With recent advancement of science and technology, especially related to full genome sequencing and detailed brain imagery, academic researchers are now exploring what makes us who we are in more detail than ever before. One research area of potential controversy is analyzing genes to see if they can predict things like intelligence, personality, and mental disorders. While it is clear that there is no SINGLE gene for brain-related differences, researchers are now able to predict some differences by looking at thousands of places in our genomes, and generating a "polygenetic score".
For example, Robert Plomin at King's College London, describes how school performance can be predicted from DNA. Preliminary work can predict about 10% of the difference. DNA can also now predict about 18% of the chance to develop schizophrenia (see [ajp.psychiatryonline.org] ).
While his team has examined only European DNA out of fear of backlash, other researches are currently using similar techniques to examine controversial topics like race and IQ/personality, gender differences, and the propensity to be gay or trans. If it turns out that this research result in findings that are in conflict with the social justice movement, what should be the response? Should some areas of research be off-limits for the greater good?
23 and me as well as the other commercial ancestry companies are unreliable. Their is no industry quality control as well asccontr over the technique. What they are identifying are haplomarkers, not races. Haplomarkers occur when ones ancestors spent time in an area and intrrbred with the local population.
Adnin. First race as you allude to it is not a cognitive trait.
As. Risch (etc. al., 2003) points out, humans are a product of their gene pool and a multitude of factors not related directly to genetic inheritance. People can be divided on a "continental" basis based upon their resistance to. or susceptibility to biomedical and epistemological health risk. This is genetic, as certain diseases are not indigenous to certain areas, therefore no natural immunity or resistance when they are encounteted. But this does not rise to the level of racial determination and does not fit the biological definition of "race".
Likewise, Bachal and Pena (?) found no biological evidence to categorize race along genetic lines based on morphological features. The morphological featured by groups of people are more a feature of gene pool attributes available to the population, when the parents bred. They found these attributes to be of little genetic significance as a definer species. vies.
Actual knowledge is neutral and harmless. It is what is done with it by way of harm or improvement which makes the difference. If it is not there to open view then every person cannot see the planning which is needed to be done in order to maximize the benefits of knowing , That is surely the intention of the insurance company unless they add too big a premium - thus losing customers
Skado is correct. There is absolutely no genetic marker for race in humans. Race has a very specific biological definition, of which humans do not fit
Race within species occurs when one population splinters and the inhabitants of each group go separate ways. As a result of geographic isolation and many generational separations the two groups experience adaptations and genetic drifts independently from one another. Enough so they may phylogenetic resemble each other, but genotypically they are distinct. So much so that if they encountered each other in the wild they would perceive one another as competitors and not breed with one another under normal circumstances. The key is geographic isolation over time.
That is why humans do not meet the necessary criteria. Humans have been so mobile throughout their short existence they have managed to overcome all barriers of geography. As such, all groups have successfully interbred with all other groups, thus passing elements of all groups to all other groups. Within our genome resides DNA markers of all human groups.
Race as we call it is a cultural phenomenon more than a genetic phenomenon. Dark melanin, which people like to use as a racial indicator. is a local adaptation as a defense against excess UV. It predominates in the equatorial regions because there is significantly more sunlight and UV than in the northern latitudes.
Ok, so now we have established the cause and origin of the amount of melanin as a consequence of the latitude they live in. The next step is to realize that melanin production is genetically controlled as a result of the available gene pool. That is why a person born of black parents do not fade and turn white if they immigrate out of the equatorial zone. It is genetically linked to their parents.
In any population the best adapted individuals usually have a selective advantage when it comes time to select a mate. In case of melanin production, the healthiest around the equator are the ones with greater melanin production in their body. Therefore, when searching for a mate their is a natural proclivity to select a mate that appears healthier. Thus the genetic production of melanin is a matter of sexual selection when a person is looking for a mate.
The same is true for the Northern latitudes, but in reverse. In the North, excess melanin is a detriment due to the paucity of sunlight compared to the tropics. Therefore, lighter skin is considered healthier when selecting a mate. People like other animals select others more like themselves, in general. But because race as it is commonly used is more cultural identity than genetic, we are easily able to step over the melanin divide with impunity as a species.
There is no chemical difference en masse between human groups that makes one group more naturally intelligent than another, and visa versa. There can be instances when a local population is subject to exposure to a toxin that interferes with intellectual development in the group, but it is localized to that population. Humans adapt to their level of need technogically, culturally, economically, etc. If one group has no need for advanced technology due the culture and environment, then they will not necessarily evolve that technology. Its not that they cannot over time. Rather that is it not a priority and unnecessary. They have the same intellectual capabilities as an other group, just not the need or motivation.
To the person that laughed at Skado's comment, I am afraid you are the one that is on the short stick of intellectual development in this group.
P.S. melanin is not a racial genetic marker. Rather a health genetic marker.
First, the will not be any results that bear upon social justice if you are alluding to IQ differences and potentials based upon race. That is an old and much debunked conspiracy.
There can be pockets within populations that enhance or increase the likelihood that a detrimental genetic disorder will remain in a population. But that is not attributal to a racial proclivity, as much as a result of sexual selectivity within that population.
Couple that with the difficulty in trying to access the real hard data from any given research. There is a network of researchers in most fields that know each other, if by reputation if nothing else. New researchers in the field usually have to prove their bonvides to other researchers before data will be released.. Knowing where to look, who to ask, and how to ask in the right way is beyond most of the populace. Field based periodicals can be helpful, but still lack the actual hard data.
I do think mental illness from a chemical imbalance can be genetic. I think some gene pools carry a higher IQ. I don't support human cloning, any genetic engineering of people or eugenics. That should be banned. Environment plays a huge part. We don't know. Children from the same gene pool, raised by the same parents are different. Let's not anyone think they've got all the answers.
I did not have time to listen to all of it, chickens to feed, clothes to wash, house to clean etc. But am thinking of getting his book. In Special Ed when dealing with parents we oft remind ourselves of the phrase, The apple does not fall far from the tree. Many of our parents have the same problems as our students.
Define controversial research.
Knowledge in and of itself is not the problem, how people get the knowledge (torturing others, barbaric practices etc) or use the knowledge (to exclude/exterminate) is the problem.
If children are screened at birth and those that show they are only going to be middling students are all sent to a poorly funded school where the curriculum is set at the basics or those that show they can excel are sent to a school that is funded at a higher level in order to provide an exciting and enriching education, that is a problem. This creates social problems and discrimination.
If children are screened at birth and those that show to be at risk are put into special programs early, parents are educated in how to help them at home before they come to school and schools are given extra funding to help them achieve all that they can then I am all for it. Early intervention has been shown to help many types of children with different conditions.
My fear is that we end up with the first scenario not the second.
In my opinion research usually paves the way to knowledge, and knowledge is generally a good thing to have, so I'm against the banning of any sort of research. With that said, I do strongly think that certain researchers/research organizations should be funded privately, as Government money (aka the taxpayer dollars) needs to be spent wisely (fiscally responsible in other words).
The findings cannot be controversial in and of themselves. If the emergent facts make certain people uncomfortable because it challenges their beliefs and prejudices, then that says something unfortunate about those individuals.
It was the denial of facts by churches throughout the ages that has resulted in torture, rape, murder and genocide.
And who is to define what constitutes "the greater good" in this context?
Too late. Research has already concluded that there is no genetic basis for race. There is more genetic diversity inside Africa than in the rest of the world combined. That ship has sailed. What we call race is due only to evolutionary time spent at different latitudes. If we find a class of humans who are genetically limited in intelligence we should direct them to join the Republican Party where they can be seamlessly assimilated.
No censorship, nothing but full disclosure and accountability. Science is neither good nor bad, it simply is. It's how we humans use that knowledge that determines a good or bad outcomes.
Having knowledge is beneficial if you use it that way. If we find out "what", can "why" be far behind. We are already having a crisis of anti-science and anti-intelligence, those battles must be fought with all the tools we can muster.... including learning not so pleasant things about ourselves.