The Human Genome Project has failed to live up to expectation. From The American Spectator’s print edition.
(Page 2 of 2)
THE GENE MANIA OF THE LAST generation has had serious consequences. Above all it has led to what is surely the most serious error of modern medical science — the unproductive 25-year pursuit of the theory that mutations or “spelling errors” in the genome turn normal cells into cancer cells. (Wayt Gibbs also discusses this matter — more tactfully and politely than I have here — in an earlier [July] issue of Scientific American.)
I believe the underlying problem is that government funding, which increasingly dominates medical research, demands that a “political” consensus be substituted for the exploration of rival theories by the normal trial and error of scientific method. Government agencies won’t fund rival theories.
A year ago, the writer Michael Crichton gave a lecture at Caltech in which he explored the harmful transition from science to consensus. His argument was fascinating. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence somehow morphed into nuclear winter, and from there, from “second hand smoke to global warming.” Science and policy have become inextricably mixed, he said. We have seen this most strikingly with AIDS — turned now into a grossly politicized rationale for the expansion of foreign aid. We have seen it with cancer — over 100 “oncogenes” have been catalogued, not one of which has been shown to cause cancer. And we have only begun to see it with the Human Genome Project.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?