RE: [asa] ICR's GENE project - ethics

From: Meyer, Kenneth A <>
Date: Fri Jun 29 2007 - 16:37:14 EDT

I'm confident it would be unethical to send samples that do not follow
the instructions given, but at the same point I hardly think it matters.
Since the GENE team is asking for unverified samples submitted by mail,
a much more important question is how they are going to screen out the
inevitable bad samples.

The simple truth is that due to carelessness, malice or simple
curiosity, many people (including Christians, non-Christians and even
ICR supporters) are going to send bad samples. I'm sure the GENE team
has a plan to identify and eliminate bad samples and a major test of
their conclusions will be how successfully they can identify when people
have followed their procedure. I'm no geneticist, but I can imagine
that identifying first cousins vs. second cousins by looking at
mitochondrial DNA could be rather difficult and such submissions could
throw their results off much more than the easily identifiable
submission of chimp cells.

Without very close control over the data collected, I envision
legitimate criticism about the validity of any conclusions whether their
conclusions were assumed from the beginning or not!

I also find it interesting that their news release stresses their use of
"more complex numerical simulations." I suspect that their simulation
will be designed to show how common ancestors are impossible rather than
to simply best represent their data and that their arguments will hinge
on "our model vs. theirs" rather than focusing on a detailed analysis of
the data.

Ken M.

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Received on Fri Jun 29 16:37:46 2007

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