09 July 2004

The War on Genetics

Your logic is faulty! edition

When politicians are convinced that genetics affect *everything*, and construct elaborate political, economic, and medical theories out of 'genetics', it will only lead to major embarrassments.

Following the directions suggested by our Great Leader Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore's Qin Shihuang), scientists in the Population Genetics Programme (I didn't come up with these Orwellian names, our Great Leader and his fake scientists did) of the Defense Science Organisation announced last month that millions of dollars, all taxpayers' money, will be squandered to further the Great Leader's intellectually bankrupt and faulty scientific theories.

In particular, given Singapore's huge short-sighted population, our scientists want to find the gene that causes myopia!

Well. Just this month the American Journal of Human Genetics (vol 75, p 294) publishes a metastudy that convincingly and overwhelmingly debunks the "genetic theory of myopia".

excerpts from the New Scientist:

The argument is about why the rate of myopia is so much higher in east Asia than elsewhere. The conventional view is that people from the region have genetic variations that make them more susceptible. But after reviewing over 40 studies, Morgan and Kathryn Rose of the University of Sydney argue that there is no evidence to support this.

Contrary to popular belief, people in east Asia are no more genetically susceptible to short-sightedness than any other population group. "The simplest explanation is that you have a massive environmental effect that is swamping out the genetic influence," says the authors of the paper. In other words, given the wrong lifestyle, everyone is susceptible to myopia

I do hope the DSO calls off their expensive, myopic genetic research programme soon.

On the next "Your logic is faulty!" edition of the War On Error, tune in to: The Race to the SARS Vaccine! Featuring Singaporean scientists trying to identify the genetic markers of SARS, vs. the American scientists developing the vaccine through traditional means!

Someone should tell them the Americans have won this race as well.

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