Stupid People Are Loud and Proud, Really?


Sep 17

We found an article in the New York Post, a tabloid full of sensational stories, lots of photos, with super-large, outrageous headlines, such as this one: Stupid People Are Loud and Proud.

Here’s the opening:

The most outspoken people “know the least but think they know the most,” according to science.


A new study shows that people with the most extreme opinions are usually the most uninformed on the subject.


Using data from a Pew Research Center poll and published in the journal Nature, researchers focused on the subject of genetically modified foods. These foods are almost unanimously considered safe to eat and they offer a wide range of benefits to farmers and food producers alike. In fact, 88 percent of scientists back them.


However, Pew found that only 37 percent of the general American population considers them to be safe.

In a newsletter we sent out way back when (sorry, folks, I’m retired and I don’t need the stress of putting out a newsletter on time), we talked about this subject and posted the following image.

What we said about this subject I have no clue. These days I use the word “remember” only after the words “can’t” or “don’t.”

What we all should accept is that when it comes to science, the public doesn’t know as much as scientists. This is a no-brainer.

However, when the focus is on GMO foods, you should realize that a NASA scientist doesn’t know squat about them. Neither does your doctor, your fifth grade science teacher, nor all the astrophysicists in the world.

So to publish that 88% of scientists agree they are safe tells us more about prejudices in the scientific community that it does about the science of GMOs.

And the manner in which this sensational story is presented is just poor journalism.

A Short Course in Journalism

Sorry, not at this time. Just wanted to tell you what I am working on right now because of the frightening lack of ethics in journalism today.

When it comes out, you’ll find it listed in What’s New.

But for now, you should not care what 88% of scientists feel about GMOs. You should care about what these three scientists know about GMOs.

  • John Fagan, PhD
  • Michael Antoniou, PhD
  • Claire Robinson, MPhil

Would you like to learn who those three are?

John Fagan, PhD

In 1994, John Fagan made the news when he returned a huge grant to the National Institutes of Health rather than go on with this research. He had his principles to stick to. Forbes wrote a great article.

He has his critics, and his most vocal criticism is that he’s on the faculty at Maharishi University of Management, just a stones throw from the company he founded, Genetic ID. Genetic ID, by the way was responsible for the Kraft Foods having to recall 2.5 million boxes of Taco Bel taco shells.

You can find a short list of studies he’s been involved in at PubMed. There’s a great Times article about the trouble he faced at Genetic ID that’s worth the read, although it was written in 2000.

From Chelsea Green Publishing we found this short bio:

Dr John Fagan is a leading authority on sustainability in the food and agricultural system, biosafety, and food safety and authenticity. He is a successful entrepreneur in the field of biotechnology, having founded, built and sold Global ID Group, a company that pioneered the development of innovative molecular biological tools to verify and advance food purity, safety, and sustainability. Dr Fagan is CEO and chief scientist of Health Research Institute, a non-profit research and service institution dedicated to understanding the links between food quality, diet, and health. HRI Labs applies cutting-edge analytical methods to understand the relationships between agricultural practices and the levels of micronutrients and synthetic residues present in crops. He is executive director, Earth Open Source Institute, a non-profit advancing environmental sustainability and social responsibility of the food and agricultural system, where he conducts research and manages agricultural development projects.

Today, Fagan heads up Health Research Institute having spent 25 years researching GMOs and pesticides. His detractors tell us that he’s just filling up his bank with money from attacking the food industry. This is a common attack. Don’t attack the science, attack the person and his agenda.

Michael Antoniou, PhD

Dr Antoniou is a reader in Molecular Genetic at the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics, at Kings College, London. His most recent publications are posted at that link. He’s even been working on the coronavirus.

I’d never heard the term “reader” before, but you know the British. From Wikipedia I found: The title of reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth of Nations, for example India, Australia and New Zealand, denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship.

His expertise today is using molecular profiling tools to investigate the endocrine disruptive capability of low, environmentally relevant doses of key pesticides and other chemical pollutants.

Claire Robinson, MPhil

Claire Robinson holds an Masters of Philosophy. Most of us know what a Doctor of Philosophy is, or PhD. The easiest way to explain the difference is both are trained in research, but the PhD has worked longer and harder, in a specific field, and has learned enough to teach in their the field. Claire, however, focused her career on writing, editing, and communicating an assortment of topics relating to the science and policies of public health, and the environment.

She formerly held the position of research director at the sustainability nonprofit Earth Open Source, before she co-authored the book GMO Myths and Truths.

She is currently an editor at GMWatch, a news and publish information service on issues relating to GMOs. Click to visit the site. It’s rather interesting.

Though these three have been attacked for having an agenda and everything they write is propaganda designed to fatten their bank rolls, no one’s been able to successfully attack their science. And as we all should know, the first to toss an ad hominem criticism loses the debate.

We talked about them and their eBook GMO Myths and Truths in 2014, and posted a link to the book.

Today we’ve posted it here at our site, and this is your link: GMO Myths and Truths.

Sure, it was written in 2014 so things must have changed since then? Right?

Yes, they have. France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Malta, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia have banned GMOs. Companies are proudly posting on their products “Contains No GMOs.”

And, of course, the book listed here has been updated. I’m not interested. I have too many other things I’m working on, but feel free to go find it.

And now you should have learned two things:

  • Journalism in America is at a very low point.
  • Even scientists have prejudices.

Now don’t you feel better?