Friday, November 24, 2006

Science Breakthrough and Moral Pop Quiz?

Looks like a major breakthrough in human genetics. Normally people carry two copies of genes. This breakthrough finds that people carry multiple copies of over 10% of their genes. The number of copies varies between people and may account for more variation in humans. People can also carry only a single copy of a gene. An example of variation is how likely a body is able to fight off an infection which may vary by the number of copies of a gene.

This new scientific knowledge was partially funded by the American taxpayer through supporting science like the Human Genome Project. This is the type of research that is supported at the Baylor College of Medicine Genome project in Houston and the The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Human Genome Project

POP QUIZ TIME: Applying Republican principles to science freeloaders. Should medical breakthroughs be provided to individuals that hinder science or don't believe in the science that makes those breakthroughs possible? You don't believe in evolution - you don't get the new medicines and new treatments. Republicans would counter by saying that if Democrats don't support the obscene profits the drug companies make the drug companies should withhold their medicines from those people. Are these arguments equivalent? Is withholding medicine due to a person's philosophy morally the same as withholding medicine due to a person's lack of financial resources? Use Kohlberg's Stages of moral development in your replies. I am aware of the biased language used in this example. "I'm a blogger Jim, not a miracle worker."

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