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CharonY last won the day on January 29

CharonY had the most liked content!

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1919 Glorious Leader


About CharonY

  • Rank
    Biology Expert

Profile Information

  • Location
    somewhere in the Americas.
  • Interests
    Breathing. I enjoy it a lot, when I can.
  • College Major/Degree
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Biology/ (post-)genome research
  • Biography
    Labrat turned grantrat.

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  1. CharonY

    Are there different Human races?

    A) Classifications on the species levels are already tricky, below even more so. Nonetheless they are used for certain contexts in order to formulate hypotheses. B) It follows that these types of classifications are not universal, but follow the context of traits/conditions under consideration. I.e. there are parameters with which we can construct group populations, but these are only meaningful in special contexts. C) These classifications are in use in human studies, though there is increasing recognition that superficial groupings may not be appropriate to draw conclusions, resulting low reproducibility. There is somewhat more emphasis in trying to utilize genetic data instead.
  2. There is an interesting article on wired with a focus on the Italian five star movement, their links to other populist movements and the role of social media. Bannon and Farage have guest roles there. Link
  3. CharonY

    Designing Primers for PCR

    With regards to inserting digestions sites (or any sequences for that matter) you generally append them to your primer(s).
  4. Not specific to your question, but in the US they bring up distorted views on Europe quite often. Refugees raping Germany, Sharia laws in the UK, no-go zones, the list goes on. What I think is that there is a loosely (probably informal) right-wing umbrella (Bannon has been building such a system, I doubt he is the only one) working to create these divisive issues (such as trying to rile up folks with "identity politics" or similar talking points). The interesting bit is that the thing seems to follow to a large extent the US playbook (socialism?? Soros???), which theoretically should not translate well into the European systems. Except that for some reasons they do.
  5. CharonY

    Why is war morally wrong?

    I am not pretending that I actually know the answer to this question and in many cases I think that the outcome is better. However that would be in the end an utilitarian way to sort out morals. Certainly not wrong but also not trivially correct. As I mentioned, there are several frameworks out there (most of which I am not familiar with) to even start analyzing the morality of wars. I do have found a review on some of the discussions on just wars: Lazar, Annual Review of Political Science 20:27-54 2017, which is a nice compact read.
  6. CharonY

    The Border Wall or Fence

    A barrier itself is not immoral and it is not what folks claim. The immoral part comes from the fact that POTUS started a campaign demonizing asylum seekers, lie about immigrant-related crimes and help federal employee's livelihood hostage in order to get a signature project started that does not fulfill a an actual need.
  7. CharonY

    Why is war morally wrong?

    I am not referring to war crimes. In the "just war" framework of morality there are two elements: jus ad bellum (i.e. the right to engage in war) and "jus in bello" (i.e. the conduct in war). If both are followed, it can be considered a just war. This explicitly includes killing of opposition fighters (which, on the individual moral level would not justified) but implicitly also collateral deaths in civilians. Some argue that this makes the jus in bello a rather murky proposal. With regard to the Vietnam war, it is true that it is not a completely novel concept. After all, questioning the morality should not be that surprising. However, the just war hypothesis had a very strong foundation and it was still heavy in use for example to justify the Iraq war(s). I can dig out some literature, though my philosophy reading days are long over and I am not sure which books would be the right sources. The peace movement did indeed chip on the "just war" paradigm, but it has remained remarkably intact (and of course, quite a few vets joined the antiwar movement). It has been for example been used to justify the Iraq war(s). My fear is that it would rather depend on where you are when a conflict escalates.
  8. CharonY

    Is subspecies a vaild concept?

    No, quite the contrary. The larger issue is that strong, large narratives have been around for a long time which have been based on feeble facts or selective reading of data and literature. As scientists, we strive to follow data and not put our larger social interpretation on it. The latter does not always work and there is quit a re-thinking on how we use group identity in building cohorts, for example. In medical sciences, for example often black, Asian and Caucasian are used as distinct groups. However, while this is a social grouping, it does not necessarily follow genetics. African Americans, for example often have admixture with European groups whereas recent immigrants from certain parts of Africa have much less. Likewise South-East Asians or even Asians from different immigration waves face quite different socioeconomic histories which do (perhaps surprisingly) impact health studies. The human desire to form convenient groups is working against us in these cases. For example, averaging income and health in these groups, Asians often come up on top. However, this ignores subgroups within the Asian communities that are almost as bad off as indigeneous populations (which usually, again for historic reasons) have specific health challenges. Even folks who try to make evidence-policies are often unaware of these issues and thereby enacting strategies leading to adverse outcomes. And this is why as scientist we need to be aware why we create certain groups, on what measures they are based and to what extent we can learn from this particular type of grouping and associated studies. The reason is that as scientist we do not want our own perceptions make us blind to facts, but we are only human after all. Also, when communicating to a broader audience, we have to be cognizant to the fact that certain unsavory types will pick and choose from what we say in order to further their own agenda.
  9. CharonY

    Is subspecies a vaild concept?

    Nope. The difference is between scientific communications. which acknowledges the contexts and definitions and how it is presented to the broader public, who lack that context. And of course there are also certain scientists that oversell aspects for various reasons.
  10. CharonY

    Is subspecies a vaild concept?

    The crux with subspecies (which also applies to a certain degree to much of the species concept) is whether a given classification is useful. Due to the continuous nature of genetic variation these classifications are artificial to various degrees. However, they afford us with a tool to perform certain analyses, e.g. testing whether certain geographic features may lead to formation of specialized or isolated sub-groups. And of course it can be done with human populations as well. The important thing to remember is that the groups that form will depend on the features you select. Or, in case of whole-genome data you will usually see groups following geographic patterns. However the concept has been abused for so much that one has to carefully frame the research as folks will inevitably put stuff in there that is not in the data.
  11. CharonY

    The Border Wall or Fence

    Well, the selection of this particular issue (rather than other, indeed pressing matters) clearly shows the xenophobic agenda in the WH and meshes with all the other policies they put in place. It just happens to mesh well with a good proportion of the voter base.
  12. CharonY

    The Border Wall or Fence

    Would be the difference to put in a fence somewhere and putting one with the purpose of regulating border security, I would guess. Not sure whether it would make a practical differences. Some Republicans (Montana and West Virginia at least) are proposing measures to allocate ~10 millions of state funds to fund the wall. Not sure how likely it will be, but it is clearly mostly a symbolic gesture either way.
  13. CharonY

    Independent run for POTUS 2020

    So you are going to ignore that from your own list there is a substantial element alignment with what is considered the progressive (i.e. non-moderate) program? Also the fact that both parties offer policies that are on the conservative side of things as they judge their constituency more conservative then they are. Also the fact that in the article you linked one of the issue is simply that moderate politicians may just not be sufficiently aligned with what voters ultimately want? To explain the issue it is probably worthwhile to point out that labels such as moderate are ultimately not helpful. The reason is that there is a significant gap in self-identification and desired policies. For example, while many minority communities share strong overlap in terms of social conservative ideologies, which could include aspects like the role of women, abortion, role of religion, LGBT issues etc. they tend to vote Democratic as a whole. The reason here is that for many the GOP stance toward immigrants and minorities can be seen as soft (or even hard) threat to them which is a disincentive for them to vote GOP. Likewise an astonishingly high number of especially low- middle income Republican voters are strongly in favour of medicare and/or universal health coverage. Yet clearly the GOP was hard on against it. They likely have to pivot now, though, as it seemingly only slowly dawns them that they were leaving their voters behind. While there is clearly a party bias, the US population as a whole is astonishingly comfortable with progressive stances (and again, as reflected with your previous list) and as such, the political continuum as represented by both parties is not representative for the spectrum found in voters. This does not mean that there is a space for moderates. As mentioned before, the moderate would have to pick and choose not from the middle spectrum, but it would be squarely in the moderate to left part of the Democratic party. The other option would try to obtain votes from the hardcore left or right base (no Immgration of Muslims, but with free healthcare for all!), which is likely not going to work for a large number of reasons.
  14. CharonY

    Why is war morally wrong?

    Except among historians it is considered mostly settled and I have yet to see a serious claim to the opposite. From historians that is, not random blogs from Nazi apologists.