[-empyre-] genetics in the media

Judith Roof roof12 at comcast.net
Fri Oct 26 22:58:44 EST 2007

Thanks for the leads, Steve.  Of course pseudoscience may or may not  
have been involved in the actual identification of genes or their  
effects--and, well, pseudoscience has discovered a few things in the  
past--like a continent or two.  But then there is pseudoscience as a  
calculated shot n the dark and then there's pseudoscience like  
"crystals" or like finding the gene for playing with trucks.


On Oct 26, 2007, at 8:49 AM, sdv at krokodile.co.uk wrote:

> Two interesting articles in the New Scientist issue of the 27th  
> October.
> The first is a piece by Robert Sternberg on the Watson case. Which  
> is an exemplary critique of Watson's position which occupies a  
> position which makes a social and political critique based on  
> science, rather than as some of the responses have been based on  
> respect for heterodoxy or greatness.
> The concluding paragraph is especially nice: "The problems with out  
> understanding of intelligence and race show that the criticism  
> being levelled at Watson is based ons cience rather than political  
> correctness. Intelligence is clearly a more complicated issue than  
> standard testing allws. And race is a socially constructed   
> concept , mnot a biological one. It derives from peoples desire to  
> classify. Whether people with genetic predisposition toward fatness  
> will be classified as a seperate race remains to be seen..."
> The second article which i think will be of especial interest to  
> Judith is the article 'Why the long wait for tailored drugs?'  
> written by Peter  Aldhous with a subtitle on personalised medicine.  
> Which supplies some examples of genetic research which have  
> identified specific genes CYP2C9 and VKORC1 which effect the way  
> that current drugs are metabolised by the people who have these  
> genes. What is especially interesting given the context is that the  
> article explains the social and economic context of the science.  
> But and it's quite an important but, it also raises categories of  
> knowledge that are missing from the discussion. The obvious one  
> being the lack of an argument against the concept of psuedoscience,  
> for example the article precisely, if unknowingly shows the way in  
> which what might be understood as psuedoscience produces usable  
> technology.
> best
> steve
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