Voices for Reason is a blog that covers a wide range of topics, including philosophy and its application to current events, programs of the Ayn Rand Institute and the ideas of Objectivism. Looking back on the year, here are 2016’s most-read blog posts (along with edited versions of the introductions that accompanied them at time of publication).
Amanda Maxham, research associate at the Ayn Rand Institute, was recently interviewed on Power Hour, a podcast hosted by Alex Epstein, the president and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress. In the interview Epstein and Dr. Maxham discuss the technology of genetic engineering, technophobia and what it means (or doesn’t mean) for a food to be “natural.” Dr. Maxham highlights the promise and possibilities of genetic engineering and offers a taste of what’s covered in her newly published report, The Gene Revolution.
AquAdvantage Salmon, the first genetically engineered fish intended for human consumption, were finally approved for sale this week by the FDA. These farm salmon have a tremendous advantage over conventional farm salmon — they mature in about half the time.
Climate protestors are busy preparing signs, floats and a “papier-mâché tree embedded with axes” for the People’s Climate March in New York City this Sunday. Thousands are expected to gather and march through the streets of Manhattan with the goal of convincing U.N. members to band together and drastically cut the use of fossil fuels across the globe. Marchers may believe they are taking to the streets in an effort to make lives better, but Alex Epstein, president and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, writes in a recent Forbes.com article, that “[i]n fact they’re supporting policies that would cut billions of lives short. Literally.”
J.R. Simplot, a company that produces over 3 billion pounds of potatoes each year, hopes to soon add a genetically engineered variety to their roster. Simplot’s new “Innate” potato is similar to conventional spuds, but borrows DNA from five varieties of potatoes, giving it some desirable traits.
Some seasons are wet, others dry; some years insects take over or disease looms. There is always an element of uncertainty when it comes to farming: you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you.