(Perhaps some poetic exaggeration in that headline. But if we are to have a rigorous definition of a scientist, this must include the fraternity’s own criterion of speaking “as a scientist” only within the bounds of one’s formal discipline, and clearly stipulating where one speaks purely as an opinionated layman. That, of course, is always the case with STEM-credentialed pro-GMO activists, as I demonstrated in this classic piece.)
Besides the other things wrong with the pro-GMO activists – the fact that they’re liars in everything they say, that they’re corrupt to the core, that they’re factually wrong on every single point – it can’t be stressed enough that every time “scientists” publicly comment on pesticides and GMOs (and many other things), they’re proving they’re not scientists at all, but just typically stupid and ignorant blowhards. Just to cite the example of the ringleader of the “Nobel laureates” (as it pleases GMWatch still to call them) who signed a Syngenta manifesto on behalf of the golden rice hoax, Richard Roberts is not a scientist or an expert in any way relevant to almost any discussion of golden rice or GMOs as such. He’s a pure ignoramus and idiot who has zero credentials or knowledge of agriculture, ecology, economics, history, or political theory, yet who specializes in pontificating about these while the media fraudulently depicts him as some kind of expert on these subjects. See here for another typical example of alleged “scientists” (the AAAS), an NGO (Pew), and the media collaborating to propagate a massive intellectual fraud by fraudulently representing ignorant and corrupt laymen as “scientists”. Roberts, of course, is not a scientist but a profiteering biotech subsidy-miner, and is simply talking his book.
If there’s to be such a thing as a real anti-GMO movement, this movement needs systematically to discredit and de-legitimize the so-called scientific establishment, which we know is nothing but a propaganda front. We must systematically apply the standard that anyone who claims to uphold the credentialist principle is automatically being anti-science the moment he claims to speak with authority on any subject which is not part of his formal credential. We must publicly assert this standard at every opportunity.
(Meanwhile, ironically, for anyone who actually does care about science, Roberts is one of those who in his actual scientific work has debunked the entire theoretical basis of genetic engineering and beanbag genetics as such by contributing to the demonstration of how chaotic the genetic functioning really is. The fact that as a lying hack ideologue he misrepresents his own scientific work says it all about his absolute lack of integrity.)
“If Only the Czar Knew!” To toss in a related point, I’ve noticed people trying to exonerate pollsters for their rather poor performance in projecting the outcome of the plebiscite. They blame the media for dumbing down the intricacy of the statistical forecasts, the public for not reading the fine print, etc.
Now let’s get this straight. No one propagates the cult of any group of “experts” more relentlessly than the experts themselves. The mainstream media just follows the experts’ lead. As it must, since the media receives all its propaganda themes from the experts themselves. The most inveterate and reckless popularizers are always the experts themselves. The worst scientism wingnuts are the scientists themselves. The most demented theologians of engineering are the engineers themselves. The most arrogant pomposities of the economist priesthood are spewed by the economists themselves. And no one touts the infallibility of the polls more disingenuously than the pollsters themselves. The whole business of blaming things on the media, on popularizers, and of course on the people themselves, is just another version of “if only the czar knew.” But anyone who knows history knows that the most radical, aggressive, insane part of the autocracy is always the autocrat himself. And so it is with the many cults of the “experts” currently afflicting humanity like a plague. Here most of all we need the vaccine and the purgative.