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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the 60%-likely-is-40%-unlikely dept.

MedicalXPress:

How similar do you think you are to your second cousin? Or your estranged great aunt?

Would you like to have people assess your behaviour from what your great aunt has done? How would you feel if courts used data gained from them to decide how you are likely to behave in the future?

Scientists are making connections between a person's DNA and their tendencies for certain kinds of behaviour. At the same time, commercial DNA databases are becoming more common and police are gaining access to them.

When these trends combine, genetic data inferred about offenders from their relatives might one day be used by courts to determine sentences. In the future, the data from your great aunt could be used by a court to determine how severely you are punished for a crime.

[...] A Florida judge recently approved a warrant to search a genetic genealogy , GED Match. This American company has approximately 1.3 million users who have uploaded their personal genetic data, with the assumption of privacy, in the hope of discovering their family tree.

The court directly overruled these users' request for privacy and now the company is obliged to hand over the data.

[...] This might be used by the prosecution to make the case for a longer sentence. In some jurisdictions and circumstances, the prosecution may have a means of obtaining a sample of DNA directly from the offender. But where this is not legally possible without the offender's consent, the inference from relatives might fill a gap in the prosecution's case about how dangerous the offender is.

Your ability to be granted bail may hinge on your genes.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @06:23PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @06:23PM (#946922)

    people trying to shortcut reductionist theories of human behavior straight to DNA are called "evolutionary psychologists" and they are all, almost without exception, massive shitheads and have been for decades now.

    Decades? The scientific racism of the 19th Century was unscientific and pushed by massive shitheads, I don't think you can extrapolate that to modern, peer reviewed academia without you being a massive shithead. Why not explain the error in methodology or falsify the data [twitter.com] if you're so convinced?

  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday January 22 2020, @06:57PM (5 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 22 2020, @06:57PM (#946947) Journal

    "Falsify my spurious correlation or else absolute biological determinism is true". This isn't how a scientist thinks. This is how a lazy-ass racist thinks. Goddamn, what a shitty and worthless position.

    This is up there with "number of leaves on an oak tree correlates with temperature, and number of leaves on an oak tree correlates with height, and since this tree is 80 feet tall, it must be summer" level of failure to reason.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:13PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:13PM (#946959)

      "Falsify my spurious correlation or else absolute biological determinism is true"

      What are you talking about? How is it a "spurious correlation" when the results are one of the most widely replicated in social science?

      This isn't how a scientist thinks. This is how a lazy-ass racist thinks. Goddamn, what a shitty and worthless position.

      You've yet to refute any data and we are just getting started [nature.com]

      One of the best-established findings in cognitive science is that individual differences in performance on diverse cognitive tasks correlate about 0.30 and that a general factor explains about 40% of the total variance. This general cognitive ability factor, usually called general intelligence (ā€˜gā€™), is one of the best predictors of important life outcomes including education, occupation, and mental and physical health. General intelligence is also one of the most heritable behavioural traits, with heritability increasing from 40% in childhood to 80% in later adulthood.

      This is up there with "number of leaves on an oak tree correlates with temperature, and number of leaves on an oak tree correlates with height, and since this tree is 80 feet tall, it must be summer" level of failure to reason.

      Cute - will be mentioning my "unscience" at your next flat earth society meeting?

      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:19PM (3 children)

        by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:19PM (#946963) Journal

        It speaks volumes that, when criticizing your lazy-ass racial theories, you assume I'm denying the correlation of IQ to life outcomes. There's the whole bird-watching argument to have about that, but at least it's predictive, unlike Murray's rambling bullshit.

        What it says to me is that you don't actually read criticism of your theories, but just have canned replies that you assume address all criticism. Equally brainless, but, as a huge win for internet argumentation, much more annoying.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:54PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @07:54PM (#946978)

          you assume I'm denying the correlation of IQ to life outcomes.

          Isn't that exactly what you're doing? Postulate mysterium all you like [twitter.com] but I'll withhold judgment until I see some hard data.

          It speaks volumes that, when criticizing your lazy-ass racial theories

          What racial theories? If we are not discussing observable traits then why do positive discrimination affirmative action SAT penalties correlate inversely with observed racial IQ scores? What "racial theories" did Harvard & UNC apply and why did California ban affirmative action in '96?

          you don't actually read criticism of your theories,

          My theories? I haven't presented any of my own theories.

          • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:37PM (1 child)

            by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 22 2020, @08:37PM (#947001) Journal

            Why should I?

            My own theories are irrelevant to Murray being a dumbass inventing racist just-so stories.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @09:56PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @09:56PM (#947036)

              My own theories are irrelevant to Murray being a dumbass inventing racist just-so stories.

              Sowell performed the most eloquent dismissals. [claremontreviewofbooks.com] The problem is that the available data remains consistent which isn't something to be dismissed if we actually want to understand what's going on.