested in its logical structure. I agree with Fred here, but I am not sure how to prove it formally. In particular, what bothers me in Max's approach: I am not sure any scientific theory can be adequately modeled with Boolean algebra. For one thing, scientific observations (=facts?) aren't always 100% true or false, sometimes we have to deal with probabilities. For another, I think Max is referring to deductive reasoning, while scientific knowledge is expanded mostly in inductive mode (see Problem_of_induction). Need to do more research, meanwhile perhaps somebody more knowledgeable than me can put some light here.

[just saw Paul's last post]

But for that document in question, the premise is "The Organic Hoax". They are attempting to build their case on a dozen or so points. In Fred's mind, any one of those points has merit. Therefore, all of them must be addressed to convince Fred.

In other words, if we have to use Boolean algebra, it's not "and" but "or"?
[ January 08, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

In other words, if we have to use Boolean algebra, it's not "and" but "or"?


More like "if that didn't convince you, let me try this!" in the hopes that maybe someone could be convinced by at least one.

My opinion is that the document is total crap, probably funded by chemical corporation interests. After all, if people only bought organic, the chem companies would lose billions.

It takes mountains of knowledge and information to unravel what they are saying there. Not just in agriculture, but in fallacy. I can unravel it, but it sure takes a lot of time.
Tim LeMaster
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Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 226
Then label GMO foods so that the people that do get sick from it can avoid it. Just as they label foods that may contain peanuts or other common allergens.


You have yet to convince me that is a common problem. You cite one example. Even if I grant you that he has a problem with all GMO food that is one person. Should they label Mandarin Orange Slice? I know I have a reaction to it.

BTW - According to wikipedia - In the US, by 2006 89% of the planted area of soybeans, 83% of cotton, and 61% maize was genetically modified varieties.

I'd imagine just by these statistics and Gene Flow soon nearly all of soybeans in the US will contain genetically modified traits, same goes for cotton.

Again with wikipedia - The Grocery Manufacturers of America estimate that 75% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain a GM ingredient.

So I guess they do sort of label GM food - except its the reverse - they label organic food as there is less of it - that seems cheaper and more effective.

I find both krafty.org and the pdf to be both fairly full of BS
[ January 08, 2007: Message edited by: Tim LeMaster ]
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11351
    
  16

ugghhh... this thread has gotten a little convaluted (boy I wish I could spell).

How many issues are we debating here?



Have I missed any issues here?

Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:


In particular, what bothers me in Max's approach: I am not sure any scientific theory can be adequately modeled with Boolean algebra.


Map, I swear to God, it's like we're from different planets .

I don't think any scientific theory can be adequately modeled without Boolean algebra.
Mapraputa Is
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Posts: 10065


But let's see if we really disagree that much.

What I was trying to say, is that Boolean algebra is perhaps (I am not sure here) not enough -- it's like you would say that any process can be adequately described using only 4 arithmetic operations. You would be right that any theory cannot be modeled without these 4 operations, but what I am saying that they aren't sufficient.
Max Habibi
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Well, I agree that there's an aesthetic/artistic element to science (and, for that matter, math), that requires that we assign subjective value and quality to the datum we observe.

But the scientific process? Yeah, I'd say that's, at it's best, logical process.

Or let me put it this way: a scientific process that's not based on logic is rubbish.
Mapraputa Is
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Sorry for confusion, by "process" I meant something like penduloum's motion. How science is made is entirely diffeent question that I wouldn't even attempt to discuss. Let's concentrate on a theory that is already um... ready. Finished, complete. Can any such theory be modeled (expressed?) with Boolean algebra?
Nicholas Jordan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
Have I missed any issues here.

No.
ugghhh... this thread has gotten a little convaluted (boy I wish I could spell).

convoluted or ugghhh... [?]
How many issues are we debating here?

How powerful is your new processor ? Can it do real-time deep-branch-prediction on semantic analysis ?
...light on facts and supporting documentation....

This is the arena in which I hope to achieve the greatest proficiency. The employment of ideas to achieve human responses in reality. Not the discussion of (the ideas) which may achieve responses, but the discussion of how the use of ideas is employed. This is the subject of contemporary research in A.I. - the latest report in non-computational media being that if a person in a sample population based on being broadly representative is given the reality check of putting up one dollar in a 50/50 chance of winning one dollar and fifty cents - they will decline. Give them two dollars at 50/50 and they take the risk.

Note that at no time is the issue of billions of dollars being collected from people who do not have the sense to turn over a lottery ticket and read the odds. The fact that this was not mentioned in the financial media suggests to me that the employment of our craft to write Al-Khwarizmi to do real-time deep-branch-prediction on semantic analysis on business email traffic in corporate servers is a legitimate first Java program for me.

So that I do not become a time-waster in the very productive Meaningless Drivel Forum, let me explain that people who will not turn over a lottery ticket and base their actions of the stated facts can, will, and do routinely employ email for uses which make the dis-ambiguation of meaning impossible by employing psychotic bunnies in forward slashing and back slashing.

C) Is it fair to present a document, and have an expert on one side
tear it apart, without having another expert to rebut?

That depends on how much the other side is paying their experts.
1) The original video. I said it contains lots of accusation, but was

2) The document I linked to:
A) How much of it is truthful?
B) If point q in the document is false, does that invalidate the ENTIRE
document

3) Paul's friend. What do his tests prove (if anything)? Were they even
valid tests?

4) GMO in general
A) Has it been adquetly tested?
B) Does Paul's friend's test mean anything?[/CODE]

I leave these other issues to other posters who may be more well qualified to speak on the matter. I have actully been in a music video, but have not been to college to study the validity of documentation in supporting a position.


Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Sorry for confusion, by "process" I meant something like penduloum's motion. How science is made is entirely diffeent question that I wouldn't even attempt to discuss. Let's concentrate on a theory that is already um... ready. Finished, complete. Can any such theory be modeled (expressed?) with Boolean algebra?



Well, that's an entirely different topic then what we've been talking about so far: What we've been talking about is the scientific process of logically validating theories.

Now you're talking about a theory that has already been born out, and if it can be described in boolean terms. So, your question was, can any such be described using boolean algebra?

As the son of a Boolean Algebraist, I'd have to say yes :-)
[ January 09, 2007: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20586
    ∞

I spent last week out of town not eating organic and now I'm sick ... (probably not related, but fun to point at anyway)

As I sit here with a fever and try to kick this crud somebody gives me this link.

I think that this professionally made video really says it all: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1005653980897954362&sourceid=docidfeed&hl=en
Raghav Sam
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 412
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I think that this professionally made video really says it all: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1005653980897954362&sourceid=docidfeed&hl=en

A well documented video. Chilling to say the least!! I will think again when I buy those corns from the local store... :roll:


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.<br />- Dr. Seuss
Raghav Sam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 412
"We used to be a nation of farmers, but now it's less than two percent of the population in the United States. So a lot of us don't know a lot about what it takes to grow food."

Somehow these words keep echoing in my mind!
I am not an American nor am I even remotely connected to farming, but those are very powerful words. They have a profound meaning not just for farming, but the way in which we lead our lives! I see the words "Go back to the basics" embedded in those lines.
 
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