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Myths of human genetics

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:05 PM
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Myths of human genetics

This is why I read a lot of shit, and then read even more.

I remember digging through books researching things, and coming across something that had nothing to do with what I what looking for that led me to something fascinating. That doesn't hapen nearly as often as it used to because of Google, but I still stumble across things that remind me of the joy of hard research in books.

Anyone that really cares about science will teach their children not to believe crap like this.

Quote:
A fun way to teach the basics of genetics is to have students look at traits on themselves. Just about every biology student has, in one class or another, been asked to roll their tongue, look at their earlobes, or check their fingers for hair. Students can easily collect data on several different traits and learn about genes, dominant and recessive alleles, maybe even Hardy-Weinberg proportions. Best of all, these data don't require microscopes, petri dishes, or stinky fly food.
Unfortunately, what textbooks, lab manuals and web pages say about these human traits is mostly wrong. Most of the common, visible human traits that are used in classrooms do NOT have a simple one-locus, two-allele, dominant vs. recessive method of inheritance. Rolling your tongue is not dominant to non-rolling, unattached earlobes are not dominant to attached, straight thumbs are not dominant to hitchhiker's thumb, etc.
In some cases, the trait doesn't even fall into the two distinct categories described by the myth. For example, students are told that they either have a hitchhiker's thumb, which bends backwards at a sharp angle, or a straight thumb. In fact, the angle of the thumb ranges continuously, with most thumbs somewhere in the middle. This was clearly shown in the very first paper on the genetics of hitchhiker's thumb (Glass and Kistler 1953), yet 60 years later, teachers still ask students which of the two kinds of thumb they have.
In other cases, the trait really does fall into two categories, but it isn't determined by genetics. For example, students are asked to fold their arms, then told that the allele for having the right forearm on top is dominant. It is true that most people fall into two categories, right arm on top or left arm on top, but the very first study on the subject (Wiener 1932) clearly demonstrated that there is little or no genetic influence on this trait: pairs of right-arm parents are just about as likely to have right-arm children as are pairs of left-arm parents.
Some traits, such as tongue rolling, were originally described as fitting a simple genetic model, but later research revealed them to be more complicated. Other traits were shown from the very beginning to not fit the simple genetic model, but somehow textbook authors decided to ignore this. A quick search in the standard reference on human genetics, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), makes it clear that most of these traits do not fit the simple genetic model. It is an embarrassment to the field of biology education that textbooks and lab manuals continue to perpetuate these myths.
Myths of Human Genetics: Introduction
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:14 PM
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I think it's a good way to demonstrate the concept to younger kids. That's a pretty abstract concept for anyone to learn about and what you talked about it is a fun and simple enough way to introduce the topic.

I don't see any problem with it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:14 PM
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Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:25 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
That it's fully possible. Some girls have been born with 2 vaginas. Some girls have been born without any vagina. Are they any less in the eyes of God?

Do we have any right to judge?
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:31 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by TheOldSchool View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
That it's fully possible. Some girls have been born with 2 vaginas. Some girls have been born without any vagina. Are they any less in the eyes of God?

Do we have any right to judge?
We have the right to "choose" which is worse.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:33 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. H. View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by TheOldSchool View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
That it's fully possible. Some girls have been born with 2 vaginas. Some girls have been born without any vagina. Are they any less in the eyes of God?

Do we have any right to judge?
We have the right to "choose" which is worse.
To "judge" which is worse?
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:44 PM
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More humans have been disposed of via the exercise of choice, than by judgment.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. H. View Post
More humans have been disposed of via the exercise of choice, than by judgment.
Agreed. But there's no need to take that frustration out on gay people
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by TheOldSchool View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
That it's fully possible. Some girls have been born with 2 vaginas. Some girls have been born without any vagina. Are they any less in the eyes of God?

Do we have any right to judge?
Possible is one thing, proven is another.

Gods judgement isn't up to me but in my opinion life has full value from conception.
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Last edited by Lumpy 1; 08-26-2013 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:19 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by TheOldSchool View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Lumpy 1 View Post
Gays say they were born that way...the gay gene...what are your thoughts on that?
That it's fully possible. Some girls have been born with 2 vaginas. Some girls have been born without any vagina. Are they any less in the eyes of God?

Do we have any right to judge?
Possible is one thing, proven is another.

Gods judgement isn't up to me but in my option life has full value from conception.
I owe you a rep in the future
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