Monday, May 08, 2006

Bioethics - the new phrenology?

Just got the new RS mailout and this bit is just plain bizzare. I'll quote a few of the choicest tidbits (emphasis mine):

The priorities and processes of the Inquiry expressed a fundamental cultural bias insofar as they systematically legitimated the subtle exclusion of 'minority' interests, selecting for rational expert opinion at the expense of intangible or 'subjective' concerns.
Excuse me?? What are we supposed to do when discussing science? This also paints a pretty bad impression of 'minority' interests - they're irrational and subjective??

It also alerts us to the risk of conceptualising consultation in ways that inadvertently select for the status quo [...] thus sustaining the social and economic disparities...
huh? it's a conspiricy?
By treating GM as a scientific and legalistic problem, the RCGM silenced significant
aspects of the debate [...] it had not an adequate means for hearing the
cultural, social, spiritual, or ethical aspects of these and subsequently
incorporating them into its strategic plan.
I would suggest that the RCGM was an input into the debate. Cultural, social, spiritual and ethical considerations should be discussed in the political arena. Where they belong.

If this is what passes for bioethics debate in nz no wonder GE isn't getting a fair hearing. This is an angels on pinheads attempt to restructure the debate into something entirely subjective and unprovable. As with any other politicised science debate, let the science speak for itself and let politics debate the touchy-feely stuff.

Dawkins has a great write up on this sort of hubris discussing the Sokal hoax. Go on, read it. This conference is/was obviously crap.


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10:43 PM  

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