Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Eugenics pseudo science

The eugenicist Professor Robert Plomin recently featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific. At the start of the programme he was introduced as a scientist who believed that every individual's intelligence is largely determined by their DNA. It is puzzling why some scientists make such wild claims based on theories for which there is no evidence. Plomin appears to be an egregious example of such a scientist, or more correctly, a pseudo-scientist.

Needless to say during the course of his unchallenging interview Plomin provided no evidence to back up his claim, relying instead on his studies into identical twins. The basis of eugenic claims relating to intelligence in identical twins was thoroughly debunked by the Institute of Science in Society. Strangely, whenever a theory is voiced that doesn't meet with the approval of the scientific establishment it is branded a 'superstition', but when a theory does have the approval of the scientific establishment it is claimed to be an 'established fact' (which, without evidence, it clearly is not). Plomin's claim that intelligence has a genetic or hereditary cause is a good example of this syndrome. During the programme both Plomin and his interviewer treated his theory as if it was self-evidently true.

Although it cannot be scientifically proven, Plomin is undoubtedly right when he claims that nature is likely to be a much stronger determinant of a person's intelligence than is nurture. However, what is impossible to accept (since there is no evidence) is that the level of intelligence of an individual has any connection with DNA, genes or heredity. It has been proven scientifically that physical characteristics have a genetic and heredity basis since there has been plenty of hard evidence to back this up. But absolutely no evidence has been discovered to justify the claim that mental or personal attributes have a genetic basis. Before the mapping of human genome geneticists (or more accurately eugenicists) claimed that single genes were the cause or source of mental or personal characteristics, including intelligence. But since the human genome has been mapped it has been discovered that no single gene, or even groups of genes, are the cause of mental or personal characteristics, or level of intelligence, as Plomin conceded during the programme. What the eugenicists now fall back on to justify their position is that the source of intelligence is somehow hidden away deep down in an individual's DNA, but that so far it has not been found, but eventually it will be after a lot more research. In pseudo science lack of evidence is never sufficient reason to abandon a pet theory. But on this issue Plomin and his ilk are chasing a will o' the wisp, since there is no possibility that that they will ever find any genetic basis for intelligence. Humans are far more than the product of chemical DNA, a viewpoint which scientists seeped in a mechanistic and materialistic outlook peddle unquestioningly. Ironically, Professor Plomin is living proof of the falsity of his theories on heredity, since he achieved eminence in his scientific field, despite coming from a relatively ordinary and humble background. It has to be faced that the professor and those who share his views are nothing more than eugenics pseudo-science hustlers.

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