a blog by josef johann

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The award for most insidious qualifier of the day goes to

Geoffrey Miller at The Economist:

Human geneticists have reached a private crisis of conscience, and it will become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis has depressing health implications and alarming political ones. In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races. [...]

GWAS researchers will, in public, continue trumpeting their successes to science journalists and Science magazine. [...]

In private, though, the more thoughtful GWAS researchers are troubled. They hold small, discreet conferences on the “missing heritability” problem: if all these human traits are heritable, why are GWAS studies failing so often? The DNA chips should already have identified some important genes behind physical and mental health. They simply have not been delivering the goods.

It would be a shame if anyone revealed themselves as a less thoughtful GWAS researcher by disagreeing with Geoffrey Miller.

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