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GMOs, mobile phone waves, nanotechnologies... Nowadays, new technologies are often a source of worry : how dangerous are they ? Don't multinational corporations hide us the truth ? What do we have to do ?

The purpose of my text is to show you that those worries rather come from paranoia than reason, and that we've got to put things in perspective.


What is a GMO ? This is a genetically modified organism. Then, we areselves are GMOs, become we originate from genetical modifications, just like mutations. But certain people would say "No, it's not true GMOs, it's natural so it's OK.".

But humans have been modifying organisms genetically for a while : as soon as the neolithic era, they have selected the most productive plants and animals, by using selected crosses. But why do GMOs' opponents not denounce those kinds of GMOs ?

Modern GMO's have started being used in the 1990's, as biologists go directly to the DNA of species to modify their genetical structure. An often (always ?) used technique is to mix already existing genes, using the universality of the DNA language that leads to a minimum of compatibility (true chimeras are not viable).

I have on my computer a texte denouncing GMOs, asserting that they are responsible of the big decrease in bees' population. I have noticed that what this text denounced about GMOs was a toxical danger for environment and for food chain. After studying the text to get better understanding of it, I noticed (I can give you evidence if you want) that the author confounds the gene with the substances producted by its modified allele, that (s)he enumerates a list supposed to be a criticism but that is mostly made of vague or moraly neutral assertions, sometimes even positive for GMOs. Let us notive that this text is based on scientifical studies, but I think that scientists ar first of all influenced by their social background, that is here against GMOs, and that they are scientists after being influenced by this background. My study also showed me a real motivation by fear. Not only it is spoken about "risks" and "potential dammage", but the author of the text would like any GMO to be scientifically tested before being cultivated.

This is completely absurd : as the first men went to conquer new and unknown lands, they weren't gonna make a lot of experiences to know if a tomato or an apple was edible or not : if you can eat it without getting sick, no problem. And you know what ? Many people eat food with modern GMOs, and they don't get sick. And the fact that these GMOs are made of the hand of man doesn't make them different : they obey the laws of nature, here, the laws of life.

However, mistakes have been done with modern GMOs. The biggest was to make the plants fertile for a single generation, thus obligating the producer to buy the seeds with always the same multinational corporations, attracting the producer with better performances (productivity, resistance to insects...) as a mask of the situation of dependance such a thing makes. But this is not an intrinsic problem of modern GMOs : this is an intrinsic problem to the economical exploitation of man by man. GMOs just have to be well used : we have not to reject them completely.

II Nuclear power

Shortly said : no, nuclear power does not emit green house effect gases. Yes, nuclear power pollutes. But we could recycle the waste and thus getting more energy and getting rid of the danger in the same time. No, a nuclear powerplant is not so dangerous for people who live around : in Bretagne, in granitical lands, radioactivity is stronger, and it doesn't worry anyone. Yes, there no zero risk : shooting a plane into a nuclear powerplant is enough to make it blow up. But risks remain low, whearas the issues are big. Yes, atomic bombs are a thing : but the real problem doesn't come from the E=mc² formula of Einstein, but from the bastards that are for nuclear weapon (including Feynman and Bohr, but not Einstein, who was a pacifist). Besides, if we can manage nuclear fusion, we could have a very productive and little polluting source of energy, and for a long time (ask me for details if you want them).

III Cell phones electromagnetic waves

Just like GMOs, if there is any danger, this is not obvious. I regret the fact that most of those who criticize those waves do not know what and electromagnetic wave is, but there are maybe some others to increase the level. I don't know.

Then I'm gonna tell you what and electromagnetic wave (EMW) is. This is merely a point travelling straight (at least on the Earth) responsible of the creation of a nearby electromagnetic field, that affects the value of the electromagnetic force applied to a charged particle. As most of the time, electric and magnetic fields oscillate, we have called it a wave (there is also a mathematical reason for this name).Hebergement d'images

This is the approximative schema of a simple EMW. Yellow represents the source of matter that emits the wave. We have to imagine that a photon (particle of light) goes straight on the line, with, associated to it, the electric field in red and the magnetic field in green.

Nevertheless, the best definition of an EMW is the mathematical where it is said that an EMW is a solution of the (unique) EMW equation.

Light is an EMW ! Its photons are even more energetic than the ones used with the micro-waves in cell phones, but it doesn't prove that the waves in cell phones are not toxical, because there are other factors, just like the intensity of the ray.

The mystery of magnetism, still pretty strong nowadays, may also be a factor of the fear of these EMWs. The magnetic force comes from several flows of electrically charged particles : it seems to me that its existence can be theoretically proved by the electrostatic force and the theory of relativity. But there is still a certain mystery, as certain people react in a strange way towards electricity.

IV Nanotechnologies

Before writing this article in French, I was about to write an article about philosophy of science, but as I received a booklet against nanotechnologies in Grenoble, I felt I had to write an article about the fear of new technologies. Some analysed quotations (I translated it from French into English, so be  careful) :

"However, toxicological studies have showed the danger of those particles. Carbon nanotubes, that are used a lot, attack lungs as asbestos does.".
It's strange, it seems to me that the production of carbon nanotubes was very expensive and that it was the reason why they were not used a lot. As the doses are low, those particles need to be very very toxical to be a real danger. Just like asbestos ? Does (s)he say that to remind us this shadow, this lie about toxicity ? Or to say that the logic chain making carbon nanotubes dangerous is the same as yhe asbestos one ? I think this is rather the first possibility, as carbon nanotubes have a particular shape that is  very probably not the one of the asbestos, and as the shape of a particle is really important for reactions towards living background, then for its toxicity.

There is no use to take other quotations showing that those obscurantists detractors do not know well what they are talking about, I'm rather gonna try to show you more positives aspects of the booklet.

"Multinational corporations have been investing for years in nanotechnologies, a market estimated to be thousand billion dollars in 2015. [...]many sectors are concerned.

The governements of rich countries are sponsoring this research, expecting a gain of economical and military power."

The last sentence is strong. It's true that nanotechnologies are advantaged : investments in the telecom market, Nobel prizes nearly always given for works about quantum mechanics those last years... But is there really a true danger ?

Some people are expecting a (near) future where electronical chips would be set on people to get information from them and impeach rising against the authorities. This is technically realistic. Humanely too, as we see those leaders without mercy and the strengh of their State apparatus. After all, if it was forbidden to buy or to sell for people who do not have the chip in them and if a huge mediatic campaign was used, many people would take this chip.

But we have to notice that those are quite alarmists and paranoiac speeches. And paranoiacs always find a lor of arguments to show they are right, it's just they exagerate. This kind of speech about the end of the world have been existing for a long time, and facts have in my opinion rarely proved that alarmists paranoiacs were right. The positive point of those I met in Grenoble that they were at least rebels...

Conclusion :

Technology worthes what we do of it. It just increases the worth of what we do with it. In the hands of generous people, it creates useful consummation goods. In the hands of people researching profit, it could be either nocive either useful for people. In the hands of. In the hands of mercyless leaders, it is a cause of terrible wars, everywhere police presence, and oppression.
The problem is not technology, but people who use it bad. Their problem often come from intolerance or avarice. We must not reject GMOs, nuclear power, cell phones EMW or nanotechnologies as a block, but we have to reject the extreme avarice of multinational food industries, the incompetences made with the "management" of nuclear waste, the refusal of being questioned for cell phone corporations, and all people planning to apply technology in a bad way.

Let us not know fear, for fear is the mind killer. Fear leads to such an irrationality that each one who knows it becomes dangerous for both him/her self and others. If new technologies scare so much, this is because they are strongly bound to a weakness of human mind : fear of the unknown. So let's be curious !

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