Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and NYU statistician extraordinaire, has ducked out of an arranged debate on the topic: "Do GMOs [genetically modified organisms] present cause for moral concern?" Taleb was invited to participate because he and several colleagues had earlier published a very anti-GMO working paper, "The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetic Modification of Organisms." In that paper, Taleb and his colleagues claimed that "GMOs represent a public risk of global harm," suggesting that GMOs could result in global "ecocide" and even perhaps "the extinction of human beings or all life on the planet." Taleb, for unknown reasons, has now withdrawn from the debate. Never mind. Since I have already spent the time reporting and writing a refutation of his arguments, let's go ahead and debate anyway.
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