February 18, 2013

Obama to study brain, says Neanderthal cloning expert

From the New York Times:
Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain 
By JOHN MARKOFF 
Published: February 17, 2013 
The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.

George M. Church, a molecular biologist at Harvard, said he was helping to plan the project, the Brain Activity Map.

Dr. Church was most recently in the news speculating about cloning a lot of Neanderthals.

Do they really want to know what they'll find?

47 comments:

Nicholas Stan said...

Its so they can start trying to come up with alternative 'truths' that support the Narrative...

Did you know when white college students are shown a red light, they are 1.000673x more likely than blacks to associate the word 'brown' with negative connotations like dirt? This means that white men are inherently racist and evil.

In a study of 4 individuals, the cerebral cortex of African American homosexuals contains 0.005 micrograms/kg more Molybdenum than that of Europeans and Asians, proving once and for all that African-descended peoples, homosexuals, Hispanics, transexuals, transgenders, illegal immigrants, Eskimos, union workers, and Democrat voters are all more intelligent than Red State whites.

rightsaidfred said...

Another Great Leap Forward in the works.

Rob said...

Do they really want to know what they'll find?

The general elements that really matter, they know already. It's just a matter of burying them under a pile of egalitarian verbiage. Only those who've already shown they can handle that will be allowed to give out any information on the findings.

Anonymous said...

no, they do not want to know what they will find. They want to find what they want the public to believe.

Dave said...

In other words: "Mr. President, the lab called. Your brain is ready."

Anonymous Rice Alum #4 said...

Do they really want to know what they'll find?

The smarter Dems, SWPLS, etc. who lurk here (hi, Matt Yglesias!) already know the Blank Slate is false and HBD is true. The only think keeping them from admitting it is, the only policy anyone currently imagines for a post-Blank Slate world is a Social Darwinist/anti-welfare state. While Yglesias et al. would be happy for lazy and shiftless NAMs to starve, and the criminal ones to be locked up forever, implementing that policy requires only a few government employees, with most of those going to the wrong type of white people, cops and prison guards. The anti-welfare state provides no government jobs for Ivy League humanities majors. That's the only reason Ivy League humanities majors believe in the Blank Slate.

But there is an alternative to Social Darwinism in the post-Blank Slate world: government programs to change NAM brains. Whether it will involve germline genetic engineering, post-natal gene therapy, administration of smart drugs, or something else, if Federal dollars flow into it, Ivy League humanities majors will be employed pushing paper and writing reports.

In sum, the more we know about the brain, the more likely the Obama administration policy wonks pushing this idea will find a way to save their phony-baloney jobs when the Blank Slate bubble bursts.

rob said...

Do they really want to know what they'll find?

I think so. Church just likes finding out stuff, and if he gets to develop new tools like overlap extension PCR or whatnot, he's happy as clam on Prozac. Contra some commenters, Obama is fairly smart. He knows blacks and Mestizos, and probably white Mexicans) are not. California's crashing despite entertainment and tech-he knows what'll happen when states without that kind of installed base of capital to milk go majority non-white. Picture the headlines "Economy Collapses Under Weight of Blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics Hardest Hit."

While the um, liberals who got the subversion going mainly wanted to break it because the old upper class kept the shiksas in country clubs, visible but cruelly out of reach, the black and hispanic 'elite' want to live high on the hog. Some even want higher standards of living for their people.

The smarts running the Democratic party know the upcoming generation is not 'educated' or bright enough to keep the economy running smoothly and growing: hence the big amnesty push and attempts to coopt Republicans for it. Before long Mexican immigration would dry up and the black birthrate nosedive. Their best hope is coming up with a way to make NAMs brighter.

Another interpretation would be that they don't even know what they aren't supposed to know. As Sailer pointed out about NYC gifted testing, it is possible that they actually think blacks have problems with English, so they do stuff like replace existing tests with culture-reduced abstract reasoning tests, and actually think black performance will improve.

Just like how the hapmap was supposed to show that we're all the same and race is pretend showed just the opposite, there are some blank slaters who'll look forward to the brain project since they think it'll will prove that there are no population differences in mental abilities.

Anonymous said...

Probably, they want to be certain about what will be found.

Chicago said...

Perhaps he thinks of this as a possible way of 'closing the gap'. Probably, he'll appoint a black person to head it up much like he did with NASA.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me that as results come in, they'll pull a S J Gould.

Kylie said...

"Do they really want to know what they'll find?"

Just think of all the fun we can have laughing at how they'll distort what they find to fit the narrative.

Anonymous said...

OBAMA GOD SAVE US! AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGHHHHH!!!!!!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Define "know." They know things now that they refuse to know. For example it appears to them that homosexuality is inherited, but nothing else it, except maybe hair color. Everything else can be changed by investing in education.

pat said...

There are several issues with the human brain that need research. But none of them are the diseases of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, autism or such. These are minor diseases. If we rationally chose diseases to maximize the reduction in human misery - these would not be at the top of the list.

The big issue about the human brain is of course race.

We know that the races differ in the size and functioning of their brains. If that fact were better appreciated it is unlikely that we would ever have had the housing crisis and its associated recession that began as a way to subsidize black homeownership. It would also be difficult to justify wasting money on the education of blacks, especially in college. If the public came to understand that black crime and unemployment were consequences of the black brain rather than some mysterious "white discrimination" then a lot of the political support for welfare and affirmative action preferences would dry up.

Since these are the aspects of the human brain that are the most relevant to modern America it's hard to see how the Obama administration could keep them from being explored.

We are due for a major reversal in public attitudes about the causes and cures of black social pathology. We have given blacks every beenfit of the doubt, finally even electing a black as President. But black violent crime rates remain very high and black unemployment is only held down by a system of preferences and subsidies from the government. Everything that was supposed to remedy the white-black education and employment gap has failed.

The public is ripe to seek an answer in the black brain.

Alabertosaurus

Anonymous said...

if he gets to develop new tools like overlap extension PCR or whatnot

What is there to develop? The idea of overlap extension PCR is completely obvious, dates to 1980s and Church had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

http://forward.com/articles/171204/how-many-american-jews-are-there/?p=all

Anonymous said...

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/02/reply-to-unz/#more-17885

jody said...

1) craig venter got to the genome first, in a private effort, blowing away the government effort by a decade at least. he was given moderate credit at the time, but since then, has been flushed down the memory hole.

he continues to work in the field and pioneer new important developments, yet he seems to never even be in contention for a nobel.

2) there are already multiple private projects, and even a few government funded projects, to do exactly the human brain research which obama thinks is new or exciting.

they are all years and years ahead of where this new US federal government project will be, whenever it does finally start up. this project will produce no useful results, but hey, at least it will cost a few billion dollars.

Whiskey said...

The real action will come from private, Korean and CHinese firms offering DNA alterations to make people smarter, likely with significant side effects. And totally black market. The buyers? Mostly Black and Hispanics I think.

Which will be ... interesting.

Anonymous said...

"Do they really want to know what they'll find?"

Wrong question.

"Do they really want to find what they know?"

Anonymous said...

"Obama is fairly smart. He knows blacks and Mestizos, and probably white Mexicans) are not."

He's fairly smart, yet, but not educated, except in social science crap and educated in learning how to circumvent that silly, tedious document he knows as the US Constitution.

Truthfully, I really don't know if he knows the truth. I suspect he still believes it's all about social circumstance and he's both idealistic and narcissistic enough to think he can change it. Were he to know the truth I don't believe he would be "all in" for this.


"California's crashing despite entertainment and tech-he knows what'll happen when states without that kind of installed base of capital to milk go majority non-white. Picture the headlines 'Economy Collapses Under Weight of Blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics Hardest Hit'"

I don't think he gives a damn about any such collapse as long as he doesn't get blamed for it (that's been his m.o. so far, why should I think otherwise?) and lacking real journalists and journalism anymore (we now have advocates posing as journalists), he has little reason such headlines will be written After all, the advocates will never let it be said that the first minority, the first "black" POTUS was a failure.

Anonymous said...

" If the public came to understand that black crime and unemployment were consequences of the black brain rather than some mysterious "white discrimination" then a lot of the political support for welfare and affirmative action preferences would dry up."

I can see getting rid of AA, but welfare may be needed because some of these people just can't function at a certain level to earn a living at job.

If HBD is true,it's not their fault their brains are what they are.


If I had to be smart enough to earn a living as a top class scientists, I would need welfare because I wouldn't be able to function in that workplace.

Anonymous said...

Brain study could equal the space program in importance. As almost all of the high iq races are getting older, it is important that cognitive ability be sustained into old age. Notice how much the exceptionally smart Finnish are affected by dementia. Steve has addressed this issue previously, yet most of us probably presume we have the same iq we had when we were tested at age 12. Our world is definitely getting old, it would be better if we weren't getting dumb too.

Anonymous said...

"Do they really want to know what they'll find?"

They know already they just don't want everyone else to know.

I think this is probably more to do with concocting a sanitized alternative to what may come out of the Chinese research - heading them off at the pass stylee - maybe even using the institution to bribe the Chinese researchers into coming to America to play pool instead of researching.

Either way the Chinese move will spark the Israelis into the same research (in the extremely unlikely case they haven't already started).

David said...

There's no master plan. The Europeans just gave $1.3 Billion dollars to their own project.

http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/

So the American neuroscientists, said "if you don't give us a billion dollars, in ten years all of the great neuroscience research will be done in Europe." And they said it compellingly enough that they got the funding, probably by claiming it would cause a pharmaceutical revolution.

In terms of the HBD angle, I assure you that is not something that most neuroscientists think about. They ponder much more technical questions of which serotonin receptors do what and when and how.

Anonymous said...

"the black brain"

The idea that there is some kind of fixed "black brain" is silly. If there are differences caused by different evolutionary histories and those differences become fully understood then it should be possible to simulate the selective pressures they missed out on.

I don't think that's very likely to happen given the balance of forces in play but it's the only way any gap is going to be closed.

a Newsreader said...

This smacks of a pointless money-shoveling boondoggle*. They won't find anything.




*You know, like the space shuttle, or artificial intelligence, or climate science, or nanotechnology, &c.

Anonymous said...

It's become necessary that the elites co-opt the HBD/DNA helix of evil. Suppression is no longer an option. Next step: Assume leadership of the field; gatekeep for 'mainstream', 'respectable', etc; obfuscate like mad about the infinite subtlety of gene-environment interaction, epigenetics, etc, etc. Also ratchet up PR on 'ethical' scaremongering and the necessity for sensitivity, aka, secrecy.

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

"It's become necessary that the elites co-opt the HBD/DNA helix of evil."

Yep. If you think about it it was an inevitable consequence of offshoring with an unknowable time delay.

Yulin said...

"Did you know when white college students are shown a red light, they are 1.000673x more likely than blacks to associate the word 'brown' with negative connotations like dirt? This means that white men are inherently racist and evil."

It wouldn't surprise me to see some nonsense like this in a top notch journal at this point. After all, they 'showed' that white babies were born racist. They're really screwing up the West to its structural foundations. The scientific method was one of the reasons why the West become dominant. They keep on intertwining bs like that into it, no one is going to give it any credit in the future.

Micha Elyi said...

I think the conspiracy theory stuff in the comments is hooey.

David posted the likeliest reason for this latest government boondoggle.

I lived through the same pattern in the 1990s when the U.S. semiconductor industry cried "The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming!" Billions for research subsidies were poured in and nothing of significance that wouldn't have happened anyway occurred.

Anonymous said...

One can pretty much expect that any findings that don't support the narrative are going to be suppressed, at least until genuine solutions become available.

However, there will eventually be a dilemma when, in the distant future, it does become possible to remedy intellectual deficiencies by neural transplants, genetic engineering etc, they will have to either deny there is a problem and fail to remedy it, or finally admit what they absolutely have always denied, and remedy the situation.

Probably they will find a way to lie about it when the time comes.

Anon.

Charlton Heston said...

"A planet where apes evolved from men? There's got to be an answer."

"Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find."

Fun said...

"... they are all years and years ahead of where this new US federal government project will be, whenever it does finally start up. this project will produce no useful results, but hey, at least it will cost a few billion dollars."

As we all know, U.S. government-funded research has a long history of producing no useful results.

ben tillman said...

Did you know when white college students are shown a red light, they are 1.000673x more likely than blacks to associate the word 'brown' with negative connotations like dirt?

You mean, "as likely as".

Anonymous said...

"the um, liberals who got the subversion going mainly wanted to break it because the old upper class kept the shiksas in country clubs, visible but cruelly out of reach"

One tribe attempting to force access to another's women is either an act of war or a cause for it.

Anonymous said...

The Armenians are coming!

(It's about f'ing time too.)

Anonymous said...

Not exactly far "sidebar" in these times: Could a brainy project make
a taxpayer impact statement before
it gets airborne so that maybe it
might incline to go multi-national with and have more
taxpayer $$houlders under the
royal chair of science. ????

Nicholas Stan said...

" ben tillman said...

Did you know when white college students are shown a red light, they are 1.000673x more likely than blacks to associate the word 'brown' with negative connotations like dirt?

You mean, "as likely as"."


No, I meant 'more likely than'. Fold change can work in both directions. If it were in the opposite direction, I would have used 'less likely than', so my statement works perfectly fine, thank you.

ben tillman said...

No, I meant 'more likely than'. Fold change can work in both directions. If it were in the opposite direction, I would have used 'less likely than', so my statement works perfectly fine, thank you.

No, it doesn't. You're trying to present a trivial difference. A difference of over 100% doesn't fit your purpose. A difference of .0673% does.

You may understand "fold change", but you don't understand the language used to describe it.

Saint Louis said...

A Neanderthal cloning expert? So is the cloning expert a Neanderthal? Is he anything like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer?

Seriously, the NYT needs to work on its headlines.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

ben tillman: No, it doesn't. You're trying ..

I'm glad you got a chance to come back to this. It seemed childish to pursue it on someone else's behalf.

OSS said...

The real action will come from private, Korean and CHinese firms offering DNA alterations to make people smarter, likely with significant side effects. And totally black market. The buyers? Mostly Black and Hispanics I think.

Which will be ... interesting.


It will probably be kept in the Korean and Chinese gene pools as long as possible. They won't be able to announce it, and it won't be something you discuss outside your immediate circle of acquaintances. Eventually it might filter down to rich whites.

As to blacks and Hispanics being genetically modified, I've always wondered what the maximum gain could be per race. What if one race can be enhanced at a greater rate than others? What if NAMS were to be enhanced to such a degree that they surpass non-NAMS?

Anonymous said...

"
However, there will eventually be a dilemma when, in the distant future, it does become possible to remedy intellectual deficiencies by neural transplants, genetic engineering etc, they will have to either deny there is a problem and fail to remedy it, or finally admit what they absolutely have always denied, and remedy the situation."

What if tweaking black genes to raise intelligence just causes black women to give birth to white babies? Maybe low IQ is pretty much baked into black and Mexican identity and to make them smarter is essentially genocide.

David said...

>As we all know, U.S. government-funded research has a long history of producing no useful results.<

Best snark of the day. Prob went over the heads of your targets, the he-man libertoonies, though.

Now quit studying history 'n' society, you pansies, and either dig some ditches or figure out a better way to shave nickels (currency trading). And do it without the internet or the benefits of the defense industry, just for starters.

Anonymous said...

There is already such a project going on in the EU.

This isn't really a study of variation y'allz, FYI.

Anonymous said...

There's no master plan. The Europeans just gave $1.3 Billion dollars to their own project.

http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/

So the American neuroscientists, said "if you don't give us a billion dollars, in ten years all of the great neuroscience research will be done in Europe." And they said it compellingly enough that they got the funding, probably by claiming it would cause a pharmaceutical revolution.

In terms of the HBD angle, I assure you that is not something that most neuroscientists think about. They ponder much more technical questions of which serotonin receptors do what and when and how.


Basically this.

Shame it doesn't work with China and genome studies of population variation.

After all, not like having lots of population variation to study is a relative strength of the US or anything like that...