Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

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On human evolution

The most important thing about humans, the single factor that has allowed us to become as succesfull as we are, is our ability to shape our environment. We can imagine something that would improve our situation ("Wouldn't it be great if the goats lived with us? Then we'd never have to go up on the mountain to catch 'em!") and then manipulate our environment to make that come true.
As the species expanded, we needed more resources. Our ability to 'invent' agriculture, animal husbandry (and pretty much the whole catalogue of inventions from the game 'Civilisation') enabled us to increase crop yields and expand into new territories. Shaping our world made our lives more secure and more comfortable. This comfort allowed us to invest more energy into building better tools, which in turn allowed us to shape our world in still other ways.
We have arrived where we are today by rigorously shaping our world to better suit us. Instead of adapting ourselves, we simply adapted our environment -- carving out our own ecological niche, so to say.

If we had been unable to do so, we would still be living in caves. There wouldn't be six billion of us. We would have to worry about getting enough food the next year.
Just let that sink in for a bit. Modifying our environment has given us everything we have today.

So why stop now? To further expand, to make our lives and those of others more secure and more comfortable, we need to continue manipulating our environment. We have new tools to do so available to us: genetic engineering.
We can increase the resistance to disease, increase crop yields and increase the nutritional value of staple foods like rice, cassava and banana. Yet European countries and 'environmental groups' don't want genetically modified crops out in the market.

That's very easy for them to say: they have enough to eat. They can worry whether their food is 'natural'. But if you go blind because your diet contains too little vitamin A, you don't care if your food is 'natural'. If you lose you single source of income because bananas go extinct because of a single disease, you don't care if the banana is 'natural'. If you starve because there is too little food, while the yields of cassava would increase 30 to 40 percent because of a resistance to the mosaic virus, you don't care if your food is 'natural'.

They want to stop the human evolution.

tdj pointed to this article. A quote:
Activists usually blame the inaction of rich countries for killing people in poor countries. However, instead of outrage here, we get Greenpeace geneticist Doreen Stabinsky primly quipping in the Post-Dispatch, "Hunger is not solved by producing more food. We're the breadbasket of the world, and we have hungry people in the U.S."
Easy for her to say: Doreen Stabinsky can go to a well-stocked supermarket to get pretty much any sort of agricultural product she desires. But it seems apparent that she (and Greenpeace and their ilk) don't care about poor starving masses.
It's not natural to eat superfoods, but it is perfectly natural (and thus perfectly fine with Greenpeace) to starve. Think about that the next time they ask you for a donation.
Tags: science
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