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Charles R. Anderson

Genetic Diversity and Individuality

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It has frequently been claimed that all human beings are 99.9 percent genetically identical. If this were true it would provide, and seemingly has been used to provide, reason for socialists to claim that human nature is so identical that with careful government control of each person's upbringing and environment, we can be made to all have the same values, which government and majority rule will see that we are provided with. But, it is awkward for the socialist program if we are significantly individualized by virtue of differences in our DNA from the git go.

Now some of us have been observant enough of human behavior, including that of the newest born infants, to be sure that there is very significant human variation which must have its origin in our DNA. Well, not surprisingly, new research has established that at least 10 percent of the genes in the human population can vary with respect to the number of replications of DNA sequences. A World Science summary of the investigation published in the Nov. 23 issue of Nature is found here.

Stephen Scherer of the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, with colleagues, found that 2,900 genes, more than 10% of those in the human genome, have variations in the number of copies of specific DNA segments. These differences can affect gene activity and biological functions. 270 people with Asian, African, and European ancestry were studied. Only those variations with more than 1000 nucleotides could be observed. They found 1447 different copy number variations accounting for about 12 percent of the genome and 6 to 19% of any given chromosome. These variations were both common and large. Missing pieces of DNA were sometimes a million or more nucleotides long, with no apparent basis in disease.

With such variations in DNA, it is hardly a wonder that we are all unique individuals. We cannot be expected to all think alike or to have the same feelings. We can be expected to have different values. In a one-size-fits-all society, such as the socialists would force us into, many of us must be expected to be unhappy with our loss of freedom to pursue the values that our unique character causes us to rationally choose. We can expect the left to try to ignore and cover-up the implications of such research.

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