A Rhetorical Analysis Of Michael Specter's TED Talk

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Michael Specter’s TED Talk “The Danger of Science Denial,” is an argument on why the scientific method is great and why it is an important part of the society. According to Specter, science has been the transformative force, which has remarkably improved the society in the last thousands of years. He argues that this happens to be the best time in society, in terms of mobility, wealth, health, and opportunities. However, science has been at the center of increased suffering for billions of societies across the world, with the rise of hunger. He argues that science has led to the degradation of land, which has then led to suffering for some parts of the society. As much as innovation has led to massive growth for many people, it has been linked …show more content…
Pathos is the tactical use of emotional appeal to convince people of their point of view. Specter uses the pathos all through his speech. For example, he starts by giving an example of how smallpox, a once deadly disease has been eliminated through the use of vaccines, giving a poor person the ability to live a long and healthy life just like a rich person did, at the height of the smallpox disease. Specter specifically notes, “A kid born in New Delhi today can expect to live as long as the richest man did 100 years ago.” In the middle of the speech, he gives examples of how the US society is now free of measles, a disease that wiped out entire populations hundreds of years back. Additionally, he acknowledges that people have a legitimate reason to mistrust big pharm, which has been at the center of this push towards genetically modified foods and the use of vaccines, which then leads to profit for them. The use of these examples is pathos because Specter uses facts to convince listeners on the use of science to improve foods and reduce disease is important for the society. Additionally, he acknowledges the concerns of those who oppose his views but gives them the option of asking questions to understand his …show more content…
The further shows why science is not wrong but what plagues society is more about laws, patent and morality. To demonstrate that his views are ethical, he argues that while people opposed to genetic modification of foods argue that it is because it involves the use of chemicals, genetic modification is actually shifting genes around to improve foods. He further argues that, “ Genetically engineered food. We don't want to encourage people to eat that rotten stuff, like cassava for instance”. Human beings have actually used genetically engineering to come up with new foods that have significantly improved the quality of life for millions of people across the world. Specter says that, “We can put something like vitamin A into rice and that stuff can help millions of people prolong their lives.” According to Specter, genetic modification of foods is the solution to the food shortage in the world. The use of genetically modified foods will help these people avoid blindness, malnutrition, starvation, and other diseases that are caused by poor nutrition. He specifically says, “We object to genetically engineered foods…we don’t want companies patenting life. We don’t want companies patenting life. We don’t want companies owning seeds. And you know what my response is? Yes, let’s fix it but this is not science. It’s law, it’s morality, it’s patent stuff.” He further argues that the world has

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