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Murtaugh is dissecting a study by the National Cancer Institute on the effects of abortion on breast cancer risk. Overall, there is no correlation, as the study shows, however when you look more closely at the data reported in the NYT article, you find that cancer risk increases with the lateness of term of the abortion. According to his math, this results in a grand total of about 1700 more breast cancer deaths per year, or a 4.3% increase in breast cancer deaths per year. To put this in perspective, risk factors like smoking dwarf this number by several orders of magnitude. If you want to attack a problem that causes unnecessary death, attack smoking, not late-term abortion, which account for less than 10% of the abortions performed anyways.

Mr. Gunn : 7:19 PM : Friday, March 07, 2003 :

Obels.net is blogging homocysteine.net. It's a little secret of the medical community that the correlations between blood lipoprotein levels and heart disease aren't exactly perfect. Information is coming out suggesting that homocysteine isn't simply a marker, but may cause some of the problems itself. Thanks for the blogroll Obels!

Mr. Gunn : 8:45 AM : :

Mardi Gras comes and goes here in New Orleans and I miss out on all the controversy. I think I have discovered the real reason some people get so queasy when talk of genetic engineering of intelligence arises.

If the comments on this forum are in anyway indicative of how the dialog will go on the larger scale(and I suspect that it is) the discussion will be like every other debate about genetic engineering, cloning, or pre-emptive medical intervention.

The anti side will be ignorant of the basic science and will be composed of liberal art majors chattering about how wrong it is to "tamper with nature" and religious right-wingers chattering about how wrong it is to "tamper with god's creation." The pro side will be composed of those who understand the basic science involved and realize that this really is nothing new and nature has been doing it all along, but this side will be totally unable to communicate with the anti side because:

1)the anti side is ignorant of the basic science.

2)the anti side doesn't really want a reasoned debate anyways, they just want to yell and scream about how wrong it is.

Now here's my point:

Those who are less intelligent are canny enough to realize that if intelligence becomes officially realized as a good thing that decisions should be based upon, the less intelligent become disenfranchised. They may not be able to spell disenfranchised, but they're canny enough to realize it when it's happening to them. That's the real reason there will be no real debate. Less intelligent people in power have a strong interest in continuing to push the blank slate doctrine.

Mr. Gunn : 7:09 AM : :

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