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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

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A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

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I'll tell you up front, I am not a big fan of chemicals.

It's not that I have chemophobia, or any science-phobia, I instead have that special sort of elitism that is available to people who have just been lucky enough to not need chemicals. I don't even like to take aspirin and I have that luxury because I haven't needed to take any drugs for a recurring condition, so it's really easy for me to embrace such naturalistic posturing.

If you want to find a hotbed of anti-science sentiment, sure, you could go to a cigar bar full of Republicans and mention that the temperature outside must be up because of global warming - and you would get lots of predictable responses, but you would not get someone claiming you were on the IPCC because they remembered reading your name somewhere this one time.

If you want to see true cluelessness coupled with denial of science, even the Republican National Convention won't do it - you have go to sites about food that are run by anti-science groups.
In 2009, President Barack Obama slightly eased restrictions on the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research that was first funded by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, but limited to specific lines. Using an executive order, Pres. Obama allowed for a few more lines to be created while still obeying President Clinton's Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which limited research on embryos.
Food is interesting to me. It's essential, of course, but it's also a lot of cutting-edge science that people don't see. It's hard to imagine now that when I was a kid, Prof. Paul Ehrlich (and then later our current science czar, Dr. John holdren) were projecting that we would be having worldwide riots and mass starvation by now.

Instead, while I was living on a small subsistence farm, American agricultural science ignored that apocalyptic memo, and they began producing far more food on far less land.
Genetically modified foods are so common that it seems a little strange to put a label on, basically, everything. But some states are trying.

Vermont just did. The governor says he is signing it. 

And it's a weird law, even from a policy point of view. From a legal point of view, the FDA is not going to be happy about yet another unscientific piecemeal approach to arbitrary food labels. Then there is the business aspect. How long before a lawsuit comes up because so many products are exempt from this new law that is supposedly about food transparency? 
I can be lazy. I was famous for it as a child. I didn't bother to walk, I didn't bother to talk. When I got older, if I had to do a chore, I found a way to be a screw-up and break something. I had unlimited time for D&D and art and sports, though, and I did well enough in school to get a scholarship to college. Because those things weren't work.

If only I had Alicia Silverstone as a mom, who knows how much more brain power I could have devoted to higher pursuits? Because Silverstone has figured out how to optimize everything