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Words are tools – use them carefully

By Sun Advocate

​I love words, I love the way you can combine them and come to a conclusion, to prove a point or explain something in detail. I love how with the right combination of words you can provide something completely new to the world, whether it be a work of fiction, an interesting blog post, a well worded letter or even the 10,000 words I put into my thesis. But words can also be used incorrectly, in such a way that you may think you’re making a good point but in reality…not so much.
In the scientific community there are a handful of words that arise in normal day-to-day speech that when we hear used incorrectly, can really get on the nerves. The first word and possibly the most misused of them all is the term “theory.” For example, the term theory has been used to described someones idea or thought, most of all people use it to try to demonstrate a piece of science they disagree with as not being valid. “Oh, evolution isn’t true. ITS JUST A THEORY!” is the common argument made by many an American, including the vice president, but what they are missing is that a theory is much, much more than someone’s abstract subjective idea. The best way I’ve heard the term “theory” defined is as a “system of testable ideas that are potentially refutable either by the evidence at hand or an experiment hat somebody could perform.” That being said, if you wish to disprove a theory such as evolution, the burden of proof is now upon you, you must provide proof that you are correct.
And remember, if you do have an ax to grind with the theory of evolution through natural selection, you must also apply your same logic to the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease. Just don’t go jumping off any cliffs just yet.


​Finally, the term that just grinds my gears when used incorrectly is the word “natural.” Few things get the hairs on my neck to bristle but this is one of them. It is the hot-topic word for health-food stores and supplement/oil producers that their lemming minions are so eager to regurgitate, yet the term is derived from a completely contrary (to their views) source. The term natural has been hijacked to mean a product derived from nature in its “natural” form, meaning without adding any evil, Monsanto concocted evil super serum bent on world domination, or something like that.
However, their argument begins to fall apart after that because the whole notion of organic crumbles when you realize a few pretty basic facts.
First, everything you eat has been genetically modified at some point for a whole bunch of years. That’s right, absolutely everything you eat is a GMO. Boom. Second, the outrage against certain pesticides like Round Up because of the chemical glyphosphate lacks any evidence or proof. Despite the fact that glyphosphate is 25 times less toxic than caffeine, the pseudoscientific community is aghast. If your only argument against the use of genetic manipulation and harmless (to human) compounds to produce food is “how much is Monsanto paying you?,” it’s time you stop counting chemicals and start taking chemistry. Dr. Weber at USU Eastern is top-rate.

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