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  1. #1
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    DNA tests lead to new worries about racial prejudice

    From the NYT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/us...jxA0yMJwslTFLw

    Scientists, for instance, have recently identified small changes in DNA that account for the pale skin of Europeans, the tendency of Asians to sweat less and West Africans’ resistance to certain diseases.

    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. The heart-disease drug BiDil is marketed exclusively to African-Americans, who seem genetically predisposed to respond to it. Jews are offered prenatal tests for genetic disorders rarely found in other ethnic groups.

    Such developments are providing some of the first tangible benefits of the genetic revolution. 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.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnhall View Post
    From the NYT...
    Not that racists have ever needed scientific evidence.

    But even if it were shown that one particular race has a genetic predisposition toward musical talent, for example, how would that justify discriminating against one, brilliant white trumpet player?

    (This is rhetorical question and, for me, the bottom line. I know bhhall's answer is that it wouldn't justify discrimination.)

  3. #3
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    This is just silly. Of course DNA from different regions would vary since the peoples of those regions over years of evolution had to adapt to the climates they lived in.

  4. #4
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    Sheesh...

    When will people realize that we were brought to this planet over 10,000 years ago from several different planets and genetically altered to survive here???

    Hey, that's my theory.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gman20001969 View Post
    Sheesh...

    When will people realize that we were brought to this planet over 10,000 years ago from several different planets and genetically altered to survive here???

    Hey, that's my theory.
    And then there is my theory. When DNA can be identified and manipulated, we can manipulate things like Down's Syndrome right out of baby births. Perhaps we can go to McBaby and order babies that look just like Great Aunt Melba or something.
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    And then there is my theory. When DNA can be identified and manipulated, we can manipulate things like Down's Syndrome right out of baby births. Perhaps we can go to McBaby and order babies that look just like Great Aunt Melba or something.
    people can do good or evil and will use the tools given for the purpose they see fit. i would manipulate my child's dna in a heart beat to remove the birth defect that killed my son, a niece, and a nephew. some people would use the same tools to remove all traces of a ethnic ancestor. just like splitting the atom. the people decide if it is used for a bomb or for electricity. in the end i think people are basically good. for every Hitler type who wants only Blondie blue eyed kids you can find 100 who think Jessica Alba is the hottest thing since Internet.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherri79 View Post
    people can do good or evil and will use the tools given for the purpose they see fit. i would manipulate my child's dna in a heart beat to remove the birth defect that killed my son, a niece, and a nephew. some people would use the same tools to remove all traces of a ethnic ancestor. just like splitting the atom. the people decide if it is used for a bomb or for electricity. in the end i think people are basically good. for every Hitler type who wants only Blondie blue eyed kids you can find 100 who think Jessica Alba is the hottest thing since Internet.
    A long time ago, the Earth was not inhabited by humans. Someday, this will be the case again. What we do in the meantime is we learn and we change. I don't have a problem with genetic manipulation and for people to have whatever genetic health, color eyes, hair and skin babies they want to have - personally. I draw the line at someone telling you what choices you have to make though (Hitler example.)
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann View Post
    This is just silly. Of course DNA from different regions would vary since the peoples of those regions over years of evolution had to adapt to the climates they lived in.
    Agreed, this is very silly. Surely people have allready realized much of what accounts for peoples differences and similariteis has to do with DNA.
    There is nothing earth shattering here.

    mjak

  9. #9
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    I don't think anyone is saying we should ban discussions of DNA, they're just acknowledging the difficulties of how the public sometimes uses science.

    The concept of "social Darwinism" -- something Darwin himself never endorsed -- was used to justify everything from slavery to genocide.

    But scientists are already realizing that DNA is NOT destiny. Our genes merely provide a starting point. Our lives, our characters and even our bodies are just as much affected by the social context in which we live and the choices we make.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    ...Our lives, our characters and even our bodies are just as much affected by the social context in which we live and the choices we make.
    Will someone please adjust my DNA so that I have a faster metabolism please?
    FUN... is a renewable resource!


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    Will someone please adjust my DNA so that I have a faster metabolism please?
    You don't have to adjust your DNA, there are pills and powders (legal and illegal) to increase metabolism. Personally, I prefer Starbucks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    You don't have to adjust your DNA, there are pills and powders (legal and illegal) to increase metabolism. Personally, I prefer Starbucks.
    When they find one to counteract overeating, I'm there. :-)

    Mmmm Starbucks Venti Skinny Black and White Mocha Quad... it's like a dollar a word, though.


    (Oh, and the Black and White refers to CHOCOLATE, not race... for those who get confused.) :-)
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  13. #13
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    Glitch, I know you were joking, but metabolism is probably a good example of the limits of DNA. Yes, some people can eat anything and never gain weight (the bastards!).

    But our bodies are products of our genetic inclination to burn fuel PLUS social context (the eating habits we grew up with, our education with regard to caloric intake, etc.) PLUS the choices we make concerning what we eat and whether and how we exercise. (I'll admit the latter are usually poor in my case. )

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Glitch, I know you were joking, but metabolism is probably a good example of the limits of DNA. Yes, some people can eat anything and never gain weight (the bastards!).

    But our bodies are products of our genetic inclination to burn fuel PLUS social context (the eating habits we grew up with, our education with regard to caloric intake, etc.) PLUS the choices we make concerning what we eat and whether and how we exercise. (I'll admit the latter are usually poor in my case. )

    Except for one tiny little flaw in your logic, I agree. I have all the education about caloric intake. I know EXACTLY how to lose weight and keep it off the most healthy ways possible. However, having the education does not stop me from having quaint dinners for four where I forget to invite three other people. :-)
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    Except for one tiny little flaw in your logic, I agree. I have all the education about caloric intake. I know EXACTLY how to lose weight and keep it off the most healthy ways possible. However, having the education does not stop me from having quaint dinners for four where I forget to invite three other people. :-)
    Been there, done that. But the flaw isn't in my logic. I believe I said something about "choices."

    This isn't to say that it's equally easy for everyone to maintain their ideal weight. Obviously it isn't. But the point is that DNA is only the beginning of the whole story and not a good cause for discrimination.

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