Scientists find a "link" between the alcohol consumption of a fly and a human being?
in ref to:
"Scientists find gene linked to alcohol consumption"
(Image at left taken from website of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Department of Psychiartry, also promoting plenty of biodeterminism, but what else would you expect?)
"The difference this particular gene makes is only small, but by finding it we've opened up a new area of research." No they haven't. Biodeterminism has been mainstreamed to the public for DECADES! Researchers have suggested for years that gene therapy of some kind will eventually stop people from drinking to the point of developing alcoholism--as if that's all it will take. This type of research has at its focus the notion that human behavior, in this case over-consumption of alcohol, can be controlled by a single gene. At the same time these researchers, along with the news media encouraging a biodeterministic understanding of human behavior, have the nerve to say, " 'Of course there are a lot of factors that affect how much alcohol a person drinks, '" they won't discuss any of them and instead shed light only in the direction of biodeterminism by adding the claim, " 'but we know...that genes play an important role.' " What "important" role exactly? Nobody really knows. Why? Because the findings are CORRELATIONAL, i.e., there's a "link" of some kind between people who drank less alcohol and this same group of people more likely having a specific gene. Was the gene only found in the group of people drinking less alcohol? No. Was the gene absent in the group of people that drank more alcohol? No. They found a statistically significant correlation between alcohol consumption and the presence of one gene, and it took tens of thousands of people to produce that correlation. Do we know that this one gene causes the regulation of alcohol consumption across species? No. Has this study really "opened up a new area of research" concerning alcoholism? Absolutely not.
But to add insult to further ignorance on the absurdity of one gene (the now so-called AUTS2 gene) playing such an "important" role when it comes to governing human behavior, they insist on generalizing not only from animal behavior to human behavior, but from the behavior of a FLY to human behavior! The news article reports:
"...researchers also looked at strains of mice that had been selectively bred according to how much alcohol they drink voluntarily, and found there were differences in the AUTS2 gene activity levels among different breeds.
In another part of the study using flies, the researchers found that blocking the effect of a fruit fly version of the same gene made the flies less sensitive to alcohol. This suggests AUTS2 seems to be involved in regulation of alcohol intake in a number of different species, they said."
In the real world, in contrast to a biodeterministic science, the research quoted in this article pertains to how a fly responds to alcohol consumption, NOT how does a fly become an alcoholic.
Do I really need to go into a long convoluted scientific evaluation to show how the central nervous system (CNS) of a fly is radically different compared to a human being? It may be true that humans and flies share some of the same types of genes, as is the case with many organisms, but there are also some pretty profound differences. A fly did not have the evolution of a mammal. A fly does not have a neocortex--a unique part of the human brain responsible for complex thinking. A fly is not even a vertebrate! Just because humans and flies share some of the same genes we have no real reason to assume the nervous systems of the two organisms are structured the same, function similarly, are affected by the environment in the same way, have the same developmental stages, are capable of the same intelligence and learning, and the list goes on and on almost infinitely. A fly CAN be like a human being IF all you consider are the similarities. Biodetermists are ignoring the many differences between the two organisms because it ruins their reductionistic interpretation of behavior.
I've heard of a person being referred to as a "bar fly" before, but it is truly absurd to think that a fly and a human being share the same one lone gene that is deterministically controlling how much alcohol they routinely consume. This is a perfect example of bad science reported by the media to make it even worse. A public of uncritical thinkers will be encouraged to believe the all important element when it comes to human behavior is physiology in the form of DNA, and this does nothing more than breed biodeterminism. It's the kind of mad science that is truly destroying our understanding of human behavior.
Read more about what is biodeterminism: http://biodeterminism.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html