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Opinion: Neil deGrasse Tyson Responds To Uproar About His GMO Comments

Neil-deGrasse-TysonWell, well. Looks like a lot more folks than me took issue with astrophysicist, Cosmos host and science celeb Neil deGrasse Tyson the other day (see my post here). Given such, Tyson responds to the controversy. Ha! Doesn’t he do that every other day? This time, he responds to the masses of people (pointing to myself) who took issue with some or all of what he said in his widely publicized and criticized “chill out” commentary on blanket opposition to GMO.

His response, in sum… was, ‘Yeah, what I said was right.’ BUT… the way he rebutted the rebuttals is why Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson continues to be one of my ‘you should really LISTEN to this’ guys. And while I must give a shout out to Raw Story (on whose posts I have based my posts here on; because they showed in my stream, even though I follow Dr. Tyson directly on Facebook)

… I am going for the raw feed from the Facebook post of the man himself. Your response to the world’s responses to your response, Dr. Tyson?

[On] my brief [2min 20sec] response to a question posed by a French journalist, after a talk I gave on the Universe… Some comments…

1) The journalist posted the question in French. I don’t speak French, so I have no memory of how I figured out that was asking me about GMOs. Actually I do know some French words like Bordeaux, and Bourgogne, and Champagne, etc.

2) Everything I said is factual. So there’s nothing to disagree with other than whether you should actually “chill out” as I requested of the viewer in my last two words of the clip.

3) Had I given a full talk on this subject, or if GMOs were the subject of a sit-down interview, then I would have raised many nuanced points, regarding labeling, patenting, agribusiness, monopolies, etc. I’ve noticed that almost all objections to my comments center on these other issues…

If your objection to GMOs is the morality of selling non-prerennial seed stocks, then focus on that. If your objection to GMOs is the monopolistic conduct of agribusiness, then focus on that. But to paint the entire concept of GMO with these particular issues is to blind yourself to the underlying truth of what humans have been doing — and will continue to do — to nature so that it best serves our survival. That’s what all organisms do when they can, or would do, if they could. Those that didn’t, have gone extinct extinct.

In life, be cautious of how broad is the brush with which you paint the views of those you don’t agree with.
Respectfully Submitted


Boom! Dr. Tyson has spoken. Now, let me speak.

You know, reflecting on my last post, it was the “chill out” part that prompted me to do the writeup. So, no issue remains there. And, though its content-lifting was done responsibly for the most part, I got my information second-hand when first-hand content was available. Other bloggers’ Facebook posts have so drowned out Tyson’s that I had to Google his direct response from his Facebook wall (which I should have done before anyway). This is part my striving to be a responsible blogger. Why does that matter? Maybe it doesn’t so much. But how does reading Neil deGrasse Tyson: GMO producers ‘ought to be able to make as much money as they can’” make YOU want to respond? Yeah, me, too; and Tyson’s response wasn’t really all about that. So I smack my own forehead and admonish myself and all: Get your story from the teller’s mouth, people. That’s another lesson I re-learned.

That said. I’m STILL chill, and there are parts of the GMO push with which I do not agree. But I will keep in mind that my brush and strokes against the GMO work on display should be small and specific. In that, my response is, in sum… ‘Yeah, what I said was right’ (too).

Kudos, NDTyson. Respect due and given.

(Heh, heh… Just realized that Dr. Tyson considers a two-minute response brief. Imagine a casual convo with the brother. Gotta love intellectuals…)


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