Totalitarian Scientific Oligarchy

So my TSO friends, I call this meeting to order….

I was watching my “genome” column twitter feed the other day, and I’ve been seeing more things that make me giggle. Jesus’ genome, various intelligent design detritus, space alien DNA and some just plain silliness–including Jonathan Latham’s whack-a-mole argument once again (I’ll have more on that coming soon).

Presumably this means genomics is a big part of the current zeitgeist. And it is really becoming part of the general chatter in ways that it really hadn’t been as much before. But I knew we really arrived when I saw teh MOST bat-guano-insane conspiracy theory on genomics EVAH. It was hard to catch it all because I was laughing so hard.

I’m a bit of a connoisseur of CT, actually. I have been aware of them for a long time because of someone in my social circle, and because of that I have sort of kept up on many of them since I know we’ll be discussing the crazee at some point–and I want to know what is underlying it and counter it appropriately. I’ve been somewhat active in skeptics groups and blogging. I regularly dive into CT on GMOs because of it’s anti-science nature. I’ve been to front lines of vaccines battles, and have been a staunch defender of the public health and the need to vaccinate.

I expected the genome research and technology to bring some medical crankery and misinformation. But I had no idea it would get intercalated so completely into the existing CT milieu that it would crack me up for hours. It’s the one CT to rule them all….

To summarize this craptacular discussion by Leuren Moret and Jeff Resne [Wikipedia on Rense for those unfamiliar with him]  in this YouTube entitled H.A.A.R.P., Agenda 21 and Google’s role in the sinister DNA plan (adults only) , Moret claims that Google is going to control and modify your DNA. You see–the Google founders come from mathematicians and computer science parents, some of whom worked for the Feds on nefarious projects. And their private jet is parked at a NASA facility so they can avoid Homeland security. Brin’s wife was given $20 million when they married as part of this–for those who don’t know, that is Anne E. Wojcicki, a founder of 23andme. (Of course, it’s much bigger than that. Skype, eBay, PayPal, Facebook, and all the social networking stuff is reportedly the same organization–and it’s all US Navy, according to Moret.)

Back to our DNA conspiracy: Moret says that your DNA is giving out an electromagentic spectrum that can be used to track you. Oh, but it can also transmit AND receive, you see. This feature of your DNA is being weaponized “to completely control us.” The Human Genome Project was done at Lawrence Livermore Labs, which is part of the military, which is part of the Pentagon, which exists for the oil companies. [It's so simple, isn't it??]

How is Google using this? DNA surveys from space. I kid you not, this is what she said . Not just humans, though. It’s a global species survey. This somehow involves Rockefellers, of course. And Craig Venter. Moret claims Helen Wallace of GeneWatch says this is all part of a giant DNA database by the “back door”. [I think this is where you come in, gentle readers....] Moret says, “And what they are doing is using computing, medicine, technology, and the police state to converge into basically what is creating a totalitarian scientific oligarchy….” The second part of the agenda is–of course–depopulation initiatives. [I must have missed the meetings on depopulation. All the meetings I've been have have been working on curing illness and growing things...] All of this is integrated into the HAARP system and the chemtrails, naturally. This is all part of the strategy to re-design the human genome. This is done by cell phones, by the way. And by airport scanners. And the wiring in your walls. [break out the foil STAT!!1!]

There’s a risk here of drawing attention to this ludicrous material that it will spread it further. And I get that. On the other hand–I think that a lot of people in the relevant fields are unaware of this meme that’s developing. And most of it will likely be harmless. But if my experience with the anti-vaxxers and anti-GMO activists is any indication, this could eventually come around to really impact public health and research.

It’s easy to dismiss the craziness out of hand. On the other hand, I think one of the problems that the public health community has faced on vaccinations is that they didn’t understand the depth of the denial, and didn’t get their message out appropriately before some of it got too far spread. And we are seeing the public health consequences of that around the world right now (Europe, especially France, hit by measles outbreak ; Current Minnesota measles outbreak linked to misplaced vaccination-autism fears). And the tin-foil on vaccines manages to collect all sorts of CT: at the CDC meeting I attended on vaccinations, there were troofers and NWO and all the other assorted nuts on the tree.

These kinds of kooky ideas could evolve into problems with DNA screening of children, for example. They might lead nutbags to withhold appropriate medical interventions from ill children. They could interfere with medical research around genomics. I think that this CT, and the Latham stuff, is all part of a genomics backlash that we need to be aware of.

What do we do about this nutbaggery? I’m not sure. I’ve been trying to read up on the vaccine saga to understand what might be effective against scientific misinformation, delusion, and crankery. But I don’t think it has really offered any answers. What I’ve seen on the analysis of denialism isn’t particularly encouraging:  The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science. One thing I’ve been hearing on the analysis of the GMO issues and other denialism, though, is that scientists should have been out talking about their work before these issues became so percolated. I think Paul Nurse’s recent show on Science Under Attack was encouraging us to that idea–that we need to communicate the science better.

Those of us who understand the science need to do outreach more–and not just to the choir, to the wider community. You need to know what the fictions and myths are that people are hearing from their social networks, their internet searches, and be prepared to counter them appropriately.

In the meantime I made up some coffee mugs for the Totalitarian Scientific Oligarchy, and opened a Cafe Press Store for them. Click on the coffee mug once at the store, and the Clustal-ish design for the best one I think. But I also did a couple of others for anyone who might want a dark T-shirt. Dose anyone know how to make a label for black helicopters at Cafe Press?

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