Sunday, November 11, 2007

DNA Discrimination

Science faces discrimination these days. That is the scientists daring to publish ideas supported by research but not conforming to political correctness is discriminated against. If the science doesn't bend to preconceived notions or is somehow uncomfortable, scientists and other thinkers simply ignore it or worse, demean it. The academic environment has become so politically charged, searching for truth is a secondary goal to making sure that the results are politically correct.

The latest dust up is over DNA. DNA has been mapped now, and as it is further dissected, some difficult facts have been revealed:

Though few of the bits of human genetic code that vary between individuals have yet to be tied to physical or behavioral traits, scientists have found that roughly 10 percent of them are more common in certain continental groups and can be used to distinguish people of different races. They say that studying the differences, which arose during the tens of thousands of years that human populations evolved on separate continents after their ancestors dispersed from humanity’s birthplace in East Africa, is crucial to mapping the genetic basis for disease.

But many geneticists, wary of fueling discrimination and worried that speaking openly about race could endanger support for their research, are loath to discuss the social implications of their findings. Still, some acknowledge that as their data and methods are extended to nonmedical traits, the field is at what one leading researcher recently called “a very delicate time, and a dangerous time.” [Emphasis added.]

So scientists are afraid of losing grants for their research because their results (facts) might be dangerous.

My concern isn't that science might come up with difficult facts. My concern is that science will come up with difficult facts and refuse to share them. In an area that should be devoid of ideology and focused on pursuing the truth, withholding data has serious implications for the expansion of knowledge.

Who gets to decide what the little people are capable of handling? And what will the process be to decide this? And worse it is disturbing that scientists would ignore valid fields of research because they fear losing livelihood or respect in the field.

1 comment:

sandy said...

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