This piece places in historical context one of the primary GMO “science” lies, that genetic engineering is a form or extension of conventional breeding and natural evolution. My main source for the 19th century history is Philip Pauly’s Controlling Life.
This proposition is factually false, and in most cases we can be assured that those making this claim do so out of ignorance or intentional deception. As an ideological proposition, the notion that laboratory-generated artifices are not qualitatively different from the products of evolution goes back to 19th century German physiology. Among such physiologists as Carl Ludwig and Hermann Helmholtz there was a general neglect of Darwinism and a consensus that it was irrelevant. They tended to take the organism as given and focused on its current state. Physiologists posited a binary state of normality/health vs. pathology. Where a condition was seen as pathological, the goal…
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