More DDT poisoning


[Time passes and internet links die, expire, or otherwise fall into the black hole of irrelevancy. Alas. Rachel Carson is still right.]

Sometimes, when people make gross errors, they get caught. They apologize, or they mumble, and they move on.

A few times, when people make gross errors, they revel in it. Rather than admit the error, they make it again. They say it wasn’t an error. They repeat it, time and again, as if two wrongs make a right, or as if 126 wrongs make a right.

We caught Caosblog repeating some bad stuff about Rachel Carson, and false, good stuff about DDT, and false claims that eagles were not endangered by DDT. We called ’em on it. [But the blogger appears to have deleted the response. It was that good.]

Whoooee! This is the result.  Note the list of unquestioning links to other stuff on the web.  (Yeah. “Milton Fillmore.”  Probably not reading comprehension error so much as rant-blindness.)

If there is anything crazy and mean about Rachel Carson, it’s probably in that list. If there is any wild and insane claim about the safety of DDT, it’s in that list. If there were any accurate information, it would be a miracle. (Well, actually there’s some good information in the National Geographic story about malaria, but I doubt the blog writer bothered to read it.) The blog links to all the Lyndon Larouche crazies, all the tobacco lobbyist crazies, and acts as if such manure is golden.

Very little of it is accurate. Most of the material so far out to lunch, it’s not even wrong. The person who runs the blog sent me an e-mail saying my comments are no longer welcome there, because of the tone of my remarks. Too many links to too much refutation of blog’s points, I gather — too much real information!

DDT poisoning clearly is damaging, with effects far beyond anything Rachel Carson ever predicted.

This is the venal, vicious spirit that Sen. Tom Coburn defends with his hold in the U.S. Senate on honors for Mrs. Carson. This is the spirit with which the anti-Rachel Carson movement rails at environmentalists about malaria in Africa, while holding back funding for anti-malaria projects in Africa.

Woody Allen had a line in Annie Hall that may be appropriate: “There’s nothing wrong with you that couldn’t be cured with Prozac and a polo mallet.”

Reason and evidence won’t do it now. When someone starts out arguing that eagles were not threatened with extinction by the poison that a thousand studies verified was doing them in, you can’t reason them back to reality.

Below the fold: At the second outlet of that blog, conversation carried for a while, though not necessarily so for enlightenment. In 2015, I thought it a good idea to capture some of that.

Exchanges from the Cao2 blog.

(Yes, this does nothing so well as demonstrate that Alun Salt was right. It’s also a good demonstration of the Gish Gallop, if you needed one.)

Yeah, this was clearly a clue that I should have just ended the conversation; but at the time, she had a few readers who, I assumed, surely had at least nine working neurons between them . . .

Yeah, this was clearly a clue that I should have just ended the conversation; but at the time, she had a few readers who, I assumed, surely had at least nine working neurons between them . . .

50 Responses

  1. Surely it is unfair of Carson to imply that all insecticides are “agents of death” for animals other than insects.

    Edwards surely knew better than that.

    DDT was one of the pesticides used to kill bats roosting in occupied buildings. Bats are mammals. The Army had a number of buildings in the southwest where they had bat problems, and the Army appealed to keep the registration of DDT to kill the bats.

    DDT was known to kill fish. There had already been several fishkills — a famous fish kill in Austin, Texas, left tons of dead fish on the banks of the Colorado River for twenty miles.
    See modern story, here: http://www.kxan.com/global/story.asp?s=549825&ClientType=Printable
    And here:

    http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/watershed/town_lake_fs.htm

    Confirmed kills of robins were known.

    So, it’s not unfair of Carson to call it “deadly” or “agent of death” since the acute poisoning capability of the stuff was well known and well documented.

    Surely, you have read Carson’s book, and you know this.

  2. If one were to eat DDT regularly for years, how would it harm someone? They’d drop dead of a heart attack during physical exertion, probably with no previous symptoms of ill health. DDT concentrates in fat, and it comes out when the fat is burned during exertion. This is how it kills bats and migratory birds.

    Do you know how Edwards died?

  3. Links please. You can’t just say something and expect me to believe you, considering your sweeping generalizations and parroting of COUNTERPUNCH and ALTERNET and sites like that.

    Give me real sources or shut the hell up.

    I’ve said that time and again.

    Edwards was hiking with his wife and keeled over from a heart attack at the ripe old age of 85.

    He had actually had even more of a real life experience than to swallow spoonfuls of DDT – which was more than 200 times what a normal person would consume.

    It’s common knowledge how Edwards died, it’s on Wikipedia if you would have bothered to check…and you can easily find it on dozens of other websites. He was, in fact, a renowned mountain climber. He is listed on Wikipedia as an entomologist and mountain climber.

    Your saying proof of DDT poisoning is that he died of a heart attack? I thought it caused cancer, according to your ‘research’. So what property of DDT poisoning would have brought that on, and what studies do you have to quote from that demonstrate that DDT causes heart attacks?

    It would seem to me that he was a health old man, but that he was old, and he had a heart attack just like a lot of older people do when they’re doing physically strenuous activity. Are you going to say that someone shoveling snow that has a heart attack had a heart attack from DDT poisoning? This is an empty foolish argument.

    Edwards was author of the “A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park,” which is considered the “bible” of Glacier climbers, hikers, and those interested in the history of the park.

    But back to DDT.

    While on duty in Italy in 1944 (since he was born in 1919, that would have made him 25 years old at the time) , he and the other soldiers in his company had been plagued by body lice. This lice was spreading typhus among the troops, a disease that had killed 3 million people in Europe during and after the previous war. To check the developing epidemic, the chemists at Merck & Company in New Jersey produced the first 500 pounds of American-made DDT, rushed it to the airport, and flew it to Italy.

    There, Edwards got the order to dust every soldier in his company with the DDT powder. For two weeks straight, he did just that, breathing the fog of white dust as he did so. Much to everyone’s relief, the DDT worked, and the epidemic was checked. The surgeon general estimated that the DDT had saved the lives of 5,000 soldiers. After the war, inspired by this experience, Edwards went on to get his Ph.D. in entomology from Ohio State University and eventually headed out to San Jose State University where he taught medical entomology courses for more than 30 years.

    The depiction of DDT as a lethal poison to people is far-fetched and a lie.

    See also: Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., and Robert J. Cihak, M.D. DDT vs. Death by Malaria

    In Africa, DDT Makes a Comeback to Save Lives – EIR Science and Technology

    The British Medical Journal the Lancet reported no adverse effects of DDT were ever experienced by the 130,000 spraymen or the 535 million people living in sprayed houses in 1959.

  4. It might be time to post on this again, lol

  5. I wondered:

    DDT concentrates in fat, and it comes out when the fat is burned during exertion. This is how it kills bats and migratory birds.Do you know how Edwards died?

    Cao said:

    Edwards was hiking with his wife and keeled over from a heart attack at the ripe old age of 85.

    Interesting, no? He was actually mountain climbing. Severe physical exertion. No history of heart problems, he’d just been cleared for such activities by his physician.

    Then, just like a migratory bird loaded from a lifetime of DDT consumption, he keeled over dead of a heart attack.

    I’ve always found it interesting that Edwards supporters, most of them wholly ignorant of how DDT kills migrating critters, note that he was in the peak of health and mountain climbing when he died of a completely unexpected heart attack. At 85, it shouldn’t be unexpected, of course. There was no autopsy.

    Acute death from DDT isn’t the problem in humans. Edwards tried to make hay from the study where prisoners were fed DDT daily. No ill effects after a few weeks, it was reported. No one ever did a followup study. We don’t know if there were cancers (latency for liver cancer is generally more than 10 years; other cancers can go longer).

    DDT’s effects are not on large creatures that survive, however. It gets the next generation. DDT acts as estrogen overdoses. DDT is an endocrine disruptor. The study that now ties DDT to cancer in humans shows a firm correlation to exposure of the mother, and the breast cancers occurring in the daughter. DDT exposure came through both in utero exposure and through DDT-carrying breast milk (separating that effect will likely be impossible for obvious reasons). As you are aware, I’m sure, lactation depletes fat reserves, and fat is where DDT is stored in mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

    And you found it on Wikipedia? But you didn’t notice, in the same paragraph, the links to the astroturf, crank science group ASCH? And you failed to note the link to Lyndon Larouche in the same place? No, of course you saw them. So your call for “documentation” is a hollow response.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Council_on_Science_and_Health

  6. Your saying proof of DDT poisoning is that he died of a heart attack? I thought it caused cancer, according to your ‘research’. So what property of DDT poisoning would have brought that on, and what studies do you have to quote from that demonstrate that DDT causes heart attacks?

    You’re confusing your own arguments.

    DDT is acutely toxic to humans, but only in huge doses, or slightly smaller doses osmosed, or perhaps inhaled — it’s not clear how the fatalities got the poison. No one really knows about acute poisoning from burning fat reserves. Heart attacks are how migratory creatures die, otherwise healthy creatures in stressful exertion, when the DDT comes out as they burn the fat — much as a mountain climber does.

    I’m saying that anyone who studies the PubMed and other scientific publications on migrating creatures and DDT would have noted that similarity. That almost every story on Dr. Edwards mentions how he died either means someone is playing a huge joke, or most of the people who repeat the story of Edwards’ death don’t know that it parallels exactly death from acute DDT poisoning from exertion.

    DDT is a suspected human carcinogen — but as I noted, that’s how it is listed with every cancer-fighting organization in the world. Is that not reference enough for you? There is no study to contradict that listing — which you would know, had you checked the footnotes Edwards offered, and tried to corroborate them.
    Here’s the ATDSR listing: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts35.html

    It’s the same with the American Cancer Society, and with WHO, and every other cancer-fighting group and health registry in the world.

  7. There are a lot of 84-year-old guys who keel over from heart attacks. My husband is a heart patient; I know this from the cardiologist.

    You’re really reaching if you think you can do an autopsy through telekenesis and come up with his death as a result of DDT when he’d been given heavy exposure since he was 25-years-old in Italy in WWII.

    You’re honestly starting to make me laugh with how far you’re stretching to defend your religion of environmentalism.

    Ed, as paranoid and determined as you are to call everyone a crank that has Lyndon LaRouche cited on the same page, that’s a departure from rational thought.

    A rational person weighs the evidence instead of making attempts at character assassination and makes damning statements in a world where there’s guilt-by-association.

    I suppose I could do the same thing with your linking to COUNTERPUNCH as an authoritative source; and your obvious denial of science because you’re bowing before the gods of global warming and population control.

  8. I think you’re a nazi stormtrooper because everything you’re saying fitting fits in with the German green ideology of the nazis who worshipped the black forest, who demonized Christianity, and who advocated genocide….based on a political ideology, not because of reason or facts.

  9. Oh, and they would have agreed with you on the tobacco lobbyists, because Hitler was a non-smoker who advocated non-smoking policies for people.

    I don’t advocate government control of business and their public and private lives.

  10. So Ed, to put this in simple terms, given a choice, which do you prefer:

    A. Immediately, knowingly, and intentionally saving the lives of tens of thousands or more people.

    OR

    B. Allowing tens of thousands of people to die because there’s some chance or correlation that somewhere, in the next 40-50 years that one or two people, birds, or other animals might die one day.

    When you’re claiming that DDT is evil and should be banned based on scientific guesses and correlations that may or may not be accurate, you’re choosing option B, condemning thousands and thousands of people in Africa to die. Hope you’re happy with that choice.

  11. Ogre, DDT was discontinued because, as Carson warned, it became ineffective.

    So what do you advocate: Spend millions spraying DDT that kills the food for the people who live there, but leaves them suffering from malaria,

    Or do what WHO says, improve health care, educate on avoiding mosquitoes, and use integrated pest management?

    The first path, the spray more DDT path that Cao advocates, has failed everywhere it was tried.

    The second path is bringing a rollback of malaria in South Africa, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, and other places.

    Indeed, the question is, do you want to rail against environmentalists, or do you give a damn about saving children?

    The children are dying while you rail at environmentalists. 3,000 a day, Cao says — she’s not swayed, but you get to decide for yourself.

  12. Wow. You actually believe that, don’t you?

    DDT works. When DDT was stopped in Africa, it wasn’t stopped because it wasn’t working! Good gosh! It was stopped because of international pressures and millions have died.

    I can’t get over that you actually believe that DDT doesn’t work.

    Just wow.

  13. It’s not a question of belief, Ogre. I’ll wager that you cannot provide citations for your claims. DDT spraying was discontinued in Africa in the middle 1960s. You know how to read a calendar, right? EPA didn’t move against DDT until 1972. So, what “ban” caused Africans to stop spraying if the stuff worked? No ban. DDT stopped working. Why would they spray a poison that didn’t work?

    You expect all Africans to be stupid. That’s inaccurate. You expect all governmental agencies to be evil. That’s also inaccurate.

    I can’t get over how you ignore 50 years of studies showing that mosquitoes get resistant to DDT. There is a well-known mutation among many mostquitoes — two, actually — that means they digest the poison. Some mosquitoes carry 50 or 60 copies of the B1 and B2 alleles, making them virtually invulnerable to DDT or any related pesticide. You could look it up in almost any history of malaria, any history of pest control, any history of driven evolution.

    Don’t ignore 99% of the information just because you wish it were not so.

    In the crank literature, you’ll find lots of claims that DDT was stopped by environmentalists. But that’s a crock. Idi Amin didn’t listen to environmentalists (you do know who he was, right?). Nor did any other government in Africa. And if you press the authors of the crank literature, they may suggest that South Africa stopped using DDT due to environmentalist pressures in 1997 or 1998. Of course, that’s over a decade and a half after the claim, and the evidence is that South Africa stopped using DDT then because it wasn’t doing the trick against mosquitoes. South Africa began using DDT again a few years later, but in an integrated pest management program like Rachel Carson recommended. Used wisely, the DDT spraying helped contribute to a drop in malaria.

  14. Great article, Cao (finally got around to checking out your blog…so sorry for the delay!). Some people you just can’t debate with. And some people read the accurate scientific literature…

  15. Ed or Hans or whatever his name is isn’t all that bright.

    Hatred of the human race is the underpinning of the environmentalists’ agenda…as numerous people besides Wurster have proclaimed, including Jacques Cousteau.

    One of the first things this treehugger said in my comments section was “you don’t care about the environment!”

    But Hans doesn’t care about the human race, obviously…

  16. An August 16th article in the Wallstreet Journal pointed to a study that completely refutes the ‘ineffective’ claim.

    DDT continues to work as a repellent and irritant long after it’s no longer killing mosquitoes on contact. The researchers found that three out of five DDT-resistant mosquitoes avoided homes sprayed with the insecticide and reduced the risk of disease transmission by 73%.

    So how relevant is the ‘resistant’ claim? Not very.

    Repeated studies have shown DDT to be safe for people and nature when sprayed indoors, yet other supposedly greener pesticides like alphacypermethrin have been touted as viable alternatives. Nevertheless, the latest research shows that DDT continues to be the most effective tool we have, as well as among the cheapest. “To date,” conclude the authors, “a truly efficacious DDT replacement has not been found.” Opponents of DDT are only ensuring more misery and death.

  17. the ‘ddt is ineffective on mosquitos’ claim is hogwash

    Yet another stupid claim of the Rachel Carson worshippers has been exposed.
    In an August 16th article at the Wall Street Journal, a study published in the public health journal, PLoS ONE (which I’m assuming is the one entitled A New Classificatio…

  18. That study says that, while DDT doesn’t kill mosquitoes anymore, it still irritates them.

    Read the study. DDT advocates say we should keep using DDT as a repellent. DEET is 100 times more effective, though, and consequently much cheaper for that purpose.

    Here’s an entomologist who was asked by the astro-turf organization, Africa Fighting Malaria, to review the paper:

    http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/an-odd-email-campaign-by-africa-fighting-malaria/

    Here’s another view of the paper:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/08/study_finds_that_ddt_not_the_m.php

    And be sure to check out this paper at Malaria Journal, with real science on repellents:

    http://www.malariajournal.com/content/6/1/38

    Notice that the scientists at Malaria Journal take note of the fact that mosquitoes are resistant to DDT.

  19. “Science” Blogs: One of the writers identifies himself thusly: “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”

    Sorry, I’m not interested in reading or touching liberals’ biological ejaculations…particularly on “science”.

    Which is similar to the rest of the spew you’re citing.

    Spit or swallow?

    I prefer to spit where your stuff is concerned.

    Not to mention…the lead blogger at the Science blogs was sued for libel.

    Considering your approach and your sympathetic tone to their ideology, it is no wonder you would come into my comments section threatening to sue. The thing is, you really should have a handle on the legal definition of words before you start making threats like that.

    A quick search of the database of the New York state court system reveals that since 1986, Stuart Pivar has been named as a plaintiff in 25 different cases filed with the New York State Unified Court System (and a defendant in two).

    This merely demonstrates that you are one of the people who believes that criticism of a scientific hypothesis must be defended by silencing its critics.

  20. Tim Lambert’s humorous description irritates you, Cao? Why?

    You’re not interested in any fact that doesn’t reinforce your biases? I thought you were for open discussion? But when we start laying out actual scientists laying out actual science, you prefer to dismiss them as somehow beneath you because of their faith or lack of it.

    We Christians take what scientists say because we are also dedicated to the truth. I was unaware of any faith that does not have such a dedication somewhere in its theology. Whatever you are, truth is your friend, whether your faith says so, or not.

    As with most of your stuff on DDT, your diatribe at P. Z. Myers is dated. The guy who sued him dropped the suit. Turns out P. Z. had not libeled him. But I thought you were a friend to libel anyway? You have taken it as a badge of honor in your blogs to dishonestly, unfairly and inaccurately slander a good scientist. Why are you suddenly concerned that a frivolous suit was brought against P.Z.?

    I am sympathetic with the truth, wherever it is. It’s a tone I am proud to strike. Your falsifications — or grotesque misunderstandings (I never threatened you; I merely pointed out you were at risk for having libeled) — need correction. Innocent children might wander in here, and we wouldn’t want them to come away with the wrong ideas.

    And, alas, you seem to revel in wrong ideas — like the idea that we can poison our way to health, with malaria or anything else, and the idea that scientists are inhuman, and the idea that Africans are too stupid to decide for themselves, and the idea that history is not what happened but what you say it is based on your prejudices.

    Yeah, my “tone” is much different from that, praise God.

    Your cluelessness is not funny. Your refusal to take down the libel only stands as evidence of the smallness and unjust nature of your claims. Handle on libel? I’ve got it, and you don’t have the common courtesy to fix it.

  21. From Lumo:

    An examination and comparison between the communists and the tactics of the greens (from someone who’s lived under totalitarianism):

    # They try to convey the message that the opposition doesn’t exist
    # If the opposition exists, it is composed of unsuccessful or dead bodies who have been defeated decades ago
    # The members of the opposition are painted as being controlled by others, usually by demonized sources of power, with hints of corruption; a connection – even indirect connection – with these ultimate “sources of evil” is presented as a complete proof of wrongness
    # Opposition gets badges that are meant to be derogatory – capitalist, Zionist, deniers, renegades, contrarians, reactionary, burgeoisie, oil-funded, (or in your case, the tobacco lobbyists, LaRouche crazies) etc.
    # Opposition is presented as being against all the people – and all the people should agree and do agree with that; statements that everyone agrees and everyone keeps on supporting the official position are repeated all the time
    # The opposition members are criticized for their very existence and for the tiniest deviations from the official ideology, to assure everyone else that one simply can’t join them if he wants to survive
    # Opposition is claimed to misinterpret words and facts even though it is pretty obvious that it is the official party who is doing that
    # The opposing individuals are deconstructed one by one by carefully crafted ad hominem attacks
    # The propaganda openly states that a debate or a dialogue itself is unacceptable and no details of the opponents’ opinions are ever analyzed
    # Whenever it’s possible, the opponents must be fired or otherwise harassed; a penetrating analysis of skeptics’ personal lives and attempts to find anything questionable – even if it is completely unrelated to the dispute – is a standard tool of the propaganda

  22. Gee, Lumo — you hit some nail on the head.

    But I’ll bet it wasn’t the one you intended.

    # They try to convey the message that the opposition doesn’t exist
    # If the opposition exists, it is composed of unsuccessful or dead bodies who have been defeated decades ago

    Like the claims that Carson was wrong (she wasn’t), that her scientific references have been rebutted or withdrawn (not one has been), and the claims that we now know better than the government officials who stopped the widespread overuse of DDT in the 1970s.

    Only, it ain’t the environmentalists doing that.

    # The members of the opposition are painted as being controlled by others, usually by demonized sources of power, with hints of corruption; a connection – even indirect connection – with these ultimate “sources of evil” is presented as a complete proof of wrongness
    # Opposition gets badges that are meant to be derogatory – capitalist, Zionist, deniers, renegades, contrarians, reactionary, burgeoisie, oil-funded, (or in your case, the tobacco lobbyists, LaRouche crazies) etc.

    In the anti-Rachel Carson crowd, just calling someone “environmentalist” is derogatory enough. Cao keeps harping about liberals, atheists, and all sorts of other labels that don’t really apply (I’m a Christians, former Reagan administration appointee — the anti-Carsonites don’t care about accuracy in such things).

    # Opposition is presented as being against all the people – and all the people should agree and do agree with that; statements that everyone agrees and everyone keeps on supporting the official position are repeated all the time
    # The opposition members are criticized for their very existence and for the tiniest deviations from the official ideology, to assure everyone else that one simply can’t join them if he wants to survive

    Even when I cite sources that support Cao’s points, she won’t go look. It’s astounding, isn’t it? Totalitarian tactics are not limited to the enemies of freedom!

    # Opposition is claimed to misinterpret words and facts even though it is pretty obvious that it is the official party who is doing that

    The official party on this blog consists of anti-environmentalists, no matter what the environmentalists say. If environmentalists came out tomorrow and said, “We were wrong! Burn coal and oil all you want,” Cao would go off the grid and buy a hybrid car just to tick ‘em off.

    # The opposing individuals are deconstructed one by one by carefully crafted ad hominem attacks
    # The propaganda openly states that a debate or a dialogue itself is unacceptable and no details of the opponents’ opinions are ever analyzed

    No one has responded to a single source I’ve cited here. You got that one right.

    # Whenever it’s possible, the opponents must be fired or otherwise harassed; a penetrating analysis of skeptics’ personal lives and attempts to find anything questionable – even if it is completely unrelated to the dispute – is a standard tool of the propaganda

    That’s what I thought when I read Cao’s incredibly bizarre post about Rachel Carson’s sex life.

    Does Cao go after you the same way, Lumo? You sound sadly experienced.

  23. No error will be changed into truth by constantly believing, nor by persistently declaring it as truth. ~ Karl Mobius

    I don’t appreciate your ordering me around and demanding me to read things of your choosing. Who the hell do you think you are? I have repeatedly stated my position, your linking to Science blogs and other leftist places in addition to maligning my source material isn’t going to convince me otherwise or beat me into submission. I have real science on my side; you have propaganda, just as the soviets did. Again, Motl’s observations on communists and how they influenced their science is worthy of notation. Carson’s Darwinian notion of the ‘survival of the fittest’ also fits within those parameters. The “resistance” DDT argument is based on chemicals eliminating the weaker members of the pest population, and that survivors would represent the stronger cpecimens, best able to recover from attack. She claimed that variants would be hardier, combating them would lead to a process of escalation in which ever more toxic chemicals would be necessary to combat them. Given her view of stronger and stronger pest specimens evolving after chemical cdontrol, she envisioned an endless vicious circle.

    Resistance is neither an expression of mutation nor of selection of the strongest specimens in a population. Resistance may arise if that population includes DNA components defining the mechanism of resistance are already present. As the compound kills all individuals that do not possess the resistant trait, those which live give rise to a new population that consists only of resistant individuals. It’s untrue that the resistant strains represent a “superbug”; they are weaker than the population which has been eliminated. No mutations produce stronger individuals; this is also true in human biology.

    It’s like the 4-winged fruitflies that evolutionists point to as evidence of evolution. Mutations are never an improvement, and never increase the complexity of the organism. As in the case of the 4-winged fruitfly; the extra set of wings contribute to premature death.

    Mutations in humans, just as in every other area of biology, cause birth defects: 400 diseases, hemophila, downs syndrome, etc..!

    Environmentalists have been warning us about overpopulation, and Europe is below replacement level. Environmentalists warned about global starvation, and we’ve actually entered an era where farmers are paid to let their crops rot in the fields. Environmentalists warned us there was a coming Ice Age, and now they’ve made a complete turnaround, complaining about global warming.

    Sorry, I don’t trust anything that Evolutionary Darwinian socialists like you have say; that’s what Hitler was, and he was an environmentalist, too, passing legislation to protect the Black Forest, and ordinances against smoking, just like today’s leftist.

    Most of species listed in the Endangered Species Act are invertebrates, insects and plants.

    Of the 338 animals listed as endangered, only 68 are mammals. The remaining include 62 types of clams, 24 types of snail, 36 types of insect and 74 types of fish.

    When children send money to protect endangered species, we can sleep soundly knowing they are helping to save the purple bankclimber mussel, which has been listed as a federally protected endangered species since 1998.

    In countries where there is little government interference, the natural environment is cleaner than in countries with controlled economies.

    Liberals have been playing Chicken Little for decades. They predicted we’re running out of water. They were wrong. They said pollution levels would not fall. They were wrong. They claimed the population was growing so fast it would outstrip the world’s capacity to feed them. Wrong. They claimed that reserves of oil and fossil fuels would get used up. Wrong. Now, because temperatures aren’t living up to the global warming scare, they’ve changed it to ‘climate change’ because you can be sure the weather is going to change, and then, it’s something we have to spend government money to control.

    How can anybody take you people seriously? Is it any wonder that leftists are more mentally unstable than conservatives? (actually I think the poll was Republican versus Democrat, but same difference.) Environmentalists always have this depressing doomsday scenario….it just varies slightly from decade to decade.

    You know what’s bad for the environment? Policies designed to punish businesses and the economy.

    There can be no clearer picture today than the idea of giving up our modern conveniences for the sake of threats that don’t exist. In Europe, where gas is over $6.00 a gallon, the taxes are still not high enough for the Greens. So the Greens here in America have little to complain about as far as the high price of oil. The oil companies make the same money whether it’s here or in Europe, yet, the European greens don’t complain about practically double the prices. That’s because they’re restricted with MORE TAXATION there. That seems to be their answer to everything; more government.

    Sustained Development is an odd and twisted concept that is actually not what Greens are actually working for. Free trade promotes economic development, and CAN protect the natural environment, but the environmentalists are opposed to free trade, technology, and supposedly, globalization (except where it comes to global warming). They believe that globalization and free markets lead to exploiting our natural resources. But open markets do exactly the opposite; they help preserve resources and protect the environment. Open markets invite competition that leads to increasing peoples’ choices. This competition creates innovation, new ideas and new technologies, resulting in cleaner production. Recycling, smart residue management and disposal and increased waste management are far more visible now as a result of free markets and improved technologies. But environmentalists are not happy with this at all. They’d rather we went to live in teepees, cooked our food over open fires, and celebrated the Winter Solstice.

    Globalization is a crucial instrument for economic and environmental improvement. Globalization can help developing countries with technologies they’d never dreamed of. You can see what’s happened with Afghanistan and Iraq in this area. India, for example, can use more developed technology to increase its agricultural yields. And if you can imagine an India self-sufficient in food production, I’ve made my point. Increasing their agricultural productivity could create a surplus for export. Imagine!

    Sustainable development as proposed by environmentalists doesn’t allow for environmental or economic development at all. It would keep a developing country in a permanent state of limbo and hardship.

    Human civilization has had “sustained development” for 3,000 years without following ‘sustainable development’ and the guidance of environmentalist planners. The result is -a world that is healthier and wealthier, despite their caterwauling. We live in a world with more natural resources at our disposal than ever before. “Sustainable development” as proposed by environmentalists, in fact, is unsustainable. In order to make the most of development, you must encourage that which increases economic growth and technological progress by means of open markets and capitalism.

    The “sustainable development” advocates oppose commercial technology on the grounds that it degrades the environment. But the fact is, though, modern technologies improve the quality of the environment and economic health at the same time. There is no need to trade one for the other. Our natural resources are more abundant today because of the development of technologies, and here’s why: change, recycling, innovation and discovery of substitutes. Technology actually improves the effective supplies of our natural resources. Greater efficiency of fuel source use reduces the quantities we use of those resources. For example, the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration says the amount of petroleum and natural gas necessary to produce a dollar’s worth of GDP has declined by 29% since 1980. Per unit of GDP, computers have reduced energy consumption by 1/3 in the last 25 years in the U.S.. Not as much steel is used to build bridges and manufacture cars because of CAD-CAM design systems. And these are just a few of the advantages that we have today because of modern technology which boosts economies.

    Some people have confused the difference between rich and poor nations. They’ve missed a basic economic point: it’s not just that the rich nations have more than the poor nations, but that the rich nations produce more goods and services. The reason for that is – is they can do it because their technology is better. And so, basic economics 101 shows us that supply and demand works. Growth economies depend on increases in human knowledge, expressed through technological progress. Since the middle ages, technology has been one of the chief factors in determining economic growth and income. By the 1700’s, Europe was richer than other non-European economies, and technological progress was responsible for it.

    Faster economic progress was a catalyst for encouraging the search and around the development of new technologies. Just as in the case for global warming today, things look bad when you take one section of time and don’t look at the entire picture. Technological progress has had environmental consequences, such as air and water pollution and deforestation, for the short term. But looking at the bigger picture, you can see the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Stroll down memory lane with me for a second and remember 16th century coal mining in Europe was overtaken by 19th century oil drilling. Coal mining and oil drilling saved forests that were being cut down for fuel, and whales that were being hunted for oil. The Italian academic Cesare Marchetti traced how man’s source of power has gradually moved from wood to coal to oil to gas during the last century-and-a-half. “Each of these fuels is successively richer in hydrogen and poorer in carbon than its predecessor, so we seem to be moving towards using pure hydrogen…” What an epiphany! The de-carbonization of the world economy, accompanied by a shift from dirty-to-cleaner technologies, because of improved technological developments, is occurring all by itself, without any political directives!

    By the same token, giving our technologies away to socialist or communist “developing countries” that have no free markets is a prescription for failure as it is not teaching them self-reliance, or helping them to develop their own solutions, it just makes them more dependent on us, and in the end, lines the pockets of greedy dictators and bureacrats, and does nothing to improve their already starving economies.

  24. I have real science on my side; you have propaganda, just as the soviets did.

    Malaria Journal is “propaganda?” Centers for Disease Control, and the Wellcome Trust is “propaganda?”

    Right. And I am Marie, the queen of Romania.

    If you have the facts to refute the scientists, lay it out. The 30-year-old, misinterpreted citations from Gordon Edwards do not make current research “propaganda.”

  25. When evolutionists study these worldwide resistance movements, they see four classes of adaptations arising, because an insect under attack has four possible routes to survival.

    First, it can simply dodge. Strains of malarial mosquitoes in Africa used to fly into a hut, sting someone, and then land on the hut wall to digest their meals. In the 1950s and 1960s health workers began spraying hut walls with DDT. Unfortunately in every village there were always a few mosquitoes that would fly in through the window, bite, and fly right back out. Millions of mosquitoes died, but these few survived and multiplied. Within a short time almost all of the mosquitoes in the villages were hit-and-run mosquitoes.

    Second, if an insect cannot dodge, it can evolve a way to keep the poison from getting under its cuticle. Some diamondback moths, if they land on a leaf that is tainted with pyrethroids, will fly off and leave their poisoned legs behind, an adaptive trick known as “legdrop.”

    Third, if the insect can’t keep the poison out, it may evolve an antidote. A mosquito species called Culex pipiens can now survive massive doses of organophosphate insecticides. The mosquitoes actually digest the poison, using a suite of enzymes known as esterases. The genes that make these esterases are known as alleles B1 and B2. Many strains of Culex pipiens now carry as many as 250 copies of the B1 allele and 60 copies of the B2.

    Because these genes are virtually identical, letter by letter, from continent to continent, it seems likely that they came from a single lucky mosquito. The mutant, the founder of this particular resistance movement, is thought to have lived in the 1960s, somewhere in Africa or Asia. The genes first appeared in Californian mosquitoes in 1984, in Italian mosquitoes in 1985, and in French mosquitoes in 1986.

    Finally, if the insect can’t evolve an antidote,it can sometimes find an internal dodge. The poison has a target somewhere inside the insect’s body. The insect can shrink this target, or move it, or lose it. Of the four types of adaptations, the four survival strategies, this is the hardest for evolution to bring off — but [entomologist Martin] Taylor thinks this is how Heliothis [virescens, a cotton boll-eating moth] is evolving now.

    “It always seems amazing to me that evolutionists pay so little attention to this kind of thing,” says Taylor. “And that cotton growers are having to deal with these pests in the very states whose legislatures are so hostile to the theory of evolution. Because it is evolution itself they are struggling against in their fields each season. These people are trying to ban the teaching of evolution while their own cotton crops are failing because of evolution. How can you be a creationist farmer any more?”

    Jonathan Weiner, The Beak of the Finch, a story of evolution in our time, Alfred A. Knopf 1994, pp. 254-255. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 1994.

  26. Cao said:

    No mutations produce stronger individuals; this is also true in human biology.

    That’s absolutely untrue. No genetics book, no genetics scientist would support such a claim. See previous post on mosquitoes — the B1 and B2 mutations both make a much stronger mosquito.

  27. hehehe you’re a pest.

    Hundreds of millions of people will soon perish in smog disasters in New York and Los Angeles…the oceans will die of DDT poisoning by 1979…the U.S. life expectancy will drop to 42 years by 1980 due to cancer epidemics.
    – Paul Ehrlich, 1969 in Ramparts. (If the context at the end of the article is read very, very carefully, this one can be seen as a warning – not a flat prediction. Note the precision of the “42 years”.)

    To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem.
    – Lamont Cole (as quoted by Elizabeth Whelan in her book Toxic Terror)

    I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds.
    – Paul Watson, founder of Greenpeace (quoted in Access to Energy, Vol. 10, No. 4, Dec 1982)

    The planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [human beings] are the disease. We should be at war with ourselves and our lifestyles.
    – Thomas Lovejoy, tropical biologist and assistant secretary to the Smithsonian Institution (quoted by David Brooks in The Wall Street Journal article, “Journalists and Others for Saving the Planet, 1989)

    [W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
    – Stephen Schneider (quoted in Our Fragile Earth by Jonathan Schell)

  28. Finch Beaks, by the way are another myth of evolutionists.

    You’re getting to be quite reliable with the recycling of these lies.

    Darwinism is materialist mythology.

    I should now call you Trofrim Lysenko.

    From Johnson’s “Darwinism is Materialist Mythology, Not Science”:

    The root of the problem is that “science” has been given two contradictory definitions in modern culture. On the one hand, science refers to a method of investigation involving procedures like careful measurements and repeatable experiments. Science, by definition, requires investigators to maintain a skeptical attitude, insisting that all claims be carefully tested. That requirement of unbiased testing should extend to the central Darwinist claims that some combination of chance and physical law is sufficient to cause life to emerge spontaneously from non-living chemicals, and that the Darwinist mechanism of random genetic variation and natural selection is capable of designing complex organs such as brains and vision systems. There is no proof that natural selection-or any law/chance combination-has any of the creative power Darwinists claim for it

    *snip*

    The lack of proof should be enough to discredit Darwinism
    , except that the second definition of science comes to the theory’s rescue by dispensing the need for proof. Science has become identified with a philosophy known as materialism or naturalism. This philosophy insists that nature is all there is, and nature is made up of particles. It follows that matter had to do its own creating, and that the means of creation must not have included a role for anything outside of nature, such as a God. Scientists guided by this second definition are not permitted to approach materialism with open minds or skeptical questions, but must believe it on faith and consider no objections. If materialism is true, then something at least roughly like Darwinism must be true as a matter of logic, because materialist science has no other alternative. Scientific inquiry is limited to the details, because the fundamental points are all decided by defining “science” as applied materialist philosophy.

    The reason the theory of evolution is so important to society is that it is the main scientific prop for a godless philosophy that either repudiates Christian theism or confines it to the marginal realm of subjective personal experience that has no standing as public knowledge. Students first learn to recite that “evolution is a fact” and then they gradually learn more and more about what that “fact” means. It means that all living things are the product of mindless material forces such as chemical laws, natural selection, and random variation. That means that God is out of the picture, and humans (like everything else) are the accidental product of a purposeless universe. It is futile for Christians to try to reconcile their faith with Darwinist claims by imagining that natural selection is God’s means of creating, because the claim that natural selection has creative power is derived not from the impartial testing of evidence, but from a materialist philosophy that excludes God by definition.

    *snip*

    Now the finch beaks story.

    Here is one example of how real science is replaced by flim-flam. The standard textbook example of how natural selection involves a species of finches in the Galapagos, whose beaks have been measured over many years. In 1977 a drought killed most of the finches, and the survivors had beaks slightly larger than the previous average. The probable explanation was that the larger-beaked birds had an advantage in eating the last tough seeds that remained. A few years later, there was a flood, and after that, the average beak size went back to normal. Nothing new appeared, and there was no directional change of any kind. Nonetheless, that is the most impressive example of natural selection at work that the Darwinists have been able to find after nearly a century and a half of searching.

    To make it look even better, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences removed some facts in its 1998 book on how to teach evolution. This version omits the flood year return-to-normal and encourages teachers to tell their pupils that a “new species of finch” might arise in 200 years if the initial trends towards increased beak size continued indefinitely. When our leading scientists have to resort to this sort of distortion, that would land a stock promoter in prison, you know there must be something wrong with their science.

    If Darwinists wanted to teach scientific investigation rather than indoctrinate, they would encourage students to think about why, if natural selection has been continuously active in creating, the observed examples involve only very limited back-and-forth variation that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. They also would acknowledge that the fossil record overall is difficult to reconcile with the steady process of gradual transformation as predicted by the neo-Darwinian theory. Given these problems and others, how impressive would the evidence for Darwinism look if we did not assume at the start that nature had to do its own creating, so a material creation mechanism simply has to exist regardless of the evidence? That is the kind of question that Darwinists don’t want to encourage students to ask, so they impose rules that make it effectively impossible to challenge their theory and hope the public never learns to see through the smokescreen.

  29. The four-winged fruitflies were mutant and not able to survive. They can’t reproduce, can’t fly, and live shorter lives than regular fruit flies.

    The peppered moth doesn’t even sit on tree trunks; they were placed there for a photo op.

    In 1998, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne wrote: “From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong.” According to Coyne, the fact that peppered moths rarely rest on tree trunks “alone invalidates Kettlewell’s release-and-recapture experiments, as moths were released by placing them directly onto tree trunks.” Coyne concluded that this “prize horse in our stable of examples” of natural selection “is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention” (Nature, Nov. 5, 1998).

    The Fortes Finch beaks didn’t ‘improve’, they ‘evolved’ by staying the same. Great logic on that one.

    Vestigial organs actually DO have a purpose. And so on. If there was so much scientific evidence, why do they use the same old has-been examples of what they’re talking about in textbooks to prop the myth?

    That’s why I’m calling it a myth, the examples of ’science’ have all been disproven.

  30. 1. Origin of Life. Why do textbooks claim that the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment shows how life’s building blocks may have formed on the early Earth—when conditions on the early Earth were probably nothing like those used in the experiment, and the origin of life remains a mystery?

    2. Darwin’s Tree of Life. Why don’t textbooks discuss the “Cambrian explosion,” in which all major animal groups appear together in the fossil record fully formed, instead of branching from a common ancestor—thus contradicting the evolutionary tree of life?

    3. Homology. Why do textbooks define homology as similarity due to common ancestry, then claim that it is evidence for common ancestry—a circular argument masquerading as scientific evidence?

    4. Vertebrate Embryos. Why do textbooks use drawings of similarities in vertebrate embryos as evidence for their common ancestry—even though biologists have known vertebrate embryos are not most similar in their early stages, and the drawings are faked?

    5. Archaeopteryx. Why do textbooks portray this fossil as the missing link between dinosaurs and modern birds—even though modern birds are probably not descended from it, and its supposed ancestors do not appear until millions of years after it?

    6. Peppered Moths. Why do textbooks use pictures of peppered moths camouflaged on tree trunks as evidence for natural selection—when biologists have known since the 1980s that the moths don’t normally rest on tree trunks, and all the pictures have been staged?

    7. Darwin’s Finches. Why do textbooks claim that beak changes in Galapagos finches during a severe drought can explain the origin of species by natural selection—even though the changes were reversed after the drought ended, and no evolution remained?

    8. Mutant Fruit Flies. Why do textbooks use fruit flies with an extra pair of wings as evidence that DNA mutations can supply raw materials for evolution—even though the extra wings have no muscles and these disabled mutants cannot survive outside the laboratory?

    9. Human Origins. Why are artists’ drawings of ape-like humans used to justify materialistic claims that we are just animals and our existence is a mere accident—when fossil experts cannot even agree on who our supposed ancestors were or what they looked like?

    10. Evolution a Fact? Why are we told that Darwin’s theory of evolution is a scientific fact—even though many of its claims are based on misrepresentations of the facts?

  31. Key postulates of Darwin’s theory – universal common descent, the continuity of life, and transitions in the fossil record – have come under intense scientific scrutiny from a diverse array of fields, including molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry, and paleontology.

    Some of Darwin’s failed predictions include:

    • The failure of evolutionary biology to provide detailed evolutionary explanations for the origin of complex biochemical features

    • The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution

    • The failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for universal common descent

    • The failure of genetics and chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code

    • The failure of developmental biology to explain why vertebrate embryos diverge from the beginning of development.

    Source

  32. cao said:

    Here is one example of how real science is replaced by flim-flam. The standard textbook example of how natural selection involves a species of finches in the Galapagos, whose beaks have been measured over many years. In 1977 a drought killed most of the finches, and the survivors had beaks slightly larger than the previous average. The probable explanation was that the larger-beaked birds had an advantage in eating the last tough seeds that remained. A few years later, there was a flood, and after that, the average beak size went back to normal. Nothing new appeared, and there was no directional change of any kind. Nonetheless, that is the most impressive example of natural selection at work that the Darwinists have been able to find after nearly a century and a half of searching.To make it look even better, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences removed some facts in its 1998 book on how to teach evolution. This version omits the flood year return-to-normal and encourages teachers to tell their pupils that a “new species of finch” might arise in 200 years if the initial trends towards increased beak size continued indefinitely. When our leading scientists have to resort to this sort of distortion, that would land a stock promoter in prison, you know there must be something wrong with their science.

    Fantastic! You’ve got the facts almost exactly wrong — and after chiding me for not providing you with citations that met your as-yet-undetermined criteria for satisfactory, you don’t provide a single citation there!

    Johnson is not a reliable reporter on these issues.

    1. Johnson has no original research — he’s summarizing the work of Rosemary and Peter Grant — the ornithologists who did the work — and their conclusions were that they had witnessed an event of profound natural selection, followed by sexual selection to seal the results. Their articles were published in several top-notch science journals. Johnson, oddly, never mentions where he gets his data. It appears he’s getting it without attribution from Jonathan Weiner’s book, The Beak of the Finch.

    So all of Johnson’s claims are based on information he has at best third hand. He claims to know better than the people who were there. That’s highly unlikely.

    2. It’s not exactly correct just to say that the drought killed “most” of the birds, though of course it did. The drought selectively killed birds. It was natural selection in action.

    3. Survivors were the oldest in each of the three species. Not a single bird was born on the island in the year of the drought, at least none that made it out of the nest. Only one young fortis born the year before survived. The drought selected for older birds.

    4. But beak shape and size seemed to be the criteria for selection. The measurements are described in detail on pages 77 and 78 of Weiner’s book (and in other research publications). It was one of the most intense episodes of natural selection ever recorded — a beak size difference of one half a millimeter was the line of demarcation.

    5. There was no “flood” on Daphne Major (the island where these observations occur). Rains returned in normal amounts.

    6. While 65% to 80% of the birds in each species perished, more females than males died. The sex ratios were skewed to about 6 to 1, males to females. Females had the pick of six males each. (This sets up sexual selection exactly as Darwin described it.)

    7. Females did not select mates randomly, but instead picked the males most suited for getting through a drought, generally the largest of the large, the ones with the deepest beaks, the beaks most successful at getting food.

    Weiner writes, in contrast to Johnsons completely unevidenced claim of a “return to previous conditions”:

    Now it became of great significance that variations of body and beak are passed on from one generation to the next with fidelity. As a result, the males’ unequal luck in love helped to perpetuate the effects of the drought. The male and female fortis that survived in 1978 were already significantly bigger birds than the average fortis had been before the drought. Of this group the males that became fathers were bigger than the rest. And the young birds that hatched and grew up that year turned out to be big too, and their beaks were deep. The average fortis beak of the new generation was 4 or 5 percent deeper than the beak of their ancestors before the drought.

    (Weiner, p. 81)

    As Weiner notes, the beaks were not just bigger, but bigger in specific ways — not longer, for example. A longer beak offered no advantage the multiple regression analysis showed.

    8. The researchers reported a dramatic shift in bird characteristics that was cemented in place by sexual selection — there was no regression to the previous state as Johnson states.

    Johnson got it exactly wrong.

    But don’t take my word for it. Read the book for yourself. You’ll find yourself wondering just how Johson could have misread the book. Wishful thinking is a particularly powerful form of denial. Johnson seems to have caught that particular germ.

    As to the scurrilous allegation that the National Academy of Sciences is hiding something, I challenge you to show any deleted material. I have copies of the book from 1998 onward, and except for minor typos being fixed, I can find no changes at all.

    Here’s the URL of the book — be specific, tell us what parts the scientists deleted. I don’t want scurrilous allegations that are so fuzzy you don’t know what you’re talking about. Be specific: http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/

    You’ll note that’s the second edition, so we’re pretty sure there were some changes. The challenge is to show that anything was removed. Since your claim is that the “flood year” was removed, and since we’ve read the passages from Weiner’s book and know there was never any “flood year,” your entire allegation appears to be based on completely misunderstood, or invented, claims.

    You keep asking me to stick to the facts, Cao, just before you take off on a flight of whole cloth prevaricative fantasy. Standards are standards. Stick to ‘em, we’ll get to the bottom of these issues more easily, and probably much faster.

    Have you read Weiner’s book? Have you even requested it from the library yet?

  33. Nobody got anything wrong, but you.

    But you can continue your malicious malignments, lol….

    You’re not impressing me at the least.

    the Darwinian theory of Evolution is a Victorian myth and people should be allowed to learn alternatives that allow scientific inquiry- since it’s a THEORY that has been disproven. They have come up with no new evidence; they keep recycling the old tired fraudulent dyed-to-match skulls, etc.

    It is an antiquated theory.

    Piltdown man’s skull was a fraud, just like the rest of the supposed ‘science’ they are using to back it up with. And altering the texts to take out the fact that the finches reverted back to their original state – demonstrates that the darwinist evolutionists are AFRAID.

    I’m not going to read your propaganda, Lysenko.

    Have you read about what happened to Lysenko? It’s going to happen to the Darwinists and the Rachel Carson followers, too, since none of that malarchy is based on scientific evidence; but materialist mythology.

    Good luck with that, Lysenko!

  34. Lysenko, of course, was opposed to evolution and Darwin. He, like modern creationists, proposed to keep Darwin out of classrooms by force of law.

    Cao, your arguments are positively unholy.

  35. Cao said:

    The four-winged fruitflies were mutant and not able to survive. They can’t reproduce, can’t fly, and live shorter lives than regular fruit flies.

    I’m not sure what your point is on four-winged fruit flies. Fact is that a lot of insects have four wings, but most have two of them in the vestigial stage. I don’t think Jonathan Wells knows what he intended with that chapter — it’s almost totally irrelevant to evolution, even were it accurate on the genetics, which it apparently is not. See here:

    http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/staff/dave/FourWingedFlies.html

    The peppered moth doesn’t even sit on tree trunks; they were placed there for a photo op.

    Well, that’s wrong. Think about this hard: A tree has bark and leaves. Do the moths rest on leaves? Almost never. What’s left?

    Wells’ claim is bizzarre, and contradicted by every — that’s right, every — scientist who has ever studied moths. Michael Majerus, the leading researcher on peppered moths today, released a paper this year exposing Jonathan Wells’ claims as false:

    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/creationists-lose-key-texas-case/

    And, that’s putting it politely. Check the references — every person Wells cites in his chapter on peppered moths has stated publicly that Wells is making the stuff up. In the most polite terms possible, they call Wells a liar.

    Not a few, every one. Every single person Wells cites has publicly stated that Wells got it wrong.

    Wells complains about the photographs of the moths — but the photographs were only done to show that moths look different than the bark of the tree, or that they look the same. The conditions under which the photographs were taken have absolutely no effect on the quality of the science, unless they were not peppered moths, and not trees.

    Surely you could see that if you read Wells’ chapter, or any other publication on the moths, anywhere.

    In 1998, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne wrote: “From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong.” According to Coyne, the fact that peppered moths rarely rest on tree trunks “alone invalidates Kettlewell’s release-and-recapture experiments, as moths were released by placing them directly onto tree trunks.” Coyne concluded that this “prize horse in our stable of examples” of natural selection “is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention” (Nature, Nov. 5, 1998).

    Coyne? Yeah, Coyne called for more research. But Coyne also called Wells a liar.

    Here’s the full text of Coyne’s letter to the Pratt, Kansas, Tribune in December 2000:

    “Pratt Tribune”
    December 06, 2000

    Jerry A. Coyne
    Criticism of moth study no challenge to evolution

    I have learned that the Pratt school board, apparently responding to creationist pressure, has recently revised its tenth-grade biology curriculum to include material that encourages students to question the theory of evolution. In reading the standards, I see that one of my articles – an article constantly misrepresented by creationists – is included as a supplementary reading used to cast doubt on evolution.

    Except for a few creationist dissenters, the community of professional biologists has long accepted evolution as an essential theory supported by innumerable pieces of evidence. To make students think otherwise is as harmful as urging them to question the value of antibiotics because there are a few people who believe in spiritual healing.

    My article appended to the Pratt standards is a re-evaluation of a classic evolutionary story in which rapid changes in the proportions of color forms of peppered moths occurred in only about 100 years. This evolutionary change is thought to be a response to air pollution, changes in the colors of trees, and increased bird predation. My only problem with the peppered-moth story is that I am not certain whether scientists have identified the precise agent causing the natural selection and evolutionary change. It may well be bird predators, but the experiments leave room for doubt.

    Creationists such as Jonathan Wells claim that my criticism of these experiments casts strong doubt on Darwinism. But this characterization is false. All of us in the peppered moth debate agree that the moth story is a sound example of evolution produced by natural selection. My call for additional research on the moths has been wrongly characterized by creationists as revealing some fatal flaw in the theory of evolution.

    In reality, the debate over what causes natural selection on moths is absolutely normal in our field. It is not uncommon for scientists to reexamine previous work and find it incomplete, or even wrong. This is the normal self-correcting mechanism of science. Textbook examples may be altered as additional data are found. Creationists, on the other hand, neither air their disagreements in public or admit that they were wrong. This is because their goal is not to achieve scientific truth, but to expel evolution from the public schools.

    It is a classic creationist tactic (as exemplified in Wells’ book, “Icons of Evolution”) to assert that healthy scientific debate is really a sign that evolutionists are either committing fraud or buttressing a crumbling theory. In reality, evolution and natural selection are alive and well, with new supporting evidence arriving daily.

    I strongly object to the use of my article by the Pratt school board to cast doubt on Darwinism. And I feel sorry for the students who are being misled by creationists into doubting one of the most vigorous and well-supported theories in biology.

    Jerry A. Coyne
    Professor of Ecology & Evolution
    The University of Chicago
    Original:

    http://www.pratttribune.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2000/December/06-663-news91.txt

    In private, Coyne tends to be a little more forceful against Wells. Wells is a charlatan, in other words.

    Cao, I resent your citing a known liar on this point. There is no scientist who has ever worked with moths who will support Wells, and no scientist who has ever published an article on this subject who will vouch for Wells’ bizarre, false and hoaxed views.

    The Fortes Finch beaks didn’t ‘improve’, they ‘evolved’ by staying the same. Great logic on that one.

    Refer to my previous post. You have this exactly wrong. Your source is misleading you, and as I quoted from Weiner’s book, you can see that the fortis beaks did, indeed, demonstrate natural selection in action, cemented by sexual selection — classic case of Darwinian evolution, observed in real time, in our lifetimes.

    Why Phillip Johnson makes his bizarre claim against the Grants’ research, I don’t understand. The Grants are quite clear that they observed natural selection. Hundreds of scientists who have reviewed their papers in various journals agree. Dozens of scientists have reviewed their data, and they agree.

    Johnson, after his stroke, from an armchair in an apartment in Berkeley, California, claims to take issue — but with no new data, no study of the old data, and nothing else to back his claims.

    Stick with the truth, stick with the facts. Please.

    Vestigial organs actually DO have a purpose. And so on. If there was so much scientific evidence, why do they use the same old has-been examples of what they’re talking about in textbooks to prop the myth?

    If you have serious questions about the examples offered, why not state them? I’ve noted that the science is solid. Since the science is solid, since you can’t state any problem with the science, why not stick with it?

    Stick with the truth — that’s a very good tactic. It’s the moral thing to do, as well as the scientific thing to do.

    Why stick to the “same old” examples? Because anything else would be a lie.

    That’s why I’m calling it a myth, the examples of ’science’ have all been disproven.

    You can’t cite any paper that disproves any of them. The best you can do is to cite a Moonie, known prevaricator, Jonathan Wells, whose writings on these topics have been repudiated by every scientist familiar with the data.

    You’re calling it a myth because you don’t have any evidence to contradict it.

    While complaining about my citations, not one of which you have ever questioned, we see the real problem: You don’t understand the science, and you don’t have anything accurate or honorable to support your bias.

  36. Okay, since you don’t know how to clear your too-sensitive spam filters (they catch citations — or is that your plan?), here it is in parts:

    Part I

    Cao said:

    The four-winged fruitflies were mutant and not able to survive. They can’t reproduce, can’t fly, and live shorter lives than regular fruit flies.

    I’m not sure what your point is on four-winged fruit flies. Fact is that a lot of insects have four wings, but most have two of them in the vestigial stage. I don’t think Jonathan Wells knows what he intended with that chapter — it’s almost totally irrelevant to evolution, even were it accurate on the genetics, which it apparently is not. See here:

    http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/staff/dave/FourWingedFlies.html

    See Part II

  37. Part II

    The peppered moth doesn’t even sit on tree trunks; they were placed there for a photo op.

    Well, that’s wrong. Think about this hard: A tree has bark and leaves. Do the moths rest on leaves? Almost never. What’s left?

    Wells’ claim is bizarre, and contradicted by every — that’s right, every — scientist who has ever studied moths. Michael Majerus, the leading researcher on peppered moths today, released a paper this year exposing Jonathan Wells’ claims as false:

    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/creationists-lose-key-texas-case/

    (Continued in Part III)

  38. Part III
    And, that’s putting it politely. Check the references — every person Wells cites in his chapter on peppered moths has stated publicly that Wells is making the stuff up. In the most polite terms possible, they call Wells a liar.

    Not a few, every one. Every single person Wells cites has publicly stated that Wells got it wrong.

    Wells complains about the photographs of the moths — but the photographs were only done to show that moths look different than the bark of the tree, or that they look the same. The conditions under which the photographs were taken have absolutely no effect on the quality of the science, unless they were not peppered moths, and not trees.

    Surely you could see that if you read Wells’ chapter, or any other publication on the moths, anywhere.

    In 1998, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne wrote: “From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong.” According to Coyne, the fact that peppered moths rarely rest on tree trunks “alone invalidates Kettlewell’s release-and-recapture experiments, as moths were released by placing them directly onto tree trunks.” Coyne concluded that this “prize horse in our stable of examples” of natural selection “is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention” (Nature, Nov. 5, 1998).

    Coyne? Yeah, Coyne called for more research. But Coyne also called Wells a liar.

    Here’s the full text of Coyne’s letter to the Pratt, Kansas, Tribune in December 2000, in which Coyne carefully explains how your citing him is in error, and how Jonathan Wells lied to you (and to everyone else):

    “Pratt Tribune”
    December 06, 2000

    Jerry A. Coyne
    Criticism of moth study no challenge to evolution

    I have learned that the Pratt school board, apparently responding to creationist pressure, has recently revised its tenth-grade biology curriculum to include material that encourages students to question the theory of evolution. In reading the standards, I see that one of my articles – an article constantly misrepresented by creationists – is included as a supplementary reading used to cast doubt on evolution.

    Except for a few creationist dissenters, the community of professional biologists has long accepted evolution as an essential theory supported by innumerable pieces of evidence. To make students think otherwise is as harmful as urging them to question the value of antibiotics because there are a few people who believe in spiritual healing.

    My article appended to the Pratt standards is a re-evaluation of a classic evolutionary story in which rapid changes in the proportions of color forms of peppered moths occurred in only about 100 years. This evolutionary change is thought to be a response to air pollution, changes in the colors of trees, and increased bird predation. My only problem with the peppered-moth story is that I am not certain whether scientists have identified the precise agent causing the natural selection and evolutionary change. It may well be bird predators, but the experiments leave room for doubt.

    Creationists such as Jonathan Wells claim that my criticism of these experiments casts strong doubt on Darwinism. But this characterization is false. All of us in the peppered moth debate agree that the moth story is a sound example of evolution produced by natural selection. My call for additional research on the moths has been wrongly characterized by creationists as revealing some fatal flaw in the theory of evolution.

    In reality, the debate over what causes natural selection on moths is absolutely normal in our field. It is not uncommon for scientists to reexamine previous work and find it incomplete, or even wrong. This is the normal self-correcting mechanism of science. Textbook examples may be altered as additional data are found. Creationists, on the other hand, neither air their disagreements in public or admit that they were wrong. This is because their goal is not to achieve scientific truth, but to expel evolution from the public schools.

    It is a classic creationist tactic (as exemplified in Wells’ book, “Icons of Evolution”) to assert that healthy scientific debate is really a sign that evolutionists are either committing fraud or buttressing a crumbling theory. In reality, evolution and natural selection are alive and well, with new supporting evidence arriving daily.

    I strongly object to the use of my article by the Pratt school board to cast doubt on Darwinism. And I feel sorry for the students who are being misled by creationists into doubting one of the most vigorous and well-supported theories in biology.

    Jerry A. Coyne
    Professor of Ecology & Evolution
    The University of Chicago
    Original:

    http://www.pratttribune.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2000/December/06-663-news91.txt

    In private, Coyne tends to be a little more forceful against Wells. Wells is a charlatan, in other words.

    Cao, I resent your citing a known liar on this point. There is no scientist who has ever worked with moths who will support Wells, and no scientist who has ever published an article on this subject who will vouch for Wells’ bizarre, false and hoaxed views.

    (See Part IV)

  39. Part IV

    The Fortes Finch beaks didn’t ‘improve’, they ‘evolved’ by staying the same. Great logic on that one.

    Refer to my previous post quoting from Weiner’s book. You have this exactly wrong. Your source is misleading you, and as I quoted from Weiner’s book, you can see that the fortis beaks did, indeed, demonstrate natural selection in action, cemented by sexual selection — classic case of Darwinian evolution, observed in real time, in our lifetimes.

    Why Phillip Johnson makes his bizarre claim against the Grants’ research, I don’t understand. The Grants are quite clear that they observed natural selection. Hundreds of scientists who have reviewed their papers in various journals agree. Dozens of scientists have reviewed their data, and they agree.

    Johnson, after his stroke, from an armchair in an apartment in Berkeley, California, claims to take issue — but with no new data, no study of the old data, and nothing else to back his claims.

    Stick with the truth, stick with the facts. Please.

    Vestigial organs actually DO have a purpose. And so on. If there was so much scientific evidence, why do they use the same old has-been examples of what they’re talking about in textbooks to prop the myth?

    If you have serious questions about the examples offered, why not state them? I’ve noted that the science is solid. Since the science is solid, since you can’t state any problem with the science, why not stick with it?

    Stick with the truth — that’s a very good tactic. It’s the moral thing to do, as well as the scientific thing to do.

    Why stick to the “same old” examples? Because anything else would be a lie.

    That’s why I’m calling it a myth, the examples of ’science’ have all been disproven.

    You can’t cite any paper that disproves any of them. The best you can do is to cite a Moonie, known prevaricator, Jonathan Wells, whose writings on these topics have been repudiated by every scientist familiar with the data.

    You’re calling it a myth because you don’t have any evidence to contradict it.

    While complaining about my citations, not one of which you have ever questioned, we see the real problem: You don’t understand the science, and you don’t have anything accurate or honorable to support your bias.

  40. May the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Christmas Yet To Be, all grace you with enlightenment, fact, and the ability to grow in your understanding.

    IHS,

  41. Wow, you are stalking me. It’s amusing to me that what I’m saying here is bothering you so much….your insistence that I pay attention to you reminds me of a child beating his spoon on his high chair.

    Yet, if I’m not mistaken, you are an adult. So please. Act like one.

    I am clearly not interested in your propaganda, Lysenko. I have said it numerous times, because I understand your seemingly endless spew– the tired old and antiquated ideas that fueled the regimes of Trotsky, Hitler and Stalin (among others).

    Since history proved that they’re on the wrong side of history, so it follows that you are, too.

    Poor Rachel Carson…no heaven and no hell. A dead woman with no soul…

    And by the way, it’s almost Christmas so if you’ll excuse me, I have things to attend to…

    Harmful philosophies based on evolution

    1. Communism
    2. Nazism
    3. Racism
    4. Imperialism
    5. Atheism
    6. Humanism
    7. Materialism
    8. Amoralism
    9. Scientism
    10. Pantheism
    11. Monopolism
    12. Anarchism
    13. Occultism
    14. Social Darwinism
    15. Behaviorism
    16. Freudianism

    Evil practices based on evolution

    1. abortion
    2. drug culture
    3. promiscuity
    4. eugenics
    5. pornography
    6. genocide
    7. chauvinism
    8. New-Agism
    9. euthanasia
    10. pollution
    11. bestiality
    12. Satanism
    13. homosexuality
    14. criminality
    15. cannibalism
    16. witchcraft

  42. The wags are right: It’s impossible to parody science illiteracy.

  43. Wives and Girlfriends of the English National Football team?

    Sometimes you make absolutely no sense when you talk gibberish.

    That’s why it’s almost like trying to translate from a different language.

    Is your first language English? It certainly doesn’t seem that way. You’re from another planet…

    I know you like to poke fun at people who don’t believe as you do; it’s something the evolutionary darwinian socialists of the Lysenko’s stripe all have in common. They even killed people who disagreed. Thank God it hasn’t come to that yet, lol

    You completely flatter yourself, LOL…is that because you’re not getting enough attention?

  44. This guy is “over the top”!!! Sheesh!!!

  45. You see, bathtub boy, she’s talking about you; although we already know you have an overinflated sense of yourself.

  46. You see, Cao, you out yourself when you call silly names instead of making note of the information.

    Just for the record, let it show that when we post the actual scientists noting the false claims of your sources, you had no response.

  47. I can’t speak for Cao, you bleeding twit, but I can speak for myself.

    Shut the hell up and stop stalking this woman.

  48. Well, Lysenko, I think you’ve made one serious error here, and that is in thinking that I’m your bitch.

    This blog doesn’t exist for your troll droppings in my comments section, and my sole purpose in life isn’t to do as you say.

  49. Some guy once said, “There are no victims; only volunteers.”

    I think you’re a badly misinformed person. Profanity never entered my mind.

  50. Guess what? I don’t care what you think.

 

28 Responses to More DDT poisoning

  1. graemebird says:

    500 million lives saved by DDT is not out of the question.

    “Rachel Carson died of cancer in 1964 at the age of 57, yet Edwards, who ate over 200x the normal intake of DDT, did not, and died at the ripe old age of 84 of a heart attack while hiking up a mountain in 2004. How do you explain that?”

    Thats a pretty good point. Its the case in general. DDT is not a carcinogen. Ed managed to on he fly decide that DDT gives people heart attacks decades after.

    Like

  2. Jackie says:

    LOL Mean Gene – you are right, hypocrisy and irony does humour make. Shall we pitch in and buy the righties tickets to the Creation Museum in KY, with a bonus side trip to Dollywood? I still think Ms. Cao is some sort of troll, and falls into the lost, lost souls of Bill OReilly, Rush, Coulter, and their ilk…won’t visit their sites or watch their shows. They are funny though, in a sad way. Thanks. (Just tired of interacting with these types, is all, even in my little universe)

    Like

  3. Mean Gene says:

    Don’t get too exercised about Cao and her troubles with facts/logic/reality. No matter the subject, she and her merry band will take the loony-right side and hang on no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. In fact, the MORE evidence there is the more they feel their position is correct! Because they’re the only ones who see the REAL truth!! There’s no irony here–they really believe this stuff. And it’s comedic gold.

    Like

  4. Jackie says:

    Oh, the Brits were quite kind, in their understated story about the Creation Museum! That one embarrassed me silly.

    Like

  5. Jackie says:

    Richard, I may be AMericanized, but not necessarily ‘mercan of birth or heritage. I think Cao is some sort of troll and embarrasses me to no end with inane ramblings. We are the laughing stock (have you been out of the country in the past decade or so?) of the world. They think we are fanatics who love to shoot guns, hire presidents who are not necessarily intelligent, and we treach creationism in schools. Our older brothers and sisters in Europe must be laughing and laughing. They scratch their heads and wonder why such wonderful people can STILL believe in so much junk science.

    Like

  6. Cao's Blog says:

    DDT; the myths and the reality

    It’s unfortunate that Environmentalists continue to carry the torch for Rachel Carson’s work, considering the incredible amount of damage that resulted from it.

    Like

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Ray, thanks for the correction! I have neither of those films here in my library to check. Faulty memory!

    Larry Lipton: There’s nothing wrong with you that a little Prozac and a polo mallet can’t cure.

    There. It’s for the ages.

    Like

  8. Ray C. says:

    Cao, what you and that liar for hire Milloy claim to be pushing — selective use of DDT to control malaria where appropriate — is already allowed.

    So how about you come clean and tell us your real agenda.

    Like

  9. Ray C. says:

    That quote about Prozac is from Manhattan Murder Mystery. Annie Hall was filmed well before Prozac was on the market.

    Like

  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Gerry Rising is a columnist for the great newspaper, The Buffalo News (which is part of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire/Hathaway holdings).

    Rising wrote a column praising Rachel Carson near her birthday last spring, and got a lot of comment. On November 25 his column dealt with the criticisms of Carson, drawn from comments to his earlier column. Rising’s view is quite middle of the road, and points the way to why the critics of Carson seem so shrill to me.

    You can find Risings column here: “Nature Watch: Critics of Carson Aim to Discredit Environmentalists,” Buffalo News, Nov. 25, 2007

    Readers and supporters of Cao’s blog would do well to check it out.

    Also, check this: “Not even wrong”

    Like

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    Activists blamed DDT for the disappearance of great birds such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Supposedly, the insecticide harmed bird reproduction by thinning egg shells.

    This eggshell thinning was confirmed by hundreds of follow-up studies. Moreover, a couple of researchers were able to get access to egg collections which covered eggs of birds going back 100 years. This research corroborated the findings that DDT and its byproducts caused eggshell thinning.

    The ultimate kicker, of course, is what happened after the DDT ban. Eggshell thinning of affected birds continued right up to 1972. Studies done every year since show recovery of eggshell thickness as DDT residual residues dropped in living birds. Reproductive successes of the affected birds follows the same trend lines, constantly downward from 1946 through 1972, and then up.

    Carson’s critics will carefully select a few birds whose reproductive histories follow different curves. Stick to the eagles, osprey and falcons, however, and you see exactly why DDT was indicted and convicted. The recovery of these species is hard testimony to the accuracy of the diagnoses.

    But the bald eagle and peregrine falcon were hunted to near extinction decades before DDT was first used in the U.S.

    True. Recovery of the eagle started in 1918 with the first law to protect them, and took off seriously after the law was strengthened in 1940. This recovery of the eagle from extinction was completely frustrated by the absence of young birds, starting in 1946.

    Previous hunting of predator birds does not change the fact that DDT was killing the species off for good, doing what hunting had been stopped from doing.

    Many human and environmental stressors can contribute to thin egg shells. Laboratory experiments purporting to link DDT with egg shell thinning involved massive doses of the chemical, far in excess of what occurred in the wild.

    USFWS studies showed that DDT was multiplied as it rose through the trophic levels of typical estuaries. A dosage of a few parts per billion to kill mosquitoes was multiplied 10 million times in the eagles at the top of the food chain. No birds were tested with dosages as high as eagles and osprey got — and those lab tests done with the raptors showed thinning eggs. Chickens and other non-raptors showed different results. Chicken eggs are not eagle eggs. Research on chickens, or pheasants, or other herbivorous birds cannot refute or rebut the research showing thinning shells of raptors, especially when that thinning of raptor eggshells was measured in the wild.

    LATER lab results, from experiments more carefully controlled to be more accurate, showed Carson’s fears were fully justified. Dr. Edwards oddly rarely mentions the hundreds of studies done AFTER 1962 — dozens of which were available by 1972 and EPA’s action.

    Moreover, bald eagle and falcon populations were already rebounding during the peak years of DDT use – thanks to laws limiting their hunting.

    This rebound was wholly wiped out by DDT. There is no study which supports this claim from Edwards.

    Like

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Standing at the edge of a garbage dump, seeing the festering mounds, hearing the flies, and smelling the stuff, one doesn’t need to dive into the mound to figure out what it is.

    There is little posted on Cao’s blog that is not rooted in the Gordon Edwards rant she posted above. The only reason to visit would be to register one’s disapproval, but that has not helped sway any views yet.

    Like

  13. Richard says:

    “I’m not going to visit CAO’s weblog … I wish she had a more open mind about viewing issues from all angles”

    I had heard that Americans had problems with irony, but even you guys must see this one! If not, then you can just think of it as hypocrisy.

    Like

  14. Jackie says:

    I’m not going to visit CAO’s weblog. Too far out there for me. based on the comments I’ve read. I wish she had a more open mind about viewing issues from all angles. Sometimes you can learn much by looking at oppositional POV’s, even ones you don’t agree with.

    Like

  15. Ed Darrell says:

    Edwards and Milloy argue that DDT is the best chemical ever invented, and they claim that 500 million deaths were prevented by DDT.

    Here is where I point out the figure was an editing error, and note that the publication they cite supports the ban on DDT, contrary to their assertions:
    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/fisking-junk-sciences-campaign-against-ddt-point-6/

    Please read.

    Like

  16. Milton Fillmore’s bathtub: self-proclaimed “expert” on Rachel Carson and DDT

    It’s good that he’s in a bathtub-where someone can watch him. His claims are a little bit far-fetched, particularly “The blog links to all the Lyndon Larouche crazies, all the tobacco lobbyist crazies, and acts as if such manure is g…

    Like

  17. Rachel Carson was WRONG

    From the Website (click on the image): Cultural myths often stand in the way of human progress—in some cases producing devastating consequences. In fact, today millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria…

    Like

  18. […] recent diatribe pointing at me and calling me ‘crazy’ is here. I answered in comments, but thought I’d turn it into a post. See if you can find a shred of […]

    Like

  19. […] recent diatribe pointing at me and calling me ‘crazy’ is here. I answered in comments, but thought I’d turn it into a post. See if you can find a shred of […]

    Like

  20. Cao's Blog says:

    Milton Fillmore’s bathtub: self-proclaimed “expert” on Rachel Carson and DDT

    This guy should really get out of the bathtub.
    His recent diatribe pointing at me and calling me ‘crazy’ is here. I answered in comments, but thought I’d turn it into a post. See if you can find a shred of empirical evidence or data…

    Like

  21. Ed Darrell says:

    It’ll take a while to wade through Edwards’ claims. You are aware, I trust, that he could not get his criticisms published because other scientists disagreed? He was quite a bit of a nut about it.

    So, Edwards finally pitched in with Lyndon Larouche.

    From the start, then, we should be very suspicious of Gordon Edwards’ conclusions, despite his long, glorious career as an entomologist. Other entomologists did not support his claims; President Kennedy’s science advisory panel clearly did not support them.

    But I’ll give specifics later.

    Like

  22. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ve not libeled nor slandered. Shame on you for making such accusations.

    I’ve given you the citations to check out these claims already.

    Bird damage? See the current Discover Magazine which carries the note about 1,000 studies. I had thought it was only a few hundred confirming studies. I’ve given this link to you before:
    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/nov/it.s-time-to-bring-back-ddt

    Despite the title, the article doesn’t call for bringing back DDT.

    You could look at any number of stories on the recovery of the bald eagle and its coming off the endangered species list. Each and every one of the articles noted the problems with DDT; a few detailed the difficulties.

    But seriously: Have you looked up any of those studies? I have yet to find any that say what Milloy says they say (you’re aware that all of those citations come from Steven Milloy, the guy who runs the junk science purveying site, right? He’s a former tobacco lobbyist, and can’t seem to break the habit.)

    For example, last night I combed through the 1941 and 1942 Audubon magazines for Milloy’s claim that the Christmas bird count in 1941, compared to 1961, showed eagle increases. They don’t. But who has the time to go back and check, or the resources?

    In fact, there is no total count listed from the 1941 count. There was no count done in 1942. In the 1961 issue, the name of the author was wrong, and the article expressly noted the damage from DDT suspected (this was two years before Silent Spring.

    In short, Milloy’s claims are false, at every turn. Had you checked out his citations, you could not have failed to notice that.
    How to tell if someone is wrong about DDT and Rachel Carson
    Peregrine falcons and “100 things”
    “100 things about DDT: #10”
    Milloy’s false claims about Judge Edmund Sweeney — a quick survey of the problems

    Please check out these citations. Check out my series of posts on this blog on Milloy’s “100 things you should know about DDT.” I’ve covered a dozen or so of them, finding in each case that he tries to mislead. Even where he’s got the facts right, he phrases the stuff to imply that DDT is safe (it’s not), and that Carson was hysterical (she wrote very conservatively).

    Consider this: Before the book was published, the chemical industry conducted a $250,000 publicity campaign against it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several science journals conducted their own investigations. Each of those investigations confirmed Carson’s statements from the research. President Kennedy appointed a panel of experts to review her work. The President’s Council of Science Advisors spent a year studying the book, and reported back that Carson was correct in every detail, and urged immediate action to stop the damage rather than the conservative study path Carson had outlined.

    Now, what do you and Steven Milloy know that the President’s Council didn’t know?

    Go to the website of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and see what they say. This is what they say after the Bush administration’s pro-DDT people worked it over. They were bound by law not to tell lies. http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/B0H.html

    Be sure to follow the links.

    And I would challenge you: Provide any corroboration from a credible source for the bizarre claims that DDT did not damage eagles. You’ve quoted Lyndon Larouche’s bunch — are you really a supporter of their bizarre stuff? — you’ve cited the “Competitive Enterprise Institute,” the tobacco lobbyist refuge where Steven Milloy hangs out these days taking oil and tobacco money to rail against environmentalists, always without reason. You’ve cited Elizabeth Whelan, who set up her own organization of crazies.

    How about a scientist? Have you read any real science reports?

    Go to Pub-Med, do a search for any of these issues. See what the real scientists really say.

    That’s a start.

    And, I urge you to read Rachel Carson’s book. She provided 53 pages of careful citations, to scientific studies and expert reports. Not a single one of those studies has ever been refuted, or found in error, in its major conclusions. Not one.

    Disagree? Name the study. But of course, you’d have to read the book first to do that.

    So read the book. Get the real dope. Don’t be misled by people who think it’s entertaining to mislead you, or people who mislead you for their profit.

    Off to meetings. Happy reading!

    Like

  23. Cao says:

    Please link to the studies you’re referring to. Making up a statistic (that probably doesn’t exist) doesn’t fly in my book.

    You’re saying ‘reason and evidence’, so show me ‘reason and evidence’ and dispense with the name calling.

    Like

  24. Cao says:

    Here’s some reason and empirical evidence:

    If you actually go through her book, like Dr. J. Gordon Edwards did, you will find some interesting “facts” that you’re not paying attention to.

    Look through the bibliography, for example. It’s filled with unscientific sources. Each reference is cited separately as though it’s a vast array of evidence, though it doesn’t come from very many different sources.

    Looking up the references that Carson cited and you’ll discover that they did not support her contentions about the harm caused by pesticides.

    Dedication. In the front of the book, Carson dedicates Silent Spring as follows: “To Albert Schweitzer who said ‘Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the Earth.’”

    This appears to indicate that the great man opposed the use of insecticides. However, in his autobiography Schweitzer writes, on page 262: “How much labor and waste of time these wicked insects do cause us … but a ray of hope, in the use of DDT, is now held out to us.” Upon reading his book, it is clear that Schweitzer was worried about nuclear warfare, not about the hazards from DDT.

    Page 16. Carson says that before World War II, while developing agents of chemical warfare, it was found that some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were lethal to insects. “The discovery did not come by chance: insects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.” Carson thus seeks to tie insecticides to chemical warfare. However, DDT was never tested as an “agent of death for man.” It was always known to be nonhazardous to humans! Her implication is despicable.

    Page 16. Carson says the pre-war insecticides were simple inorganic insecticides but her examples include pyrethrum and rotenone, which are complex organic chemicals.

    Page 17. Carson says arsenic is a carcinogen (identified from chimney soot) and mentions a great many horrible ways in which it is violently poisonous to vertebrates. She then says (page 18): “Modern insecticides are still more deadly,” and she makes a special mention of DDT as an example.

    This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse affects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result. The National Academy of Sciences concluded in 1965 that “in a little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million [human] deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.” The World Health Organization stated that DDT had “killed more insects and saved more people than any other substance.” A leading British scientist pointed out that “If the pressure groups had succeeded, if there had been a world ban on DDT, then Rachel Carson and Silent Spring would now be killing more people in a single year than Hitler killed in his whole holocaust.”

    It is a travesty, therefore, if Rachel Carson’s all-out attack on DDT results in any programs lauding her efforts to ban DDT and other life-saving chemicals!

    Page 18. Referring to chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides (like DDT) and organophosphates (like malathion), Carson says they are all “built on a basis of carbon atoms, which are also the indispensable building blocks of the living world, and thus classed as ‘organic.’ To understand them we must see how they are made, and how they lend themselves to the modifications which make them agents of death.”

    Surely it is unfair of Carson to imply that all insecticides are “agents of death” for animals other than insects.

    Page 21. After referring to untruthful allegations that persons ingesting as little as one tenth of a part per million (ppm) of DDT will then store “about 10 to 15 ppm,” Carson states that “such substances are so potent that a minute quantity can bring about vast changes in the body.” (She does not consider the metabolism and breakdown of DDT in humans and other vertebrates, and their excretion in urine, and so on, which prevents the alleged “biological magnification” up food chains from actually occurring.) Carson then states: “In animal experiments, 3 parts per million [of DDT] has been found to inhibit an essential enzyme in heart muscle; only 5 parts per million has brought about necrosis or disintegration of liver cells. …” This implies that considerable harm to one’s health might result from traces of DDT in the diet, but there has been no medical indication that her statements are true.

    On page 22, Carson adds, “… we know that the average person is storing potentially harmful amounts.” This is totally false!

    Page 23. Carson says, “the Food and Drug Administration forbids the presence of insecticide residues in milk shipped in interstate commerce.” This is not true, either! The permissible level was 0.5 ppm in milk being shipped interstate.

    Page 24. Carson says: “One victim who accidentally spilled a 25 percent industrial solution [of chlordane] on the skin developed symptoms of poisoning within 40 minutes and died before medical help could be obtained. No reliance can be placed on receiving advance warning which might allow treatment to be had in time.”

    The actual details regarding this accident were readily available at the time, but Carson evidently chose to distort them. The accident occurred in 1949 in the chemical formulation plant, when a worker spilled a large quantity down the front of her body. The liquid contained 25 pounds of chlordane, 39 pounds of solvent, and 10 pounds of emulsifier (Journal of the American Medical Association, Aug. 13, 1955). Carson’s reference to this as a “25 percent solution” spilled on the skin certainly underplays the severity of that drenching, which was the only account known of such a deadly contamination during the history of chlordane formulation.

    Page 28. Carson refers to the origin of organophosphate insecticides like parathion (the insecticide that EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus recommended as the substitute for DDT). She states that the insecticidal properties of organophosphates were “discovered by a German chemist, Gerhard Schrader, in the late 1930s” and that “Some became the deadly nerve gases. Others, of closely allied structure, became insecticides.”

    Actually, the insecticides of that nature were not discovered until after World War II (15 years later than Carson implied) and the similarity of insecticides to the dreaded nerve gases was greatly exaggerated by Carson. Carson’s attempt to spread terror about beneficial insecticides becomes even more vicious:

    Pages 36-37. Carson says: “Among the herbicides are some that are classed as ‘mutagens,’ or agents capable of modifying the genes, the materials of heredity. We are rightly appalled by the genetic effects of radiation; how then can we be indifferent to the same effect in chemicals that we disseminate widely in our environment?”

    Carson’s comparison between “radiation” and common herbicides is despicable, for there is a tremendous difference between their mutagenic potentials.

    Page 40. Carson claims that “an appalling deluge of chemical pollution is daily poured into the nation’s waterways,” that “Most of them are so stable that they cannot be broken down by ordinary processes,” and that “Often they cannot even be identified.”

    These are obviously overstatements designed to worry the reader by using frightening words and intimating that nobody knows what death-dealing chemicals are in the average person’s drinking water. Of course, if they can be detected, they can be identified. The amount of pollutants entering the drinking water of the country was repeatedly analyzed by experts and was found to be below levels that might cause human illness in homes. Carson’s scare-mongering statements would fit more appropriately in the pages of today’s supermarket tabloids.

    Pages 50-51. Carson writes that: “Arsenic, the environmental substance most clearly established as causing cancer in man, is involved in two historic cases in which polluted water supplies caused widespread occurrence of cancer.”

    I have seen no proof that arsenic causes cancer in humans, and it is known to occur naturally in most kinds of shellfish and other marine life. And, if she were really concerned about public health, Carson should have rejoiced to see that relatively harmless insecticides like DDT were capable of replacing arsenicals and other poisonous inorganic materials!

    Page 78. Referring to “weeds” (which are such foes of healthy crops that they must be decimated before the crops can mature and be harvested, Carson states: “Presumably the weed is taking something from the soil; perhaps it is also contributing something to it.”

    She is obviously correct about weeds taking something from the soil as every gardener knows by sad experience, but it takes a tremendous stretch of the imagination to suggest that weeds are desirable in fields of crops!

    Carson then refers to a city park in Holland where the soil around the roses was heavily infested by nematodes. Planting marigolds among the roses resulted in the death of the nematodes, she claims, and the roses then flourished. No reference was cited. Based on this unsubstantiated story, Carson concludes that “other plants that we ruthlessly eradicate may be performing a function that is necessary to the health of the soil.”

    So, soil with nematodes was just unhealthy anyway, but fields where weeds have crowded out the food crops had healthier soil even before crops were planted? Everyone who personally grows desirable plants will surely disagree with her!

    Page 80. Carson says: “Crabgrass exists only in an unhealthy lawn. It is a symptom, not a disease in itself.” When the soil is healthy and fertile it is an environment in which crabgrass cannot grow, she says, because other grasses will prevent it from surviving.

    Persons who have had crabgrass invade their beautiful lawn will quite rightly object to this wild unsubstantiated statement.

    “Astonishing amounts of crabgrass killers” are placed on lawns each year, including mercury, arsenic, and chlordane, she says, relishing the stupidity of nurserymen who have a lifetime of experience. She then cites examples where they “apply 60 pounds of technical chlordane to the acre if they follow directions. If they use another of the many available products, they are applying 175 pounds of metallic arsenic to the acre [highly questionable]. The toll of dead birds is distressing. … How lethal these lawns may be for human beings is unknown.”

    Page 85. Carson says we are “adding… a new kind of havoc—the direct killing of birds, mammals, fishes, and indeed practically every form of wildlife by chemical insecticides indiscriminately sprayed on the land.”

    Is it possible that Carson was unaware of the great increases in mammals and game birds harvested by hunters during the years of greatest use of the modern insecticides to which she objects? Is it possible that she was unaware of the tremendous increases in most kinds of North American birds, as documented year after year by participants in the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts? (That abundance was proven by the numbers of birds counted, per observer, on those counts.) The major things that limited numbers of fish during the ”DDT years” was the increasing competition among hordes of fishermen, the damming of multitudes of streams, and the sewage produced by our burgeoning population of healthy, well-fed American people.

    Instead of recognizing and appreciating these documented increases of wildlife, Carson says bitterly (page 85): “[Nothing must get in the way of the man with the spray gun. … The incidental victims of his crusade against insects count as nothing; if robins, pheasants, raccoons, cats, or even livestock happen to inhabit the same bit of earth as the target insects and to be hit by the rain of insect-killing poisons no one must protest.”

    Page 87. Carson bemoans the efforts to control the Japanese beetles in Detroit in 1959, saying, “Little need was shown for this drastic and dangerous action.” She then says that a naturalist in Michigan, who she claimed was very well informed, stated that the Japanese beetle had been present in Detroit for more than 30 years. (No entomologist had ever seen one there.) Carson’s naturalist also said that the beetles had not increased there during all that time.

    Perhaps she misquoted the naturalist, or perhaps he was just lying, or maybe he simply did not recognize the local Strigoderma beetles that faintly resemble Japanese beetles. Certainly it is impossible that the voracious Japanese beetles were actually present there for 30 years, remaining hidden from all entomologists and home-owners! Everywhere those beetles have invaded they quickly multiplied to a pest status within a few years, causing tremendous damage to flowers, fruits, and (as larvae) destroying the roots of grasses and other plants. Even Rachel Carson should not expect us to believe that in Detroit they displayed entirely different behavior. …

    Page 88. Regarding those Japanese beetles, Carson said that the midwestern states “have launched an attack worthy of the most deadly enemy instead of only a moderately destructive insect.” Thousands of residents of the eastern United States laughed at that ridiculous statement because they had personally experienced the devastation caused by the beetles and their larvae. Incredibly, Carson insisted (page 96) that the Japanese beetle by 1945 “had become a pest of only minor importance. …”

    Page 97. Carson discusses the use of spores of “milky disease” placed in the soil to kill the beetle larvae, and expresses tremendous confidence in the ability of that bacterium to eradicate them there. As to why they did not fight the epidemic in Michigan by simply using these spores, she explains that it was considered too expensive.

    Carson reveals with pleasure the fact that they infect at least 40 other species of beetles, but expresses no concern for environmental harm caused by such a broad-spectrum killer of native insects. To the contrary, on page 99 she attacks the use of pesticides because they “… are not selective poisons; they do not single out the one species of which we desire to be rid.” Evidently she felt that it was all right for bacteria to be broad spectrum poisons, but that pesticides must affect only a single target.

    Birds Vs. Human Deaths
    Page 99. Carson vividly describes the death of a bird that she thought may have been poisoned by a pesticide, but nowhere in the book does she describes the deaths of any of the people who were dying of malaria, yellow fever, plague, sleeping sickness, or other diseases that are transmitted by insects. Her propaganda in Silent Spring contributed greatly to the banning of insecticides that were capable of preventing human deaths. Carson shares the responsibility for literally millions of deaths among the poor people in underdeveloped nations. Dr. William Bowers, head of the Entomology Department at the University of Arizona, said in 1986 that DDT is the most significant discovery of all time, and “in malaria control alone it saved almost 3 billion lives.”

    Rachel Carson’s lack of concern for human lives endangered by diseases transmitted by insects is revealed on page 187, where she writes: “Only yesterday mankind lived in fear of the scourges of smallpox, cholera and plague that once swept nations before them. Now our major concern is no longer with the disease organisms that once were omnipresent; sanitation, better living conditions, and new drugs have given us a high degree of control over infectious disease. Today we are concerned with a different kind of hazard that lurks in our environment—a hazard we ourselves have introduced into our world as our modern way of life has evolved.”

    Surely Carson was aware that the greatest threats to humans are diseases such as malaria, typhus, yellow fever, Chagas’s disease, African sleeping sickness, and a number of types of Leishmaniasis and tick-borne bacterial and rickettsial diseases. She deliberately avoids mentioning any of these, because they could be controlled only by the appropriate use of insecticides, especially DDT. Carson evidently preferred to sacrifice those millions of lives rather than advocate any usage of such chemicals.

    Page 106. In Lansing, Michigan, a spray program began in l954 against the bark beetles that were transmitting Dutch Elm disease. Carson states “[With local programs for gypsy moth and mosquito control also under way, the rain of chemicals increased to a downpour.” She expresses no concern for the survival of the magnificent elm trees, the dying oak trees, or the torment of people who lived near hordes of blood-sucking mosquitoes, but has tremendous pity for a few birds that had disappeared from the sprayed areas. These positions brought her very little support from the residents.

    Carson praises Michigan State University ornithologist George Wallace, who had theorized that robins on the campus were dying because they had eaten earthworms containing DDT from the soil. Many other areas sprayed with DDT did not have dying robins, but Carson studiously avoids mentioning that. Wallace also did not mention the high levels of mercury on the ground and in the earthworms (from soil fungicide treatments on the Michigan campus), even though the symptoms displayed by the dying robins were those attributable to mercury poisoning. Instead, Wallace (and Carson) sought to blame only DDT for the deaths.

    The dead birds Wallace sent out for subsequent study were analyzed by a method that detected only “total chlorine content” and could not determine what kind of chlorine was present; none was analyzed for mercury contamination). It was obviously highly irresponsible for Wallace and Carson to jump to the conclusion that the Michigan State University robins were being killed by DDT, and especially for Carson to highlight the false theory in her book long after the truth was evident.

    In many feeding experiments birds, including robins, were forced to ingest great quantities of DDT (and its breakdown product, DDE). Wallace did not provide any evidence that indicated the Michigan State University robins may have been killed by those chemicals. Researcher Joseph Hickey at the University of Wisconsin had testified before the Environmental Protection Agency hearings on DDT specifically that he could not kill any robins by overdosing them with DDT because the birds simply passed it through their digestive tract and eliminated it in their feces. Many other feeding experiments by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various university researchers repeatedly showed that DDT and DDE in the diet could not have killed wild birds under field conditions. If Carson had mentioned these pertinent details it would have devastated her major theme, which continued to be the awful threats posed by DDT to all nonhuman creatures on the face of the Earth. Instead of providing the facts that would clarify such conditions, she spent several more pages on unfounded allegations about DDT and various kinds of birds.

    Page 109. Carson alleges that because of the spray programs, “Heavy mortality has occurred among about 90 species of birds, including those most familiar to suburbanites and amateur naturalists. … All the various types of birds are affected—ground feeders, treetop feeders, bark feeders, predators.”

    Carson provides no references to confirm that allegation. The Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, in fact, continued to reveal that more birds were counted, per observer, during the greatest “DDT years,” including those types that Carson had declared to be declining in numbers. When marshes were sprayed with DDT to control the mosquitoes, a common result was a population explosion of birds inhabiting the marshes. The increases evidently occurred because of a reduction in bird diseases that were formerly transmitted by local blood-sucking insects, greater abundance of available food (less plant destruction by insects), and increased quantities of hepatic enzymes produced by the birds as a result of ingesting DDT (these enzymes destroy cancer-causing aflatoxins in birds and other vertebrates).

    The flocks of birds—such as red-winged blackbirds—that were produced by the millions in marshes that had been sprayed with DDT caused tremendous damage to grain crops in Ohio and elsewhere. Such destruction was not desirable, and if Carson had complained about that nobody could have criticized her for it. Instead, she attempted to convince the readers that spraying the marshes caused the death of the birds nesting there, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    Page 111. Carson says: “All of the treetop feeders, the birds that glean their insect food from the leaves, have disappeared from heavily sprayed areas. …”

    Insecticides temporarily eliminate some insects from sprayed areas, and before others can move in the insectivorous birds cannot find much food there. Carson said the birds had disappeared, and not that they had been killed. She later even admitted that their scarcity could be caused by “lack of insects because of spray.”

    Page 118. Carson writes: “Like the robin, another American bird seems to be on the verge of extinction. This is the national symbol, the eagle.”

    In that very same year, 1962, the leading ornithologist in North America also mentioned the status of the robin. That authority was Roger Tory Peterson, who asked in his Life magazine Nature library book, The Birds, “What is North America’s number one bird?” He then pointed out that it was the robin! The Audubon Christmas Bird Count in 1941 (before DDT) was 19,616 robins (only 8.41 seen per observer)—see Table 1. Compare that with the 1960 count of 928,639 robins (or 104.01 per observer). The total was 12 times more robins seen per observer after all those years of DDT and other “modern pesticide” usage. Carson had to avoid all references to such surveys or her thesis would have been disproved by the evidence.

    Page 119.: Carson spends two pages discussing the Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, counts of migrating raptorial birds. Table 2 summarizes the actual total counts of raptors made there during the years before and during the greatest usage of DDT in North America. Obviously, very few of them decreased in numbers during those years. The numbers of migrating hawks (and eagles) increased from 9,29l in 1946 to 16,163 in 1963, but with considerable fluctuation in intervening years.

    Page 120. Carson explains the lack of young birds by saying: “… [The reproductive capacity of the birds has been so lowered by some environmental agent that there are now almost no annual additions of young to maintain the race. Exactly this sort of situation has been produced artificially in other birds by various experimenters, notably Dr. James DeWitt of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. DeWitt’s now classic experiments on the effects of a series of insecticides on quail and pheasants have established the fact that exposure to DDT or related chemicals, even when doing no observable harm to the parent birds, may seriously affect reproduction. … For example, quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched”[emphasis added].

    Carson gives no indication of how many might be considered as “few eggs hatching.” Perhaps she thought that her readers would never see the rather obscure journal in which DeWitt’s results were published in 1956, the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Otherwise, she surely would not have so badly misrepresented DeWitt’s results! The dosage he fed the quail was 100 parts per million in all their food every day, which was roughly 3,000 times the daily DDT intake of humans during the years of the greatest DDT use!

    The quail did not just hatch “a few” of their eggs, as DeWitt’s data clearly reveal (Table 3). As the published data from DeWitt’s experiments show, the “controls” (those quail with no DDT) hatched 83.9 percent of their eggs, while the DDT-fed quail hatched 75 to 80 percent of theirs. I would not call an 80 percent hatch “few,” especially when the controls hatched only 83.9 percent of their eggs.

    Carson either did not read DeWitt’s article, or she deliberately lied about the results of DeWitt’s experiments on pheasants, which were published on the same page. The “controls” hatched only 57.4 percent of their eggs, while the DDT-fed pheasants, (dosed with 50 ppm of DDT in all of their food during the entire year) hatched 80.6 percent of theirs. After two weeks, the DDT chicks had 100 percent survival, while the control chicks only had 94.8 percent survival, and after 8 weeks the DDT chicks had 93.3 percent survival while the control chicks only had 89.7 percent survival. It was false reporting such as this that caused so many leading scientists in the United States to take Rachel Carson to task.

    Page 122. Carson says various birds have been storing up the DDT in the tissues of their bodies. “And like the grebes, the pheasants, the quail, and the robins, they are less and less able to produce young and to preserve the continuity of their race.”

    According to DeWitt’s work, which Carson cited as her source, the birds that were fed exceedingly high levels of DDT every day hatched nearly as many of their eggs (in quail) to 27 percent more of their eggs (in pheasants). The great increases in the numbers of robins were documented in the comments above, in reference to page 118. Carson’s claim, therefore, that those three kinds of birds are less and less able to produce young is remarkably false—and insulting to the reader.

    Page 125. Carson writes: “‘Pheasant sickness’ became a well-known phenomenon: birds ‘seek water, become paralyzed and are found on the ditch banks and rice checks quivering,’ according to one observer” [emphasis added]. “One observer” is not very credible as a source of scientific information. Is this the best source a science writer like Rachel Carson could supply?

    Carson cited Robert L. Rudd and Richard E. Genelly, in an article in The Condor magazine, as the source for the information that follows: “The ‘sickness’ comes in the spring, at the time the rice fields are seeded.” This statement is misleading. The sickness may have come in the spring, but it was not in the rice fields. Instead, it was in outdoor pens where the birds were held captive, and all of their food contained rice “treated at the rate of one and one-half pounds of DDT per 100 pounds.” Rudd and Genelly state in The Condor (March 1955): “This value is equivalent to 15,000 parts per million DDT in the diet.”

    This amount represents the highest dosage of DDT I have ever heard of in any experimental animal, and I cannot understand why they would use such an extreme concentration. This means that 15 percent of every bite of food was “poison.”

    And what were the results of this remarkable feeding experiment? As reported in Condor, page 418, four of the birds died “after four or five days” with severe tremors. One died on the tenth day, but never showed any symptoms prior to death. The remaining seven pheasants survived and five of them showed no symptoms. One of the survivors had “slight tremors” and the other had “slight incoordination.” This is a remarkable lack of poisoning, considering the astronomical amount of DDT in their food! I could only surmise that the survivors must have eaten very little of the poisoned food. (Rudd did not measure the amounts ingested, but simply placed the food in the pen.)

    Carson writes that “the concentration of DDT used [in the fields] is many times the amount that will kill an adult pheasant.” In his article, Rudd concluded that it was “clear that DDT-treated grain is or can be lethal to grain-eating birds,” but he also stated, “This mortality may be entirely eliminated by applying chemical and seed separately” (emphasis added). It appears that Carson’s misleading report of Rudd’s conclusion was designed to deceive the reader regarding DDT hazards in the environment.

    The text continues in this vein for another 172 pages, with chapter heads such as “Rivers of Death,” ”The Human Price,” “The Rumblings of an Avalanche,” and “Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias.” I trust that this partial analysis of Carson’s deceptions, false statements, horrible innuendoes, and ridiculous allegations in the first 125 pages of Silent Spring will indicate why so many scientists expressed opposition, antagonism, and perhaps even a little rage after reading Carson’s diatribe. No matter how deceitful her prose, however, the influence of Carson’s Silent Spring has been very great and it continues 30 years later to shape environmentalist propaganda and fund-raising as well as U.S. policy.

    J. Gordon Edwards, professor of entomology at San Jose State University in California, has taught biology and entomology there for 43 years. He was a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. After eating DDT in front of his classes to prove that it was harmless, he eventually died at the ripe old age of 85 of a heart attack in 2004.

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  25. Cao says:

    Where’s the reason and evidence?

    I don’t see any of that here.

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  26. Cao says:

    Prove that it’s false. From what I can see, you haven’t proven anything except that you’re good at libel, defamation, slander and lies.

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  27. Ed Darrell says:

    1. Carson claimed, accurately, that DDT harms birds. There are more than 1,000 studies confirming that fact, and none contrary.

    2. Carson wondered about a cancer connection, but stopped short of claiming it. As it turns out, DDT is a known animal carcinogen, and a suspected human carcinogen. A recent study established a very clear link between exposure to a mother and breast cancer in a daughter or son.

    Out of the bathtub? We bathe in facts and the truth every day around here. C’mon in. Truth won’t kill you. Probably.

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  28. Cao says:

    Isn’t it about time you got out of the bathtub?

    Rachel Carson inflamed the public against DDT with her book “Silent Spring,” claiming DDT was detrimental to bird reproduction and caused cancer. Carson misrepresented the then-existing science on bird reproduction and was dead wrong about DDT causing cancer.

    Carson wrote “Dr. [James] DeWitt’s now classic experiments [show] that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched.”

    DeWitt’s 1956 article in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry yielded a different conclusion.

    DeWitt found no significant difference in egg hatching between birds fed DDT and birds not fed DDT. Carson omitted mentioning DeWitt’s report that DDT-fed pheasants hatched about 50 percent more eggs than “control” pheasants.

    Carson predicted a cancer epidemic that could hit “practically 100 percent” of the human population. This prediction never materialized, because it was based on a 1961 epidemic of liver cancer in middle-aged rainbow trout – an outbreak later attributed to aflatoxin, a toxic by-product of certain fungi.

    Activists blamed DDT for the disappearance of great birds such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Supposedly, the insecticide harmed bird reproduction by thinning egg shells.

    But the bald eagle and peregrine falcon were hunted to near extinction decades before DDT was first used in the U.S.

    Many human and environmental stressors can contribute to thin egg shells. Laboratory experiments purporting to link DDT with egg shell thinning involved massive doses of the chemical, far in excess of what occurred in the wild.

    Moreover, bald eagle and falcon populations were already rebounding during the peak years of DDT use – thanks to laws limiting their hunting.

    Still, anti-DDT activism led to hearings before an EPA administrative law judge during 1971-72.

    After seven months and 9,000 pages of testimony, the judge concluded “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man… DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man… The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.”

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