April 25, 2008

Happy National DNA Day!

Today, April 25th, is the federal government's official annual "National DNA Day" to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the publication in Nature of the key article on the structure of DNA by Francis Crick and, uh, some other dude.

In fact, recent research revealed that Francis Crick crimethunk, too. So, perhaps it's not surprising that neither scientist's name appears on the government's "National DNA Day" homepage.

Don't you think it's about time the government moved National DNA Day to some date more appropriate, like, say, Rosa Parks's birthday? I mean, she had DNA, too, didn't she?

And she suffered. That's what we want these days -- heroes of suffering. (Just ask John McCain!) These two science dudes, they merely accomplished something. And who needs that? Heroes of accomplishment just make people who don't accomplish things feel bad.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Well, the big guys are mentioned one link in. I'm not surprised that the bureaucracy celebrates itself first.

See: http://www.genome.gov/26525485

Anonymous said...

Looks as if veracitor beat me to it. I would add that Watson and Crick are also prominently mentioned in Francis Collins's video, which is also one click away from the main page.

Anonymous said...

The person you're looking for is Rosalind Franklin. Sometimes it seems we're supposed to understand that she and Lise Meitner were the two key figures of 20th Century physics.

Anonymous said...

Gee Steve, when did you get mean? I used to love the way you combined sober racial realism with basic sympathy for blacks, but that appears to be long gone. No wonder that your fan base, as measured by the commentators, are either quasi-autistic science geeks or stormfront types. Take a vacation, man

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's about time the government moved National DNA Day to some date more appropriate, like, say, Rosa Parks's birthday? I mean, she had DNA, too, didn't she?

OK, so I currently live in Salt Lake City, a city which up until about 15 years ago was over 95% white. Racial minorities have historically played NO role in the intellectual, economic, political, religious or cultural development of this area. Even now they really don't.

Most of the major streets in downtown Salt Lake are numbered, except for State, Main, and North, South, and West Temple Streets. Up until recently the only major thoroughfares named for actual people were: Martin Luther King Blvd (600 South), Cesar Chavez Blvd (500 South), and Rosa Parks Ave (200 East). There are two one-block sections near the Jazz arena named for Karl Malone and John Stockton.

A few years ago a Salt Lake City Boy Scout named Junior Cruz decided to circulate a petition to rename 300 South after Adam Galvez, a soldier killed in Iraq by an IED. It succeeded, and it's hard to begrudge the decision, but I can't help wondering if the City Council would've approved it if his name were "Adam Winslow" instead. I think it unlikely.

I used to love the way you combined sober racial realism with basic sympathy for blacks

Grinding reality wears away either the sympathy or the need to reassert it every five minutes, hopefully a lot of both.

Anonymous said...

great post - it's unthinkable that watson and crick shouldnt be mentioned on the main page. this can only be the result of watson's recent crime.

Second Class American said...

Gee Steve, when did you get mean?

Is it coincidence that everyone who posts with the handle "anonymous" is a whiny biotch?

Anonymous said...

And no comment on the Senate's 95-0 vote on a bill to outlaw genetic discrimination?
That seems like an issue to take a stand on it. The enforcement of that law will likely be selective. Some genes are more equal than other genes.

Unknown said...

Seems to me that a likely result of the Senate's vote is offshore indemnity insurance for those whose genes indicate a small chance of selected illnesses.

Unknown said...

IQ rears its' dirty, ugly filthy head:


James Watson is so mentioned on the government website:


"I am deeply saddened by the events of the last week, and understand and agree with Dr. Watson's undoubtedly painful decision to retire in the aftermath of a racist statement he made that was both profoundly offensive and utterly unsupported by scientific evidence."

Anonymous said...

In the normal course of events the great man would have become Sir Francis Crick, or Lord Crick of Helterskelter. Were such honours offered and turned down?

Anonymous said...

Dearieme: According to Wikipedia, he received the Order of Merit, which does not carry the title "Sir" but has the prestige of being limited to twenty-four members at a time and of being personally chosen by the monarch rather than at the advice of his (or currently her) ministers.

Wikipedia also provides lists of current and former members, most of whom were also knights or lords, but not all. In addition to Crick, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, and Ted Hughes were among the more notable persons to receive the Order of Merit but not a knighthood or lordship.




Anonymous said...

Dearime: The Order of Merit is the most exclusive honour in Britain, by far. Inverted snobs take it who think too many commonplace folks become knights or peers of the realm. (Nowadays, they're right.)

Merit means what it says, and Crick deserved it. TS Eliot had some, ahem, interesting opinions about the Chosen People and Winston Churchill, we now know, warned his Cabinet colleagues in 1955 that coloured immigration was a danger.

i don't think a British government commemoration of the most important discovery in the history of biology would be quite so mealy-mouthed about who made it. By the way, Maurice Wilkins of KCL also had at least as big a hand in it as Rosalind Franklin.