Sunday, 4 July 2010

What genes can't do

My second post comes from an article by Richard Levontin, with his broad humanistic perspective of science. It's about the dream of the human genome, and its promises. He wrote:

"Daniel Koshland, the editor of Science, when asked why the Human Genome Project funds should not be given to the homeless, answered, "What these people don't realize is that the homeless are impaired... Indeed, no group will benefit more from the application of human genetics""

Unfortunately, this deterministic ideology is the basis of most genomics research made nowadays. This ontological claim, of the dominance of DNA over all aspects of life, has key social and political consequences.

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