Unscientific logic

April 23, 2004

Jules Pretty's review of Colin Tudge's So Shall We Reap: Food, Money and the Future of Humanity (Books, April 9) raises interesting issues about the book but also about perceptions of "science". He says of Tudge's book that it "all too readily demonises science as the enemy of the people", and then goes on to demonstrate that what he means by science here is genetic engineering of food organisms, and by "scientists" those who support genetic engineering. This is a naive view of the homogeneity of the scientific community, which is sharply divided on genetically modified organisms, and is also unfortunately a common debating tactic used by GMO apologists, labelling anyone, including scientists, as being unscientific if they are opposed to GMO development.

I was taught that that was a circular argument, but maybe logic is no longer taught to some scientists.

Mo Dodson
London Metropolitan University

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