Consolodated GMO discussion thread.

You’re linking to “peer reviewed” articles–“reviewed” by other “scientists” who have just as much at stake as those making the original claims…more grant money for more “research.” People don’t give grant money for non-critical issues, so inventing them is vital for their continued income. DDT has NO EFFECT on eggshell thickness and banning it has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands from mosquito-borne disease. In and around Bangkok alone, after DDT was banned, malaria cases (many resulting in death) rose from 5000 per year to almost 500,000! DDT is such a good pesticide in part because a few weeks after application, it breaks down into its constituent parts and isn’t even toxic enough to kill the insects it was designed to kill.

As for the other nonsense, I don’t intend to waste my time replying to the same phonied-up silliness that has been proven wrong. Pine needles and decaying leaves are naturally acidic and ashes from those things burning is alkaline. By interrupting the natural cycles of burn, we’ve insured that there’s tannic acid buildup in streams and ponds. It’s what gives those waters their tea-like appearance. That applies just as much to the NE as to the South.

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You’re linking to “peer reviewed” articles–“reviewed” by other “scientists” who have just as much at stake as those making the original claims…more grant money for more “research.” People don’t give grant money for non-critical issues, so inventing them is vital for their continued income.

If this is your position, then you reject all of science on the grounds that it is all corrupted by selfish motives. All science is peer-reviewed, all scientific articles are considered part of the scientific dialogue. Every scientist searches for grants. Does that mean all science is corrupted and cannot be trusted?

DDT has NO EFFECT on eggshell thickness and banning it has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands from mosquito-borne disease. In and around Bangkok alone, after DDT was banned, malaria cases (many resulting in death) rose from 5000 per year to almost 500,000! DDT is such a good pesticide in part because a few weeks after application, it breaks down into its constituent parts and isn’t even toxic enough to kill the insects it was designed to kill.

Read the articles and see if you aren’t convinced. You state that DDT has no effect on eggshell thickness without any evidence.

As for DDTs effectiveness, there is some discussion that DDT should be brought back in developing nations because of its effectiveness. Essentially, in some places rewards outweigh the risks. On that much you are correct.

As for the other nonsense, I don’t intend to waste my time replying to the same phonied-up silliness that has been proven wrong. Pine needles and decaying leaves are naturally acidic and ashes from those things burning is alkaline. By interrupting the natural cycles of burn, we’ve insured that there’s tannic acid buildup in streams and ponds. It’s what gives those waters their tea-like appearance. That applies just as much to the NE as to the South.

Do you have any journal articles, or even popular science articles, that say something to that effect? I would love to believe you on faith but that is just not how my brain works in matters of science.

Not at all. I’m saying that “research” that creates its own “crises” in need of government intervention in large measure “cannot be trusted.” These enviro-nuts are a powerful lot. Their first success was the result of the far-left embracing “Silent Spring”. When they saw how successfully they were able to force ordinary Americans to change their behavior by touting that nonsense, they’ve gone off on tangents. The cyclamate hoax. The nitrites hoax. The coconut oil-causes-heart-attacks hoax that resulted in the RUINING of movie-theater popcorn. Then they broadened their ambitions with the “coming-ice-age” hoax, the spray-cans-cause-the-destruction-of-the-ozone-layer hoax, the “evils-of-carbon-dioxide” hoax that is ongoing, the acid rain hoax, the disappearing rain forest hoax, and the greatest hoax of them all…“climate change.” When I think of the BILLIONS of dollars wasted on these idiotic things, I can only wonder if maybe Khrushchev wasn’t dead-bang right when he promised to “bury” us.

Read the articles and see if you aren’t convinced. You state that DDT has no effect on eggshell thickness without any evidence.

I cited the research from UNC. I read it in detail about 10 years ago and don’t have the time or inclination to look it up again. Suffice it to say that I believed it…in part because it simply makes sense.

Were you aware that the “scientist” who first propounded the idea that CFC’s were making a “hole” in the ozone layer was a former DuPont “researcher,” and that DuPont was about to lose its patent on Freon, the most widely used, CFC-based refrigerant, and was the owner of the patent on a NEW, non-chlorine-based refrigerant? Coincidence? I doubt it.

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Not at all. I’m saying that “research” that creates its own “crises” in need of government intervention in large measure “cannot be trusted.” These enviro-nuts are a powerful lot. Their first success was the result of the far-left embracing “Silent Spring”. When they saw how successfully they were able to force ordinary Americans to change their behavior by touting that nonsense, they’ve gone off on tangents. The cyclamate hoax. The nitrites hoax. The coconut oil-causes-heart-attacks hoax that resulted in the RUINING of movie-theater popcorn. Then they broadened their ambitions with the “coming-ice-age” hoax, the spray-cans-cause-the-destruction-of-the-ozone-layer hoax, the “evils-of-carbon-dioxide” hoax that is ongoing, the acid rain hoax, the disappearing rain forest hoax, and the greatest hoax of them all…“climate change.” When I think of the BILLIONS of dollars wasted on these idiotic things, I can only wonder if maybe Khrushchev wasn’t dead-bang right when he promised to “bury” us.

Climate change is not a hoax, at least to an extent. Carbon acts as a greenhouse gas (the mechanism of which I have explained many times before). Increased atmospheric carbon causes an increase in temperature. Humans have increased the amount of atmospheric carbon. It follows that humans have caused increased temperatures. The extent to which that has manifested itself, or the scale of that increase, is highly debatable. But the underlying phenomenon is scientifically sound. We performed an experiment to that effect in school.

DDT and similar chemicals affects calcium and vitamin D intake in certain birds, leading to soft shells and infant deaths. This phenomenon is scientifically sound.

Chloroflourocarbons can break apart under certain wavelengths of radiation that are blocked at the earths surface. When they break apart, chlorine atoms can break apart ozone, neutralizing its utility as a protective layer against radiation. This phenomenon is scientifically sound, and has been performed in laboratory. The extent to which CFCs affect the ozone layer can be debated, though the precipitous decline in ozone levels recorded seems to suggest (but not prove) a strong correlation.

Some sulfur molecules can combine with water in a way that changes the pH of the water negatively, making that water more acidic. These sulfur molecules are emitted from power plants, and enter clouds filled with water, changing the pH of the cloud. That phenomenon is scientifically sound, though the extent to which it is a problem is debatable.

Were you aware that the “scientist” who first propounded the idea that CFC’s were making a “hole” in the ozone layer was a former DuPont “researcher,” and that DuPont was about to lose its patent on Freon, the most widely used, CFC-based refrigerant, and was the owner of the patent on a NEW, non-chlorine-based refrigerant? Coincidence? I doubt it.

I judge science not by the motivations by which it was performed, but on its merits, reproducibility, and soundness with good practice. I have never read or seen anything that casts doubt on Mario Molina’s scientific practices.

The great thing about science is that it is reproducible. If you really want to know the answer, go do an experiment yourself. I have personally performed experiments that affirmed the greenhouse effect of carbon and the acid rain effect of sulfuric compounds. These phenomena are established and accepted. Unless you or someone else finds falsifying data, they will stand. Until then, confine debates to the extent and response to these problems, not the science behind them.

I cited the research from UNC. I read it in detail about 10 years ago and don’t have the time or inclination to look it up again. Suffice it to say that I believed it…in part because it simply makes sense.

I’ll try and find it, but until then I cannot accept what you say on faith.

I found a couple of studies in which chickens were fed DDT and shell strength was not compromised, and a couple in which it was. I’ll have to look into it a little more, but the jury’s still out. I’ll take back my position on DDT, and withhold judgement until I get to the bottom of it.

[quote=“cynicaloptimist, post:22, topic:45907”]
If this is your position, then you reject all of science on the grounds that it is all corrupted by selfish motives
[/quote]Whoa . . . whoa . . . whoa. How are you making the leap that Dave included “all” science? I don’t see anything in his post using the word “all”. You’re putting words in his mouth, aren’t you?

[quote=“cynicaloptimist, post:22, topic:45907”]
All science is peer-reviewed
[/quote]Are you equating “peer review” with truth?

This “peer review” stuff is NOT all it’s trumped up to be. An excerpt from my Front Page blog titled “Studies show . . .”
( Republican Operative / Studies show . . . ):

This is often seen as one of the two essential elements of a foundation that renders “proof” that a paper is factual. The other element of course is “p-value”. If a paper both passes the threshold of p-value AND peer review, it is often presented as “fact”.

Again, not so fast.

“Peer review” is seen as the Gold Standard (or sacred cow, if you will) of publishing. I wouldn’t disagree that it is something to be considered, and it is something that I always want to see (more on that in a bit), just like I want to see what p-value was calculated (AND what the null hypothesis was specifically), but neither peer review nor p-value represents the WHOLE picture.

Pseudo-intellectuals often hang their hat on p-value and peer review, as though that was all that was necessary to validate the study. Not so fast, again.

Let’s look at this “peer review” business a little closer than just the buzz phrase that the unwashed masses view as this sacred cow. I mean, when they hear that phrase . . . that’s it, period . . . no more scrutiny necessary. After all, if it’s been reviewed and “approved” by scientists that are much more knowledgeable in that field than me . . . who am I to question their judgment?

You guessed it . . . NOT SO FAST.

That is exactly why the pseudo-intellectuals shroud these things in mystery. THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO THINK YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SCRUTINIZE THESE THINGS.

First of all, the phrase “peer review” as it applies to studies is actually a misnomer. Those that examine studies for the accuracy and quality necessary for publishing in journals are known as “REFEREES”, and the study/paper is REFEREED, NOT PEER REVIEWED. The phrase “peer review” applies to the scrutiny necessary for FUNDING OF GRANTS.

If a scientist submits an application for a GRANT, to say, the National Science Foundation, or the National Institutes of Health, then that application is PEER REVIEWED. If a scientist submits a study/paper for publication in, say, the journal Nature, then that article submission is REFEREED.

But the phrase “peer review” has become recognized by the unwashed masses as what’s done to studies/papers in journals, so we’ll use “peer review” in that context (even though it’s not accurate . . . but I’m not going to stand on nitpicking technicalities).

Peer review became popular only in the past few decades, although it was used going all the way back to the mid 1600′s. That recent popularity is NOT based on any new notion that peer review enhances the credibility of a paper, but rather relieves overworked journal editors of the burden of reviewing thousands of papers (see my fourth and last “TRIVIA” item below.)

Now let’s take a look at some of the trivia, flaws, and criticisms of peer review.

  • TRIVIA: Watson and Crick’s breakthrough on DNA was NEVER subjected to peer review.

  • TRIVIA: Many papers that have been cited in work that won Nobel Prizes were originally rejected by peer review.

  • TRIVIA: Edward Jenner’s paper on vaccination for smallpox was rejected by some peer review people.

  • TRIVIA: In 2013, some 10,952 papers were submitted to the journal Nature. In 1997, there were only 7, 680 submissions.

  • Reviewers seem biased in favor of authors from prestigious institutions (the “halo effect”). In a study in which papers that had been published in journals by authors from prestigious institutions were retyped and resubmitted with a non-prestigious affiliation indicated for the author, not only did peer reviewers mostly fail to recognize these previously published papers in their field, they recommended rejection.

  • The chairman of the investigating committee of the Royal Society told a British newspaper in 2003, “We are all aware that some referees’ reports are not worth the paper they are written on. It’s also hard for a journal editor when reports come back that are contradictory, and it’s often down to a question of a value judgment whether something is published or not.”

  • He also pointed out that peer review has been criticized for being used by the scientific establishment “to prevent unorthodox ideas, methods, and views, regardless of their merit“.

  • In one study, researchers deliberately inserted errors into a manuscript, and referees did NOT detect some of them.

  • The deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association once said, “There seems to be no study too fragmented, no hypothesis too trivial, no literature too biased or too egotistical, no design too warped, no methodology too bungled, no presentation of results too inaccurate, too obscure, and too contradictory, no analysis too self-serving, no argument too circular, no conclusions too trifling or too unjustified, and no grammar and syntax too offensive for a paper to end up in print.”

  • The editor of the British medical journal The Lancet once said: “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than just a crude means of discovering the acceptability . . . not the validity . . . of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.”

  • Competitors are often chosen as peer reviewers. Might a competitor be inclined to unfavorably review a submission and then steal the idea for him/her self? The irresistible opportunity to put a spoke in a rival’s wheel?

  • Peer review in journals assumes that the article reviewed has been honestly prepared and the process is not designed to detect fraud. It assumes ALL scientists are integral, IOW not subject to human flaws. A peer reviewer must preserve scholarly integrity by rising above the three deadly sins of intellectual life: envy, favoritism, and the temptation to plagiarize.

Peer review is under reconsideration even within the heart of establishment scientific publishing.

But the most damaging criticism of peer review may be that which is exemplified by the cloning hoax of Hwang Woo Suk. (BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | The pressure to hoax)

Hwang submitted a paper to the journal Science which was later found to be hugely fraudulent. Of course, it passed peer review. It could NOT have been duplicated simply because the results were totally fabricated. In this case, DUPLICATION, NOT peer review, would have uncovered the hoax. To paraphrase what I said earlier, one disadvantage to the modern obsessive attention on PEER REVIEW is the emphasis it places on that peer review TO THE EXCLUSION OF CONFIRMATION BY REPEATED EXPERIMENTS. Often, a paper will be perceived as not needing duplication if it “passes” the PEER REVIEW threshold.

Of course, no one should expect a perfect system, or condemn peer review as a whole for its occasional failures. and I’m not doing that. Peer review is like democracy was to Churchill: “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”

What I’m pointing out is, much like p-values, it ain’t all it’s trumped up to be. It forms ONLY part of the picture, and to hang your hat on it shows me that your analysis of a study is extremely flawed.

Oh . . . I almost forgot. I had said earlier that peer review was something I would like to see. Most journals maintain peer reviewers in anonymity, and the identity of a peer reviewer is a closely guarded secret, generally held ONLY by the journal chief editor. Peer reviewer identities are not normally published (there are exceptions). Consequently, one CANNOT normally see who a peer reviewer was, whether or not he/she is a competitor, and perhaps more importantly, WHERE he/she draws financial support from. The only thing you DO see is that the article got published, which means it passed peer review.

The anonymity of peer reviewers contributes to the “Oz-behind-the-curtain” effect: Reviewers that work anonymously have a greater opportunity to act arbitrarily. The REVIEWEE has no comparable curtain to stand behind. Basically, the REVIEWER can take potshots at the REVIEWEE with NO accountability.

  1. The softening of the egg shells of the eagles was happening at least two decades before the use of DDT
  2. Simply not true - carbon dioxide (not just plain carbon, that’s an element) tends to follow increases in temperature.

Edit: Should have read all those other responses before posting. PappaDave & BobJam did an excellent job.

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For that statement to be true it would have to proved that the atmospheric carbon level is the ONLY cause of temperature fluctuation and that the natural atmosphere does not naturally compensate for such fluctuations, if that cannot be proved (and the opposite is true) then recognizing the miniscule percentage of carbon that man produces as a "Cause" for temperature increase is a hoax.

Science does not draw this conclusion, propagandists draw this conclusion.

The complexity of what results in global temperatures has many, many ways of compensating for any single elements increase or decrease; that is why ALL of the doomsday predictions turn out exactly the opposite of what the Climate Change prophets predict.

The belief in Human Caused Global Warming is a religion, not science.

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Moving some posts from the Intro forum in here so you can continue the debate in a more appropriate place.

In my life, I have lived through the Chicken Little’s Ice Ages, Global Warming, etc. so many times, all I can do is laugh.
This whole Solar System is warming. Mars’ Ice is melting. Pluto’s warming is increasing atmospheric pressure. Huge Storms on Saturn. Etc. Etc. Etc.
On DDT, maybe there were some adverse effects, but think of the malaria deaths that rose exponentially after the ban. We nearly had malaria snuffed out. Now millions on millions have lost their lives because of a “chance” that Eagle eggs were being affected.
The hole in the Ozone layer still exists, and is thought to be a natural occurring situation.
If you want to regard science as the Holy Grail, fine. Have at it. But, 7 decades of observing dictates that I remain skeptical and “follow the money” before I believe anything science has to say.

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Not enough rain? Global Warming. Too hot? Global Warming, and idiotically, Too cold and too much snow? Global warming. Only an idiot buys any of that stuff and, unfortunately, we’ve got a LOT of idiots–not only in the general population, but in Congress, too.

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BobJam:

Whoa . . . whoa . . . whoa. How are you making the leap that Dave included “all” science? I don’t see anything in his post using the word “all”. You’re putting words in his mouth, aren’t you?

I did make that leap, unwarranted. Dave’s next reply set me straight.

Are you equating “peer review” with truth?

This “peer review” stuff is NOT all it’s trumped up to be. An excerpt from my Front Page blog titled “Studies show . . .”
( Republican Operative / Studies show . . . ):

No, I am not. I was merely adding a piece of information that lends a bit of credibility to the articles I posted. Peer review does not mean truth, it means consistency and a guarantee of good practice and authority. Of course all articles should be evaluated based on their merits, and not the fact that they are published in journals.

If a scientist submits an application for a GRANT, to say, the National Science Foundation, or the National Institutes of Health, then that application is PEER REVIEWED. If a scientist submits a study/paper for publication in, say, the journal Nature, then that article submission is REFEREED.

This distinction doesn’t necessarily exist. I checked with a friend’s father who is a cell biologist and apparently the distinction instead lies in when a piece of material is reviewed.

I think this whole issue is moot, however, because no one has responded to the content of the articles I posted. Granted, like everything else, they should be read with skepticism. But they must still be evaluated on their own merits.

Susannah:

  1. The softening of the egg shells of the eagles was happening at least two decades before the use of DDT

I have since retracted my statements on DDT and withhold judgement until I can resolve conflicting evidence.

  1. Simply not true - carbon dioxide (not just plain carbon, that’s an element) tends to follow increases in temperature.

I don’t necessarily know anything about the meteorological side of global warming, but I do know the chemistry and physics. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, meaning it is a selective absorber of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, like infrared radiation. When it is in the atmosphere, it allows high frequency (visible) sunlight to pass by. But when the earth absorbs that sunlight and emits it’s lower frequency of radiation (infrared), the carbon dioxide absorbs that radiation. Thus, energy that would otherwise have escaped the earth system remains, and there is an upward pressure on temperature. This phenomenon is not debated.

What is debated, on the other hand, is what RET points out: the effect of opposing factors, the scale of the greenhouse effect on Earth, the urgency of the problem. But the underlying phenomenon isn’t really debated.

(not just plain carbon, that’s an element)

Pardon my substitution of carbon for carbon dioxide. I typically look at this issue from the perspective of the carbon cycle, which is why I tend to abbreviate it.

RET:

For that statement to be true it would have to proved that the atmospheric carbon level is the ONLY cause of temperature fluctuation and that the natural atmosphere does not naturally compensate for such fluctuations, if that cannot be proved (and the opposite is true) then recognizing the miniscule percentage of carbon that man produces as a “Cause” for temperature increase is a hoax.

I think I largely responded to this above, but I think you are right to be skeptical. Though carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is released into the atmosphere, the scale of its effect on temperature changes is not known.

Then again, you don’t necessarily know that carbon dioxide is not the reason for temperature increases, for the same reason you don’t know that it is. There are just too many variables to get a clear picture.

Disclaimer: This is a repost from another thread that I started to continue this conversation but I guess the mods want us to move here, so I reposted it. If there is any problem with that feel free to delete this post.

Which is the entire problem with passing draconian legislation that destroys economies and private property rights under the guise that this is “settled science”, there is absolutely no scientific justification for any panic or a single citizen to be put out of work and sacrifice any of their rights for this issue.

That is why I classify it as a religion, it is NOT supported scientifically but demands adherence from everyone via government force.

I think it barely demands a passing interest scientifically speaking but it certainly does not demand any legislation to force people to act as though the boys crying wolf deserve respect.

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Of the four major logical fallacies, “Appeal to Authority” is almost first among them. That’s one reason “peer review” in today’s world is mostly useless unless the review is done anonymously, the researcher being reviewed is anonymous and his/her results can be duplicated by the reviewer using the exact, same processes and methods used by the originator.

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Which is the entire problem with passing draconian legislation that destroys economies and private property rights under the guise that this is “settled science”, there is absolutely no scientific justification for any panic or a single citizen to be put out of work and sacrifice any of their rights for this issue.

That is why I classify it as a religion, it is NOT supported scientifically but demands adherence from everyone via government force.

I think it barely demands a passing interest scientifically speaking but it certainly does not demand any legislation to force people to act as though the boys crying wolf deserve respect.

I think it’s worth sustained study, but I do think the jury’s still out on the scale of humankind’s affect on climate.

Of the four major logical fallacies, “Appeal to Authority” is almost first among them. That’s one reason “peer review” in today’s world is mostly useless unless the review is done anonymously, the researcher being reviewed is anonymous and his/her results can be duplicated by the reviewer using the exact, same processes and methods used by the originator.

That fallacy only applies if I had said “these articles are peer reviewed, take them as true.” What I actually did was present articles that I believed to be scientifically sound, having read them, and asked others to respond. I included the fact that they were peer reviewed as an assurance of the necessary requisite to a modern, method-checked scientific paper. I didn’t expect anyone to fall over and believe what the article said because it was peer reviewed.

You did suggest that peer review indicated truth.

You IMPLIED that they were “factual” because they’d been “peer reviewed.” I’m merely pointing out how easy it is to “peer review” something that’s, on its face, nonsense. If the methodology is flawed (such as relying on the IPCC’s “climate modeling”) the results MAY be duplicatable, but STILL as phony as “I did NOT have sex with that woman…Miss Lewinsky.”

You IMPLIED that they were “factual” because they’d been “peer reviewed.” I’m merely pointing out how easy it is to “peer review” something that’s, on its face, nonsense. If the methodology is flawed (such as relying on the IPCC’s “climate modeling”) the results MAY be duplicatable, but STILL as phony as “I did NOT have sex with that woman…Miss Lewinsky.”

You did suggest that peer review indicated truth.

I apologize if my remarks were interpreted in that way. That is not what I intended to imply. In the future I will be more careful in my phrasing.

My points still stand.

And I don’t think there is even enough evidence to warrant a Jury, study away but until something compelling is found it is just a political engine designed to accomplish other goals that could never be implemented on their own merits.

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[quote=“Pappadave, post:34, topic:45907”]
Of the four major logical fallacies, “Appeal to Authority” is almost first among them. That’s one reason “peer review” in today’s world is mostly useless unless the review is done anonymously, the researcher being reviewed is anonymous and his/her results can be duplicated by the reviewer using the exact, same processes and methods used by the originator.
[/quote]There is an argument against anonymous peer review, though their are also valid counters. Where one falls on the side of these arguments is largely a matter of experience.

The anonymity of peer reviewers may contribute to the “Oz-behind-the-curtain” effect: Reviewers that work anonymously have a greater opportunity to act arbitrarily. The REVIEWEE has no comparable curtain to stand behind. Basically, the REVIEWER can take potshots at the REVIEWEE with NO accountability.

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