Posts tagged ‘“science”’

2 April, 2012

We Stopped Dreaming – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson – We Stopped Dreaming

2 April, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson defending science

text of image: People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

16 September, 2010

Who is Christine O’Donnell? and her position on Animal use in science

Is this the new Sarah Palin?

O’Donnell is a Palin-endorsed candidate, who does not believe in human-made climate change, and may change the face of USAmerican politics. Will she ascend to power, and leave people asking “What happened to science?” in her wake?

If climate change doesn’t exist, but we act as if it is, we spend some money.
If climate change does exist, but we don’t act on it, we kill the planet and all life on it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

However, sometimes, science isn’t the answer –

However, on the Bill O’Reilly show: Is Cloning Monkeys Morally Wrong? (FOX), O’Donnell made an attempt to clarify her position on cross-species experimentation…

O’DONNELL:… the very core of the debate about human cloning is dignity versus commodity…
By their own admission…

O’REILLY: No.

O’DONNELL: … these groups admitted that the report that said, “Hey, yay, we cloned a monkey. Now we’re using this to start cloning humans.” We have to keep…

O’REILLY: Let them admit anything they want. But they won’t do that here in the United States unless all craziness is going on.

O’DONNELL: They are — they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they’re already into this experiment.

15 August, 2010

Animal Testing: pass or fail?

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: ‘Because animals are like us.’

“Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’

“Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”

—Prof. Charles R. Magel

digitally altered ad for mascara, showing beauty hurts

Why do we accept that some of the most sadistic things are done to animals in the name of science?

Are we, as a human species so blindly superstitious, that we still believe in “sympathetic (or hunting) magic” like our cave people ancestors did, back inn the day, when they draw art on the walls of the animals. Modern theory suggests when this was teamed up with dancing and chanting while wearing skins and antlers of slain animal would bring good luck in the hunt. By imitation they animals in the hunt they would recreate the expected results of the hunt.

How little we have progressed as a species since the days of Paleolithic cave art. For this hunting rituals magic has long since been discredited for lack of evidence. We know better, or we should.

Yet we continue to conduct all variety of experiments on animals, from emotional (separating animals from their families), stimulus deprivation, to cutting their brains open and inserting electrodes in, to testing medication, cosmetics, floor cleaners and many other useless products we have no use for. Vivesection shows how hollow our claims for being an advanced civilisation are.

Not only are we testing consumer products which are “new and improved” and require testing by law, these products are often no better and even worse than the old products they are replacing. The medications are giving inaccurate results, making the testing not merely cruel but pointlessly cruel.

The British Medical Journal has said that animal studies are of limited usefulness to human health because they are of poor quality and their results often conflict with human trials
(BMJ-British Medical Journal (2006, December 18). Just How Useful Are Animal Studies To Human Health?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August)

There are also fundamental flaws in the way the tests are conducted, producing results which are unusable in any scientific way, even if the testing was as necessary as these vivisectors claim.

And, if these test were conducted at even a basic level required to achieve usable date, (which they are not), they are producing results that reflect how chemicals or conditions affect animals, and only those animals that are being tested. Testing doesn’t reflect how it affect animals in real world conditions. So these tests are useless even in for producing animal results, without trying to apply it to humans. (http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/animal_testing.shtml)

On top of all this there is no guarentee of how these chemicals and products will affect humans, making the results of this deliberate cruelty, irrelevant.

As this article points out, Five out of six new prescription drugs don’t work, doctor claims, and they offer “few if any new benefits” to patients. Yet Big Pharma push these new wonder drugs, government regulatory agencies pass these drugs, in order to keep the profits rolling in. New and Improved, is really just Cruel and Horrific. These drugs are useless, and may actually be harmful, but the animals are tortured anyway, with no benefit to human health, which is the raison d’être “scientists” give us for this experimentation.

So, there are poorly designed tests, inaccurately carried out, producing irrelevant data, from cruel and useless tests on animals that have no clear correlation between how these products will affect humans, and after that, they still have to run human trials. Often the human trials are conducted at the same time, regardless of animal testing.

And in cases where animal testing has produced negative results, the companies can ignore it and proceed to human trials regardless. Such as with Proctor & Gambles testing of Olestra a fat substitute on mice and rats. These test shows that mice and rats developed liver tumors, and P&G decided to ignore these findings are rats and mice are different to humans.

Proctor & Gamble, the worlds largest producer of consumer goods, when we buy their products we are telling them that we agree with their testing policy. P&G has been the subject of many boycott attempt from consumers (for a full list of their products, their site provides a handy list of P&G products (US brands) ethical consumers and those who oppose animal testing may like to avoid

and why boycott proctor & gamble

P&G admit that guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and mice are among the animals used in their ‘product safety research’, as well as cats and dogs in pet food experiments.
Source: uncaged: protecting animals

As long as a company is making money, and P&G is making billions of dollars annually, they do not have the consumers health as their number one consideration. In fact, corporation law requires them not to, the law corporations to put profits for shareholders before all else.

The testing of our food on animals must give people cause for concern about what we eat. Food that has been around for hundreds of thousands of years gets adulterated in the labs and this raises safety issues for consumers.

As Kate Hood MDAA and Isabelle Quinn, authors of Vegan Bootcamp (Redcliff publishing, 2005) state “Testing (for any reason, other than taste) is done to find out how much of a chemical they can that add before it it will kill you. In other words, how much can they get away with, before your family launches lawsuits on your behalf. … If food needs to be tested to pass product safety tests, your body doesn’t need it. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, your body doesn’t need it. If it is produced in a lab and not grown in the ground, your body doesn’t need it.”

There is a saying which reminds us why we must oppose this at every opportunity. If anyone knows who said this first, I would be happy to attribute it.

Animal experimenters inflict so much torture on dogs in order to induce heart disease. A disease that dogs, being meat eaters, do not get naturally. Once they have heart disease “scientists” test drugs that will be used on humans who have heart disease. Often as a result of eating animal products in the first place.

While people are continuing to receive grants to conduct these experiments, it is more profitable for them to torture rather than to show compassion, logic, reasoning and common sense.

The things we do to animals, because we can, is shameful.
Feedback welcome.

8 October, 2009

Animal Experimentation – but it’s for good for everyone


Good scientists, altruistic and noble, good men and women, with only the best interests of their patients at heart. Seeking to find cures for diseases?

White-coat Nazi’s would be a better description.

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was a experiment on poor, black men in Tuskegee Alabama that lasted 40 years (1932-1972), and refused to give treatments even after penicillin was invented.

Even when people tried to bring this issue to attention, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) over ruled them, and continued the experiment. The CDC wanted the Tuskegee study to continue until all the participants were dead.

The experiment only ended when a researcher went public, the spotlight of media attention was the only reason it ended. It is easy to imagine that these experiments would have continued if the media had not have found out.

This happened because the men involved were black and poor. It happened because people in charge did not care about the lives of those who were being experimented on.

People who do experiments on any living being, whether human or non-human, do not care about their patients, and they do not care about making a better society, they do these things because they can. They have a pathological cruelty and total lack of empathy, they do not see others as having any rights to life at all.

Animals and people become mere things, not individuals. The lives of a few are traded for some imagined good for everyone.

And if this is what they can do to people, imagine what they can do to animals, and people who have no rights. They do these things because they can.

If it is outrageous to do this to people, imagine what it is like for animals.

22 April, 2009

Biopiracy or Bioprivateering?

In honour of International Earth Day, a look at the Environment

Biopiracy or Bioprivateering?
Richard Stallman

For decades, new drugs have been found in exotic animals and plants. Genes from rare species and subspecies are also useful in producing new breeds, whether by genetic engineering or ordinary cross-breeding. The drugs, and nowadays the new breeds as well, are typically patented. This causes trouble for developing countries that could use them.

Patent monopolies on plant and animal varieties, on genes, and on new medicines, threaten to harm developing countries in three ways. First, by raising prices so far that most citizens have no access to these new developments; second, by blocking local production when the patent owner so chooses; third, for agricultural varieties, by forbidding farmers to continue breeding them as has been done for thousands of years.

Just as the United States, a developing country in the 1800s, refused to recognize patents from advanced Britain, today’s developing countries need to protect their citizens’ interest by shielding them from such patents. To prevent the problems of monopolies, don’t establish monopolies. What could be simpler?

But developing countries need support from world opinion in order to do this. It means going against a view that companies strongly advocate: that biotech company investors are entitled to monopolies, regardless of how they affect anyone else. It means going against treaties that these companies have prevailed on the US to force through threats of economic warfare on most of the world.

To challenge an idea which is backed by so much money is not easy. So some have proposed the concept of “biopiracy” as an alternative approach. Instead of opposing the existence of biological monopolies, this approach aims to give the rest of the world a share in the profits from them. The claim is that biotechnology companies are committing “biopiracy” when they base their work on natural varieties, or human genes, found in developing countries or among indigenous peoples–and therefore they ought to be required to pay “royalties” for this.

“Biopiracy” is appealing at first glance, because it takes advantage of the current trend towards more and bigger monopoly powers. It goes with the flow, not against. But it will not solve the problem, because the problem stems from the trend that this concept legitimizes and fails to criticize.

Useful varieties and genes are not found everywhere or with even distribution. Some developing countries and indigenous peoples will be lucky, and receive substantial funds from such a system, at least for the twenty years that a patent lasts; a few may become so rich as to cause cultural dislocation, with a second episode to follow when the riches run out. Meanwhile, most of these countries and peoples will get little or nothing from this system. “Biopiracy” royalties, like the patent system itself, will amount to a kind of lottery.

The “biopiracy” concept presupposes that natural plant and animal varieties, and human genes, have an owner as a matter of natural right. Once that assumption is granted, it is hard to question the idea that an artificial variety, gene or drug is property of the biotechnology company by natural right, and thus hard to deny the investors’ demand for total and world-wide power over the use of it.

The idea of “biopiracy” offers the multinationals, and the governments that work for them, an easy way to cement forever their regime of monopolies. With a show of magnanimity, they can concede a small part of their income to a few lucky indigenous peoples; from then on, when anyone questions whether biological patents are a good idea, they can cite these indigenous peoples along with the fabled “starving genius inventor” to paint such questioning as plundering the downtrodden. (This behavior pattern is widespread among business today. For instance, the “music industry” lobbies for increased copyright powers in the name of musicians, who they like to call the “creators”, while paying musicians only 4% of the companies’ total income.)

What people outside the developed world really need, for their agriculture and medicine, is to be exempt from all such monopolies. They need to be free to manufacture medicine without paying royalties to multinationals. They need to be free to grow and breed all sorts of plants and animals for agriculture; and if they decide to use genetic engineering, they should be free to commission the genetic modifications that suit their needs. A lottery ticket for a share of royalties from a few varieties and genes is no compensation for losing these freedoms.

It is indeed wrong for biotech companies to convert the world’s natural genetic resources into private monopolies–but the wrong is not a matter of taking someone else’s rightful property, it is a matter of privatizing what ought to be public. These companies are not biopirates. They are bioprivateers.

Copyright (C) 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 Richard Stallman
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Feedback welcome.