[-empyre-] genetics in the media

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Mon Oct 29 07:23:24 EST 2007


Judith,

After some further thought and another rereading of the related pages...

The problem with this appears to be the definition of science which is 
(p58-9, 65) so much vaguer than your related definition of 
psuedo-science. Here on the list you have said that there are a number 
of  defintions of the scientific method, but actually I really don't 
think that Foucault's is one of them.

I think as we get the end of October it's this which bothers me the most 
  . Whereas I think what bothers you the most may well be the 
ethics/bioethics turn...

regards
steve

Judith Roof wrote:
> 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.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Judith
> 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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> 
> 
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