Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Hap Map Project?

The International HapMap Project is a multi-country effort to identify and catalog genetic similarities and differences in human beings. Using the information in the HapMap, researchers will be able to find genes that affect health, disease, and individual responses to medications and environmental factors.

The Project is a collaboration among scientists and funding agencies from Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Nigeria, and the United States. All of the information generated by the Project will be released into the public domain.

The goal of the International HapMap Project is to compare the genetic sequences of different individuals to identify chromosomal regions where genetic variants are shared. By making this information freely available, the Project will help biomedical researchers find genes involved in disease and responses to therapeutic drugs.

In the initial phase of the Project, genetic data are being gathered from four populations with African, Asian, and European ancestry. Ongoing interactions with members of these populations are addressing potential ethical issues and providing valuable experience in conducting research with identified populations.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creationism and Snapshots of the Universe

One problem that Creationism has (among many) is that it is a snapshot of the state of the Universe. By that I mean that any changes to the underlying structure cannot be made because time and space and the elements have already been spelled out by the Creator.

One way of looking at this is the notion that when the Creator made the universe he could have made a less than perfect creation or a perfect creation.

If the creation is less than perfect, end of story. There is no need to pursue creationism or Intelligent design as a model for the universe.

If the creation is perfect, as creationists believe, then in Liebniz' words, this is the "best of all Possbile worlds."

Well is it? I for one don't think it is because it could be improved by getting rid of cancer or diabeties. In other words, the universe doesn't meet the condition of being perfect if there are flaws. So the snapshot that was taken didn't really occur.