Bernard Murray bernard at
Fri Feb 25 03:36:00 EST 1994

In article <2kk3jh$lke at usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>, bl275 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Dan Diaz) writes:
> In a previous article, FERRIS at WUSTLB.WUSTL.EDU (Patrick Ferris) says:
> >>From: joni.self at (Joni Self)
> >>Subject: genetest.txt
> >>Organization: Pacific Union College BBS
> >
> >>  I do agree that it is good to know about inherited
> >>disorders to prevent the passing on of a bad gene, such as the case of
> >>the Jews.  However, I wouldn't prevent them from marrying, necessarily,
> >>but just from having children.
> >
> >>People want a simple answer to complex problems such as homosexuality,
> >>alcoholism, crime and vilolence, etc.  
> >
> >  Allright. I can tolerate bad writing and poor argumentation in
> >the name of scientific literacy, but I don't appreciate finding
> >racist and homophobic remarks here. These comments don't 
> >belong on bionet.general, IMO.
> >
> >Patrick Ferris
> >
> oh, shut the hell up you pompous ass.  before you go accusing people of
> racism and the rest, do some careful reading.  there are genetic disorders
> common to Jews, even as sickle cell anemia is most commonly seen in Blacks. 
> Pointing out medical facts is not racism.  Neither should a comment about
> the penchant for simple answers be seen as hatred of homosexuals.  in any
> case, the bionet, and science, are about answering questions and solving
> conflicts with evidence.  this is not about political correctness.  if you
> dont like to read things which offend you, turn the monitor off, pull the
> shades down and contemplate your own existence.  the rest of us are happy
> enough to let the debate rage on, knowing that we can only benefit from the
> presence of heretics, real or imagined.
> diz

Oh dear, the insults are beginning to fly!  Well, Dan, I don't think that
Patrick was particularly annoyed with the idea that Joe/Josepine Public wants
simple answers to questions (so that genetics can be used as a black and
white answer to the cause of A.N.Other problem).  I think the perhaps
unanticipated inflammatory phrase in the earlier post was that concerning
"preventing them having children".  This is clearly material for hot debate
but not really a subject for the bionet (IMVHO).
	Sure, the phrase "Political Correctness" often generates groans for
the stifling effect it can have upon communication.  However, that shouldn't
stop people from being polite, if not PC, and at least being aware of other
people's points of view.  What *is* a scientific heretic Dan?  How does
the community benefit from their presence?

Bernard Murray, Ph.D.
bernard at (National Cancer Insititute, NIH, Bethesda MD, USA)

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