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“There weren’t tangerines in the Garden of Eden.”

Writing in Reason’s excellent Hit & Run blog, Katherine Mangu-Ward links to a presentation from the TED conference by Michael Specter.  In the presentation, Specter discusses science denialism, GM crops, vaccines, and the power of human technical development.  His basic point is that people who rail against vaccines and GM foodstuffs (e.g.) are essentially fighting on the side death and misery.

That seems like hyperbole, but I really don’t think it is.  They’re advocating for children to fall sick and face the real possibility of paralysis, disfigurement, disability or death.  They’re advocating for millions in Africa to starve for lack of the crops that have saved millions in India.  They’re advocating for the repression of the human knowledge at the cost of human life.

Now I, for one, will never suggest that they should be muzzled.  But at the same time, they should not be suffered in silence.  Vaccines and GM foods save lives.  And those that oppose them also oppose those lives.

But enough of my babble, here’s the video.  Despite my political objections to some of Specter’s commentary, I think it’s excellent overall:

Posted in Science/Tech.