Moving Fast

Wait, Boris Johnson is trying to come back as a Prime Minister? I mean, great, I love him, but what was the point of all this brouhaha of the past couple of weeks, then? Is the UK turning into Argentina?

Who Needs Genetics?

This is absolutely shameful and deeply counterproductive:

American geneticists now face an even more drastic form of censorship: exclusion from access to the data necessary to conduct analyses, let alone publish results. Case in point: the National Institutes of Health now withholds access to an important database if it thinks a scientist’s research may wander into forbidden territory. The source at issue, the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), is an exceptional tool, combining genome scans of several million individuals with extensive data about health, education, occupation, and income. It is indispensable for research on how genes and environments combine to affect human traits. No other widely accessible American database comes close in terms of scientific utility.

I don’t know if people on here are aware but my husband is a quantitative analyst working in the area of statistical research in the field of genetics. They are looking for genetic causes of cancer, trying to come up with early interventions. If there’s a kind of work that we all want to continue unimpeded, it’s that. Is there anybody on here who hasn’t lost somebody to cancer? Anybody who is not terrified of the very word?

This is high-level research. It doesn’t live in the world of political correctness because political correctness isn’t science. In genetics research, genes are real, racial categories are real, biological sex is real. There’s a reality outside of our imagination, and it doesn’t care about our fads or whims.

What a shame this all is, my friends. What a bloody shame.

And there’s more:

“And Galton was an out-and-out racist, in public and private, throughout his life. Pearson was a horror, a racist and antisemite.”

When institutions celebrate the likes of Galton and Pearson, it “sends a clear [chilling] message to people who we should be going out of our way to include in science”, Rutherford says. Having better representation is important not just for diversity and equity, but because it encourages better science. “That seems like a no-brainer.”

I’m sure Galton was an unpleasant person. Despicable, even. But his contribution to science and to the things that have an unparalleled importance to all of us is such that not an army of politically correct holders of the only true beliefs can compensate. An inability to separate a scientist’s or artist’s work from his personal characteristics is a mark of undeveloped brains that are forever stuck in the early childhood stage of socialization. And these are the primitive, undisciplined brains we are allowing to thwart our scientific advances.

Quote of the Day

In heroin addicts, I had seen the debasement that comes from the loss of free will and enslavement to what amounts to an idea: permanent pleasure, numbness, and the avoidance of pain. But man’s decay has always begun as soon as he has it all, and is free of friction, pain, and the deprivation that temper his behavior.

Sam Quinones, Dreamland