Eben Byers was a wealthy man who injured himself in 1927, and due to the pain got talked into taking a cure called Radithor, because Science! (and the seller of Radithor became rich by offering doctors a 1/6th kickback on all sales). Eben Byers was so taken with the magical results of this cure that he started drinking it all the time.
And then one day his jaw fell off.
Turns out that (duh) Radithor was basically radioactive water. And Byers was feeling fine because it was damaging his nerves gradually so he wasn’t feeling pain. It was also destroying muscle and connective tissue, which led to the whole bottom half of his face falling off. He got some rudimentary reconstructive surgery and lived another couple years, and then was buried in a lead-lined coffin, just another casualty of the many many science-based scams and horrific mistakes that have happened throughout the decades.
Now… it is easy to dismiss this story and the product involved as pure quackery without any basis in Science!™ as you adjust your bow tie and straighten your waistcoat. But as you can see from the Infogalactic link, the concept it was based on was not pure quackery. There was actual science behind it.
I post this because I get the feeling we are witnessing the dawn of the greatest medical/scientific scam in history, and the World Economic Forum seems to be the epicenter. The WEF-connected people are assuring us that gene editing is at the heart of the “4th industrial revolution” and we will be eating not only all GMO produce but GMO livestock, and potential pests will be genetically-engineered out of the loop, and next we will even be modifying our own genetics because “humans are now hackable animals” (Yuval Noah Harari, WEF favorite), so why not start fixing God’s work?
It seems all these people are going full-bore for genetic editing all of a sudden. The list of gene-editing corporations and technologies in the works is as long as the list of WEF members. And that is profoundly disquieting to me. Yes, I know we’ve even had many people in the know on both the political right and left say there’s nothing wrong with GMO corn and wheat and WHY would we be against getting better produce??? And it’s JUST THE SAME THING that nature does all the time by cross-breeding and such. No it isn’t. Selective cross-breeding of plants and animals is as old as the human race, but what is happening now is truly a revolution–bypassing nature’s route and directly modifying genes and even taking genetic sequences from completely different organisms and splicing them.
Again, however, why should I be against this, if it feeds the world and makes us healthy? Well, perhaps I’m against it because it is a ridiculously asymmetric risk/benefit proposition. As Nassim Taleb would say, this is a classic example of limited upside potential with unlimited downside potential. For example, with modern genetically-modified crops, the benefit is a modest quantifiable increase in production and predictability, vs. a risk we simply DO NOT understand. We have only been eating genetically modified food for a couple decades, and now it seems like every 3rd person you meet has a debilitating food allergy of some sort. And don’t tell me “correlation is not causation.” Quite often it is. The only trustworthy aphorism of that type might be “correlation is not NECESSARILY causation–but it’s a pretty good sign of where to look!”. And now we are seeing that they want to move modified genetics into every aspect of our lives. And they want to make all of this happen within the next decade.
Sure… maybe things will be just fine. Maybe the extremely wealthy people and politicians behind all this only have our best interests at heart. And maybe their scientists are right (except the scientists warning us against this), and maybe there’s nothing to worry about.
But maybe we will see horrors beyond our comprehension arise.
I am reminded of the old saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I am also reminded of a certain book, the vibes of which I have been distinctly feeling since 2020: https://infogalactic.com/info/That_Hideous_Strength