In the “Evolution On-demand: Uniting Nature and Science to Further Society’s Development,” Stephen Odd supports the use of genetically modified crops as a solution to current and future evolutionary challenges in the human population. According to Odd, humanity is at a critical stage in evolution because of imbalances between the rate of population growth and human development. The human population is expected to increase by more than 53% in less than a century, and the highest growth rate will occur in the developing countries (45). These are the nations that do not have the necessary infrastructure, resources, and stability needed to sustain a sharp rate of population growth. The challenges of sustainability in the future are well known across the world. In 2017, the UN Secretary General issued a statement indicating the extent of challenges that were facing populations across the world, with the poor nations being the most affected. But the statement also recognized that the world could sustain the needs of current and future populations with proper management of resources (45).
Odd compares the adoption of genetically modified crops to human evolution. He says that it has reached a time where the human population must embrace the use of agricultural technology so as to increase the chances of development and survival. Also, Odd has indicated the benefits associated with genetically modified foods and addressed the concerns. He says that the genetically modified foods will promote economic development across the world and create more healthy populations. Odd shows that the concerns against the use of genetically modified foods are based on misinformation and politicization of the issue. Overall, Odd seeks to encourage the public, policymakers and all stakeholders to embrace the use of transgenic crops as the solution to current and future challenges facing human population.
Odd’s argument can be attributed to the comments made by the UN Secretary General about the current and future status of humanity. The comments indicate a lot of human suffering from lack of proper planning and use of available resources. Odd says that such comments are “becoming commonplace” (45). His focus is to inform the public by participating in the debate about the use of GM foods.
The current human situation is explained using an analogy on human evolution. Odd shows that the chances for survival for the current human population were increased by agricultural revolution. Abundant food from the domestication of crops and animals enabled humans to engage in different activities for development (46). The analogy supports adoption of agricultural technology to increase the chances for survival in the current population. During the agricultural revolution, people selected crops and animals with the desired traits for domestication and reproduction. The result was increased food production. Genetic science provides a cost-effective way of increasing food production and meeting the nutritional needs of the society. This analogy has been used to indicate the basis for using technology in food production and the need for humans to adapt to new survival tactics. Odd’s article targets the general population, and he has used ethical, logical and emotional appeal to persuade the audience to embrace GM foods.
Odd has used ethical appeal by relying on recognized sources of authority to support his views. The article starts by quoting the US Secretary General saying that millions of people were at risk of starvation or death. Odd has also referred to the views by professional associations about the benefits and risks of genetically modified crops. Research by the Pew Research Center showed that majority of scientists who are members of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), “the largest collection of scientists”, supported the use of genetically modified crops (47). Odd has stressed the fact that the scientists are from a very large association. This reference seeks to support the argument from a scientific point of view. It is also important in discrediting claims that there are health risks in using GM foods.
Odd has provided facts to support his argument. He provides statistics indicating that the human population is growing at a very high rate and this will create future challenges. Odd has used scientific facts to discredit health and ethical concerns over GM foods. He says that “studies on allergies are quite extensive, and most of their causes are known” (48). The goal is to show that geneticists are responsible for the production of GM foods. They are aware of the potential risks, but they have taken considerable measures based on the extensive knowledge about causes of allergies and prevention strategies. Additionally, he uses facts about market dynamics to discredit the claim that GM foods will create economic problems and chances for exploitation by producers of genetically modified technology. He says that “if a company is charging too much for a product, other companies will come in and undercut that price as dictated by Market Equilibrium” (48). Farmers will also have the option to preserve their natural seeds and use them as an alternative when needed. The health and economic concerns have been addressed using facts.
Odd has used pathos by introducing issues about human suffering and future uncertainties. He associates these negative outcomes with the failure by humans to adapt and embrace the use of technology. Also, the article has connected the failure to adapt new food production technology to the problems faced by people in developed countries. For instance, Odd associates corruption, the need for foreign donations and slow global economic growth with poverty in some countries. The use of emotional appeal is therefore effective for people living in developed and poor nations.