The right to know is an empty mantra, three words that sound like they are pursuing freedom and information. However, at their root there is no desire to know–just a desire to believe.
Case 1. Hofstra Debate Follow Up: The debate at Hofstra was quite one sided from my perspective. One side was about fear, Gish gallops and bad activist information, the other side was tethered with science. One of the debaters was Bhavani Jaroff, a local chef, radio personality and food activist. Her debate style was to discuss the most shocking activist statements, parroting garbage science and bad conclusions, following the party line with great precision. She stood firmly on Seralini’s rat paper being retracted because of Monsanto, stood by the veracity of the data, and also used the widely debunked Aris and Leblanc “Bt in the umbilical cords and pregnant women” shock language.
I offered to explain the science and walk her through the papers that were the foundation of the evidence in her presentation. My offer was sincere. From the little bit I knew about Bhavani I completely anticipated resounding cooperation, that she’d be thrilled to have time to discuss how a scientist reviews literature and determines that it is flawed.
The email I got blew me away. It started with how we’d have to “agree to disagree because I love the work of Jeffrey Smith and Vandana Shiva”. She then noted how science is not always right and cited margarine and DDT. She also reminded me that she can’t understand why someone would want to block another’s right to know.
There you have it. It frames my argument perfectly. I’m all for people having a right to know. But if you want to know, you have to want to know facts. You have to demand to know reality. You have to desire to learn science.
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