A biologist and an activist discuss genetically modified mosquitoes together.
Biologist: There is some hope because we are releasing modified mosquitoes into nature.
Activist: It won’t work; it has been proven that the treatment only lasts for three years and then mosquitoes return with some of the modified DNA included in their bodies and god only knows what that DNA will allow the mosquitoes to produce. I assume there will be some new unseen diseases that arise from the modifications.
Biologist: Oh, so you like West Nile and Dengue Fever?
Activist: That is a rhetorical question, which doesn’t work on me because I’m an activist; I use rhetorical questions often as I badger and bully people who disagree with me!
Biologist: Why can’t you be more reasonable?
Activist: Why don’t you cultivate nature’s solution to the mosquito population? You are a biologist educated at a university, and yet I find you utterly ignorant of what nature is or how to cultivate her!
Biologist: We are in an arms race against nature. We are at war.
Activist: Nature is only fighting back against humans because humans have sought to imbalance her. There is no fight at all; nature is merely balancing herself. If we cultivate balance, nature will not fight us.
Biologist: Do you honestly expect me to sit here and listen to you talk about cultivating a solution to the mosquito population!
Activist: Yes! Nature has been cultivating birds and bats for millions of years and they have successfully maintained a balanced ecosystem. What’s changed? Just you and your absurd ideas about snuffing out one link in the web of life.
Biologist: Research shows that if there are no mosquitoes, all mammals thrive. And, you are mixing your metaphors: a chain has links and a web has strands. Neither of these can one snuff out. One might cut a strand or break a link of a chain.
Activist: Why can’t you be more reasonable?
Biologist: I asked you the same question a moment ago.
Activist: As a biologist, why not cultivate the bird and bat populations and so reduce mosquitoes? Why not use the systems that nature created over millions of years to maintain a balanced system within a balanced system? Why this sudden need to snuff out one element of the web of life? You are so ignorant! And it will not work!
Biologist: If we snuff out mosquitoes, then all large mammal will have greater health: humans, dogs, cats, deer: all of us will be happier!
Activist: Which animals feed on mosquitoes? What if there aren’t any mosquitoes, which of these creatures will die from loss of a food source?
Biologist: There is plenty of other food.
Activist: How is further reducing habitat and food supply a viable solution for the future of life on this planet? How can you call yourself a biologist when you don’t understand plant and animal life?
Biologist: Evolution will solve these problems in the future sometime. There will be adaptations and such and all will be OK, I assure you.
Activist: Oh, yes, there will be adaptations and after three years the mosquitoes will return to bite us, but they will have pieces of your genetic modifications spliced in their bodies and, I ask you, what new diseases will these modified mosquitoes transmit? Presumably the old diseases AND new ones that your science will have cultivated.
Biologist: As I said, we are in an arms race and within three years, when these modified mosquitoes reemerge, we will have new modified mosquito larva to seed in the water supply to again decimate the mosquito population, so there will be no new diseases that you are describing.
Activist: And three years afterward? Won’t nature work all the more violently to create balance?
Biologist: And we will be ready for our next violent action to control nature.
Activist: You are so stupid!
Biologist: No, you are so stupid!