Are GMO Crops Causing Disease Epidemics?

13-Feb-2012 17:41 | Categories:

This petition circulating among some of my friends on Facebook contains a questionable assertion:


"As early as the 1991, a body of scientific research began to form which now includes articles in over 600 journals. As a whole, these offer scientific evidence that GM foods, hormones, and related pesticides are the root cause for the increase of many serious diseases in the U.S. Since GM foods were introduced, diagnosis of multiple chronic illnesses in the U.S. has skyrocketed. These illnesses include changes in major organs and in hormonal, immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. These modifications to foods and food production may also be contributors to colon, breast, lymphatic, and prostate cancers. "


I (...)

Chemtrails and the Lizard Brain

13-Feb-2012 17:30 | Categories:

A conspiracy theory case study

The word chemtrail is short for "chemical contrails" and refers to a conspiracy theory that some combination of chemical and biological agents is being deliberately sprayed from airplanes, usually over populated areas. I first learned about this threat last summer when a friend told me about her deep fears for her children’s health. She explained that chemtrails could be any number of things, including a secret U.N. plot involving mind control or possibly even population control.

I did a little research and learned more about a wide variety of chemtrail conspiracies that are only loosely related to each other. Google has indexed more than 1.5 million pages that mention the word. One popular version of the conspiracy theory (...)

The Need for Enemies

18-Nov-2011 13:29 | Categories:


The wise learn many things from their enemies.



There's something about the shower that is often inspiring. The swirl of water flowing down the drain is a nice metaphor for the way disparate thoughts sometimes come together. I'm going to present this more or less as it came to me in the shower today.


I was contemplating how Senator Rand Paul had just argued in the U.S. Senate that air pollution doesn't cause asthma. He's basically right, and few argue for a direct causal relationship, as the linked article points out. But there is evidence that air pollution increases the (...)

The Risks and Rewards of Relationships

12-Nov-2009 19:42 | Categories:

I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself.

- John Muir

Questions about the definitions of parasite vs. predator have been on my mind a lot. Predation is usually the end of an organism's life, and if it hasn't reproduced yet that is also the end of its gene line (unless it happens to be a clone of course). The predator typically benefits from the death of its prey, even as its greatest interests are for the prey's species to flourish. On the other hand, it is in the individual parasite's best interest that its particular host thrives (or at least doesn't die) for as long as possible so it can produce as many offspring as possible. Predators and parasites who are too successful may threaten their (...)