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    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Tightening Grip


    Science claims and abilities, and what we do with that information.
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    Health, beauty, planet environment, smells, safety, genetics, quality of life issues. These are more and more directing us socially rather than being at the service of mankind's social snapshot.
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    Here's a Nobel Prize winner that suspects that intelligence is genetic. Well sure, our carbon selves are genetic. His social controversy has to do with the pooling of genes around race.
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    It offends our social agreement that we are somehow all equal in all carbon ways. But that's an overstep. We are all equal before the law, and all equal in dignity as God's children. Regarding our carbon and genetic arrangement we are all most unequal. However that can increasingly be fixed.
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    I would guess that if lower intelligence can be fixed, we will clamor after it like we do straigtened teeth, and like the old folks do with their horrific face lifts (Pelosi comes to mind). And not only intelligence, but the height, weight and symmetry of what we think of as beauty.
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    A PBS show lately explained the entertaining notion that the environment of grandparents can somehow affect the health of grandchildren. Grandfathers who suffered famine somehow produced healthier boy grandchildren, and grandmothers who suffered famine somehow gave the gift of ill health to girl grandchildren. This through the transmission of genetic information via epigenetics... a layer or information above the basic genes.
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    Can you imaging the social strictures we may put upon ourselves toward the ends of health and beauty with this epigenetic knowledge? Already pregnant mothers are social lepers if they drink or smoke. What if they diet and thus harm the grandchildren? Studies with rats seem to show that lack of nurturing during infancy makes the little ones and their grand-rats nervous and obese in later life, and that this also is via epigenetics that can be cured with chemicals that reverse the genetic imprint.
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    All I mean to point out is that God could care less. Health, beauty, and intelligence have no bearing on our eternal destiny. He doesn't care if we're ugly, sick, or dumb. Many of the great Saints were just that.
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    So to arrange our social and carbon efforts around these things is to live for the moment. That's OK for the secular, but not the saved. It just doesn't matter, so let's not assemble our lives and fortunes around these things.
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    A great social marker for me in the U.S. are dog owners. They happily walk their dogs carrying a plastic bag and paper towels to immediately pick up the warm, sometimes steaming feces from the clean landscape. This plastic bag must be held in plain view so that others will know what a good dog owner they are. What's the matter with a little dirt on the dirt? It smells perhaps. And some smells are not allowed (smoking smells come to mind). Our forefathers would laugh us to disgrace.
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    The popular social scene is insanity of some order and perhaps always has been. The only way to escape is God's Word. The early Christians were known to others by "see how they love each other". Wouldn't that be something great and rare!... no plastic bag waving required.
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    One of the world's most eminent scientists was embroiled in an extraordinary row last night after he claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that "equal powers of reason" were shared across racial groups was a delusion.

    James Watson, a Nobel Prize winner for his part in the unravelling of DNA who now runs one of America's leading scientific research institutions, drew widespread condemnation for comments he made ahead of his arrival in Britain today for a speaking tour at venues including the Science Museum in London.
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    The newly formed Equality and Human Rights Commission, successor to the Commission for Racial Equality, said it was studying Dr Watson's remarks " in full". Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really". He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".
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    The furore echoes the controversy created in the 1990s by The Bell Curve, a book co-authored by the American political scientist Charles Murray, which suggested differences in IQ were genetic and discussed the implications of a racial divide in intelligence. The work was heavily criticised across the world, in particular by leading scientists who described it as a work of " scientific racism".
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    Critics of Dr Watson said there should be a robust response to his views across the spheres of politics and science. Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "It is sad to see a scientist of such achievement making such baseless, unscientific and extremely offensive comments. I am sure the scientific community will roundly reject what appear to be Dr Watson's personal prejudices.

    "These comments serve as a reminder of the attitudes which can still exists at the highest professional levels."
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    In 1997, he told a British newspaper that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual. He later insisted he was talking about a "hypothetical" choice which could never be applied. He has also suggested a link between skin colour and sex drive, positing the theory that black people have higher libidos, and argued in favour of genetic screening and engineering on the basis that " stupidity" could one day be cured. He has claimed that beauty could be genetically manufactured, saying: "People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would great."
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    Anti-racism campaigners called for Dr Watson's remarks to be looked at in the context of racial hatred laws. A spokesman for the 1990 Trust, a black human rights group, said: "It is astonishing that a man of such distinction should make comments that seem to perpetuate racism in this way. It amounts to fuelling bigotry and we would like it to be looked at for grounds of legal complaint."
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    Genetics, the new powerful social stricture coming soon.

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