Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're Not All Equal Genetically, Either


When scientists first decoded the human genome in 2000, they were quick to portray it as proof of humankind’s remarkable similarity. The DNA of any two people, they emphasized, is at least 99 percent identical.

But new research is exploring the remaining fraction to explain differences between people of different continental origins.

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At the same time, genetic information is slipping out of the laboratory and into everyday life, carrying with it the inescapable message that people of different races have different DNA. Ancestry tests tell customers what percentage of their genes are from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

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Yet some social critics fear they may also be giving long-discredited racial prejudices a new potency. The notion that race is more than skin deep, they fear, could undermine principles of equal treatment and opportunity that have relied on the presumption that we are all fundamentally equal.

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Certain superficial traits like skin pigmentation have long been presumed to be genetic. But the ability to pinpoint their DNA source makes the link between genes and race more palpable. And on mainstream blogs, in college classrooms and among the growing community of ancestry test-takers, it is prompting the question of whether more profound differences may also be attributed to DNA.

Nonscientists are already beginning to stitch together highly speculative conclusions about the historically charged subject of race and intelligence from the new biological data. Last month, a blogger in Manhattan described a recently published study that linked several snippets of DNA to high I.Q. An online genetic database used by medical researchers, he told readers, showed that two of the snippets were found more often in Europeans and Asians than in Africans.

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“There are clear differences between people of different continental ancestries,” said Marcus W. Feldman, a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University. “It’s not there yet for things like I.Q., but I can see it coming. And it has the potential to spark a new era of racism if we do not start explaining it better.”

NYT


Evolution comes us a surprise to our delusional society.

For too long, we've measured everything in terms of social, economic and political value, and completely ignored reality. The truth is always unpopular because it is more difficult than a symbolic illusion.

My advice is to prepare for this situation, to accept that most people do not want multiculturalism, and to deflect the issue into criticism of politicized science and multiculturalism, so that racism -- racial cruelty, in my view -- does not gain a foothold.

It is not racist to be against multiculturalism.

However, saying "I oppose multiculturalism" is more of a Difficult Reality, where screaming racial slurs is a Pleasant Illusion, so we know which one will win out if we do not combat it.

Stop racism. Accept science and stop multiculturalism. That is the only way out of this mess.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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