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Dr. Alex Berezow is Senior Fellow of Biomedical Science at American Council on Science and Health... Read More »

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I'm not easily alarmed. Nuclear war, climate meltdown, economic collapse, zombie apocalypse -- nothing really fazes me. I just assume that worst-case scenarios pretty much never happen, so everything will work out in the long run.

Maybe that isn't rational. Throughout all of human history, things often didn't work out. There were countless wars. Infectious disease claimed the lives of hundreds of millions. To this very day, war and starvation kill people in poor parts of the world. Perhaps the political and economic stability of the developed world is just an illusion; in reality, the world is teetering on the brink of chaos, and my blind optimism is based on naïveté and complacency.

Seattle attracts some very strange people.

When I first moved to the Emerald City in 2004, I remember coming across a group of young political activists protesting George W. Bush. Of course, that's normal in a place like Seattle, but what wasn't normal was that this same group of activists didn't like Al Gore. (I seem to recall a banner that depicted Mr. Gore as a giant blob, sort of like Jabba the Hutt.) The LaRouchies wouldn't have much use for Barack Obama, either. Who were these people? I had to find out.

So, way back in 2004, I decided to engage one of them in conversation, which I quickly learned was like entering an alternate universe where up is down and the Pope is Hitler.

In today's hyper-politicized culture, honest disagreement is a challenge. Social media, which has become a sewage pipe of blatant political partisanship and unscientific propaganda, has accelerated this disturbing trend. If two otherwise intelligent people disagree on something, accusations of being a liar, fraud, or paid shill are often quick to follow.

The 2016 presidential election has been conspicuously light on substance, particularly on matters of science and policy. In an effort to provide some clarity to voters who place an emphasis on science, we have created a chart that scores the presumptive Republican and Democratic Party candidates on key scientific issues. Please keep in mind three major caveats:

Technological advances have made it rather easy to detect food fraud. The seafood industry, in particular, is rife with dishonesty. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported that 93 percent of fish samples labeled "red snapper" were actually some other species, like tilapia.