Scientific Consensus Is Not For Cherry-Pickers | Vol. 4 / No. 15.3

You look like climate change deniers to me | Photo: myboogers, CC BY 2.0

In which I spend a minute reminding everyone, liberals and conservatives alike, of the hypocrisy of denying one scientific consensus while berating others for denying a different one.


This isn’t going to be a long post. I just wanted to take a minute out of my day to rant about people who mock those who don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change but don’t believe GMOs are safe to eat.

Could you not?

In a word: Don’t.

See, according to this Pew research poll from 2015, there are robust consensuses from the scientific community on a number of issues:

  • Global Warming/Climate Change is real and almost certainly caused by humans (87%)
  • Childhood vaccines like MMR are not only safe, but should be mandatory (86%)
  • Humans have evolved over time (98%), and
  • It is safe to eat GMOs (88%)

Bear in mind that these are just the responses of scientists who are members of the AAAS (i.e. people with demonstrated understanding of the scientific process, but not experts in specific fields); when you ask experts the numbers go even higher. The number for AGW (anthropogenic global warming) goes up to 97.1% if you consult the corpus of published peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the scientific consensus for GMO safety is the same way. Read this long, long review of the research by SkepticalRaptor if you don’t believe me.

Global Warming is real. The data prove it, no matter how many times politicians question it. It is caused in large part by our widespread emission of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.

GMOs are safe to eat. The data prove it, no matter how many times politicians question it. Ingesting them does nothing negative to animals or humans, and they reduce the amount of (and severity of) pesticides farmers require to grow enough food for a population that’s already too big (82% of AAAS scientists agreed that the “growing world population will be a problem”). “Evil” agricultural technology firms like Monsanto don’t sue people for seeds “blowing into their fields,” and even if the “terminator” genes were on the market (those products were never released) farmers prefer to buy seeds than try to grow from last year’s (seed growing is a specialization in farming).

If you still refuse to accept that GMOs are safe, you are a science denier and you are every bit as much of one as a climate change denier.

When you say things like “well we don’t know that GMOs are safe,” you sound like that congressman who brought a snowball into the House to decry global warming. You sound like the crazies shouting about vaccines causing autism. You sound like Ken Ham at the creationism museum explaining that dinosaur bones were put there during the great flood as a way to test Christian faith.

So quit ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus on GMOs. They’re safe to eat, and while large-scale agriculture itself isn’t perfect, they do actually help make it safer.

You get your own opinions, but you don’t get your own facts.

You all have yourselves a great day.


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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as Deputy Managing Editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.